About Me

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Early morning and sometimes late night coffee drinking, poetry writing, self help/inspirational book reading, traveling, soul music listening, soul food cooking, shoe loving, occasional gaming(you take your pick), picture taking (both) knowledge soaking- mother of 2, long-term partner of one, niece, cousin and friend to many-sister like friend to only a few- outstanding at problem solving and organizing, smile making while being compassionate and always loyal to who? YOU…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Daddy To Be Bites the Dust....Only 15

What can you say

A 15 year old who served a year in a juvenile detention center, daddy to be was shot dead on the streets of Brooklyn. His family said he was changing..."he stopped wearing baggy clothes and began wearing button up shirts". He had a job and was looking forward to going to high school this year. This has become the norm... death, teen pregnancy, incarceration, increased dropout rates, and broken families. Who's responsible for this? The parents, government, schools, our neighbors, social workers... the list can be endless. I'm sorry tired and this is a never ending circle.

Who loses here the
  1. unborn child
  2. the mother of the unborn child
  3. the parents of the unborn child
  4. the teachers & social worker that may need to provide assistance to the unborn child
  5. A parent (s) lost a child
  6. the shooter if caught loses his life behind bars
  7. the neighborhood where this unborn child may live one day

I guess we all do but some of us will never see it that way. Just some stuff on my mind....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New York New York...The Park In the Sky Welcome To The High Line Park

New Yorkers were the best at taking this lovely city for granted. New York has so much to offer, you can ask the 44 - 47 million people who visit each year. I've had the pleasure of doing a little site touring around this wonderful city. From my previous post you can see that I went to check out the "Writing on the Wall at the MoMA" which was fantastic. When I left the museum I strolled up 5th Avenue then over to Lexington. The one thing I can say and I am happy about that I don't have to walk with a map in hand- just my camera.

I've been bitten by the bug and I want to thank T.O.N.Y for providing me with the cool, cheap, fun and must see/do things to do in NYC. If you are a visitor to the city, I suggest picking up the latest magazine at one of our many friendly newsstands around the city- trust me it will be $4.00 well spent (don't pay more for it) you'll be happy you did.

My next venture was to the park in the sky....no serious you are in the sky about 30 feet. The park is situated on an old elevated cargo rail that's located on the West Side of Manhattan in the Meatpacking District (20th btwn 10th & 11th). Easily assessable by the A/C/E/L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue; M14 bus to 14th Street and 9th Avenue. The park opened to the public June 9, 2009. There will be serveral phases but now the first phase is open which extends from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street. The last cargo train that ran on this track was in 1980 pulling frozen turkeys.

One bright sunny Friday after work I chugged myself to the west side to see the High Line. First I stopped at the grocery store and got a water and a fruit salad. It was breath taking - without leaving NYC...and free (just how I like it). As I walk the uneven paved walkway to my left was the sun over the Hudson River and New Jersey and to my right was the busy streets of NYC. Snuggled 30 feet above was me standing in the High Line. I walked. I took photos. I sunbathed while listening to Maxwell, ate fruit and chilled. Look at the pics my eyes captured. Try to get there the park is open from 7am to 10 pm.





Friday, August 14, 2009

A Review or Reflection of NYC Blackout 2003


Review

Last week I watched the movie Blackout that I rented from Netflix. You know how things just fall into place the movie just happened to up there on my que list so I watched I not really thinking the six year anniversary of the NYC Blackout was approaching.


The movie Blackout written and directed by Jerry Lamothe and was a little taken by surprise because yes the overall plot is the eruption New Yorkers suffered during the August 2003 blackout. The subplot here was how a particular community was affected on this very day that began like any ordinary day. The cast (Melvin Van Peebles, Zoe Salanda and Saul Rubinek) too much of my surprise were well known and others were some I’ve seen on HBO series. The cast did not make the film and could have been done with actors/actress’s who were less known and had the same effect. I say that because most of these events were just part of a daily routine and didn’t take any real dramatic effects. Some of the plot I was able to predict but that by no means took away from the film at all.


