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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Music performances in Brooklyn

So we've been working hard at the Laolu Senbanjo Gallery in Brooklyn lately. We've got loads of shows coming up!  Check them out here!  If you are in NYC you should try and come!

Www.laolusenbanjo.com 646.239.6170

Monday, April 7, 2014

Arik Air Rage

Arik Air Rage
My reaction
By Kate Hallet
So after reading on Twitter about this Arik Air Rage stuff and talking about it with my family and friends, then upon watching the actual video myself I was shocked to discover that all of it was nonsense,  utter bullshit, waste of time discussing,  and people acting a fool unnecessarily.
I mean,  first of all,  this did not occur mid flight as supposed,  this did not occur in the air,  it occurred on the ground before the plane moved at all. Now,  in my years of flying I've waited in planes without electricity all over the world. Often because of refueling,  I believe it's necessary but I'm not an aeronautical engineer,  but I do recall them often saying we have to turn off the air momentarily while we refuel.
Now,  I don't think anyone will argue with me regarding good customer service skills are not the norm in Nigeria,  yet,  people freak out when they are given none,  yet I must admit,  the flight attendants were not rude, were giving out drinks, and seemed cooperative.  Also,  I was a bit fearful for them because mobs can kill people. When you fly in Nigeria you often have to wait,  immigration treats everyone terribly and blatantly request significant bribes.  Life in Nigeria is often hard and filled with stress.  I often wonder how and why I did it. And why I ever consider going back? So why is it people question when they get no customer service or are treating people poorly? I mean,  I highly doubt those same people who were shouting,  screaming,  and throwing themselves at the doors are kind and provide impeccable customer service at their jobs,  lol. 
Nigeria needs a culture shift plain and simple. Religion has power in Nigeria,  yet people are not kind at the bank,  on the road,  at the stores, the hospital,  etc,  even though when you yourself go to those very same places you expect and hope top be treated with kindness. It's such an oxymoron and we are so short - sighted to remember,  this could be me.
Considering this whole malaysian airline situation as of late, I would think twice before boarding a plane,  and before causing a ruckus on one.
I mean,  why in God's name would you fly Arik over the Atlantic anyways? Hello! If they have terrible customer service as it is,  God forbid something bad happens,  what do you think they'd do than? Think twice before you book,  My people!
And please,  next time calm down,  drink water,  greet your neighbor,  and thank god you are not MH370.
Good night and Good luck.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Davido performs in NYC

So Davido performed a few days ago in Brooklyn.  Ironically, not far from where we live.  This is the second time I've had a 'run-in' with Davido.  We first met back in Abuja at Gospell's studio when he was recording there.  Anyways, I was looking forward to seeing him again.  

So he performed at Jamaican club I'd never heard of before called 48 Pulse that's in East Flatbush.  I'd never really been to that part of Brooklyn before and it's kind of in the middle of nowhere.  It's in a strange part of Brooklyn to me because where I live there's literally everything one could need.  However, I literally had to drive ten minutes just to buy a scissors.  Anyway, so the club is quite large, but definitely not one I'd ever heard of, it's in a part of Brooklyn most people have no desire to go to, and usually when you tell a Nigerian that you live in Brooklyn they usually frown.  So... needless to say, it was quite shocking that Davido, one of Nigeria's current music superstars was performing in East Flatbush at a whopping $40 a show!  I mean, Antibalas charges $25 for their performances and they play at SOB's with like 11 other guys in their band.  It's totally cray cray and absurd to me that people would literally come from all sorts of areas in New York and Jersey to come to East Flatbush in droves to see Davido for $40 not including their transportation cost.  AND LITERALLY people did come out in droves.  

Ok, so that's part one of the story but this is part two.  Laolu and Onyew performed at this show.  Their sound check was so late that people had already arrived.  They had a very LONG sound check, like 45 minutes.  They performed a lot and people were really enjoying their flow.  However, when it came time for them to perform, they were actually supposed to perform just one song with another musician but I don't want to rip him to shreds on my blog, which most of you would say is my style, but he's not a very serious person, the crowd wasn't feeling the live music because the audience was just cheap and silly.  Again, I could say worse but let's leave that til later.  We left around 3am and struggled to leave because all exits were literally blocked, like for real.  We got home around 3:45am.  Which by the way was the time that Davido had left the stage.  We live ten minutes away.  So in between the time we left and got home Davido had performed his twenty minute lip synced set!  Na wa for him o.  Like, oh my God.  People paid $40, at least $5 for the subway but there's no station around there and you cannot walk around that neighborhood, and so they likely spent at least $30 minimum for cabs and they got a 20 minute show that wasn't even what they wanted.  

