Crib Hunting

After deciding that I want to move out, I started the natural next step of looking at apartments. Mind you, I have been looking at apartments on Trulia since I finished school. It started from when I was with my ex and we wanted to get a place together. But I was in a fantasy world at the time cause my salary and NYC rent would not be in agreement.

Now that I’m in a better place financially, looking through Trulia is more than just a dream. This whole search has been enlightening in making me know some truths about the rent reality in New York. Though I make enough to move out, it is still very difficult to find a place on my own. My income bracket is more to find another person to live in. It is crazy because many people living in New York unfortunately do not make enough to get their own place as well.

However, I am still very excited to move in with a pretty dope individual(s) who shares  similar dreams of making it work in this lively jungle. In my search, I started using HotPads, Zillow, Apartments.com and Streeteasy as well as Trulia. So far, my favorite to use are Streeteasy, Zillow and Trulia because they send alerts to your email based on your preferences and have great filters like if you want a laundry in your unit or prefer a unit with two bathrooms.

I have been looking for a 2 or 3 bedroom space in which I am planning to move in with some friends in Brooklyn. I might consider Queens, but have always wanted to find a space in Brooklyn.

Last month, I started going to showings to see what is out there. There are some beautiful apartments in Brooklyn. It can honestly be hard to choose. Yet, they each have their pros and cons. Going to the apartments, I notice more about the neighborhood, the apartment itself, the price and even Brooklyn checking what the broker would say about the area. There was one listing that stated the apartment was in Crown Heights when it was most definitely East New York/Ocean Hill.

Anyway, it has been exciting looking at different spaces and imagining how myself and potential future roomies will make the space our own. Let me share with you some of the places I have seen so far while apartment hunting with my friends.

1.

This apartment is located in Crown Heights. It is super close to Utica Ave by the 3 and 4 train. The apartment is in a brand spanking new building on a quaint block. It was about $2,500 and had 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.  I loved the room with the large window and the kitchen looked nice. However, the con was that the living room was quite small. There was also one room without a window.

For anyone looking to rent, this Street Easy post explains that a real bedroom must have a window that looks out into a garden, street, court or just generally looking outside.

We wanted everyone to have a window so we decided not to apply for this one.

2.

This apartment was honestly one of my favorites. I loved the design and layout of the unit. It is a 3 bedroom and 2 baths priced for $2,287 a month on the listing, but the broker told us it was $2,500 at the showing. Some apartments have promotional pricing online, but are actually another price in reality. The rooms each seemed to be decently sized, though still small. I also loved that it had two bathrooms and the backyard was beautiful. Me as a nature lover was so in love with this place. It even has a nice laundry room in the basement.

Unfortunately, we didn’t like that we would have to go outside to go into the basement. The area also did look a bit sketchy. It was an apartment that was listed in Crown Heights, but was actually in Ocean Hill/East New York. The place was pretty close to where I used to work which didn’t have too many stores and was more industrial looking.

Despite these cons, I still think about this place. =/.

3.

This apartment in Flatbush has so much light. =D. The kitchen is so well done. The rooms are also decently sized. It is around $2,400 for the space. The person selling it also lived there for a few years after moving from the Middle East with lovey his wife and two daughters. There was not really any cons about the place, but we just felt like it wasn’t for us.

4.

Space is one great way to describe this apartment. It is two different apartments in this building that we looked at that are basically the same in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. The three bedroom/one bathroom apartment is about $2,400. We loved walking into this room and not feeling cramped. The rooms are also adequately sized. However, the bathroom and kitchen is not too impressive due to the upkeep and what we saw in the drawers.  When we opened the drawers in the kitchen, we found roach poison. After seeing this, it was a definite no.

5.

This is most definitely one of my favorite places. It is set on a tree lined block in Bed Stuy that was very quaint. There is only three units in the building. It’s $2,500 with three bedrooms and two baths. There is lovely lighting in the living room which led into a nice kitchen. I loved how there is a fire escape in one of the rooms and it also has a bathroom. The only downside was that there was weird construction nearby and there was no laundry in the unit. I wouldn’t say this was a no, but the broker wanted us to see another unit he had for us.

