back in NYC again. my time off has been a glorious mix of play, warmth, conversation and flirtation — i even shoveled snow at my Mom’s place which was super fun. speaking of shovels, this morning, i woke to the sound of my neighbors scraping the snowy cement and smiled because winter is in full force and we have barely made it through January. no sweat. i have a new mind or perhaps i have returned to my old one. either way, nothing can stop me — especially not snow.

i am flirting with the possibility of romance. not to be confused with love of which i have plenty. i am grateful for the work that love has produced but a girl needs romance too. love belongs to all of us and comes in numerous form. romance is sought after by the heart and loins coated in pure vulnerability. the other day, i watched a man on the train platform and felt a deep love for him (with a little lust thrown in there too). this is what i wrote in my iPhone:

Streetwalker. Today I am a one woman show. I’m watching. Hoping that you will enter the same subway car as me so I can watch some more. We are close but too far to speak. I noticed you tip the Mariachi singers just as they switched cars. I want you but only to look at and smile on. You too are present, gazing at the violinist at Jay Street station, and this makes me want you more.

You must be hot because your coat is wide open and I can see that you’re clothing is made for you, the way your shirt hugs your body and your jeans adopt your frame, slender yet athletic. The A train arrives and I am tempted to follow just to see what’s next in your life. So long beautiful stranger. What’s your name?

Yesterday, after a 9am yoga class, I visited India by way of one of my favorite Brazilian songstresses, Gal Costa. In the confines of my living room, I danced with an old friend to this song bearing the same title as this blog post. Produced in 1973, I discovered it during my stay in Bahia in a cute record shop in Pelo (of course, I bought the album): (it will play in a separate YouTube window if you click on it twice)

Gotta run, I’m making lunch for a former co-worker today and I can’t wait to see her face 🙂 Congratulations Nina on completing your thesis statement and obtaining a Master’s degree at Pratt U!

This weekend, it’s going to be a cold one New York so bundle up, drink plenty of tea, and eat something hearty! And if you wanna come by for a snack or beverage, give a call!

Oh yes, Mr. Conti, bring some warmth back to NYC when you return. Super lovely to chat with you yesterday and thanks for doing your best to stay in touch. Happy travels 🙂

Hugs, love, smiles and cuddles!


HIPpyHOPpy [explicit]

New Podcast! [explicit lyrics]

my first hip hop album was LL COOL J’s Rock the Bells or was it the single, My Adidas by Run DMC or maybe even La Di Da Di by Slick Rick. It doesn’t matter, the point is that I’ve spent the past two weeks searching for decent hip hop that is void of just one of the following words:

  • Nigger
  • Bitch
  • Motherfucker
  • Ho

Sad to say I was unsuccessful. Hip hop music, simultaneously went mainstream and took a turn for the worst in the early nineties. I remember listening to N.W.A.’s Fuck tha Police and being blown away by the sheer bravado of it all — from the name of group to their outfits, attitude and lyrics. It was the perfect soundtrack for far too many incidents of police brutality happening at the time — with the Rodney King beating occurring just three years after this song was released.

Fast forward to 2010, while waiting for the train this week I noticed the November issue of XXL Magazine. I have never read this magazine but the cover got my attention so I photographed it with my iPhone.

November 2010 Cover of XXL Magazine

As the late great Marvin Gaye said, What’s Going On?

Look closely at this image. Do you see the penitentiary-like homosexual undertones here? Why is a grown-ass Black man wearing a mask standing behind a smaller built Black man who has his underwear on full display? I have never seen two Black men chillin’ like this in my neighborhood. So why? and I’m all about artistic expression but … Damn!

Per the U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans account for only 14 percent of the U.S. population, yet an estimated 53 percent of all prisoners in the United States are Black. Don’t be misled, this is mostly due to racism and discrimination but those are the facts.

At first glance, most of these details were lost on me but at closer inspection, this image glamorizes prison life or a lifestyle that will eventually lead to death or prison and the sad thing is that both 50 Cent and Soulja Boy appear to be willing participants. Some people will do almost anything for fame and cash.

