the T zine
bomb ass energy, august '17
be su ch a good sou l t h at people cr ave you r vibes
I N THI S I SSUE spill the T 03 listen to this 05 read this 06 out+about 07 watch this 08 dope shit 09 influencer 11 tastemaker 13 think about it 15 you are here 16
spi l l th e T.. . let t er f r om t h e edit or Energy means everything to me. It affects me deeply and in ways that sometimes feel out of my control. I?ve been physically and mentally drained from personal interactions. I?m known to ghost on friends that I don?t feel are in my wavelength because negative energy is contagious. Ever heard of the saying, misery loves company? Truer words have never been spoken. I?m the biggest champion of spreading positive vibes but cheerleaders get tired too. A compliment on my good vibe will always hold more weight than one on my looks. What?s a pretty face if you?ve got an ugly soul? I?ve learned the hard way to retreat when my chakra isn?t grounded. Being protective of my space is something that I pride myself in. Why would I welcome you into a space that could potentially F-up your path? And if you ever catch me speaking of my issues I try my best to speak of them with little negativity. I will always say they?re ?good problems to have.? The more you feed into those doubtful thoughts, they just seem to multiply. Give them a positive twist and watch them divide. The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of a vibe. I?ve allowed people in my work life doubt my capabilities and in turn fuck up my whole vibe. An energy check was needed on a regular basis and thankfully I could ground myself. It?s a blessing to be in tune with who and what I allow into my space. Knowing that I can?t control your vibe, but how I receive it has been a learning curve. Just know that I?ll always leave you feeling better than when you came. Remember, your energy speaks before you do.
@m st if f alexan dr a f ou n der / edit or -in -ch ief
t h e u n iver se sees you . it m isses n ot h in g.
l i sten to th i s.. . 4:44 Allow me to take this time to apologize to Mr. Sean Corey "Jay-Z" Carter. I will blame a couple of cups of brown water for my lack of clarity when I commented on the Fully Loaded Podcast that Jay-Z's next album would be a disappointment. In my humble defense and as a Jay-Z fan, his latest projects seem to come from a place of grandiose narcissism. His once rags to riches rhymes were replaced by name-dropping and a nonchalant, disinterest. Half-assing and ego, didn?t stop my brother (biggest Jay-Z fan I know) and I from going to see his live shows. We had gone to see him since the Heart of the City Tour in 2008. His performances got so routine, that it got to the point that we could predict his set list. His greatest hits would be the highlights. For us, (at least for me) the Magna Carta World Tour would be the last straw. Jay looked bored and so was I. Thankfully, I ate all my words as soon as I played the first track, ?Kill Jay Z? off his 13th debut, titled 4:44. He figuratively killed his ego and smoothly brought us to the most honest place I?ve ever heard. Vulnerability is a heck of a place to be, let alone when on display for the world to see and pick apart. That?s very out of character for Jay-Z, who is one heck of a private person. The album goes on to address all his significant conflicts
thus far. Betrayal, shootings, Kanye, and Solange were all spoken of. He even says: ?let me alone, Becky.? Genius. One particular track, with Beyonce of course, stands out to me sonically. He slyly titled it ?Family Feud? but goes on to rap about old and new hip hop. Family feud feels like the dopest hymn ever played. The beat knocks while BeyoncĂŠ's angelic melodies lace it with a sweetness and power that only she
can possess. It?s hymn-like harmonies sung by B bring out a choir feel. While I thought that track would divulge info on his relationship, it?s in ?4:44? that he pens an open apology to his wife. It samples Hannah Williams & The Affirmations' ?Late Nights & Heartbreak,? which speaks of infidelity. Jay Z says, ?it?s the title track because it?s such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I?ve ever written.? I wholeheartedly agree with him. His forthright stance puts him a in grown up space with all of us; 05
parents, husbands, and wives. Other dope tracks ?Caught Their Eyes? and ?Bam,? feature Frank Ocean and Damian Marley. He even features his mother, Gloria Carter on ?Smile.? A simply titled song that talks about seeing the good in the bad and more importantly finally revealing his mother ?s homosexuality. He ends the album with ?Legacy,? a topic he?s always touched on. This time he spins in it a way that feels like a spoken will to his daughter, Blue, who?s also featured on the track. That?s one thing no one can take away from Jay Z, his legacy and black excellence is undeniable. Bravo.
