adventures, bike riding, education, exercise, learning, lessons, new york, sports

in which we go off to Roosevelt Island for (free) bike riding lessons with Bike New York

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I decided to do some things that I haven’t had time to do, and one of them was re-learning how to ride a bike. I haven’t been balanced on two wheels since I was 12 years old, and that wasn’t exactly a banner day anyway. I searched ‘free bike lessons’ and tada! It appeared.

That’s the wonder of New York.

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After a harum scarum search for available spots (as you can assume, the classes fill up fast) I was able to snag a lesson on Roosevelt Island with the Bike New York gang. They actually have helmets for everyone, so if you don’t have one and are not even sure how to buy one, you can feel safe showing up without one.

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I figured it was best to keep it simple, so I wore my h&m basics $5 tee shirt and LL Bean True Shape denim jeans ($59) with my Southern Tide classic leather shackle belt ($65). I had my Samsung GearFit ($99.99) so that I could finally try the cycling exercise setting, and my Brazilian Begonia Lisa Hoffman fragrance bracelet ($65) for luck. I didn’t bother with makeup, just H20 Plus marine Defense Green Tea Antioxidant Lotion SPF 30 ($42) and some lip balm.

I think the green helmet was tres chic, don’t you?

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Bike New York volunteers lined us up in size order and we were fitted to our bikes. The main thing being that your feet are flat on the ground when you’re astride it. Luckily I had this water bottle from a fashion event last year, so I was prepared for an afternoon of riding. I also had some granola and homemade banana nut bread tucked away in my knapsack, since they advise that you bring snacks.

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When you start, Bike New York has you learn on a bike with no pedals. You spend about an hour learning to balance. It’s actually huge fun. Once you’ve demonstrated an ability not to kill yourself, you get the pedals- a major moment. When I got mine, I felt like a BMX racer.

When I was a kid, I was always fearful of a. getting my bike stolen (which did happen) or b. falling off/getting into an accident. The most dangerous part of doing this 2 hour class was looking out for other students sudden stops. The volunteers are there to guide and help and it’s a really friendly process. You do end up super hungry and thirsty though, so when they say bring snacks? Bring your snacks.

I was so glad I went! It was exhilarating to realize that I now held the power to fly around New York without being bound by subway snarls. well, as soon as I learn how to ride in traffic.

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If you want to sign up, here are the classes that they have available:

1. Learn to Ride (Adults) : you learn how to balance and brake, and then hopefully how to pedal.

2. Bicycling Basics: core cycling skills, like how to adjust your helmet and seat, how to make sure your bike is road ready, etc.

3. Street Skills Ride: they teach you how to stay safe while riding crazy NY streets, albeit in a no-traffic environment. *actually? you would be in street traffic. my bad- Bike NYC contacted me about that. see comments below -FB 8/6/15*

They have even more classes and events, so if you’re in New York and looking for bike lessons or looking to volunteer, you should contact them. All the info you need is at www.bike.nyc.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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Accessories, art, Fashion, meetup, museums, new york, painting, personal style, sculpture, shoes, sneakers, socializing, tech gadgets

Meetup Adventure: in which we go to the Sneaker Culture show at the Brooklyn Museum and meet new people

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Back to the museum grind. Actually, I was at a totally different meetup and someone suggested that I attend this one since they were going. So that was nice, like I had friends and whatnot.

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With my slimmer self (not as slim as last summer, but not as fat as in January) I was able to wear some favorites that have nothing to do with branding or blogging. I grabbed my favorite leopard print cardi, white cotton short-sleeved blouse and my a-line Ann Taylor skirt, all of those items found thrifting. I did embellish with some blog gifts, though. I was going to wear sneakers, bu went with my gold Ami Clubwear oxfords instead- they have a mesh insert so it’s on that sheer trend. I accessorized with a Revlon ribbon hairband, a Kesh Beauty evil-eye bracelet with Swarovski crystal ($35), delicate spear bracelet from Jade & Jasper ($32), and one of those handbags that I snagged from the Kensie showroom earlier this year.

That kooky librarian look that I love so much. Can I admit that this guy was coming and I was hoping for a flirtfest? Well, I guess I just did.

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The Brooklyn Museum is gorgeous all year round, but it comes into its own in the summer, what with the fountains and the abundant places to lounge and sun bathe and people watch.