So I am so disappointed in that crowd that night. I mean, I knew that back home in Nigeria, most people do not appreciate live music monetarily.  However, people at least come.  Since we've been stateside, we've found that West Africans do appreciate live music both monetarily and by listening and dancing but these folks, I dunno, maybe it's an age gap, or something?  Scratch my head because all they seem to want is the same crap that people want back home in Nigeria.  A cd played over a loud speaker, speakers so loud you cannot hold a convo, a bar that's so packed that you cannot order a drink, and the same damn beats over and over, music with no heart, no soul, no meaning, no creativity.  What is wrong with us????

So in the end, I learned a lot that night.  One, that is not Laolu's crowd.  Two, Laolu performs at much better venues than Davido.  Three, that you do not always get what you pay for!

If you want to find out the real heart and soul to most musicians in Nigeria, look to the producers.  They are what you should be paying $40 to see.  They are the true Artists.  

Long Live LIVE Music!

Dollar Vans

So I live in Brooklyn, a part of Brooklyn that's called Ditmas Park but the greater area is called Flatbush.  In fact, our zip code, 11226 is the most diverse zip code in all of NY.  This should tell you a little bit about our neighborhood.  So in our neighborhood we have these terrorist on the road, they are called, Dollar Vans.  They are these long 15 passenger vans that are decorated in their own ways, usually with all sorts of advertisements on them but it reminds me of the large trucks in Nigeria that haul all sorts of goods.  Anyways, point being, they drive like madmen, swerving in out of traffic when and how they want.  They never signal, never obey the speed limit and I am always surprised that they don't kill pedestrians.  In fact, when I see them, it almost seems like they are kidnapping people because similar to Nigeria there seems to be a conductor or a guy who's collecting $2 from the person entering but they enter usually with the van just slowing down, not coming to a stop, the conductor helps pull the person in while the van still is in motion, so to me it looks like kidnapping because once that happens, they speed of crazily.  

I never once expected such things to be happening here in NYC.  This is just one of the many things that NY and Nigeria have in common.  I continue to both fear them (these buses) and at the same time, fight them and they remind me of my days of learning how to drive against the achabas in Yola, later learning how to deal with the Abuja Friday Mosque traffice on Fridays, and later even driving in Lagos.  

So no matter how far I seem to get away from Nigeria, Nigeria never seems to leave me, ever.  


Monday, March 10, 2014

Girl Scout cookies available in Brooklyn in March 2014

St. Augustine Episcopal Church

4301 Avenue D
New York, NY

VIEW MAP »
Saturday, March 15
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
0.9 Miles

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church

4301 Avenue D
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
0.9 Miles

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School

3002 Fort Hamilton Parkway
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 15
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
1.2 Miles

Pathmark

1525 Albany Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
1.4 Miles

GS Troop 2696

925 East 37th Street
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 23
12:15 PM-2:00 PM
1.4 Miles

Kings Church of Christ

1371 Rogers Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, April 5
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
1.4 Miles

Brooklyn College

2900 Bedford Avenue
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
1.4 Miles

PS 372

512 Carroll Street
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 29
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.1 Miles

Private Home

18 Cambridge Place
New York, NY

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Tuesday, April 1
10:00 AM-6:00 PM
2.2 Miles

Hasan Laundro Mat

404 Nostrand Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 15
11:00 AM-1:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Friendship BC

92 Herkimer Street
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Bethany Baptist Church

460 Marcus Garvey Boulevard
New York, NY

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Saturday, April 5
11:00 AM-5:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Epiphany

716 Lincoln Place
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Epiphany

716 Lincoln Place
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.3 Miles

Steve""s Salumaria

Bath Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

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Saturday, April 5
9:00 AM-6:00 PM
2.5 Miles

BROWNSVILLE RECREATIONAL CENTER

1555 Linden Boulevard
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 22
12:00 PM-5:00 PM
2.5 Miles

Old Navy Atlantic Center

625 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

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Sunday, March 16
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
2.9 Miles

OLD NAVY--ATLANTIC MALL

625 atlntic avenue
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 30
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
2.9 Miles

PS 270

241 Emerson Place
New York, NY

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Friday, March 14
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
3.4 Miles

Emmanuel Baptist Church

36 Saint James Place
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 30
9:30 AM-2:30 PM
3.4 Miles

Citibank

375 Court Street
New York, NY

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Sunday, April 6
11:00 AM-3:00 PM
3.5 Miles

New Grace Center

650 Livonia Avenue
New York, NY

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Saturday, March 29
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
3.5 Miles

IS 228 David A. Boody Middle School

228 Avenue S
New York, NY

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Tuesday, April 8
5:00 PM-8:00 PM
3.6 Miles

PS 20

166 Essex Street
New York, NY

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Saturday, April 5
1:30 PM-4:30 PM
5.0 Miles

Bank of America

89 Murray Street
New York, NY

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Sunday, March 30
2:00 PM-4:00 PM
5.4 Miles