read th i s.. . Local Wolves We?ve long established my love of print magazines. To see this digital zine come to fruition has been nothing short of a blessing. All of this considering my extreme dislike of all things digital. What can I say, I?m an old-head? I?m a lover of turning pages and I cringe whenever I hear that page turning sound on digital mediums. (Yuck) My change of heart came a couple of years back when I started reading Local Wolves. It?s a bi-monthly online and print publication based in Long Beach, CA. Their content is diverse in art, entertainment and fashion, but I connect with the pieces that make you think deeper. Issues have had themes surrounding: solitude, inspiring souls and finding your niche. Each issue delivering a positive and empowering message that is heard loud and clear. Catherine Khom is the founder and editor-in-chief of Local Wolves. We share the same similarities in that as children we were ?obsessed with editorial design and the ?behind the scenes? aspect of creating a monthly magazine.? Local Wolves was birthed as a music blog in April 2012 and eventually transitioned into an online and print publication. Khom and her team curate original content that is driven by a passion for photography and adaptive aesthetic for the readers (Wolfies). Local Wolves serves as a platform for Wolfies to share their passions too. It embodies a culture that creates open discussions about topics that are often put on the back burner. They succeed in delving into the creative minds of individuals allowing them to share their struggles, successes, and experiences. I give credit where credit is due and Local Wolves has been nothing short of an inspiration. My first issue pulled layout inspiration from theirs. They?re designs and ideas are clean and It easily translates to all generations and cultures. Their vibe isn?t to compete with the glossy mags, but to deliver a message that transcends beyond that.
?Creativity will never fade away. Ideas can expand into endless opportunities.?
out+about.. . Block h eads Religion. Sex. Evolving. Relationships. Boundaries. Promiscuity. Connection. Family. Just a few topics that flowed in a recent outing with two of my close friends. We chatted up a storm in a common after work spot called Blockheads in midtown west. Blockheads is a completely unpretentious place that serves decent margaritas and Mexican food. We opted for outside seating as we do most times and our waiter was super attentive. So attentive that after a few margaritas, the convo?got deeper. That?s one thing I adore about my friendships, the smart women I?m surrounded with. Their energies feed my life. It?s incredibly interesting to me how much we?ve grown as women and as friends. One friend has found God in ways that only she can articulate. Finding God, has refocused her away from the attention of males with nothing to offer her. She is a vibrant light, only shining brighter because of this. Although, I can say that this has caught us all by surprise, we can?t knock things that we don?t understand. We can count on mutual, genuine, unwavering support that bonds us. My other friend has been in relationship for a few years now. One that has tested her in many ways. As all relationships do. She is at a crossroads with where her life is headed versus her relationship. All this while balancing family issues that require most of her attention. If you know anything about us, it?s that we are all huge ?family people.? I?m not sure how it is in other cultures, but being the eldest as a Latina usually comes with a heavy price. Gift and a curse. There was far more conversation to be had. I left my friends feeling fulfilled and learned about myself and them. What more could you ask for?
"When we are the most selfless we prosper the most."
w atch th i s.. . You Tu be People are always talking about shows that they?re watching. I?m very much like those shows, I go through seasons of being fully engulfed with them. Also, I catch on years after their hype and have the attention span of a two-year-old. Last year, I got through Breaking Bad and Dexter. Two phenomenal shows that have my heart. Let?s check back on me in a few years, maybe I?ll have given GOT a shot by then (heavy eye roll). So, what do I watch in place of tv? YouTube. Yes, I can watch hours upon hours of YouTubers. Not the nonsense videos, although super funny. Michelle Phan, (google her) was one of the first that I watched. Her talent was like no other. Now she?s become a millionaire with a beauty empire. I can remember a close friend trying to convince me to ?make a YouTube,? but I was ?too shy.? Totally should have listened to you, Shiryn! I?ve been watching for years now and follow a close few religiously. Mostly, ?beauty gurus,? a term given to them by the YouTube community. Can?t forget my style girls, killing the fashion game. A few years back these gurus would upload subpar quality video that gained thousands if not millions of views. No crazy editing needed. Now, some of them have gotten so incredibly famous that they have a team of videographers and editors. It?s mind blowing.
