Alex in The City: Sunday Brunch, a Walk in The Park

 

 

 

 

I have a running ritual of a Sunday morning Girlfriend brunch with two of my friends. It is one fourth accountability group, 2 parts ‘pinky promise bff’s forever’ and 1 part ‘we freaking love to eat and drink while the sun is out.’ 

One of the phrases that often comes up while planning is “and we can take pictures for our blogs!” And so we do, every week, with very few exceptions. Check out some of the photos our trip to Jacobs pickles and A walk in central park! 

I love having special time set in my schedule with my friends because it gives us all a good part of our week to look forward to and it reminds me that I know how to take time to smell the flowers and stuff my face and dress up every single week.

What are some of your favorite routines or traditions with your friends? 

 

Love!

 

Alexandria
XOXO

 

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Image

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Advertisements

Alex in The City: Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum

Me and a close friend/fellow blogger had the pleasure of seeing the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum mere days before the exhibit closes!

Check out the video I made capturing the beautiful works of one of the greatest designers of our time.

There are even a few pieces that Beyonce has worn! When I saw the piece she wore at the Live at the Wynn Las Vegas concert I fell in love! There is also a photo that resembles some of the visuals from her latest album! Check out the video to see if you catch the picture I am taking about!

DSC_0114

 

Check out the video and to see more great pictures like the one above view the photo album on my Google + profile by clicking this link! –> Alex In The City- JPG

DSC_1212

DSC_1211

The Exhibit is open until the 23rd! If you hurry you can still make it!

Love!

Alexandria
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Alex In The City: V-Day 2014, Just LOVE

20140219-160611.jpg

I hope everyone had a wonderful V-Day!

I am not a Valentines day hating woman but I have spent my last 3 or four February 14th celebrating WOMANHOOD with VDay!

After performing in The Vagina Monologues at my University I found great interest in V-Day and dedicated time to it as an activist and as a feminist.

As I have shared before, my relocating to NYC has brought me closer to the home base of V-Day and in close quarters with the founder of V-Day,  Eve Ensler. This year I got to spend V-Day in the same room as her and a couple hundred other beautiful and generous women.

I completely fell in love with the works and words of Danielle Laporte, the Author of “The Desire Map.” Everyone at the Just Love event received a FREE, you read right,  a FREE  copy of The Desire Map Workbook when she spoke at the Just Love event. I cannot wait to dig into her books and blog and teachings and whatever I can find.

Spending V-Day with many many many beautiful and brave and outstanding women was more than I could have asked for.

The Hammerstein Ballroom was full of the love and energy that was filling buildings and hearts all over the world from Right here in NYC to The City of Joy in Bukavu!

Check out My pics below and visit http://www.onebillionrising.org/ to join the movement to end violence against women.

20140219-160523.jpg

RHA GODESS at V-Days JUST LOVE event20140219-160547.jpg

Danielle Laporte at at V-Days JUST LOVE event

20140219-160636.jpg

Eve Ensler at at V-Days JUST LOVE event20140219-160654.jpg

ALEX IN THE CITY: NYFF Viewing of 12 Years A Slave

20131009-085604.jpg

Last night I made my first appearance at the 51st New York Film Festival and what an opening event it was for me. Last night in the Walter Reade Theater “12 years a slave” directed by THE Steve McQueen, played for two jam packed audiences.  I did not make the early viewing which included the Q&A with the cast (Q&A should go up on their YT channel HERE) and director and I am kicking myself for it. I attended the 10:30 show and got to see Mr. McQueen and Chiwetel as they left. I also spotted Miss Jay in a fabulous print pant suit. I was cool, calm and collected when Mr. McQueen stopped near me to sign autographs and did the normal “OMG that’s Steve and that’s Chiwetel.” If I had any idea of what I was about to see in that theater I would have had to, at the very least, thank him profusely for such an honest piece of work.

I do not know the last time I, if ever I saw a film that was so unflinching so honest and so masterfully made with such artistry that was equally devastating all at once. My goodness, I was not prepared. Myself and both of my friends cried until we were all but wailing in the theater. During a gut wrenching scene witch Lupita Nyong’o’s character is whipped…. I could not move, I had to remind myself to breathe. I am writing the draft for this blog as I sit on the C train on my way to work and I am fist fighting tears as I play the scene back in my mind. I cant give any spoilers but I can say that Chiwetel and Lupita, sweet lord Lupita…. BLEW ME AWAY!

“OH MY GOD. Oh my God. Oh my God”  And “Jesus” was basically all I could muster after leaving the theater.