Dumb Down is the first full length track on my most recent podcast, it does a great job of highlighting the problems we are facing. Non-Black persons are not excluded. If you haven’t noticed, hundreds of thousands of men and women all over the world are emulating the hip hop community.

Tahir Hemphill

This past summer I met an artist named Tahir Hemphill who founded the project, Hip Hop Word Count that uses a series of algorithms to determine the education level needed to understand various rhymes, employing analytics of metaphors, similes, cultural references and other measures of sophistication.. Fascinating stuff, check it out here.

body clock

most weekday mornings start off nice and easy, with some reiki, meditation, music or a combination of the three. however, as the time creeps closer to nine a.m., the panicking commences. i have recently been tasked with coming to work a ‘little earlier … just in case there’s an emergency.’ at first i thought to myself, we are not saving lives and it’s kinda crazy that people find the need to make demands that go totally against another person’s body clock. by body clock, i mean some people rise with the sun (without the help of an alarm clock) and others (like me) have a hard time sleeping at night, hence the term night owl. punctuality has always been an issue for me. plus, i have never been a fan of rushing for anything, it’s important that i feel like my life is NOT being consumed by working for other people. yet the fact remains, i am currently working for some one and i must play by their rules. Suck it up Lala — at least you have a job to be late to!

while we’re on the subject of rules, i want to share a story about an occurrence last week with a police officer in a Brooklyn subway station. i wrote everything down after our brief interaction. Here are my notes:

C train – I swiped my Metrocard and immediately noticed a cop standing in the center of the staircase. When I am running late, which is often, I eat my breakfast before walking down onto the platform level — usually it’s a fuji apple or a bagel with some random spread or veggies on it.

When my brother first moved here, we foolishly jumped the turnstile at this very station. Seconds later, a cop approached us from this very same section of the staircase and promptly gave us a summons to appear in court. Of course, we weren’t carrying I.D. — at least that’s what we said. We never made it to court because we never gave our real names.

I knew exactly why that cop was standing there but since I’d just missed the train and had some time to kill, I approached the officer slowly, leaned in, and whispered, “is everything okay?”

He calmly responded, “Yes, everything’s okay.”

I pushed further, “are you sure? why are you standing here like this?”

“I’m here to make sure everything is safe, to protect you.”

“From kidnappers ..??” Playing along, I gave him my most quizzical look. “Is that why you are hiding?”

“Oh, well you know, if I stand here, I can see all angles of the station,” he fibbed.

“I can see everything from here, you should stand here.” I grinned.

“No, it’s better if I stand here,” he challenged.

That crazy whistle or ringing noise was activated to indicate the train’s near arrival. I moved in a little closer and purred, “Can I take your photograph?”

He raised his eyebrows, glanced upwards, and said, “the train is coming” in hopes that I would drop my question. Seeing that I was still standing over him, he responded by saying, “we’re not supposed to do that, I could get in trouble. They don’t like us to take photographs.”

“Whose “they?”

“The big guys, my boss — cause it may end up in the newspaper or on the internet.”

“Oh, I don’t work for any newspaper or internet, I’ll only take one,” then I held up my index finger to make my intention clear.

He hesitated, “If you didn’t already tell me … that would be different but now …”

Fumbling through my bag, I pulled out my camera gingerly. Speaking softly and quickly, “The train’s coming, stay still, I’ll be quick.” I switched my camera’s color mode to B&W then positioned it and made one photo.

Even though he failed to tell me the truth as to why he was hiding on the staircase — to fulfill his summons quota — I blurred his face to honor my word. I could never be a police officer or part of any military because I clearly have a hard time NOT breaking rules and pushing boundaries. I suppose we need both types: the rule breakers and the rule makers to make this thing called, civility, work.

Tonight, I am going to see Sufjan Stevens at the Beacon Theatre!!! YAY!! My second live performance this week … this past Tuesday I had the ultimate pleasure of seeing Brad Mehldau perform his latest album, Highway Rider, in its entirety at the Carnegie Music Hall. I totally love his work and think he’s brilliant.

And pick up a copy of this magnificent book by Ms. Isabel Wilkerson titled, The Warmth of Other Suns.