6.

In Cypress Hills, this apartment was listed as a three bedroom duplex. The street it’s on was very narrow and difficult to park on; I would most certainly need to finesse my parking skills if I lived on this block. The first room is large with a massive amount of light. And the closet space was marvelous. The tile and flooring was lovely as well. However, the second bedroom was so small I wouldn’t consider it a bedroom; it was more of a closet. The third bedroom was also the basement. There was no living room so we would have had figure out who would take the basement and whether we would make it into half a living room as well. I think the space was almost $2,300 and also included a second bathroom in the basement and a laundry unit.

I honestly did really like the space, but wanted the second bedroom to be more equal sized to the first. It also seemed like it may have been a hassle for the third roommate to figure out how to make the basement their own bedroom while half of it would be a living room.

7.

This was one of the last showings we went to in the search (so far). As we entered the block, mad people were outside partying. Various music was blasting from different stoops and the vibe was lit. Excitement filled us while we approached the building. This unit in Bed Stuy was well furnished. Each room came with a dresser and bed; there was also furniture in the living room. The rooms were also all equally sized at a decent amount of space. There was also a great free, yes free, laundry room in the basement. There was also a nice balcony where we were able to see the hood fireworks that have been constantly going off for weeks.

We all really loved this space. It was almost perfect. It was around $2,450 each month. The only con was that the second bathroom had just a toilet. Personally, I also didn’t like that there was no natural light in the living room. However, it was definitely one of the best apartments.

There was one or two more apartments I have seen since May to add to the list. However, one of them I have no pictures of. The second one was a two bedroom that was amazing. Both of these apartments were in Bed Stuy and was also great. The three bedroom was beautiful, but one of my friends was worried that the landlord was too lax when he said he was a handy man but didn’t seem like he would show up to fix issues. The second bedroom apartment was incredible. There was three windows in the living room where the third was centered at the top. There were two bathrooms and the rooms were equally sized except for one. The third bedroom was the only issue.

This experience honestly grew my new love for looking at apartments. Today, I even checked out a studio in Flatbush and tried to view a two bedroom in Bed Stuy for an open house (I am always in Bed Stuy huh?) but no one was there. The studio was dope though. It was more of a shared space with the kitchen and bathroom between two other individuals. The bedroom was so big that it could also be a living room which was a huge plus for me. I’m just not sure about the shared space part.

Moreover, this has been fun and I’m looking forward to making my decision. I will let you know what I choose once me and my future roommates come together on what we like. (Or if I decide on a studio/1 bedroom that I manage to find.)

Crystal Calling

I’ve always been into crystals. Well not forever but definitely within the past decade. In a way, maybe it’s been a part of me for longer. This interest went from simply collecting stones to reading about crystal energy and chakras to walking around with crystals to wearing crystal jewelry to creating them. I went to this amazing wire ring making class a year and a half ago. I made one and then two and then three and kept going. My spirit wouldn’t let me stop. My energy went into making crystal rings and here I am today. I created a brand called Tiffy Star Gems. I’ve been making rings for almost a year now and I love it.

My buddy Mike, incredible rapper/designer/sound engineer/dope friend, and I took over the streets of Soho and Coney Island for some photos. Check out his awesome Fenix sneaker collection and my latest line of Phoenix jewelry below.

These rings were made with citrine, malachite, lapiz lazuli and agate wrapped in gold aluminum. I also made some aluminum gold hoop earrings with citrine and agate stones and an aluminum wrapped tiger eye necklace. I love wrapping rings, have fun wearing them, and love expressing the different energy and meaning from each piece. It was such a blast doing this and I will be continuing in this journey.

Let me know what you think about the jewelry or if you would like to purchase any. Feel free to check out Tiffy Star Gems page. Also definitely be sure to check out the homie Mike Wilson. We’ve featured this down to Earth, conscious rapper before; you’ll be sure to love his tunes. Peace and I hope you all are following your dreams. It’s important to let your energy flow to your calling. As I grow each day, I’m slowly evolving into the person I was always meant to be. This is another beautiful part of that journey. I hope you’re becoming your beautiful selves as well.