Listen to me when I say EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS FILM! EVERYONE! Check out the full list of release dates here, “12 Years a Slave” will be playing in limited theaters in the US beginning October 18th.

Needless to say, I enjoyed it. I will more than likely be back for the Sunday viewing with more friends and Steve McQueen is sooooooooo on my radar, as if he weren’t already!

GO SEE THIS FILM!

love Alex
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Thank you for reading! If you like it SHARE IT! You can pin my photos, share this blog on twitter, tumblr etc and even subscribe using the options below this post!!

 

20131009-085709.jpg

Currently Reading!

I love to read, that is no secret. In my adulthood I have expressed envy of my younger self  who in high school managed to read roughly two books a month. I, of course , had to read for classes and a healthy amount of leisurely reading due to my healthy intellectual appetite. Jobs and friends and other ‘adult’ duties and interests have caused me to reduce the amount of time spent reading but it has done nothing to my affinity for a good read! Thus I continue to convince myself that I must read those ‘must reads’, I mean it’s only obvious. I even challenged myself specifically to read at least one book a month (even put it on my vision board) and thanks to script reading and determination I have kept my promise to myself and in doing so I have realized that I will not be breaking my habit of reading a few books at once. I am currently reading three and I wanted to start sharing with my readers some of what I read with a regular “Currently Reading” update!

Let us begin!

1. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

This was recommended to me by one of the wonderful instructors from Yoga 216 during FREE Wednesday night Yoga at Lulu Lemon in the meatpacking district (an awesome part of my workout routine since moving to NYC) . The text is ancient, thought to be around 4,000 years old and a great read for those, like myself, who are interested in or practice Yoga/meditation but can be a great read for anyone. Best part has to be the price, its only …. wait for it….FREE! At least on Ibooks it is. I quickly downloaded it to my phones library (a very green option in my opinion) and I’ve been reading away!

2. The Tools

I must admit, I have been reading this book FOREVER! lol I think I downloaded it in my Ibooks App around….. I don’t even remember. I skipped around it when I began reading Good Self Bad Self by Judy Smith and then just kept getting tied up with scripts and my last semester of undergrad etc. I went on vacation in June and I thought FINALLY, I can read now! That didn’t happen. I have challenged myself to finish it in the next two weeks on my commute to work. I have also received quite a load of required reading from my new acting class so I’ll have to hurry anyway! More about the book: It is a great read about cultivating mental ‘Tools’ to help face and conquer life’s challenges and rough times, it is also about making mental adjustments to aid in living your best and most purpose-filled life. I recommend it! I think part of my dragging through it has to do with an “I know this” feeling because I already understand and practice the

3. An Actor Prepares – Constantine Stanislavsky

Actor stuff! If its not a script or a book about the craft, its kinda both! It is a the fictional memoir of a student being taught principles and skills and the craft. I am delighted with the reality that acting requires a lot of reading! reason #546510651321 I love my chosen profession.

I just finished this as I entered a new Acting Class at The Tom Todoroff Studio and began some of the reading for said class, kicking it off with “Audition” by Michael Shurtleff 

After I finish these I, of course have roughly a dozen books in my “to read” queue. The current queue is as follows!

1. Obsessed – America’s Food addiction and my own – Mika Brzezinski

I love Mika on morning Joe and she had my attention with this book when she was featured in Womens Health magazine (I think it was Womens Health, I read lots of magazines) talking about it. I have my own journey with dieting and finding what is healthiest for me and how to detach from many habits and misconceptions about healthy eating in American Culture and I figured this would be a good read to gather some more knowledge and perspective on the issue of poor nutrition, Obesity and even poorer learning tools about healthy diets in our super sized society.

2. If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You – by Kelly Cutrone, Meredith Bryan

One of my Fellow Gladiators brought this book up in a conversation and It caught my interest. That was an understatement, from the moment she stated the title I knew it was right up my Olivia Pope Gladiating alley and I HAD to read it. I’ll let you know how it goes!

3. Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg

Don’t quite remember what lead me to this book… I really think I saw it featured in O Magazine.

4. Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

I will admit that I did not read the first novel but it is healthy to say that I am obsessed with the film adaptation of Devil Wears Prada. I have a saying about the well read and the lovers of film adaptation “There are two types of ppl in the world; Those who understand Shakespeare made love stories Into tragedies and tragedies into comedies and those that didn’t read the fucking book before it was adapted to film.” I like to stand behind my words and be fair to my own bias but I also like to defend myself for self’s sake so I will justify my not reading the novel by saying that I am the former and I make exceptions lol! I am sure I will enjoy reading this piece.

5. Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection by Debora L. Spar

This item was added to my list only yesterday after running across THIS article on NPR’s FreshAir Tumblr page. If you cant tell by now I am a card carrying nerd- fangirl-feminist fanatic and part of that comes with a healthy amount of love for NPR so there you have it!

This particular list has a theme of women and badassery (some like to call it feminism), what a book club of the month theme right?!  I fall in love with woman hood more and more everyday and I can hardly stop fangirling over one amazing and inspirational woman before my attention is stolen by another! It is a vicious cycle of empowered-woman-sisterhood! If you have read or are reading any of these let me know how they are! Let me know if I should save myself the trouble or absolutely READ IT NOW, let me know if you want to read along with me or chat about these amazing reads! Just let me know! Thanks in advance! Happy reading Lovers!

XOXO

-Zan

At Night at BAM: Baldwins Nigger

20130822-141407.jpg
    On Monday evening I made my way to BAM to catch a series of Short films featuring James Baldwin and got more than a mouthful to talk about and share. The films: Baldwin’s Nigger and MyChildhood Part 2: James Baldwin’s Harlem were showcased as a part of BAM CInématek series A Time for Burning: Cinema of the Civil Rights Movement.
In these two short films, literary titan James Baldwin explores the perils of false consciousness and his coming of age in Harlem.”
-Summary of the event taken from http://www.bam.org/film/2013/baldwinshorts

Both films painted a portrait of classic Baldwin. Honest, profound, always eloquent and quite tormented by his own reality. I also found it great that these films were shown at the beginning of Harlem week!

I loved the beginning of Baldwins Nigger and its connection to the title of the film. Baldwin recounts an encounter with a West Indian Guard at a British Museum who asks Baldwin about his Ethnic Origins and becomes frustrated when Baldwin can only trace his lineage back two generations and 3 States, one being reduced to simply “Harlem”, not even identifying with the entirety of New York City, Let alone the entirety of the state. His history, like most African Americans was washed away and his only record of where he ‘came from’ is a bill of sale. As Baldwin so candidly put it, it wasn’t his fault that he had no way of knowing and it wasn’t the guards fault for not understanding but that didn’t make it any less real.

I loved this segment in particular because I have, in the modern day, had the same experience as Baldwin in that context. I have been approached on many occasions and asked about my ethnicity and really had no answer. It began in grade school as usual “What are you mixed with?” Then it followed me into adulthood, new friends and acquaintances and even patrons at work asking “Where’s your family from?” “Whats your background?” and the still common but not so mature way of asking “What are you mixed with?”

By this time I was already insecure, no, indignant about the fact that I did not know. I also wasn’t prepared to explain the history of Africans’ Diaspora (A gentle name for slavery and other crimes committed against humans in Africa) and how it resulted in me being American so I would respond kindly “Yes, I’m mixed. With my mother and my father.” In the event that I wasn’t trying to perfume the ugly stench that emanated from the ugly things that were done to my ancestors with humor and was taking the person who asked seriously, I would simply respond “I don’t know.” Other times I really wouldn’t be thinking about it and I would answer “I’m from West Palm Beach.”

While I’m typing this it seems hilarious on some level that I would say I’m from a city in South Florida and also very sad that I don’t have the luxury of knowing where I come from. I know my fathers family is from the Bahamas but they, of course, did not originate there. The fact is, I am an American, whether I like it or not. America is my home, English is my first language, the currency I carry about is dollars, I vote, I have never lived anywhere else and I believe that the Constitution is one of the greatest governing documents because it can be amended. I do consider my relationship as an African American to this country to be a bad romance but it is my home, as it was the Baldwins home, I suppose some time ago some white slave owner with the last name Johnson had his turn with my ancestors and now I can’t tell where I come from.

I have gone astray from the intention of this post but that is what happens when anyone speaks about the works and insight and grave honesty that Baldwin shared. I hope to make it back to BAM to see another segment of the series before it comes to an end and seeing that it will be my third visit in a month, I am seriously considering a membership!

I am glad I made the choice to go see these films and listen to the dialogue and Q&A lead by author Darryl Pinckney and scholar Rich Blint (Pictured Above) even after having left my wallet at work and racing home just with just enough time to make it back to BAM and grab a decent seat!

The A Time for Burning Series ends on August 28th and marks the Anniversary of the March on Washington.

You can watch Baldwins Nigger here!

Thanks for reading about my adventures and realities!

LOVE,

Zan