Washington Market Park

Greenwich Street
New York, NY

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Tuesday, April 1
3:45 PM-5:00 PM
5.4 Miles

Saturday, March 8, 2014

White Privilege

Kate Hallet
March 8, 2014


Racism 101: White Privilege
Understanding and Admitting White Privilege

I cannot deny the White privilege I have, I experience it each and everyday of my life. Sometimes I feel so much shame and/or anger from it because I get treated so differently on a regular basis simply because of the color of my skin. Ironically, it is not even White people who often make me the benefactor of these privileges, it's often African Americans, Latinos, Asians or Arabs. Let me give you a few examples from the last 24 hours.
A couple of hours ago I bought gas and I also bought some windshield washer cleaner. When I was walking out, the guy inside asked if he should send someone to assist me to put it in? I turned him down on the offer. On the drive home, I said, 'I doubt he'd have made that same offer if I was African American.' I truly believe he wouldn't because I see the different way people treat me, as opposed to the way they treat the other loved ones in my life. I have quite the eclectic family and group of friends.
Another example is at the gym. The computer system is messed up there and for some reason the ladies at the front desk are always rude, difficult and usually refuse to allow my African family members in. However, when it enter into the building first, even though the problem remains the same, they do not give me any hassle nor cause any fuss. They smile, are friendly and are most willing to let me in. Yet these same people who are aware of the situation are rude and difficult to my family members who are African. How can you honestly say it has nothing to do with the color of my skin? It has absolutely everything to do with the color of my skin. It makes me so irate when this happens because people often don't even realize what they are even doing. It is innate and habitual, it's instinctual and natural to them. The culture is broken. The culture is broken for Black people to automatically treat me better than their own... Now, I am not saying we should treat one another differently, of course we shouldn't, however, if you must be kind, be kind to your own kind first. We've got to fix our culture and our mentality. We've got to love one another based on the fact that we are here together. We are the solution not the problem. I dream of the day where I am not treated any better or differently just because I happened to be born White.



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Theatre

Did I ever mention how much I love the theatre, the arts and cultural events? Well I do! We have done so many things since we have been in Brooklyn, it's just wonderful. 

Tonight we are heading to King Lear... Honestly, I am not the biggest Shakespeare fan but I know I am a snob and maybe should give him a second try...

On a completely different note I have joined a couple meetup.com groups and have been writing more. It's amazing... Anyways, I totally recommend meetup.com

I will post my links here sometime.

Also, I'm currently reading again... 'The Joys of Motherhood' by Buchi Emecheta and 'Open City' by Teju Cole

By the way, my hubby informed this morning that Rihanna and Don Jazzy are getting hitched. I said that must be some Naija nonsense... And of course it was... Sorry o. The only person he can marry is d'banj. Lol. 

Cheers to the weekend, ya'll!

Captain phillips

So last week we finally sat down and watched Captain Philipps with Tom hanks. The film was done well but it left me feeling sad afterwards because I feel like the captain purposely put those men in danger and that pissed me off. Somalia is not an easy place to live, in fact Africa as a whole does not have it easy... Getting a good education, a good job, access to electricity and water are struggles that are often part of most people's daily battles. So it is no wonder that people would become pirates. 

Remember the scene where they mentioned the elders? Well, that is yet another realistic scenario. That only has that power in Africa. In Africa, elders have significant power... Most Americans cannot relate, nor understand.  Even captain Philipps himself made fun of the amount of money was requesting but in reality, it wasn't absurd when you think of how many 'bosses' he may have above him. Also, how many mouths that money will be expected too feed and for how many years... African societies are so different than the West. You just cannot compare.

Anyways, it was a good film nonetheless. I do recommend it to others. Yet, after seeing it, it makes me wonder if to some Nigerians if they think of me as captain Philipps, like I was going to look for trouble in Naija. 

Post cleanse

So... I finished the cleanse... WOOHOO! Right?

Well, day one and two sucked and were so hard... Day three and four were way better...but overall it didn't really give me that boost of energy I longed for, maybe because I didn't get a massage or sit in the sauna but I did lose like 8 pounds, but those of course were just temporary... 

I think I did successfully detox though. I think that helped me but it definitely did not give me the boost I was hoping for...

I will probably try it again in a few months. For those of you looking for a cleanse, it is quite manageable so I do recommend you check it out at the blue print cleanse.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day two of the cleanse

Day two was much easier than day one.  However, I was ridiculously busy.  I'm still feeling crappy though and I am not so sure I'll ever do this again...

Laolu on Sahara Reporters

Check out Laolu on Sahara Reporters.  Also, the Mama Africa show we went to while Nico was around is featured.  So it's a double feature.

http://youtu.be/3f7dNprgNeE