Culture, Food and Wine, Important People, Personal Liberation, Travel

PHILLY PHOTOS: The People and Places I Saw

On the way to where the bus was leaving, I stop by 711 where they were giving out FREE SLURPEES from 7-11pm before hopping in a cab thinking I was late (but I needed a cool and refreshing drink)! But of course, Universe had my back and I had a whole half hour to kill before boarding. I had decided that 711 would be my good omen that no matter what was happening on my trip all would be WELL!

Leaving for a trip to the City of Brotherly Love to meet some local foodies and cover a cool competition hosted by Ice Cube. Two local Philly MC’s will compete for $20K and more in prizes. I stop by 711 where they were giving out free Slurpees from 7-11pm (cute, huh). I thought I was running late, but I needed a cool and refreshing drink so I went for it. But of course, Universe had my back and I had a whole half hour to kill before boarding. I had decided that 711 would be my good omen that no matter what was happening on my trip all would be well!

The first thing I see when I get off the bus is a horse drawn carriage! Horses are my totem animal so this was a good omen for sure. I had plans to meet a few people before I went to cover the Ice Cube show, so I hopped off and let God show me the way!

I didn’t really have that many hard plans. The first thing I see when I get off the bus is a horse drawn carriage! Horses are my totem animal so this was a good omen for sure, so I hopped off on instinct!

I can't get enough of free, non-profit events. If you're in the area, the Philly Art Splash is going on till Sept. 2, 2013. If even one person is helped by throwing this photo in, I've fulfilled my purpose...*praying hands*

I can’t get enough of free, non-profit events. If you’re in the area, the Art Splash is going on till Sept. 2, 2013. If even one person is helped by throwing this photo in, I’ve fulfilled my purpose…*praying hands*

It's so cool. I got a high school kid on a field trip to take this pic of me. If you look this up you can see a street view of EXACTLY where I was standing! Just search 566-598 Market St, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA 19106

I got a high school kid on a field trip to take this pic of me and took his photography-virginity. This was his best shot. If you look this up you can see a street view of EXACTLY where I was standing! Just search 566-598 Market St, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

I've been to Philly before but I've NEVER seen it like this! This poor horse who was bred to pull carriages was actually shipped from NYC! I wanted to ride him anyway even if I didn't feel it was fair treatment. The guy said No. Philly was shaping up to kinda look and feel like New York!

I’ve been to Philly before but I’ve NEVER seen it like this! This poor horse who was bred to pull carriages for his entire life was actually shipped from NYC! I wanted to ride him anyway even if I didn’t feel it was fair treatment. The guy said “No.” Philly was shaping up to kinda look and feel like New York!

billboard in philly

Nothing says it like a billboard. Maybe I’ll be commissioned to write one of these one day. I love to fly, travel, and new ideas. I took this as another good omen that everything would work out. I never heard back from the venue about getting on the press list…

feather in philly

The feather. It’s another sign that all is well.

city hall in philly

City Hall Area. The majestic buildings with the sun peeking out from behind was a beautiful sight. I was on my way to walk about 20 blocks to my first meeting. Who knew my crappy iphone camera would serve me so well?

711 boxes

Now this funny, ratchet as all get out. I stopped by another 711  (I saw them everywhere) because I needed another cold refreshing drink. The store girl told me “get your cup from outside.” I said “In NYC they do it for you…” (It slipped!) When I saw these boxes full of cups I hoped this was not what she was talking about. Thank God she wasn’t!

tattered building on Market st

Just a tattered building on Market St.

local philly paper

Some papers I would later submit my coverage of the show to.

the philly enquirer

Maybe I’ll write for them some day. I tried to go in and “inquire” but the door was locked. Classified!

bus on hope and market, philly

This seems to be some type of abandoned train car decorated with protest paraphernalia on Market and Hope St. in Philly. I tried to look it up and couldn’t find any info on it.

bus on hope and market, philly, side view

Side view of the mysterious protest train car.

shepsa mural phillly

This is the most breathtaking mural I’ve ever seen in my life, at Broad and Spring Garden Streets. The most miraculous thing about it is that I kind of know the woman (shown on the mural as a young girl) featured on the top. Her name is Shepsa, and she wrote a book called The Goddess Pages: Honey, Full Moons and Daggers, available on Amazon. In this photo, I felt she kind of looked like me when I would wear braids. The face, the attitude; she represents a whole slew of things about Black women at that age. I totally resonated with the beautiful work on this mural. Find out more here: http://explorer.muralarts.org/

me and leslie in philly

After a refreshing vegan meal at Whole Foods, me and raw food chef and actress Leslie sat for almost 2 hours and talked about “effortless manifestation” and “trusting the process.” Her fascinating story of letting go and learning to trust the Universe is truly motivating, especially as she is my coach for a great goals program, Cn365.

althea's desserts

An adorable and appetizing presentation from Althea, a local food artisan who owns  A Taste of Bliss Bakery. Find the page on Facebook to see where in Philly her dessert cart will be set up! She serves all hand-made-from-scratch cupcakes, cookies, raw vegan frozen fruit pops, and ice creams sweeted with natural sweeteners like agave and cane sugar! It was DELICIOUS and such a taste-bud turn on!

altheas fruit pop

This fizzy fruit pop is totally vegan, raw, and freakin fantastic. From A Taste of Bliss Bakery in Philly.

Nefar jewelry

Jewelry artisan Nefar. She greeted me in a text, “Hatep zamal tat,” which means “peace unto you, beautiful.” Her designs can be seen all around Philly. More coming soon!

The Fearless Bunch

From left to right, the “Fearless Bunch” of female entrepreneurs: Raw Food Chef Leslie, Bakery Owner Althea, me, and Jewelry Artisan Nefar

happy hour menu at sampan

After talking raw food, vegan cooking, desserts galore, and the importance of women owning their own business, Althea treated Nefar and me to a happy hour smorgasbord at Sampan. Yes, those prices are real!

crispy brussel sprouts from sampan in philly

The crispy brussel sprouts from Sampan were especially delicious. Nefar ordered hers without fish sauce which the tender buds are tossed in, and I liked hers better. More crispy! That’s puffed rice sprinkled on top.

electric factory philly

Electric Factory, where the Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition was held. Featuring Ice Cube, Bun B, and DJ Drama judged, French Montana performed.

exact change philly

Exact Change (rapper + live band) must have performed here. See the story I did where he’s mentioned at http://www.blackstarnews.com

coors light girls

I’ve always wanted to do this. Now this is an easy job, right? Check out their little TV’s. New media and music go hand in hand.

ice cube, bun b, dj drama

The press conference. Left to right: Ice Cube, Bun B, DJ Drama. On the far left in the foreground holding the camera is this really hype+dope reporter from http://www.hiphopsince1987.com

me and cube

I slid right in there, had to be aggressive as the ONLY female media at the press conference. That means I’ll be the ONLY female voice to have documented this event with the legendary Ice Cube! They gotta publish me! Women are supposed to be taking over and it’s OUR time now…right?

Lounge chair legs

Lounge chair legs. After I got my story, I was ready to go home but first I rested. Ran into a friend at the monthly Philly Sound Sessions at Voltage right next to Electric Factory. More laid back crowd…

A friend said this of Philly, his hometown, while walking me to a cab:
“The mentality, the beards…I don’t get it.” But everyone knows Philly for one thing: Music. “Unlike NYC, Philly kept their music programs so everyone knows if you want the best musicians, they’re in Philly.”

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