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I was early, of course. All I had to do was walk over from my neighborhood, East Flatbush which is like the next one over from the Museum. I sat outside in the amazingly perfect weather and charged my phone a bit with the Panasonic hybrid charger ($59.99) that I now carry in my purse automatically. Yes, more photos of my outfit. incredibly gratuitous, but I really liked being able to fit into these clothes again!

Also, I had struck a theme without really thinking-

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I was going through old Daily Front Row mags from NYFW and found this orange tend roundup. I mean this was from September 2014, but still… orange you glad I finally jumped on board?

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I actually early adopted a trend this year, thanks to Makeup Forever’s Aquamatic Waterproof Glide-on Eyeshadow pencils ($22). The metallic eyeshadow thing, so easy. I used the ME-80, a metallic pink near the lashline. That’s it. Much like this twit pic of Kylie Jenner- you don’t have to go makeup crazy. Everything else can be simple, the metallic eye thing is the candy on top.

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I loved these gigantic sculptures in the lobby. The Brooklyn Museum is a tad funkier than the Met, so you tend to see things that are very of the moment there.

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Once everyone had assembled, we went up to the Sneaker Culture show. I am going to admit right here and now that I am not a ‘sneakerhead’. I like shoes. But I figured it was a cool thing to write-up on the blog, so here I was. It was like my little brother’s closet or something, but n a museum with a lot of people around.

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I liked these sneakers that referenced pop-art, especially Lichtenstein’s benday dot comic art paintings (photo 1). I also appreciated the sneakers hung from lines on the ceiling, and sort of wished the whole show had that fun, zippy feel (photo 2). These are Converse All-Stars designed by Damien Hirst. So those were ok (photo 3).

I heard Converse is re-designing their shoes to make them less ‘punk’. Ok.

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I flipped over the gold sneakers because, my gold oxfords. So Puma, Nike, Louboutin- and me. Shining like the sun.

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I did not like the way that the shoes were displayed because you had to shuffle along like you were in a shoe store. And in fact? I would have liked it if the show was more like the second photo, which is a shoe store window. The shoes are more visible and appealing.

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I REALLY liked the FAILE Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit, starting with thus urban takeoff of a Roman temple. Mind blowing. What’s even better is that you can walk into this structure and touch everything. You feel it more because of that, the destruction of classical tropes while referencing them, the rise of a new and distinctly disturbing new culture of violence.

Shivers.

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There is also a nearly hidden room, you have to watch for the opening, and once you go in it’s all pinball machines and black light posters. Bizarre and incredibly fun.

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We decided to go through the museum floor by floor and these are some highlights from the 4th floor (photo 1 & 3). Also, in photo 2 a shot from the Basquiat show, which you should see. Long after his death, he continues to be an artist who captured New York’s primitivist energy, slinging it back out in drawings and rawly created paintings.

It would have been interesting to see what Basquiat would have done had he lived. That’s the sadness of letting an artist die without addressing their pain in a constructive fashion, we lose any further work or ideas.

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For some reason, I keep running into French guys. This one had such an amazing hat that I wanted a photo. Turns out that he, Florent Biais,  designed that hat, which is called Le Grand Hat and he designed the t-shirt he’s wearing. You can keep up with him at SQST.tumblr.com as well as on instagram. I wanted to adopt him and drag him into our group, but it turned out that he hadn’t seen the FAILE show, so we directed him emphatically to go back and see it.

That was the last time we saw the French guy.

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Once we hit the lobby, it was time to get in on the stencil wall. Ed Roth of Stencil 1 had a station set up with stencils and art supplies, so it was a no-brainer. This is my skull (photo 3). Yes, I signed it.

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Afterwards we went to a place called Bar Corvo, which is a good restaurant but I would have preferred something a bit more casual. This guy in our group kind of bullied us into going there, and when I asked him what kind of food it was he said American, which made me hopeful for something fun- but it’s actually Italian and their food is kind of serious. And they had $10 cocktails. Um, hm.

I had already settled on the fried spicy chickpeas ($5) and Peroni ($5.50) when this same guy wanted everyone to order an entree and share all of our food, which to me was a way for him to get a bigger dinner. Whatever. I only leave my house with enough money to cover my own expenses, so while all of this was going on, I knew I had $13 and that was all I was putting on the table.

