Maximizing My Summer Saturdays

Dear Summer, you may never be the same again.

I don’t want to be one of those reminiscent adults crying about missing childhood.  There’s a certain freedom that comes with adulthood, one that I greatly appreciate. But the other day it hit me–gone are the days of two-month summer vacations, double dutch, and staying out until the street lights came on. While maintaining a full-time job, it’s hard to enjoy summer like I used to. My summertime fun is limited to two measly days during the weekend which goes as fast as it comes. That’s barely enough time to explore and be consumed in adventure. The second I let my hair down, I’m faced with the reality that it’s Sunday and I must prepare for the upcoming work week.

Recently, I decided to take control of my summer. Yes, I still have to work Monday thru Friday but Saturdays are my days where I maximize my day–I call it double trouble. I leave my house around noon and don’t return home until 1-2AM the next day. Essentially, it’s like two days of activities and new experiences packed into one. This past weekend I had a double trouble Saturday and it turned out to be one of the best days I’ve had in a while, here’s how it went down:

2:00PM Brunch at a new restaurant

The Cecil 210 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026

Summer is all about exploring. The weather is great and there should be nothing preventing you from going out. After a 100-Black Owned restaurant list came out on I Don’t Do Clubs, my friends and I set a goal to tackle some of these restaurants. The Cecil in Harlem is one of them and I finally decided to make the long trek uptown to try it out.

4:30PM A Walk Around Harlem

Harlem is filled with Brownstones and restaurants. The stroll to 96th street was pleasant. We discovered a huge pool in Central Park and the actual tattoo shop of the Black Ink Crew, which is a show on VH1. A major bonus was that some of the cast were just hanging out on the stoop of the shop.

6:00PM Brooklyn Museum First Saturday
August at the Brooklyn Museum is Caribbean Heritage Month. Every year, the museum pays homage to the West Indian Culture that dominates Brooklyn. When I walked into the museum, the first thing on my agenda was to get tickets for the Short Film/Web series Ackee and Saltfish. The viewing started at 8PM, but tickets always go on sale an hour before and the lines are long. After I snagged my tickets, I discovered a reggae concert happening outside. I don’t know who the artists were, but they were singing Soca and getting the crowd hype. Around 8PM, I proceeded to the screening. Ackee and Saltfish was funny! It follows the life of two millennial girls living in London as they touch on issues of gentrification and snagging Lauryn Hill Tickets. I thought it was too short–I wanted more!
After the screening, I went to visit my boyfriend Basquiat. I have grown to love and admire his work. I wanted to see if I rediscovered anything new and fresh.

After watching his documentary Radiant Child, I understand some of his work according to the point in his life he was at. You can see how his art progressed from 1981, when he first started, to the paintings in 1983-1987, that could go for over $3million dollars now.

The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit was next on my list. The exhibit was well done and took you on a journey of the history of sneakers starting from the first pair. I love how it paid homage to both Hip Hop and Sports. Sports may have been the reason for sneakers being made, but Hip Hop grew its popularity into the cult culture it is today. I will be sure to write more about this exhibit in an upcoming blog post.

Finally, I discovered the much anticipated FAILE: Savaged/Sacred Young Minds. This exhibit raises questions about our relationship to consumer culture, religious traditions, and the urban environment by blurring the boundaries between fine art, street art, and popular culture. It will blow your mind!

11:00PM Soda Bar and Lounge

629 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

On the walk to Soda, we stumbled across some books on the stoop of an apartment building. I walked away with The Black Book, a book of beautiful and well-executed photography. Before heading into Soda, we stopped in the ice cream shop across the street to charge our phones. Ample Hill Creamery is known to have some of the best ice creams in Brooklyn. I figured since we were there I could try the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake ice cream, but the staff told me to come back in 30-minutes because it was too hard! Maybe next time. Soda was fun. We spent the rest of the night talking and dancing to all the classics. When “I Need A Girl” by Diddy came on, the nostalgic memories of past summers flooded the minds of everyone in the room. After all the days’ activities, I got home around 2AM.

If you’ve been feeling like summer isn’t what it used to be, maybe you’re right! We are adults now, and with adulthood comes responsibility. But we can’t let adulthood win! We have to learn how to make the best of our summers even if we think we don’t have enough time to enjoy it!

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The Perfect Brooklyn Saturday

As bad as I wanted to sleep in, I knew it would be best if I took advantage of the 50-degree weather and embark on a really cool Saturday in Brooklyn.

Around 2PM, I met up with my friend for brunch at Woodlands. Woodlands is a relatively new restaurant in Park Slope. I’ve seen this place but never thought twice about actually dining here until today. I was intrigued by the rustic décor and savory menu. I opted for my usual, scrambled eggs but asked for a side of Belgian waffles. They ended up giving me one red velvet waffle, which was a pleasant surprise; this waffle was moist, fluffy, and melt in your mouth good. I would definitely come back here for brunch again, the unlimited mimosas until 4PM, sealed the deal.

Woodlands Restaurant

After brunch, we took a nice walk to the Brooklyn Museum, which was the highlight of the day. Target First Saturdays is a guaranteed good time. From its arts&crafts, musical performances, and films followed by discussions, this is the go-to spot for every Brooklyn native new or old. Now that this event has received so much notoriety (or Brooklyn got more populated, who knows?) you really have to make sure you’re at the museum before 5PM to avoid crowds. In addition to the museum’s typical exhibits including Egyptian and European artwork, today was a special day- Basquiat and Kehinde were both on display. The depth of both artists and the meaning behind their artwork defies description.

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By Ky Tip:

If you’re in the Brooklyn area, please show these two exhibits some love, especially if you’re into non-conventional urban, depth and expressionist art.

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks April 3rd –August 23, 2015

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic Feb 20th –May 24th 2015