Reflection


While I watched the film it brought me back to August 14 2003 , where I was fooling around at work on my computer and suddenly my computer shut off. I now only know the time was 4:19p from reports but then I would’ve said almost 4:30 because I had one foot out of the door. I was the only one in the office so I locked up. I walked down 5 flights of stairs and headed out the building. It was only there I was told by a passerby that the blackout affected more than my crappy office building but the entire east coast. I walked my same routine to the bus stop and boarded. Thankfully that was the first stop so I landed a seat by the window and watched how the South Bronx proceeded to crumble like a balled up loose-leaf. People crammed through the front and back doors of the bus simultaneously. The air was pulled in all directions and replaced by beads of sweat. The bus kept moving. People were moving everywhere. Finally, my stop - my neighborhood resembles the Brooklyn neighborhood in this film… more so with the various skin tones, store owners, and customers. I greeted the two older ladies who were standing in front of my building. I looked over to the young mother with the baby in her arms and the baby stroller at her side and ask her if she needed help. She said no and that she rather wait for the elevator. I held my keys in my hand as I pushed open the main door. I was slapped with the dry hot darkness. I took off my shoes and stuffed them my purse. My hands became my guides as I felt along the walls in search of the door to the stairwell. I remember counting every two flights is equal to one floor. I wasn’t really worried about stepping in urine or feces as I trailed up to the 4th floor but my feet were covered with dirt and dust. It could’ve been worse. I felt like I was playing a game of blind man bluff with no blindfold. I remember not being able to see my hands in front of me. I knocked on the door and called out “Ashanti’s name” “It’s me mommy”. She had no clue to what happen all she knew was that her program on Nickelodeon shut off. She thought I didn’t pay the cable bill until she realized the air conditioner went off.


It was about six o’clock then and lights were still light out. I explained to her the lights will be on soon and the entire west coast is affected. We grab our flashlights, candles and batteries and placed everything in the center of the living room. We went down the stairs to check on some family members who lived nearby.


Continued Reflection


Eight O’clock were back in our apartment to get ready for this delightful evening. To be honest we had everything we needed and our plans were to sleep on the living room floor. We had each other and this brings me to the movie after sunset…most people went home to their apartments to wait but some took this for an opportunity to loot and riot. That evening we were thrown in uncontrollable situation in which the only control we had was over ourselves. Fortunately the lights and power in my area was back on at 8:15 that evening. Unfortunately we did sleep together that evening and continued with our normal functions. I didn’t witness the looting or the riots or the hate the hovered some neighborhoods in my city. This film showed me and America what we didn’t see.


Fact


In NYC that day there were six fatalities reported. Two were deaths from carbon monoxide, two from fire, and one as a result of a fall from a roof while breaking into a shoe store, and one man died of a heart attack in his neighbor's apartment after climbing the 17 flights to their floor.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to Practice Easy Healthy Habits in the Office

How to Practice Easy Healthy Habits in the Office

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Honoring Andy Kessler's Life & Passion

This morning while I was getting ready for work I overheard a story of Andy Kessler who was guy who had a passion for skateboarding. He was responsible for creating the skateboard scene in NYC. During his plight, he attended public hearings and fought for what he believed in - that NYC needed skate parks and skateboard areas.

This entry is not really about skateboarding at all - see Andy died at the age of 49 from an allergic reaction to a hornet sting. I never knew the legendary skateboarder personally but my admiration for him is now profound. He was able to take a passion of his and open it to the masses. I'm not sure if he was credited for how he changed the NYC skateboarding scene while he was alive but he now receives the respect from fellow boarders young and old. Some of the benefited from skate parks are Riverside Park and Pier 20 on the Hudson and even in areas in Brooklyn this is all due to Andy Kessler passion, drive and hard work.

Then I began to reflect on my own passions....if I was to die today what legacy would I leave behind? What would they say about me at my funeral? My obituary would say what? This may be a bit much for some people to digest but I'm not thinking about my death but about did I live my passion while I was here. What did I share with others? How many hearts did I touch? Just think about it and you can decide if your cool with they way you living your life and if suddenly you were to die now you've lived your life to the fullest. If not, guess what you can begin right now to touch a life, a heart, a person... Leave your legacy.

