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

Posts tagged “blogging

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.

 

BLOOM

Posted on January 11, 2013

BeachHouse

There are two types of music listeners in the world. There are those who eat up everything that said music blog is crushing on and then there are those who are anti-hypebeasts and purposely go out of their way to dislike anything that is seen as “in” and then there’s me. I float aimlessly around the middle. I frequently check music websites like Pitchfork and Stereogum to confirm my already impeccable taste in music– I’m kidding, slightly–but ever so often I may have a void in my musical heart. That does not mean that I am going to start panting for any album that Pitchfork deems worthy to review as higher than an 8.0, which is the reason why I’ve never listened to Danny Brown and only know how to spell Ty Segall because you don’t see names like that everywhere.

There are times where I beat myself up for being so stubborn to join the hypebeast bandwagon. A current example is with Beach House’s new album Bloom. I am in no way new to the sounds of Beach House. I’m a big fan of their last album Teen Dream because it helped me fall asleep with ease, which I swear is a compliment. I’ve known that their new album Bloom has been released for a while, but was hesitant on listening to it because I didn’t want to ruin a good thing. I already had a great album with Teen Dream that I could listen to continuously and would take me to my own dream world. What if this Bloom album is terrible and ruins my relationship with their previous album so much that I never want to listen to them again?

No, I’m not over reacting.

These are thoughts that go through my head.

One day at work though, I couldn’t help but enjoy a song that one of my co-workers were playing through the office speakers. Two taps of my iPhone and a few second later Shazaam verified that it was in fact “The Hours” by Beach House that had just satisfied my musical thirst.

Five hours later– because I couldn’t just leave work– I got on my computer and started downloading it. I was happily disappointed that Bloom didn’t compare to Teen Dream’s lullaby music.  I could listen to the full album fully awake!

Although, I’m in love with every single track on the album, the stand out song has to be “New Year”.  The angelic harmonies in the beginning fused with the repetitive staccato chords puts the listener into a trance until the beat drops and the vision becomes clear. “All I wanted comes in colors, vanish everyday,” sings lead singer Victoria Legrand. Repetition is the tool used that makes each chord progression seem brand new, yet gives the listener a déjà vu moment.

I don’t want to spoil the rest of the album for you, but Bloom surpasses Teen Dream by leaps and bounds. Sonically, the sound doesn’t waver, but it hits harder than any of their previous entries.