The hits keep coming, don’t they? While the world was reeling from the COVID-19 effects, my beloved former home of Nashville suffered one of the most devastating tornadoes in recent past. Fortunately for me, my friends and colleagues are okay, but there are so many people who were not as lucky. The scenes of the utter destruction, splintered buildings, razed businesses that were once so lively and vital to this town are heartbreaking.
If there’s something I know about the city of Nashville, it’s that it is resilient. When I moved there in 2014, they had near completely recouped from the horrible floods in 2010. I know the community will come together and rebuild and be back better than ever. If you can, consider donating to cmft.org.
Until then, I believe in you Nashville, and here’s my little love letter to you
there is a house in new orleans, they call the rising sun
Well now that the Super Bowl has been won by Kansas City (GO CHIEFS), we can all move on with our lives, and move onto the next party. This is Mardi Gras of course!
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is February 25 this year. This is the Carnival celebration that starts after Three Kings Day and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. For us non-Christians, this day refers to eating rich, fatty foods before Lent fasting begins. No one throws a party like the Crescent City, and this bonanza of a holiday is the grandest boum of them all. No one throws a soiree like New Orleans.
Laissez les bon temps rouler…
south beach bringing the heat
I had every intention of writing a new blog post on Sunday to post today. That did not happen as I spent the day devastated over the news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. Kobe was one of my childhood idols, as a kid who grew up in Southern California, he was everything. The greatest Laker to have ever played. An icon who was more magic than Magic even. Kobe Shaq early 2000s was the most dominating Little Big duo of all time, and I’ve had many great memories watching those games and championships.
We broke down all the games, bought the jerseys, reveled in the parades. I always imagined Kobe as an elder NBA statesman, ushering in young talent of the league, he had seemed untouchable and invincible. And the unexpectedness is maybe what hurts most, because he had so much ahead of him. His daughter and the other victims as well. It’s senseless, it’s so sad and it hurts. RIP Kobe.
Based on Kobe’s philosophy, the Mamba Mentality, he would’ve probably said well, life goes on, let’s get to the next stage. And that stage happens this weekend in Miami at Super Bowl LIV. And perhaps that’s what we should do, LIV it up because tomorrow is certainly not guaranteed for any of us.
Welcome to Miami…
Hartford, Connecticut is an elder statesmen of cities in America. The well-preserved grandeur of many of its old buildings alludes to its history as one of the former richest cities in the country. Home to the oldest art museum in the U.S. and a very beautiful, sprawling central park, Hartford has firmly written itself into the fabric of American history by being home to many of our nation’s greatest literary minds.
Mark Twain once said of Hartford, “Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, this is the chief. ”
He hearted Hartford, and so will you…
Indianapolis is a place you hear about constantly if you’re a sports fan. From the Indy 500 to Larry Bird (Reggie Miller, if you’re in my age group) and Peyton Manning SB team of 2007, the “Hoosier State” capital is hallowed sports ground. It has been the bullseye of the news cycle lately, notably for the retirement of Colts QB Andrew Luck.
I can honestly say beyond sports, I didn’t know much about this city, other than the fact that it seems like I know a million people from there. Impossible, since it is the 17th most populous metro area in the country with about 2 million in population, but their residents certainly infiltrate everywhere else in the Midwest. Indy is about the size of Kansas City, and similar in many ways. There are great neighborhoods, a friendly sense of community and an unmistakable pride in their hometown.
Gentlemen (and gentle ladies), start your engines…
Coral Gables is the leafy suburb of Miami that will remind you of one thing: Golden Girls. Yes, this was the likely backdrop of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia’s adventures in the beloved sitcom, although their exact location is never expressly stated.
All of the houses look like the house the four women shared, ranch style and marvelous with palms and monstera and banana leaves everywhere. But, Coral Gables is more than a very affluent suburb. It is where the University of Miami Hurricanes (the U) are located and surprisingly, a lot of cultural gems. It’s also the home of del Monte and Bacardi.
traveled down the road and back again…
So, I’m not Catholic. Just gettin’ that little factoid out there. I am, of course, familiar with the religion and of historical and current events, but I am by no means an expert. I went to Rome without having read up extensively on the topic, purposefully to leave my mind open to the environment. Despite my lack of knowledge, I have to say that going to the Vatican City was an unforgettable experience. There is beauty in the concept of a religion, even if its not yours.
just like a dream, you are not what you seem…
A year ago, I literally posted that about the move that sent Kawhi up north. Well, apparently that trade certainly paid off as the Toronto Raptors will be playing the GS Warriors (yawn) in the NBA Finals. No hate towards the Warriors, but aren’t we all sort of rooting for some new blood to take the Larry O’Brien?
Here’s a throwback post all about the great white north:
Cuba has always been a mysterious destination to me, an off limits locale due to the long standing US embargo. And what they say is true, you often want what you can’t have. Thus, when the travel ban was eased in 2015, Havana shot to the top of my list of places to travel, and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to visit.
Growing up in the US, there was not much information about this large Caribbean nation other than what was very briefly covered in history books, so I didn’t know what to expect.
This turned out to be a good thing because Havana was the best surprise. I was stricken by its je ne sais quois (or no se que in Spanish…doesn’t really translate ;). I mean, it’s an incredibly culturally rich and beautiful city. It is both quaint and cosmopolitan, architecturally divine with its expansive boulevards and thoughtful city planning. But there’s more to it than that because a lot of cities have those things and they’re not quite as fascinating.
Historically speaking, from pirates to American gangsters, you’re not going to find as interesting a place in these parts. The country’s rise to immense power due to the sugar trade was astounding and its revolutionary history with its colorful figures is even more intriguing. And being closed off to American travel for so long? Maybe that adds to the allure. Whatever it is, Havana is a really wonderful destination.
As Camila Cabello says, take me back, back, back…
south beach bringing the heat
I may be the only person who goes to Miami for the architecture. Context: Miami is not my favorite place. I don’t enjoy nightlife (I am a million years old), scantily clad people (I will never own or wear a body stocking, no one wants to see this) or loudness (both in sounds and personalities). I get you, Miami, but you’re not always my type. When you’re still, you’re lovely, but you can get crazy so fast. Too temperamental.
I think when you’re young and you go there, it’s a lot of pressure to go out and party, but you know what? In your 30s, you no longer give AF. And that, my friends, is growing up.
Welcome to Miami…