Where: SF Weekly’s DRINK Event

What’s better than spending time in the city I love, enjoying my beverage of choice, on a perfect Spring day? Doing it all for FREE! After winning tickets to SF Weekly’s DRINK Event, the S.O. and I ate a big breakfast, wore our most stable shoes, and headed to my fave city. Before I share details, I’ll give this disclaimer: this was, in fact, a wine/beer/spirits tasting event, so the pictures aren’t exactly my best work! Okay, carry on.

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Held at SoMa hotspot Roe, DRINK SF offered three floors of entertainment.

DSC_6037We started off with beer and appetizers on the first floor, then worked our way to the top level, where more serious samplings, like Don Julio’s tequila, were being offered.

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DSC_5998We discovered this floor was NOT for lightweights. However, there was an amazing organic coffee stand for those trying to maintain sobriety (nearly impossible, FYI).

DSC_6008DSC_6006Equipped with our bag of goodies and keepsake tumblers, we explored new brands and had tons of fun. Before calling it a day, we headed to the lower level for photobooth fun.

yourphotoThe best part? A portion of the proceeds will benefit Mama Hope, a non-profit that works to improve economic and health conditions in Africa. Good times for a good cause!

Who Do People Say You Are?

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This seems like a question we’d all consider daily, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. I first thought about the answer to this question yesterday. Towards the end of church service, my Pastor posed this seemingly simple question to the congregation: Who do people say you are? Sunday’s sermon was based on Proverbs 23:7, which reads, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Who we believe we are is one thing – who outsiders believe we are is another. Whether you’re a spiritual person or not, it’s an interesting concept.

Many of us may remember our parents encouraging us to look beyond others’ opinions. I vividly recall high school being a time when my peers’ opinions weighed heaviest. By the time I turned 16, though, my whole attitude screamed, “I don’t care what YOU think!” Now, that sentiment has shifted.

It’s not that I live my life based on others’ expectations or biased opinions, but rather, my heightened sense of self and dedication towards integrity steers my behavior. As I sat in the pews yesterday, I wondered about self-perception. Does it matter if others’ view of you is disconnected from your own sense of self? Deep in thought, I was jolted to reality as my Pastor used the S.O. and myself as examples. The S.O. was deemed as “cool.” Me? “Sophisticated, intelligent.” Answers that made me blush, agree with, and silently thank God for.

My challenge to you:

Ask 3 people what word(s) first come to mind when they hear your name

Try to ask associates instead of friends, coworkers instead of family, and see what they say!

(You may be pleasantly surprised)

A Veil Unlifted: SFPD Racist Texts Exposed

DSC_5904The San Francisco Bay Area is internationally known for its diversity, innovation and liberalism. While it’s true our cities are colorful and our liberal beliefs cherished, our inner cities face the same racial unrest as anywhere. The one poignant difference? There’s a veil of political correctness that blankets the Bay as densely as the fog. It attempts to dampen our inequalities and saturate our spirits.

The recent uproar over the exposure of hundreds of racist and homophobic texts amongst San Francisco Police Officers is another blaring example. There’s so much that can be said about the SFPD scandal, but instead, only one memory comes to mind:

Two years into my city living, I’d fallen in love with San Francisco. I spent as much time downtown as I did in Bayview-Hunter’s Point, a culturally rich Black area. One night, I was parked and  talking to a guy friend when SFPD pulled alongside us. It was a basic exchange in which I was unmoved, but my friend was upset with the officers unwarranted intrusion (we weren’t breaking any law). Within 2 minutes, the officers had slammed my friend facedown, breaking glass beneath him and cuffing him. He didn’t resist, and after conjuring up a sob story on his behalf they released him. Our night ended there, but that was the beginning of my new perspective on law enforcement. WE, the young, black and free, were not to be protected. WE, in hues of brown and black, were to be suspected. The veil was lifted.

What I’m Watching: Cards, Firsts, Kings

When I’m not dragging myself to the gym, trying a new restaurant, or attending a local event, I’m escaping into entertainment land for respite. I’m so far past the point of finding Real Housewives, Love & Hip Hop, or any other ratchet drama fulfilling. Sure, I catch an episode here and there, but mostly I find those genres sickening and ridiculous. That being said, aside from Empire (I love me some Cookie), there isn’t much left on cable tv. Thank God for Netflix and praise Jesus for Youtube! Unbeknownst to many, quality entertainment exists, mostly on alternative channels. So what am I watching?

Web Series

First

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Now in its second season, First follows the birth of a new couple, complete with all the ups and downs that accompany love. The characters possess soul, and depth, and sing a tune so soulful it reminds us of Love Jones. If you have an internet connection, you should be watching.

Roomie Lover Friends

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Backed by Black and Sexy TV, Roomie Lover Friends is just as hilarious and raw as it sounds. The characters are comedic and relatably flawed. Beneath the complex plot lies authentic vulnerability and of course, love. Friends with benefits and roommates? You can only imagine the shenanigans that unfold. Stop imagining, start watching. Thank me later.

Netflix

House of Cards

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This. Show. Is. Brilliant. Originally a British series, Kevin Spacey outacts himself in this chilling drama. Robin Wright is cold as ice, yet charms us viewers with her unabating dedication. I DESPISE spoilers, so I’ll stop there. House of Cards is not to be missed.

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I’m so completely over cable that I’d never even heard of Reign until it infiltrated my Netflix suggestions. I was too busy watching The Tudors, where Jonathan Rhys Myers dazzles as ruthless King Henry VIII. After it was done, I was so inconsolable that I turned to Reign as a distraction. Turns out, this watered down royal soap opera is quite entertaining. So much so, that I’ll be returning to cable just to watch Season 2.

*Bonus: Reign’s Sebastien aka Bash also appeared as a naughty character in The Tudors

Marco Polo

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Another Netflix original, I was impressed by the action and storyline found in Marco Polo. Having only played the Marco Polo game a few times at swim practice, I was totally unaware of the actual story behind this historical figure. Season 1 left me dangling, desperate for more and Season 2 can’t come quick enough. This one’s especially perfect for couples to watch together.

With these shows gracing the silver screen, television has suddenly become interesting again!

What are you watching these days?