La Mer, MAC, and Estee Lauder are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon with sponsorships. These brands send Youtubers PR packages to review, while others develop a series sponsored by them. Can you imagine receiving boxes, upon boxes, of free makeup?! I would literally die! But it?s a controversial thing in recent years because people say that the money from the sponsorship is swaying once honest opinions in favor of the brands. Take a gander at the comment section of these videos and you?ll get a taste of peoples?wraths. Haters! For me, it can go either way. Your opinion is just that, your opinion. I?m here for the love of beauty and if I truly love a product your opinion won?t be the only reason I succumb to it. Research is needed, for sure. Nicole Guerrero, exudes genuine energy and a no-bs attitude. I?ve seen her grow from the room in her mom?s house to collaborating with Anastasia Beverly Hills, just off videos. She is beautiful, talented, but above all relatable. The new generation of YouTubers doesn?t understand that. It?s all about views, special effects, theatrics. Things that will get you success, but at such a surface level. I?ll continue to watch the girls with substance even if their videos are simple. Because who needs all those bells and whistles?
High-end beauty brands such as, 08
dope sh i t.. . Pizza Zoo If someone told you ?let?s go to Pizza Zoo,?what would your first response be? Mine was, sure! Didn?t regret it either! Thanks, Christa! I had casually heard about Pizza Zoo from social media posts, but never thought I could hang with that crowd anymore. Boy was I wrong. A couple of my friends were spinning, so my immediate thought was, yes! My bf and I decided it was a bright idea to pregame at Dos Caminos, no regrets. We met up with Christa and ended up being the early birds to ?avoid crowds.? We agreed to leave ?early,? but that didn?t happen. Almost 6 hours of partying later, I still have no regrets. Oh, forgot to mention that this party was being held at none other than Webster Hall, RIP. That monster of a venue housed the insane debaucheries happening at this event. The front of the stage was our choice spot. We were close enough to touch the twerkers onstage. Not bad, if you ask me. Some of ya?ll did not need to be up there and we have the footage as proof. Regardless, I give you all the props in the world, cause no amount of liquor could get me up there. Show me the green and perhaps. Huge, huge, huge shout out to the DJs!! Especially, @djschoolboy and @stadiumstatus! Those two killed it! Can?t forget the crowd surfing done by @suaso, whom probably put a poor girl in a neck brace. There?s photos of that also. He not only jumped into the crowd on his own, but also enclosed in a clear plastic ball. We witnessed a group of people go down as the ball careened toward them. I?m still laughing at that now!
@slin gsh ot m en ace
That party was the polar opposite of the Chandon Event, but equally as fun. The music alone had us going for all those hours. Might?ve lost Christa for a bit, it?s such a blur! Ha! Wouldn?t have changed a thing. Great company and music, you can?t ask for more.
@slin gsh ot m en ace
.. . Th e Do Over I haven?t partied in Brooklyn in a while. It?s probably been a year since I was last there. Although, not terribly difficult to travel to, why venture off when I?m a hop, skip and jump from Manhattan? So, when my girl Sofie sent me a link to The Do-Over Brooklyn 2017 party, I made sure to RSVP and pass along to a couple of friends. I was quickly intrigued by the premise that the Do-Over was conceived in LA with a backyard-BBQ vibe and good music. They?re a Sunday afternoon institution in LA, but have gone international, with parties in Tokyo, Berlin and Auckland. International acclaim aside, we were hooked on the backyard-BBQ vibes and good music. All boxes were checked at this event. I started the day having brunch with my guy at a place called Northern Territory in Brooklyn. It?s an Australian tavern with a dope rooftop. We made sure to coat our stomach with some food and washed it down with a pitcher of beer. One would think that it would have been a breeze to get to the event venue after that, but no. Two Ubers later we somehow had to walk along a desolate, industrial part of Bk. No big deal. After waiting on line for about half an hour or so we made our way inside. The Brooklyn Mirage, where the event was taking place, was super dope. It?s an open layout with enough room to shake what your mama gave ya?. Did I mention they have palm trees to adorn the place? A tropical getaway from the streets still covered with railroad tracks outside its doors. I was on cloud nine surrounded by a ton of my friends. We were rolling deep and basically took over a corner. Taking full advantage of the beer and shot package they had going on. So much, that food was needed not long after. The spread was good. You can?t go wrong with tacos, ever. Belly full, we kept the party going. The music was a lot different than what I had envisioned. But I should?ve known it wasn?t going to be a trap music bonanza, even though much needed after the hella mellow vibe and drinks. Who am I to complain? It was a great time with some of my amazing friends. Here?s to the Do-Over coming back soon or next Sunday?
