The Heart of a New Yorker, the mind of a Tourist.

Back To Reality

Posted on April 11, 2013

FishMcBites

I’ve been a bit M.I.A. from the blog/social-networking world in order to reconnect with myself. It’s funny how although you may seem to be connected to the world when you sign on to Twitter or Instagram, the truth is you truly become unaware. Unaware about whom you are, what your thoughts are and what it truly means to be a human. The Internet is meant to be an enhancement of humanity, but for most it has become a distraction. So during my slight hiatus I’ve been able to get in tune with who am I, where I am and where I should be.

 

Designing gives me life. Throughout a few years, I’ve been able to advance my skills as a designer helping out friends with their brand identities and album artwork. When it comes to my own portfolio though I haven’t really been able to construct pieces that I feel displays my artistic ability. I have little pieces of things, but I want to have a list of work that I’ve done that shows what I am capable of. I decided to start that process by creating a faux McDonald campaign for their Fish McBites. McDonalds is currently catering their popcorn fish product to their adult audience, but I feel like it’s more of a meal that kids would like. I started to think of concepts and ideas that would make it more accessible. This is the first concept that I came up with.

 

Originally it was meant to be more involved. My initial plan was to have the boy costumed as a fish to be a standup comedian telling lame fish puns. The problem with that was all the fish puns that I thought of were truly lame and the idea almost seemed a bit cliché. So I scrapped it. Another idea was to have the word “Fish McBites” vectorized as planks of wood coming out of the water. The problem with this idea was that wood is straight and isn’t known for its curves. Also it would take too much time for the consumer to read the text and good design should be easily understood. So after hours of vectorizing wood text, that idea was also o0canned as well. For the next couple of days I was pondering what to do. To better understand my audience I ate at McDonald’s for the next week to investigate (have McDonald’s). While looking at their paper bags I realized that McDonald’s ads were pretty simple and to the point. So I decided to keep it that way. I’ve always been a fan of minimalist design ever since I discovered the international typographic style. “McDonald’s. Introducing: Fish McBites.” Plain, simple and to the point.

 

I’m in the process of brainstorming some other ideas, which I will update you on as they come into fruition.

 

Stay Aware.

 

nico.

Do The Harlem Shake

Posted on February 22, 2013

ABHS

 

It began as simple fun: four college friends squeezed into barely livable quarters, wearing jumbo-sized Halloween costumes while humping the air feverishly to a looped beat. After fifteen seconds the beat drops and hell breaks loose, well not exactly they just start having seizure like symptoms that very few may interpret as dancing. Thus began the greatest meme of 2013: The Harlem Shake.

 

The genesis of the movement began last year when Brooklyn-based DJ Baauer got his track released under Diplo’s Mad Decent label. The initial critical reception was warm with the-ALMIGHTY-Pitchfork labeling the song as one of their “Best New Tracks”, but even with this slight acclaim there wasn’t much commercial success. That is until YouTube was hit with an onslaught of videos that ranged from corporate employees flopping on the ground like fish kidnapped out of water, oversized chickens running amuck across Times Square and pale teenage boys with pink briefs doing things that pale teenage boys with pink briefs do whilst accompanied by DJ Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” track. In a matter of two weeks, hundreds of videos have been uploaded to YouTube with folks putting their own spin to the wildly contagious meme.

 

With every fairy tale though there comes drama. And in this fairy tale drama’s maiden name is Banks. Miss Azealia Banks, a born and raised Harlemite, took it upon herself to create a remix of the song and posting it on Soundcloud. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, right? WRONG! After a few hours it was pulled from the music-streaming site and Azealia Banks tweeted to Baauer, “Why you cockblockin tho??? Lmaooooo”. Baauer then responded with “cause its not ur song”. Clearly both artists don’t care much for the proper use of the English vocabulary, but that’s beside the point. Thus began Harlem Shake-Gate. Both artists have waged war on each other, slinging insults back and forth via Twitter. With Baauer saying that he didn’t approve of Azealia’s remix because it was sub par and Azealia retaliating by calling him every single name under the sun.