This place didn’t really have the type of food that was fun to share with strangers, so that idea kind of flopped. the mussels would be cool if you were in the mood, and it would have been nice to know that their calamari was unbreaded and liberally tossed with fresh lemon juice. It’s a good restaurant, definitely date worthy- just not a cool place to go when you want a burger and friendly conversation.

Then when we left this same guy (who I will never ever listen to again) points to a place AROUND THE CORNER and says, ‘oh they have the best fries’! Prompting someone to say ‘we should have gone there, then’ and for once the someone wasn’t me.

Next up: we go to the China:Through the Looking Glass exhibit

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

beauty, black women, confidence, Fashion, makeup, self-affirmation, shaming, women

Shame Series (part 1)- is there such a thing as too black to wear makeup?

One day, not yesterday or anything – it was awhile ago, somebody told me that I was ‘too black to wear makeup’. She said there was no point because no one could see it on my skin. Being a patient person, I didn’t bother reacting the way that they may have hoped. I wanted to turn that phrase around in my brain for awhile.

Too Black To Wear Makeup. 

I kept talking at the time, carefully watching the person’s face. They seemed so angry that I would dare to do this makeup thing! The woman’s head was literally shaking. I looked her over, looking at her makeup- which was the type of makeup worn to enhance rather than blind. I thought carefully about whether or not her words hurt me. Finding that they didn’t, I put those words away for later, when they would be useful and advantageous to me.

Like, oh, say- today.

Black women wearing makeup:

Now these people are of varying shades of dark, but let’s agree that they are visibly of the shade that would make people identify them as ‘black’. or ‘negro’ or what have you. THEY ARE ALL WEARING MAKEUP. The makeup is visible upon their faces, I can see it and it is there.

Therefore? There is no such thing as being too black to wear makeup.

Black women selling makeup:lupita ad

This woman is not only ‘black’ (or ‘negro’ or whatever) she is African- which is basically like the ultimate black of blackness. She is not only WEARING makeup, but she has been paid a fair sum of money to WEAR the makeup and as we have seen in previous photos, the makeup is visible upon her skin and looks rather nice!

Ain’t that something?

I mean- there it is, right? But I guess that’s not enough. I’m kind of into proving things beyond a shadow of a doubt, so let’s look at some more photos.

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This is how I look without makeup. This is an actual progression of photos over the past year. There is NO makeup- but my skin is amazing, wouldn’t you agree? I like it. I’ve also improved over the last year, lol!

But again- I am NOT wearing makeup. And I think that we can all agree that I am ‘black’. If anyone doesn’t agree, you may need some glasses.

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Now sometimes I am guilty of wearing subtle ‘no makeup makeup’ meant to make me look a little more bright-eyed and bushy tailed than when I rolled out of bed. However? It’s still makeup, and I am ‘black’ and I am WEARING it. My lashes look insane! #love

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Now, in this set the makeup is getting a little more intense, and when you get to the last shot I think we can all agree that there is a makeup ‘lewk’ happening. There’s some gold on the eyelids and some berry on the lips. There is blush and I know I left a sinkful of products in the bathroom when I ran out of the house wearing this MAKEUP on my ‘black’ skin.

Sassy and red lipstick are besties:tbtwmu3

because I have this amazing dark skin (which causes me to be identified as ‘black’ or ‘negro’ and so on) I can wear some boldness on my face. My favorite socially acceptable bold statement is red lipstick. It just instantly says- Hey world! I am Black and WEARING MAKEUP!

Ok, that’s not why I wear it- I wear it because it’s pretty and I like the way my lips look in it. Because most women that wear makeup are usually wearing whatever they have on for that particular reason. It pleases me, and makes me feel attractive. It kinda doesn’t matter very much what someone else wants to project onto me. As long as my lipstick is not on my teeth? It’s all good.

Basically?

Sassy is just doing her thing: 

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It is not up to anyone else to define me as too anything to do anything. That is my judgement call. People have called me a lot of nasty things over the course of my life, and I felt it more when I hadn’t proved to myself what I am. I’m beautiful. I’m unique. I’m amazing. There is no one like me on the whole planet. No one can take my place or subjugate me or degrade me or anything. I am me and I am perfect.

Gosh darn it- I LIKE me!

So although some may not like my dark color, I am good with it and I will wear makeup when I feel like it.

That is all.

Next up: Summer beauty from sunup to sundown

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian