Afro Punk Fest 15′

When I think of Afropunk Fest, I think of FREEDOM! This is why every summer, I look forward to this event at Commodore Barry Park. Nope, scratch that, I count down the days until this event, that’s how much it means to me. From the first time I attended Afropunk, it made me feel like I belonged somewhere. It represented a bunch of misfits, who dared to be different, coming together to be great! Does this mean we are misunderstood by society? Of course, it does, but for one weekend, we are among others just like us and no one, not one person will judge you. I swear Afropunk is the best place on the planet for people-watching. It’s epic. The fashion, the food, and the vendors are all out of this world fantastic.

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Afro Punk Vendors travelbyky.com kydee williams

This was the first year Afropunk charged a fee to attend ($45 for a one day pass and $75 for a weekend pass). In the past it’s either been a requested donation or a regular R.S.V.P. I was hesitant at first but soon decided, the performances were worth my money. On Saturday, which was the first day of the festival I caught acts like Sza, Kelis, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and Grace Jones. Sza can sing her butt off. Kelis was fun and pregnant. She engaged the audience and has so many hits that I love—of course, she sang the crowd favorite My Milk Shake brings all the boys to the yard. During the intermission, DJ Beverly Bond turned the house down before Lauryn Hill’s performance. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s performance was much anticipated. I spent weeks listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, reflecting on how amazing of an artist she is. I love her. However, her performance was straight up mediocre. Her voice is no longer the same, her sound was low, she sat down for most of the performance even though it’s a music festival and no one beyond the first 5 rows could see her. To make matters worse, she sang my favorite song Ex. Factor with a totally different tune and shortly after her sound completely went out. Like completely stopped working. I will credit her for continuing her performance, that’s the testament of a true star. Some people started to boo her and leave, while others, her real fans, wanted her to win so bad, so we stayed there and encouraged her through the rest of her set. She ended her show with Doo Wop (That Thing) and then suddenly dropped the mic and walked off the stage. I was heartbroken. I felt like a child who just found out Santa Claus wasn’t real.

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Afropunk Fest 2015 travelbyky.com

My friends wanted to leave, but I wanted to stay. I’m trying to hold on to as much of summer as I can. I mean, I hate the winter, there’s really nothing to do. They eventually decided to stay and I am so happy they did. We watched Grace Jones perform and were recuperated. All of our hearts were no longer pained (after Lauryn). Grace Jones killed the game, killed Afropunk Fest, and just made everything great again. She’s such a talent, and her songs are amazing. Once, I was able to shake my memories of her from Boomerang the movie, I was really able to appreciate her as a true artist. She’s wild dope!

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Afropunk Fest 2015 travelbyky.com

After Afropunk, we decided to explore Fort Greene. We went to Walters for a small dinner and then Mo’s for drinks and dancing. Overall, it was a great day. Afropunk is so liberating. The perfect end, to an amazing summer.

Walters Restaurant Kydee Williams travelbyky.com

I love you, Brooklyn!

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