i nf l uencer.. . @ch r isellelim Influencers are a thing. They?re actually maj?. Let me preface this by saying they?re social media influencers. This is relatively new but has caught wild-fire as each captures the attention of more and more people. Captivating they?re uber-fabulous lives one post at a time. Tantalizing us with tags on their gorgeous ensembles. I can?t keep up and don?t feel the need to, but some of them inspire me. Chriselle Lim is one of those that?s relatively new to me, but is somehow always on my radar. She came to me in one of those mindless Instagram scrolling trances that happen to all of us. Researching her for this piece brought me to her blog thechrisellefactor.com, yet I was never inclined to do so before. Blogs, for me, rarely catch my attention for a long period of time. Squirrel. YouTube on the other hand, has my undivided attention. There?s something about music, graphics and great style that has me hypnotized for those 3-minute videos. Starting off her career as a stylist, Chriselle put in her time in editorial shoots with celebrities and fashion books. In 2011, she founded The Chriselle Factor to showcase her personal style and aesthetic. That led her to YouTube, where I obsess over her content. You can also get a glimpse of her husband and toddler-daughter in her extremely personal vlogs (video blogs). Her candor is refreshing when speaking on being a working mom while her husband and family stay at home with their daughter. Sometimes in tear-stricken moments when she misses major events in her daughters?life because of work obligations. Chriselle travels all over the world to different fashion weeks and works closely with people in the fashion industry. She can be seen looking as sophisticated and posh as ever at Thierry Mugler, Valentino, and Jean-Paul Gaultier shows. Her style is edgy, clean, feminine, yet with an androgynous-feel. She?s building her team and brand effortlessly and with class. Chriselle is the epitome of what being a mom, wife, and woman should be. Work your ass off, exude confidence in who you are, you don?t have to try so hard.
tastemak er.. . Dr ew Gin sbu r g I have to credit my mom with being the Queen of Accessories. That woman has an archive of fashion, costume and genuine jewelry that grows by the day. There?s a necklace for any day, outfit, or occasion. The bigger, the better (ahem). On the other hand, I am a Plain Jane. Only tempted on very rare occasions when I want to jazz up an outfit. It?s a given that my mom will say ?ay, you should put on a necklace,? time and time again. Most recently, we bonded over DYLANLEX necklaces. The statement pieces are crafted from antiqued metals and Swarovski crystals. More famously modeled by Beyonce, but I think can be formally credited to Monica Rose (Kardashian/Jenner stylist). Drew Ginsburg is the designer of these over the top (OTT) pieces. She is this petite, sarcastic, talented, hella fashionable woman. I follow her outfits posts on Instagram religiously. She gets away with side-boob, no pants and sometimes even ?diaper-like? shorts. Every ensemble is topped off and elevated with her designs. Her IG stories are usually high fashion inspo?photos, funnily edited with graphics. She is super engaging on her social media and has responded to me on multiple occasions. That?s always something I appreciate from people with hundreds of comments and followers, even if it?s her assistant that?s commenting back. Drew?s fashion and jewelry line are parallel in that they?re OTT and display how she likes to take risks. She exudes this cool-DGAF-vibe without being off-putting. That?s why I gravitate toward her. There?s nothing more dope to me that someone who lives unapologetically. She maintains an effortless vibe while grinding out beautiful pieces and expanding her line. Look out for the more cost-effective sister brand, DLNLX. Now that is a vibe that?s tops.