 

As the dust has cleared, it seems that both artists have come on top. Azealia has put up a video of her remix to Baauer’s song and it has yet to be pulled from Vimeo and due to Billboard Magazine now including YouTube plays to calculate it’s Billboard Hot 100; Baauer now has the number one song in the country. A lot can happen in a couple of weeks.

 

Here’s Azealia Banks rendition of the “Harlem Shake”:

 

off to Harlem

Posted on February 14, 2013

Opening

 

I’ve been in New York for seven months now and it’s true what they say about staying in your Burrough and never venturing off. When I first landed, I was like a fat kid at a bakery; I wanted to touch everything that New York had to offer. Overtime though, I became set in my ways and the thought that these sites and wonders would always be there began to sit in the back of my mind. Currently, there’s a three-mile radius that I spend the majority of my life in. If I do venture off, it is out necessity. I go to Manhattan because my job is there. I visit Queens because my girlfriend lives there. I have no need for a Long Island or for a Bronx. In all seriousness, why would I want to go anywhere but Brooklyn? Yeah, I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either, but it happened today and it was a pleasant surprise.

 

I had to venture off to Harlem to see my tax lady because it is that season again. Since it was my day off, I decided this was a perfect time to get back to my tourist taurist-y self. I can say with much assurance that Harlem is the next best place compared to Brooklyn. To all you non-new Yorkers out there, Harlem is not one of the five Burroughs. It is a subsidiary of Manhattan, much like a Soho or a Greenwich, but at a much larger scale. The diversity of the city is breathtaking. Of course you’ve got Spanish Harlem and a high Asian population, but there’s also an elevated level of Africans that call Harlem home. The importance of this last fact correlates with my sudden urge for West African food. I’ve been deprived of any home cooking since I’ve been in New York so the ability to eat white rice with peanut soup was a blessing from the heavens. I raise my hands to the sky with thanksgivings.

 

I tried to take a few photos of this touched-by-an-angel culinary experience, but sadly my camera didn’t have an SD card, so I was shooting blanks.

 

I plan on taking more trips to see Harlem. It has a bad rap for being dangerous and I don’t want to be naive and say its not due to one visit, but I’m a fan of culture and Harlem represent the melting pot that that New York so famously represents.

 

solange “bad girls”

Posted on February 12, 2013

SolangeBadGirls

It’s no surprise that I have a celebrity crush on Solange Knowles. Out of the two Knowles sisters, who wouldn’t prefer the quirky one with the good sense of style and superb afro over the beauty queen—although ‘Yonce is stepping her game up. Later this month, I have the honor of seeing the younger Knowles sister play a sold-out concert at Webster Hall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and I’m overly stoked. In preparation of the show, I’ve been stretching my vocal chords in order to hit each note in “Bad Girls”.

“Bad Girls” is the best album closer that I’ve wholeheartedly enjoyed in a long time. Its funk filled baseline and the hard hitting percussion gives it an 80’s R&B feel that sets itself a part from anything going on in pop music. The good folks at Black Cab Sessions recently recorded a session where she sings a stripped down version of the song with her True EP collaborator and producer Devonte Hynes. The song is a perfect match to the scenery that surrounds them as they drive aimlessly through the city.

February 25th can’t come soon enough.

Elixer Of Life

Posted on February 5, 2013

elixeroflife

 

fruit

 

1/2 of a Pomegranate. Pomegranates have huge health benefits. I would list them, but there’s too many. I try to grab at least two pomegranates each time I go shopping at Mr. Coco. Half of a pomegranate will do here. The best way to get the seeds out is to hit the back side with a large spoon into a bowl.

1 Banana-na.

Slice of a Beet. I absolutely hate beets by themselves, but with this smoothie it gives it a certain flavor that can’t be beat–see what

Handful of Blueberries. Another one of Mother Earth’s hidden secrets.

4 Strawberries.

Ginger. My dad has always been a proponent of ginger and he passed that off to me.

 

Add all of these ingredients to a blender of your choice. Put a couple of ice cubes in the mix and some juice and there you have it.  Nothing too crazy. Easy to make. And delicious to the taste buds.

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