This moment of honoring Andy Kessler has once again made me reflect on my life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sharron's Observations

A white haired bushy bearded old man got on the train. He took a few steps in and slowly turned his head left then right until he spotted a seat to rest his old withered bones. His hands cupped the old pine chipped wooden cane as he hung it over his left arm. He bent over a little and tapped the young man on his knee. The young man continued to sway his head back and forth never once looking up at the old man. The old man stepped in a little closer and tapped the young man again. He looked up. With his wrinkled right hand he motion for him to slide over as he pointed to the space that would relieve his tired old body.
“Nah, I can’t move”, yelled the young man. The old man tilted his head as he sunk into his skin. His shoulders fell and his fingers pointed to the floor. His skin looked as if it was too heavy for his frail body to hold. The train began to move slowly at first, then fast and faster. All of a sudden the train made a loud piercing screech. The floor vibrated and floor rumbled until it came to a complete stop. The white haired bushy bearded old man flew down the aisle nonstop until his head crashed into the pole. His plastic teeth landed near the base of the train doors. His cane fell into the lap of the young man. His maroon blood seeped from his torn forehead onto the black, red, white and purple spotted floor.
The silence was broken by, “we are temporarily delayed and will be moving shortly. We are sorry for the inconvenience” said the computerized voice over the speaker.

This is only a story and the events are untrue.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Our Ordinary Cops & Robbers

Yesterday afternoon I while unpacked my groceries from my car, I noticed three boys playing rather roughly.I thought they were teaming up on the one boy. At first I thought to keep my mouth shut but it was really beginning to bothering me. It seemed as if they were beating the boy up. I couldn't stand it anymore. The two boys one being shorter than the other threw the slightly rounded boy onto the ground and then to a parked car. Both boys took turns slapping the rounded boy in the head. In my mind I said that couldn't be my son- playing or no playing. I couldn't take my eyes of them - the rounded boy tried to make a run for it but he was caught by his fifth or so step. Then they flung him to the car again. At this point I had had enough.

I said," Why do y'all keep hitting shorty like that" although he wasn't the shortest of the three but that's the name I gave him.

The shortest one responded "Were cops". I paused before I responded - with no real comeback I said "Is that what cops do?"

I'm not sure if that was a question for them or me- but America should pay close attention. The game of cops and robbers is new and improved. Later that evening I couldn't stop thinking about what I had witnessed and the fact it left me for a loss for words. What do you think I should have done? Maybe nothing like I did.....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Writings on the Wall at the MoMA...

Yesterday I had a date with myself at the MoMA(Museum of Modern Art). It was great! First of all let me mention - I wasn't late, didn't get lost and I wasn't taken back by the block long line to get in- that there had the making of a good date already.
The first exhibit I ventured to was by a Beijing artist Song Dong named "Projects 90 - Waste Not" his mother saved over 50 years of stuff in her home which was like a Chinese survival tactic. The items varied from pots, used toothpaste tubes, empty soda containers, shoes with boxes and any and everything you can think of that's in your home right now. I trailed through this vivid collection taking in all the items. Some of them were made before I was born. I followed the crowd to a huge white rectangular room. The lower middle of the walls were covered with names and dates in black ink. I joined the
line and kept thinking how crazy is this. There were names, heights and dates all complied on top of each other-
Now that's art I kept thinking....
















I continued to see the various exhibits such at the architecture & design, photography and painting & sculpture-from Picasso, Matisse, van Gogh to Warhol... yes I seen the Campbell Soup & the Gold Marilyn Monroe paintings - I learned there are 32 separate canvas Campbell Soup paintings and Andy was originally going to sell them individually but he didn't....I think it's more of an impact together.


Then there was the Architecture & Justice Million Dollar Black Project 2006 by some graduate students from Columbia University. This was a study done in Brownsville, Brooklyn (NYC). Take a look at the red in the map - that represents over a million dollars of costs that was paid to imprison the people in this particular area. This is only Brownsville. There was a monitor of a running list of people who was imprisoned in Brownsville and how much jail time they had. As I stood there I looked over to a brother, we gave each other that look and snapped photos like it was for show and tell.

Overall I had a great time and I would definitely do it again. The Museum of Modern Art is located 11 West 53rd Street New York, NY 10019 or MoMA.org or 212-708-9400. Oh thanks to Target for running the Free Fridays event from 4p-8p. This is suitable for older children (13 & up) or younger you know your child(ren) -Strollers are permitted. They have cafes throughout, outside lounge and seating inside.