Giving thanks for the most gorgeous November weekend!

I love his beard!

Peace & smiles


my first love

New Podcast!

When I was nineteen, while living in the South of France, I met a man from Djibouti. His name has escaped me but I remember looking at his face and seeing my father. I was drawn to him, the smoothness of his skin, his droopy eyes, and his disproportionately large hands. We met on a bus heading to Marseille for a zouk dance. Without introducing himself, he asked me if I had ever been in love and who was my first love? In French, of course.

Vous jamais avez été dans l’amour ? Qui était votre premier amour ?

My initial response was:

Bien sur, j’ai un petit ami que j’aime beaucoup. Et vous?
Of course, I have a boyfriend who I love a lot. And you?

I had been living in France for less than three weeks so I struggled even to communicate those words. What I really had been thinking was that my first love was my father, but he may have misunderstood so I sat in silence for the rest of our journey.

Lobster Roll & Fries - yum!

For any girl who grows up with her father, he is your first major male influence. His smile is the first you see, laugh you hear, words you cling to, he is everything to you and more. A protector, a guide, a teacher, a play mate, and Santa Claus, all in one!

Clams & Linguini - de-lish-i-o-shis

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my father’s passing – having died the morning of July 22nd, 2000. There was a time I could conjure up his smile or the sound of his voice in a daydream. With time, many of those details have faded. Although, I still remember these things:

  • Food was his main squeeze – next to my mother
  • Math and History were his favorite subjects – he adored the History Channel
  • He was awfully serious one day then a total clown the next
  • The Godfather and Heat were his favorite films
  • He could write with both hands (ambidextrous)
  • Not many people could beat him at a game of chess
  • He taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car (scary thought)
  • He is most certainly the funniest man I’ve ever met — even til this day
  • He loved cheese yet I don’t believe he’d ever had the chance to experience “real” cheese
  • Respect was his most used word –  and GET DOWN!, but that’s two words. (We were always climbing something.)
  • My father loved music – in particular jazz

Last night, I made this podcast mix titled, Dear Dad, for him and for any one who appreciates jazz music. You can also go to the iTunes Store and search for “Lala the Sunchaser” and subscribe so you can listen on your iPod, iPhone or computer:) Enjoy!

If you’re father is alive, tell him you love him today.

Vegetarian Dim Sum - all gone!

Giving thanks for life and a father’s love,


Cherries and Peaches are in season! So sweet this year!

who’s bad?

By reading the title of this blog post, you may think that the next few paragraphs are going to be about the bad man and legend, Mr. Michael Jackson. Not exactly but I will take this moment to say R.I.P. Mr. Jackson and thanks for making amazing music and moving millions of people to the beat of your personal rhythm!

See the beautiful images my good friend and photographer, Ocean Morisset, took in Harlem today.

The world is still mourning the loss of the baddest (that’s bad meaning good:) entertainer of this century and it appears as though any scheming entrepreneur or enterprise is capitalizing on Michael’s untimely death. It almost reminds me of 9/11 – the tee shirts, buttons, photographs, and make-shift memorials — except thousands of lives were lost and our government made plans to go to war before the tears could dry.

Don’t get me started … moving right along …

Given that the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death also fell on the World Cup games between Brazil and Portugal (0-0) then Chile and Spain (1-2) … it’s no wonder the streets are buzzing with THRILLER-like mania.

Since 1930, every four years, countries all over the world — correction, “industrialized” countries all over the world — are awarded entry into the championship football (or soccer) games. The World Cup is the most watched sport in all of the universe. This year, the games are being held in South Africa! I have two or three friends who made the trip because they are die hard fans. I, myself, enjoy the vibrancy that spawns from this momentous event but I could do without it from a spectator’s point-of-view. I would almost rather play any sport than watch it.

And, for us single ladies, the World Cup is a great way to meet men from all over the world or at least be in the company of non-American men. Nothing against the American guys … it’s more about the man, for me, but who doesn’t love the sound of a foreign accent or the taste of a refreshing caprihina. For example, if you’re into French men, then go to a French bar when France is playing then smile a lot during half time 🙂

There are three more weeks until the championship. Who will make it to the finals? I am routing for Brazil, of course. A sure bet considering they have won the World Cup five times already!


