Adventure

San Francisco July 2016

March 6, 2017

I tend to always bookend any trips to California with quality time in San Francisco, and the last time I visited the States was no exception. Back in July I was lucky enough to enjoy just over a week in the Bay before flying home to London, getting to see my family and friends and explore the city, as well as hustle a little…

I’ve written before about my love of Amtrak; the beatnik side of me just adores the opportunity for reflection and observation. There’s something remarkably soothing about the trip up to SF from LA, full of epic views and curious characters.

*Roadside Views*

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*Champagne on the Train. Amtrak in style*

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One of the biggest highlights of my last days in SF was getting to meet local legend Dan the Automator and interview him for Wax Poetics at the top of Dolores Park. It was my first time meeting Dan, and such an honour. My buddy Z came through with some very impressive recording equipment, and shooting by the Park’s ‘Gay Beach’ corner allowed an epic panorama of San Francisco as our backdrop. The wind was definitely working against us, which with my mane was a challenge for sure! But, it was so cool to hear Dan’s stories and insights, and I’m super happy with how the final video came out – shout out to the homie DJ Matman for the dope edit! After the shoot we got pizza and drinks at local favourite Pizzeria Delfina – so delicious and definitely worth a visit.

*Behind the scenes*

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Watch the interview below!

*Me and Dan*

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*The iconic and inspiring Women’s Building in the Mission*

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*My cousin’s very cute birthday cake*

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*Prince Paul spinning 45s at The Uptown in Oakland*

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Another highlight of my final sojourn in SF was catching Hieroglyphics play Stern Grove. Dan the Automator was DJing before, and managed to sneak me backstage so that I was able to hang with him and Hiero there. I enjoyed drinking copious amounts of high-grade sake, riding around on milk-float-esque carts, and meeting Del the Funkee Homosapien and Davey D for the first time.  Afterwards we got ice-cream and hit a dive bar for a pool tournament in the Sunset District. Very cool memories.

*Beautiful NorCal trees at Stern Grove. Such a cool hidden spot I had never been to before.*

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I couldn’t wait to hit up the newly reopened SFMoMA, I always love to spend a few hours there when in town. Such a treat. The Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher Learning to Love You More room was my favourite part this time.

*Reflections at the MoMA*

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*Embarcadero at night on 4th July*

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*Leaving Cali Bluez. Nothing quite like rounding off a long trip by gazing out at the runway, sipping on a glass of wine and reflecting on the time gone by.*

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*Living life in the window seat. Always.*

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Moving to Paris

January 14, 2017

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I’ve long been a bit of a gypsy, and on August 30th, 2016, I followed my little life-long dream of moving to Paris for one year. I’m now four months in and feeling just about settled. After staying in a string of Airbnb spots and sublets, I moved into my own dreamy studio in Montmartre at the start of November.

So far it’s been a lot of fun to explore, discovering dope record spots like Tago Mago (where I was introduced to Silver Apples!!!) and Superfly Records (where I picked up Tropical Gangsters on vinyl for €5!), finding my favourite local bakery Pain Pain (the best almond croissants) and favourite bistro Buvette (the best chocolate mousse), and I’ve hazy happy memories of bars like Le Sans Souci and L’Embuscade (killer cocktails at both).

Moving to a new city has been lonely too at times for sure, but I’m very lucky to have connected with and befriended some very cool souls over here. I’m very excited for this new year and am going to round off this little post on my top feel-good track right now: Prefab Sprout’s “The King of Rock ’N’ Roll’ … Enjoy!

New York 2016

September 4, 2016

Back in June I was lucky enough to spend a week exploring and hustling in New York. I stayed with my wonderful friend Heather in her beautiful apartment in the West Village and had a rather magical time. How can you not fall in love with NYC?

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I flew to New York from Los Angeles with a connection at Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina. It’s funny to think of all the places we go through but never really go to. It makes me think of those times in life, periods of transition where the focus is on the future rather than the present. Just passing through.

