I'm sharing a second article this week from theroot.com that I found really interesting for a number of reasons. I've just recently become a facebook 'fan' of theirs and have really been enjoying their perspectives (I've decided to add a place for links in my sidebar just for them (:), but this one in particular seems to come right on time in the midst of the racial craze that the Skip Gates case has incited.

This article resonated with me intitially because it only further confirms for me how much more 'liberal' British casting always seems to be. My gf has made an avid BBC watcher of me (except for her sci-fi thangs which she gets to watch solo) and I am always so impressed by how much more real their portrayals generally are. i.e., no bs color-conscious casting or censoring of gay relationships on scripted shows, and little-to-no sugar-coating on gritty documentaries. Needless to say I'm a huge fan. And during all of this incessant coverage on clearly unimproving race relations in 21st century America, it makes me wonder why our mainstream 'artists'- those writing and casting for film and television in particular- aren't doing anything to take a stand.

Unity (not 'tolerance') will never be achieved until the incessant dialoguing turns into action. And all of the programming decisions being made to appeal to middle-America (if that's even the target audience?) will never forge that action until they start depicting real, diverse relationships and stop shielding already sheltered audiences from reality. Whatever happened to art imitating life? Close-minded Americans will stay that way until they realize that love exists in many forms, and the relationships they shun may in fact be had by people they admire and respect- or at least the ones they enjoy watching once in awhile (: Meaningful change can only come about through honesty and openness, the willingness to change will grow from those seeds.

Shout out to American programming working to break the barriers down:

-most recently, Jesse L. Martin and Neve Campbell cast as a power-couple on NBC's The Philanthropist (*love)

-TLC made a valiant, albeit a bit cheesey, attempt at effective dialogue with Guess Who's Coming Over (*I only saw the pilot and haven't seen an episode or ad since, but appreciated the concept)

-in film, Starting Out in the Evening and Rachel Getting Married made my heart happy featuring uncontroversial interracial relationships. Starting didn't get nearly as much press but I highly recommend it- I dig Lauren Ambrose and the story is really compelling. (*it's rare enough to find 'unconventional' relationships in film, I appreciate when the couple's differences aren't the central theme of the story being told)

(Pres. Obama's parents- pic found here)

important art collection destroyed in fire

I sat down to the computer earlier this morning to find some truly overwhelming news; the co-founder of my high school in Washington, DC (one of my 2 hometowns) lost her incredible home to a small fire gone terribly awry last night. (view the Washington Post article here) Thankfully no one was harmed as the family was away, but the magnitued of art and history lost in that fire is not to be believed.

Peggy Cooper Cafritz has been a dedicated contributor to the DC community for many years, serving for some time as president of their school board in addition to having co-founded Duke Ellington School of the Arts and being an avid patron of the arts. Her collection was a reflection of her spirit of advocacy, combining works of all types of artists with a focus on the underrepresented works of minorities. The pieces were a vibrant, eclectic addition to her very traditional home.

We had the priviledge of celebrating our high school graduation poolside at Peggy's amazing home. She has always been incredibly welcoming and many of my classmates and friends spent time there over the years. Her home is featured in the August issue of O Magazine, published prior to the fire, which serves as an incredibly poignant reminder of how fleeting posessions can be in this world. No matter how many 'things' a person works to accumulate in their lives, it is the spirit behind them that lives on, and hers is one of incredible generosity and vision. My heart goes out to her and her family during this time of devastation.

Take a complete tour of Peggy's home here and read the article about her in O here.


lady elle: beige in america

a friend of mine shared an article recently that I was super interested in posting on here, but it occured to me that it might not make as much of an impact without a little background on little ol' me. I figured it was a good enough opportunity as any to introduce myself a little more formally considering that I haven't yet, outside of the blurb in the sidebar. perhaps an introduction was never a thought before now because this started as more of a personal challenge/experiment of sorts to see if I was really invested in and committed to keeping up with blogging. after a bit of a rocky start (i.e. the two month gap between my first 2 entries and this now steadying stream of posts) I appear to be hooked, so allow me to share a little something with you.

much to the utter confusion of many people I encounter in life, I do in fact identify as a multiracial woman. being the third (and quite probably 4th and maybe 5th) generation of a line of thoroughly ethnically 'mixed' women, how could it be any other way? both my mother and grandmother are of black, native american, hispanic (mexican, as far as I can gather so far) and german descent among other things I'm quite sure. yet because my complexion and some features reflect at most my geman and latin roots, the rest of what lies within my ancestry is often conveniently disregarded by skeptics. it never ceases to boggle my mind that even after their initial, expectedly puzzled reactions to the 'what are you?' answer, many would rather cling to the comfort of their own pre-conceived notions.