...-I value quality over quantity, and really believe you can be refined while bold at the same time.
th i nk about i t.. . There's no one size fits all for relationships. I'm one of the fortunate ones that has experienced different loves. All unique in their own ways. All holding a special place in my heart that helped me grow as a woman and as an equal. In previous relationships/situationships, I've been a skeptic about commitment. Always having one food out the door because we live in a time where there is always something greater out there. Going as far as calling myself a commitment-phobe. Yet, holding a handful of them in high regard because I?m not heartless either.
from differences. Finding excuses to avoid spending too much time and effort because arms-length was my comfort zone. Balance and allowing vulnerability with others has gotten easier as I get older. I can say that I?ve gained confidence in letting myself share intimate parts of myself. I attest that to finding a level of comfort with a partner that shares the same energy as you. Physical, mental, and emotional energy. It has to be cohesive, effortless. Nothing forced is worth your time.
My unintentional and most times intentional disregard for the other was something that came natural to me. I would build these great vibes with dudes while quietly maintaining my wall of disconnect. Always showing above and beyond interest in my partner to divert the conversation from getting too personal. Never sharing too much because of the ease of living as an individual. Using my son as a crutch to divert any unnecessary openness and vulnerability between us. I always found it easier to not need someone, than to depend on anyone. Inherently, I like to nurture and cultivate my friendships and relationships outside of my partner. I value time with my friends, I value time with my family. Although, motherhood doesn?t define me, I birthed a phenomenal human being whom I adore. Still, outside of that I find solace in my solitude. Only giving the time of day to those who truly piqued my interest and shared a mutual physical attraction. Holding on to our compatibilities and running
you are h ere.. . Cu ba A few weeks back, thanks to my guy, I checked a box off my dream destination list. On a cloudy Sunday morning, printed visas, boarding passes and blank itineraries in tow, we boarded a flight to Havana, Cuba. Don?t worry, we flew Delta, no United flights over here. I have to give him all the credit because he did the leg work when it came to research all things travel-related to Cuba. I on the other hand, did heavy research on Ernest Hemingway?s fave hangouts. Hella important ?ish on my end. I couldn?t help but feel anxious up until the minute we landed. The horror stories about the Cuban customs agents regarding their strict visa checks made me uneasy. Thankfully, I was greeted by a smiling agent eager to comment on my Dominican-ness. It was all was a breeze. Our Airbnb had arranged a pickup at the airport and it was refreshing to see Ernesto with a huge smile and sign with my guy?s name. We had no idea that they would pick us up in one of their 1950s style cars, but it was the perfect way to start our journey. On the ride over, the conversation flowed about cigars, Cuban history and to put it simply, just have fun. Ernesto?s wife, Elizabeth and Gladys (Airbnb live-in host) were waiting for us at the Airbnb and warmly embraced us as if we were family. The apartment was nothing short of perfection. There was a balcony or terrace as they like to call it with breathtaking views of the ocean and beyond. We hadn?t sat, when they were already offering us fresh mango juice. My mouth waters at the thought. There was no time to be wasted, so luggage was left in our spacious, clean and might I add very well air-conditioned room. Our first stop was Rio Mar, a pleasant surprise, since we confused it with another restaurant. We walked all of the Malecon to get there and I could almost feel the amazing sun and ocean breeze. Rio Mar is on the water, with a semi-hidden entry way. It felt
like we were walking into a Spanish villa with a contemporary twist. Marble and glass filled the room. A few pineapple mojitos and ceviche later, I have zero complaints. Later that evening, we made our way to the Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC). Must. Go. Spot. We wanted to walk so naturally my bf stopped by a little restaurant and asked for beers to-go. I'm not sure if it helped or hindered the 12+ block walk. We had a late start so we were on line for almost 40 minutes. Do as my friend advised and get there early. Although, people watching has never been more fun. There was a cover charge and you're handed a card that will tally up your consumption. Don't lose that card, as you will need it when you pay on your exit. Once inside it's like nothing I've seen. It almost feels like a cave of wonders. Every corner revealing beautiful art pieces. There was a concert room where a badass band played covers. All we kept saying was, ?why don't we have a spot like this in NY?? Bumped into two girls from Brooklyn and Queens who thought the same. My only wish is that we weren?t so exhausted from the early travel. Do yourself the favor and visit the FAC. A beautiful breakfast spread of fresh fruit, juices, ham, cheese, and bread was laid out for us every morning. The most delicious fruit I've ever had. Super fuel for the busy days ahead of us. The first beach we went to was Santa Maria. A closer alternative to Varadero. While sipping on Cuba Libres and eating a plate of seafood, rice and beans we were serenaded with Despacito by a young musician. The memory brings a smile to my face. (continued on Pg. 20)
trav el ti ps.. . h is & h er s addit ion
h is 1. Take a beautiful translator. Ha! 2. Download Cuba travel app. 3. Forget the Internet. 4. Know their currency: CUC/CUP. 5. Plan your days out. 6. Bonus: Don't drink the water, drink mojitos!
