La La London!

Where to begin. Nearly twelve years ago, there were two cities on the re-location table: New York or London. My ex-dude and I decided we wanted more than what Philly had to offer and longed to try our luck in another part of the world. We booked a one week trip to London to get the feel of it. And, although the weather basically sucked, we had the most splendid of times, met the coolest people, danced in the best underground joints, yet made the decision to stay in the states since my father was ill at the time plus NYC was screaming loud and clear: Come here now!!!

Since then, I have visited the City of London 3 or 4 times. The last time being in the past two weeks. I had an amazing trip from start to finish! I also extended my stay by four days because my brother (Grey Reverend) had 2 shows nearby; I joined him for the one in Brighton.

Here are images from the first few days. I will share these in 3 or 4 blog posts because I’m photo-happy πŸ™‚

Dalston, London - empty location of farmer's market

the Underground Tube

two guys at Ali Baba Turkish Takeaway - Dalston

stay tuned for artist's name

stay tuned for artist's name too

a view from a double decker bus

more art

Wahaca mexican restaruant in Soho

Wahaca mexican restaurant in Soho too

Afropolitan at the V&A - this model was ON every minute

music on Portobello Road

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Jazz - incredible!

Dele Sosimi himself (i believe)

Mau Mau Bar - jazz re:freshed is the name of the night

A SUPER MEGA HUGE thank you to my hostesses, Stephanie B. and Elsa M! If they were any sweeter, I would have given them a kidney. And a quick shoutout to my very special, amazingly talented, inspiring, and generous friends, Fola, Alex, Angela, and Sam.

More photos to come, stay tuned!!

Cheers
*Lala*

new HAPPY year

Give thanks for we have made it to another year! It amazes me how fortunate we are to be alive in this day and time. Boy, we have it ultra-easy compared to those who have lived before us.

I am extremely grateful for my good health, for clean water, for earth and sky, for my amazingly fit body, for my incredibly supportive and fun-loving family, for a strong heart, for a decent, safe, and comfy home, for experiencing love in many forms, for an abundance of food (a special shout out to Kale and Beets), for friends who inspire me, care for me, tolerate me, and teach me, for the many skills acquired over the past 15 years, for art and the artists, for creativity, for reiki, for vipassana, for yoga, awareness, for dopamine, for the ability to travel, and most of all, for peace of mind (stillness).

Each year gets better even when it feels like a tough one. Hindsight is a teacher and blessing. With each triumph, loss or mis-hap, I discover that the universe is on my side and everything that has happened to me has made me stronger, wiser and more capable.

For me, 2o11 will be primarily about 3 things:

1. My New Web Site and Book Project (W.D.I.E.T)
2. Love, Partnership, and Relationship Building
3. Awareness, Conservation, and Education

What about you?


I want to acknowledge the people who inspire me, encourage me and accept me. I love each and every one of you tremendously with a whole heart and positive spirit. Thank you for being a part of my life and for keeping our friendship or relationship alive and ticking!

You know who you are!

Lots of love and productivity in 2o11!

*Lala*

merry christmas mom

season greetings oh beautiful one!

when we were kids, my parents (or santa πŸ™‚ showered, i mean monsooned my brother and me with gifts on christmas day. we would come downstairs to a living room filled with the latest and greatest toys, dolls, robots, bikes, clothes, video games, and candy! thinking about it now, it was mad-crazy-ridiculous! and i thought that every kid in the world experienced christmas in this way with lots of love, toys, gifts, food, family and friends. oh what a wonderful world that would be!

bad photo but it's an old christmas photo

i’m not exactly sure when i stopped celebrating christmas but it was a loooong time ago. i suspect it was a combination of many things. perhaps i was absolutely fed up with being broke or pretending that i was something i was not. i also had a shopping problem back in the day and it’s taken many years for me to drop the habit. christmas shopping is my internal trigger for this addiction. once, i get the shopping bug, it’s difficult for me to put on the brakes. i would buy a gift for mom, then two gifts for me, and a gift for my boyfriend and three more gifts for me…until i had over $10k in debt and had to eat hot dogs for six months just to hold onto my apartment. those were not the days!

i remember decorating my first place in philadelphia with christmas stuff; but after the first year, i couldn’t justify spending money on shiny plastic and other frivolous items “made in china”. nothing against china but does the U.S. manufacture anything anymore?

removing myself from the holiday hype, i made a conscious decision not to shop or support the retail giants who brand holiday cheer while using sweat shops and charging exorbitant prices in an effort to make record breaking profits. i gradually pulled away from christmas but it was not so easy and it still isn’t because many people i love cherish this time of year.

some years it feels like i am standing in the bleachers with my back turned and the whole team is booing me. it’s all good, i can take it plus my brother doesn’t celebrate it either which takes some of the focus off of me.

please, please do not get me wrong, i am not a scrooge! i will show up at xmas dinner tonight with bells on and genuine holiday cheer all over my face. however, i don’t believe i have to celebrate christmas just because almost the entire world does. maybe this will change, when i have a family but for now i am sticking to my story.

the best part about the holidays is: the loving, giving, smiling, and togetherness!

my mother has caught on this year and will not be spoiling her two grown children with gifts and i get it. we spoke the other night and i suggested that next year, we volunteer at a soup kitchen together, give to our favorite non-profits or independent effort, or buy a chicken or goat for a family in need.

5 of my favorite organizations to support: (feel free to comment and add your favorites)

1. Democracy Now
2. Story Corps
3. Partners in Health
4. The Rural Haiti Project
5. Doctors without Borders

Mom, merry christmas to you and thank you for making the sacrifices so that we could spend our childhood in heavenly toy-filled bliss. the best gift you can ever give us is to keeping taking great care of yourself and being a positive presence in our life!

we love you and appreciate all that you are and have done!

I’m back from Cali and here are photos below from an exhibition in LES at the LZ Gallery where my friend, Jasmine Murrell, was a part. Go Jazz!

self-portrait by Jasmine Murrell



have a splendid weekend and to quote Mr. Santa:

HO*HO*HO* Merry Christmas!!!

*Lala*

ps. as of 2008, i no longer use credit cards and i am debt-free! now that’s something to celebrate!!!