Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Here are pics from a trip I took during the holidays. This was during the time I'd lost my last digital camera so I apologize for the delay in recovering these photos.
Visits to both cities were phenomenal! Berlin and Warsaw were especially touching as I walked those streets knowing the incredible history of each.
Today we take so much for granted but we must realize the sacrifice of those who came before us! In America we so often lose sight of this which I believe contributes to the spiritual, fiscal, and cultural disconnect we often see today. Just as our Jewish brothers and sisters honor their lineage lost during the Holocaust, we in America must honor our lost lineage as well. Slavery, annihilation of the Native American, exploitation of many immagrants as well as several wars are ugly but real parts of our history which affect ALL of us to this very day. Glossing over these atrocities without full, honest exploration and dialogue does a disservice to us all.
Visiting these European cities I could FEEL the history and the respect for the ancestry. America can truly begin to heal once the same energies resonate on our city streets. Do you really know your history? How do you honor your ancestry? How do you respect and honor the ancestry of your fellow Americans? Our diversity is phenomenal! Let's remember though, diversity is as much about our similarities as it is our differences!
I hope you enjoy the slide show. Thank you for allowing me to share. Always stand in your 'light'!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Tonight I was a guest on Jonathan Perry's weekly blog radio show. Tonight's topic was "Do My Words Return To Me Void"? Listen in as Jonathan and I discuss this amazing issue. The two hour broadcast features our unique perspective on this topic as well as commentary from call in guests. Always stand in your light!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I recently was turned on this amazing group from my friend B.Scott Take a listen to this fantastic cover of Mariah Carey's "Bye Bye." Immediately after seeing this I reached out to the group to learn more.
From the streets of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, The long-awaited debut album from AHMIR entitled "THE GIFT" is a delicate balance of catchy club singles and timeless ballads. AHMIR's signature harmonies and superior songwriting can be heard and felt on each track. "THE GIFT" features the hit single "Welcome To My Party" which made its debut at #8 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles Sales chart and became the #19 top selling R&B/Hip Hop single last year. Also featured on the album are the ever-popular ballad "The Wedding Song" and the new dancehall club smash called "Right To Left" featuring King Ilabash.
I asked group members:
What do you bring to the game that is currently missing?
Answer: "Versatility, swagger...hip hop touch...range of content of songs (we have Grammy winners and world changing songs in the repertoire!)
What is taking record labels so long to give u a deal?
Anser: LOL...We are trying to figure it out too...we've been made offers, but refuse to sign our lives away...we are well aware of what we have to offer!
Relationship status? (cuz you know you'll want to know)
Ansewer: "One attached, 3 single....that's for us to know and THEM to find out! LOL"
How do you use your light (who you are at your spiritual core) to affect and uplift others?
Answer: "Our songs have a reach that goes a little further than just shaking it at the club...we really try to tap into the human spirit with every note and lyric we create...this is music's most power ability and we enjoy harnessing it! Artists that can do this successfully are artists who have long, successful careers."
These young men are destined to reach the top. Its always so refreshing to see talent, humility and poise in today's homogenized music scene.
AHMIR has opened for such major recording artists as John Legend, 112, Jagged Edge, & Boyz II Men and have been the recipient of multiple national awards and accolades for "Best R&B Group". AHMIR is proud to finally give "THE GIFT" to the world. Be sure to check out other videos on their Youtube channel!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
One of the major construction masterpieces in this city is the Emirates Palace Hotel (see slideshow below). When constructed this was (and currently still is) the most expensive hotel ever constructed. At a cost of $3 BILLION (yes billion), this place has been described as "no expense spared monument to prosperity." A world class staff are plentiful to cater to your every need! After touring the grounds, we stopped in one of the eateries for a High Tea service. If you can't afford to stay here (rooms start at a meager $700 U.S. a night), you can certainly take the free tour.
If you have never travelled to the United Arab Emirates, you should consider this magnificent land! It epitomizes world class. It will certainly enhance your perception of Arab nations as well as things missing in the U.S. Seeing how other cultures live always makes me appreciate my own even more!
While we are paying $4 a gallon for gas in a troubled economy, the benefactors of our spending are raking it in and flaunting it! Its no secret that the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is an architects orgasm, however many are not familiar with the nearby capital city of Abu Dhabi. Not to be left in Dubai's dust, Abu Dhabi has many major construction projects making it a world class destination of its own. A new man made island residential/recreational project, luxury condos, performing arts center and a new Guggenheim Museum are all in the works. This city is nothing short of amazing! World class dining and shopping, Abu Dhabi is very welcoming of Western and Eastern cultures. I found the people extremely friendly and helpful and nothing like the stereotypes often presented in American media.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Riyadh is the capital city of Saudi Arabia. Obviously a very wealthy country, the cultural vibe is a little different from other places. The city is extremely clean and the facilities are top notch.
The presence, or lack thereof, of women can be especially disturbing to a Westerner. I have yet to see a woman behind the wheel. There are no women working in the hotel, at least visibly so. I did not see any women workers in the airport either. Women can not use the hotel pool or gym. They can only go to the bowling alley on "family night." The women here that I did see (three so far)were dressed in Berkas and avoided eye contact. I would love to learn more about women in Islam. It appears to be a very disciplined culture.
Arabic is the language, though English is spoken in business circles. I always say, whenever someone is trying to separate you from your money, they ALWAYS speak your language.
It was 106 degrees, but not humid. And its still only spring! It can be dusty...well it is the dessert right? Food and water quality are excellent! We received great service as well.
Ok I'm glad I had the chance to come here (again), now I'm over it. NEXT!
We took pics and hope you enjoy. Our next stop is the United Arab Emirates which is more Western friendly. If you have the opportunity to visit Saudi you should. They stand firm in their traditions and culture but are not at all like the villians we often make them out to be.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
After the wine tasting festivities in Chicago, I next headed to Washington D.C. for a brief stop before leaving on another international journey. D.C. is so beautiful in the spring time. 80 degrees and a slight breeze, the weather was perfect during my visit. Here are a few candid shots from the downtown area.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Tonight I attended the annual Wine Enthusiast Magazine's "Toast of the Town" wine tasting event at Chicago's Field Museum. While I rarely drink alcohol, tasting the various fine wines tonight was sheer delight! There were 500 different wines and spirits to be tasted. While I didn't even come close to tasting them all, I did manage more than my fair share! In addition, more than two dozen of Chicago's finest restaurants were on hand serving up culinary creations that just made you want to slap somebody! The food was incredible! Local jazz musicians played providing a wonderful backdrop to this elegant evening.
The crowd this evening was much more diverse than I expected and that was beautiful to see. I attended the VIP tasting, which was held before the main event. I also attended the main event. A very wonderful evening. In addition to Chicago this year, "Toast of the Town" was also done in San Francisco and Atlanta.
The final 2008will be in New York City. Enjoy the photos! Again thanks for letting me share.