h er s 1. Wifi is available at major hotels, but not reliable. 2. Budget money for taxis. 3. Exchange rate: Canadian dollar & Euro tend to be the best. 4. Stick to seafood, it's delicious. 5. Cuban beers are the best: Cristal and Bucanero. 6. Bonus: Have the time of your life!
We knew that Varadero was a must, so the nearly 3-hour ride didn?t discourage us. Eduardo, our honorary chauffer, made the trip easy, comfortable and informative. Stopping at a restaurant to get breakfast and even buying us ?mani?(peanuts) from a vendor along the side of the road. The ride was almost as beautiful as the beach. Stop at the Bacunayagua Bridge and indulge in the luscious Cuban terrain. It?s truly magical. Varadero beach was a beautiful turquoise. We made friends with the bartender at La Caleta, a small bar-shack on the main road. One too many mojitos later and possibly a shot (bomba), he was introducing us as his ?amigos de Nueva York? to his daughter and inviting us to dinner at his finca (farm). We would?ve taken him up on the offer if we had more time. Tanned and tipsy was the perfect combination for a beautiful dinner at Paladar Vistamar. This is an upscale restaurant in a residential area. It sits on the ocean, is surround by pools and has lovely dĂŠcor. Our waiter was the most chipper young man. Eager to please and super hospitable. The food was delicious. We called it an early night because Old Havana awaited us the next day. Havana vieja was everything I dreamed of and then some. The architecture is absolutely stunning and rich with history. I wondered to myself how some of the inhabited, deteriorated, old, buildings didn?t crumble. Somehow, I found beauty in their disintegration. The energy of the locals was great with the exception of a couple of aggressive ones. Being a tourist brings a lot of attention, let alone walking around with a 6?4? guy. The heat defeated us that day and we ended up cutting the day trip short. We succumbed to the pool at Hotel Presidente for a cool $50CUC. That covered food and drinks for the day while we swam in the salt-water pool and laid on the day beds.
Easily, one of the most relaxing things we did. That night we went to Hotel Nacional for the Cabaret Parisien. The Hotel Nacional sits on a hill with lush grounds and a beautiful view. Peacocks run amok as you sip on your drink of choice. The employees at Cabaret Parisien gave us the VIP treatment. I couldn?t believe how amazing the show turned out. From the colors of the costumes to the phenomenal talent, I was in awe. My only qualm was the poor quality in food and drink choices. Get the package with drinks and stick to the Cuban beers, Cristal or Bucanero. Our trip ended with visits to El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio. Two of Hemingway?s favorite hangouts. Live music and great drinks made our last night memorable. Look for the tag we left along the wall at La Bodeguita, just ask the bouncer outside of the place for a marker or bring your own. We spent a bit of time with no success, looking for Papa Ernesto, a place that we had gone to our first time at old Havana. It?s one of those places that felt like we were somewhere in NY. We had the best mojito there while listening to Future. Can you imagine jamming along to hip hop in a country that feels like it?s stuck in the 1950s?! Mind. Blown. Cuba left me truly enamored. My anxiety was appeased almost instantly by the peace and carefree days spent there. Truly magical and very much needed. I have to send a huge thank you to Brenda and Jenny, who helped with my endless questions. Gladys, Ernesto, Elizabeth and Eduardo were all godsend, too. Finally, to my lovely boyfriend, whom I can honestly say made the trip one of a lifetime. Where to next, babe?
th eTzi ne
getth eTzi ne
be such a good soul that people crave your vibes.