I don't want this to turn into a full-on rant about me and the mixed 'identity', as I understand it. suffice it to say that I have strong opinions on the subject, and believe that in a nation of a diverse people working, well, somewhat steadily towards a peaceful coexistence, it is important for people to be allowed to own and embrace who they are without boundaries, ethnically and otherwise. that being said, I loved the viewpoint, allbeit satirical, of this article: Beige in America
preposterously as it's proposed, it makes me wonder how different our nation and world could be if we stopped trying to shove such complex and wonderful people into such teeny tiny boxes.

and for the record, when forced to check a box, it's always 'other.'


weekend discovery

I made an executive decision not to leave the house at all this past saturday after a long week of very early mornings- totally not my cup of tea. and while we're on the subject of tea (okay, I know it's a stretch) there is one thing I was convinced to take a short walk for: earl grey ice cream. um, yeah. if you're a tea drinker this magical treat is the stuff of dreams, forreal.

but let me take a step back.

if you haven't already been introduced, meet van leeuwen artisan ice cream. a gourmet foodie's fantasy. their ice cream, in my opinion, is the perfect, delicate blend of icey and creamy, sweet but not overwhelmingly so, and is absolutely refreshing without leaving you guiltily full. we used to indulge in van leeuwen whenever we'd happen to pass one of their trucks, which have a few standard locations in addition to a few extras you can find on twitter, but now we've found ourselves in a bit of a dillema. not only have they expanded to whole foods in the ny area (as announced here in feb) but worse. watch out waistline, because this yumminess is now right down the block, by the scoop, at our local coffee shop. I mean whole foods is easy enough to resist considering we don't often commit to pints of ice cream, not to mention that it'd be gross by the time we got it home from the closest location to us. but this? disaster waiting to happen. yoga here I come.

ps: the mint chip (which was actually what I went for) is a definite fave as well


favorite things

ohhhhhh summers in nyc, how I love thee. and it's definitely been on the agenda to make the most of this one. from free concerts to great food to mini 'getaways' and just a general good time with good people. this past weekend was graced by some beautiful moments, some captured on film and some just taken in by my heart. sometimes I get so caught up in this whole public, internet, instant-access-to-everything thang that I forget to stop and appreciate what's right in front of me, this close to passing me by. and no, everything doesn't have to be aired for the world to *pine* over (haha) but some things are worth sharing.

like coming in from walking the dog on a saturday morning to the sounds of the opera playlist I made my (eager and quick to learn) gf. it was just so beautifully unexpected. I mean, she told me she loved it and I believed her. and we enjoy live performances when we can and she's a diehard supporter of my own sporadic appearances. but this was coming from the same gal who blasts her raucous music at its loudest. it was just a lovely change of pace.

from opera to hip hop in a few hours, we soon found ourselves grabbing picnic-worthy food and a prime spot just hours later to check out Q-Tip with a good friend (and an unexpected addition!) in Central Park. music makes my soul happy in *almost* all forms.

after a day in the sun and a night of dancing, sunday...afternoon...found us strolling about on our first visit to our new 'neighborhood' hangout, Governors Island. just when we'd given up on finding an empty hammock we stumbled on the perfect one: right under the most soothing windchimes. needless to say I definitely dozed for a bit :ahhh:

thanks to my sleuth of a lady, we've finally discovered the island and are already envisioning what a primo picnic spot it's gonna make on an upcoming weekend. weee!

on to see what's in store for this weekend...




remember the time

when we performed with chaka khan? one of my all-time greatest performance memories...

reminds us there are still legends walking among us despite all the prominent losses we've been experiencing lately. doesn't change how much we'll miss your musical genius, mj ♥



new beginnings are always the greatest, and I'm definitely embarking on one as I start a new work assignment. I feel so fortunate to be with a great staffing agency who has really been keeping their eye out for me even when I wasn't so sure there was mouch hope left for consistent work. after months of on-and-off again assignments they put me at the top of their list for a great position and I snagged it. such a great feeling, and I know I could never have directly entered a position like this without them backing me up.

all in all the 'career' boost (of sorts) has really helped to boost my overall morale. the weather certainly doesn't hurt either! unseasonably mild in comparison to the typical nyc sweaty, muggy july (not exactly sure what this means for the health of the planet but I'll take it for now and keep keepin' it 'green' in the meantime...oh climate change) been pulling myself together in more ways than one and backing away from the blues, at least for now. fashion, color, music, art, nature, friends and family are all huge sources of happiness and inspiration. so greatful to just 'be'! and on that note, a few pics (and perhaps a page color change) to lighten up the vibe in here.....

ahh, summer.

*pics courtesy of our magical trip to Versailles for the first time this June
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