That said, I do love killing time in airports. It’s like a carte blanche to pause, reflect and window-gaze. Plus I’ve made some of my best friends through chance airport encounters (Lauren and Jesse I’m looking at you ;) ).

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 ~Runway reverie~

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~Red Eye View~

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~Greeted on arrival with champagne and a long-overdue catch-up~

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~The street I stayed on, the prettiest part of town~

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~West Village Selfies~

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~The Highline~

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An absolute highlight of my trip was getting to chill with Prince Paul and chop it up for Wax Poetics! We filmed a little interview on somebody’s stoop in Greenwich Village, and in keeping with tradition grabbed pizza afterwards on Bleecker Street :)

~Outtakes~

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 ~Wax Po Interview~

~Cymande playing Summer Stage in Central Park!~

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~I’ll never forget hearing “Willy’s Headache” live <3~

~Washington Square Park~

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One day I made it out to Brooklyn to visit the homie Andre Torres at the Genius HQ in Gowanus, and while over in BK hit up The Wythe Hotel to enjoy that famous view across to Manhattan…

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~No-no-no-Notorious!~

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~First time at The Lincoln Center seeing Swan Lake~

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~Soaking up some sun by the SoHo House pool on my last day~

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~Flying JFK 2 LAX a la Gang Starr~

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Breathe & Stop

April 11, 2016

Urdhva Dhanurasana on the beach

I just got back from a pretty magical month in India studying Yoga at a school called Sampoorna. Hot, sunshine infused days were spent practising meditation and asanas amongst the lushest jungle vistas you can imagine. It’s hard to summarise the impact of an experience so removed from one’s usual routine, and I think I’m still in the process of distilling my meaning from the time.

Studying the philosophy of yoga really clarified and deepened my understanding of some things that I already felt to be true. We discussed spirituality and totality at length; how everything is connected and one. To me it’s like that feeling you get, that swell in your chest when something leaves you awestruck and at once you feel tiny yet somehow connected to it. I think I’ll always remember one time when I was eighteen, eating a bowl of cherries and listening to Public Enemy’s “Shut ‘Em Down” and experiencing this overwhelming sense of amazement, contemplating the song and all the history and emotion that led to it’s recording, and knowing that the flavours of the cherries and the wood frame of my bedroom window and me sitting there thinking about it were all connected to it and part of a much bigger whole.

(including “Shut ‘em Down” here because it really is such a dope and powerful song, props to Mark Pellington for the tight music video too!)

Back to India. I met many beautiful souls in Agonda, Goa, which is itself one of the most naturally beautiful places I have been to. Here are some pictures and memories …

~ Sunrise on the beach after morning meditation ~

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~ Canopies of green ~

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~ Steps up to the shala where we practised yoga and had our anatomy/alignment/philosophy lessons ~

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~ View out to the Arabian Sea from the empty shala ~

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~ Breathtaking sunsets each day ~

Sunset through the palms

~ Cola Beach ~

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~ Me posing on a boat ~

Me on a boat

~ Cola beach lagoon ~

Cola Lagoon

~ Palm tree day dreams ~

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~ Another magical sunset ~

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~ Yoga mat awaiting in the shala ~

The mat awaits

~ Sunset on the day of Holi ~

Sunset on Holi

~ The Final Fire Ceremony ~

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~ Me graduating! ~

My Yoga graduation

~ My last sunset in Agonda ~

Last sunset

~ Flying home over Oman. Oh Man! ~

Flying home over Oman

 

I guess I feel somewhat restored after my trip, inspired to write and adventure more than I’ve felt for awhile. I fully advocate taking time out from whatever to do these types of things, and right now the wise words of Q-Tip (such a modern day guru) couldn’t ring more true. Breath and stop. For real. And give it what you got. 

Let’s go!!

 

 

PS. Big love and gratitude to all the teachers and incredible people at Sampoorna! <3 The energy there is so special. Check them out here : Sampoorna Yoga

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