Love and Stuff

p.s. i was too caught up in World Cup hype at Cafe Noir to take one single photo 😦

absolut brooklyn

i have so much to say but only ten minutes before my bedtime. tonight when exited the train station, i saw an ad for this:

Absolut Brooklyn trailer featuring Lemon Andersen directed by Mr. Spike Lee.

would have loved to hear some fly beats or jazz horns underneath those lyrics but hey! Fort Greene is on the map for real!!

may your day be full of love, laughter and sunshine!

like riding a bike

Greetings and Happy Summertime!

OH, what a difference the weather makes. Even if you prefer cold weather, one can’t help but smile on a sunny day 🙂 you know it’s true!

I feel a bit disconnected from the blog because I’ve had 2 different house guests over the past two weeks and it’s difficult for me write sometimes with new “energy” in my space. I’ve been working and playing pretty hard as of late so for the Memorial Day weekend I made no firm plans. However, each day turned out to be full and fun-filled … so much for resting.

There is so much to share; I am not sure where to begin. I’ll start with the most recent activities. Yesterday around 11am, I sent a text message to one of my buddies that read:

Wanna go for a bike ride soon?

His response:

A bike ride sounds good, what time is soon?

We met an hour later then biked a few miles until we arrived at a make-shift park along the water. We chilled for some conversation and people watching while soaking up the sun’s rays. We agreed that it was time to eat so we made our way into the heart of hipsterland (Williamsburg) for fish tacos and avocado chips. We vowed to keep this authentic spot to ourselves which is why I can’t tell you the name of the restaurant but it was yummy; however, the portions were much too small for my gargantuan appetite.

After some random picture taking (he’s photo-happy too), we rode some more in search of dessert and drinks. Well, that’s all she wrote … you know, most of my best days commence with a long bike ride.

Five hours later, we were on the dance floor at the Brazilian bar and bistro, Miss Favela. A fantastical evening of live forro music, laughter, samba, Brigadeiro, and un-adulterated fun-lacious-ness, the air was hot and the crowd, hotter. My feet are still aching from stomping and my heart is forever warm n’ fuzzy from the many hugs and beijos (kisses). I hadn’t been to Miss Favela in nearly two years and just like that, I was in the fold and shaking my hips to the samba rhythm again. Just like riding a bike.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” – Albert Einstein

These words have special meaning to a person like myself — a mover and a shaker. If I am not producing, creating, building, or working towards a goal, I become hard and lifeless like a pitiful rock. I gotta keep the ideas and energy flowing and trust that love will follow me!

WIth gratitude, warmth and smiles always


Health Pip: add lemon to your water especially if you had too much to drink or loads of dairy or sweets! Lemon breaks down mucous and this is a good thing because mucous can cause dis-ease.

(This week I’ll update the blog one more time because I mentioned I have so much to share but this post is long enough already)

If you have a bike, ride it!

If you don’t, rent one or ask a friend to borrow their bike!

It’s a great way to explore different neighborhoods plus exercise in the process.

This just in from my blogging buddy, Hos! Talk about positive affirmation:)

peaks and valleys

Over one year ago, I began writing this blog as way to stay in touch with my family and friends during my stay in Brasil. Looking back on this past year, it has been amazing yet frightening, a melangé of love ups and let downs, supreme highs and sporadic lows yet still i rise and cannot help but be optimistic about the coming season: Summer. It’s my favorite time of year because my main squeeze is in full effect; I’m talking about the sun, of course.

In my opinion, Springtime is a total mindfuck (excuse me). One day it’s gorgeous and sunny then the next day is grey and damp, and so on. Nature has a way of imparting life’s biggest lesson: there would be no peaks without valleys, no flowers without clouds and rain. We would not be able to gloat on the mountain top if we hadn’t emerged from the valley below.

Today I am giving thanks for peaks and valleys. My weekend being a murky mixture of both.

Saturday, I took a very long bike ride then found myself in Red Hook on Van Brunt Street at the suggestion of a friend. A tiny enclave of fine dining restaurants, wine shops, an ice cream parlor, and Baked, a bustling cafe/bakery that’s been open since 2005 served as an ideal resting spot. I spent most of my afternoon there, chatting, writing, and sipping on fresh mint ice tea with the sun on my face. Upon my arrival, my energy was scattered; however, by the time I hopped on the bike again, I felt collected and whole again.

There is also a large garden center hosted by Chelsea Garden Center farther down the block. It seems as if I am beginning to fancy gardening. Hmmm…

Again, activities with friends were the highlight of my weekend. A Saturday night invite for wine and tea ensued conversations around film, travel, unconditional love and the conditions of life.

Sunday’s original plans crumbled in the rain; although I managed to share a delicious almond and chocolate pastry with a friend while sipping on ginger tea at Nunu. Just as we parted ways, I received an unexpected and much appreciated text invite to attend a live performance by Ceu, a young Brasileira songstress, at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. I had a beautiful evening and the timing of the invite was perfect for so many reasons.

See my heart is on the mend. My spirit is putting itself back together again. These last few posts have centered around my feeling low yet looking on the bright side and giving thanks. This blog has become a digital diary of sorts and although the purpose of it is to share my incredible travel experiences, it is also a documentation of my personal life and many interests. (check out the pages on the right)

Life and relationships ebb and flow or flutter then flounder. My perspective is such: it is better to have loved and have been loved then to never have loved at all. This post is dedicated to love coming full circle. Last night’s concert was a satisfying end to the love I experienced while in Brasil and beyond. Flying high, sailing free, and basking in the pure light of truth. It’s all coming back to me now.

A beautiful Argentinean woman named Mia Maestro along with Aaron Robinson opened for Ceu last night and she too brought smiles and warmth to a rather damp evening. I am ever so grateful for the expression of words and song.

Thanks for reading and please eat something RED today for the heart space.

Try strawberries, rasperries, or add fresh red pepper or cherry tomatoes to your salad.

My dinner of spinach pasta, olive oil & garlic, arugula and roasted peppers

Hugs and smiles,


NEW grey reverend music

February 27, 2010

Grey Reverend is a singer/songwriter, composer, and talented musician. For NYC residents, he will be performing LIVE at Sycamore in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn on March 19th at 8pm:


If you miss this opportunity, check out his myspace page: Thanks for your support.


Fela on Broadway

Happy Monday! and last week of February 2010 🙂

Fela on Broadway - February 2010

Although I almost always have an opinion when it comes performance art, I usually save my comments for my personal diary. However, this past weekend, we went to see Fela on Broadway, a musical based on the life and music of the Nigerian musician, political leader, and icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.  The musical is nearly as phenomenal and dynamic as the man (Fela) himself. I will not attempt to write a review; however, I have seen it twice and I will encourage you to attend not because of the many outstanding performances, amazing dancers, awesome set design, or the mind-blowing musicians, but because of the energizing effect it has on the spirit and body. If you don’t want to move or dance at the end of Fela then check your pulse.

Fela on Broadway - February 2010

Fela on Broadway - February 2010

Sahr Ngaujah who played Fela this past Friday, is a theater director and actor of Sierra Leonian descent, born in the United States, and now living in Amsterdam. He exudes power and commands the attention of the audience just as Fela had. See a video of the legend and artist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti below:

New York offers a wide range of performance art; however, I don’t believe there has been ANY other show like Fela! in the Theatre district since Earl Dancer’s, Africana, which actually had nothing to do with Africa from what I gather although Ethel Waters had performed the “African Stomp” during the second half of this Broadway revue in 1927.

The New York Times review of Fela:

Set image from Fela on Broadway - February 2010

If you click on the link with Fela’s name way above, it will take you to his discography. I have been a huge fan of his music for several years now. I would have loved to dance with him ! If you haven’t danced in LONG while, it’s not too late so MOVE SOMETHING!!! or go see Fela for inspiration 🙂

Lala the Sunchaser

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