Memories That Last a Lifetime: Mason Catering Wedding Expo

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Flowers are a gentle reminder of the slivers of beauty that exist in the world. They come in all types of colors, styles, and sizes. These products of nature are a unique part of the Earth in which we live in. Flowers were a beautiful addition to the Mason Catering Wedding Expo that took place on March 25, 2017 at the Adria Hotel & Conference Center in Bayside, NY. Like a flower, each vendor there had their own uniqueness shining through. They all represented an integral component that makes up the sensational spirit of a wedding. Each of them are a part of the formula which makes the spectacular union between two lovers magical on their wedding day.

“We are natural born entertainers. We make people happy.”  Benny Hype said from GT HIFI, a Mason Catering sponsored entertainment duo making their place at the event.

The DJs have been entertaining party goers for over 20 years at bridal and baby showers, bar mitzvahs, clubs and graduations.

Nigel Alfred stated that he’s happy when the bride is happy. A photographer who has traveled the globe, Alfred has worked professionally at birthdays, maternity and newborn shoots, engagements and baby showers, but has a strong focus on weddings.

“Wedding photography was a great source for me to develop my work,” he said.

Once invested in mostly street art, photographer Ricky “Dean” Scott is passionate about making the day special for the bride.

He said that no bride should ever have to worry about her pictures on her day as he retold a story of getting wet in the rain to capture the bride’s special moment.

“It (Weddings) happens so many times and every time it takes my breathe away,” he remarked.

At this wonderful event, an array of entrepreneurs made up the community dedicated to making the best of a bride and groom’s nuptial. Also in attendance was Pottery Barn, a known venue for bedding, kitchenware and more; Pauline’s Treats, a specialization in traditional and vegan baked goods, YoDog Media, a media company focused on digital and print videography and photography, photo booth rentals, web design and logo design; M & V Limousines Ltd, the largest limo company in NY that provides luxury vehicles; Rose Sweet Designs, a custom candy company that provides catering for sip & teas, baby and bridal showers and christenings; IP Phone System, a phone company that provides computer phones, video phones, phone greetings and much more telecommunication services; Bigga soft drinks, a flagship brand of the Wisynco group that is the only soft drink made locally in Jamaica; and Orchid’s Flowers and Gifts, a family owned business that specializes in day of the wedding services.

Renee Giscombe of Orchids Flowers and Gifts provides everything a couple needs for the day of their wedding. Wait staff, make-up artists, limos, photographers, hair stylists, fresh florals, candy stations, and more.

“From soup to nuts, we do everything,” Giscombe said. Her mother Ruth and brother Leo also have their own entertainment businesses located next to each other in which they all work together as a family.

Garrick Mason brought this community of entrepreneurs together to celebrate and showcase the magic they create for matrimonial ceremonies. After migrating here from Jamaica 10 years ago, Mason has been in the catering business for six years and four months.

Delsha Monroe, administrator for Mason Catering Services, said their goal is to make every event a memorable one. They offer cooking, meal preparation, and catering services (wait staff, bartenders, plated/buffet service, tables, chairs etc.) for all events whether big or small.

Once an employee at Golden Krust, Mason saw a need for low cost business for food. He started Mason Catering with only $150 in his pocket.

“I can never stop. I have to keep going. I always try to go forward no matter what,” he said. With three kids to motivate him, Mason aspires to take his business nationally. Mason Catering is already in Texas, Florida and California.

“If you think about it, you got it in you. Before a tree blooms, it goes through changes,” he said.

Like the changes and evolution of a flower, the talent, drive and compassion of all these individuals work together in blossoming a forever memorable moment for those ready to say “I Do.” I was honored to meet all the unique individuals dedicated to making the beautiful moments of a wedding incredible.

 

 

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Renee and Ruth Giscombe of Orchids Flowers and Gifts

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YODOG! Media

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Nigel Alfred Photography

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Rose Sweet Designs’ Candy and Cake Station

Empowerment and Grooves at Leftfield

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I’m super late with this post (One day I will be better at not procrastinating… one day). Although, the busy work life does have a lot to do with it.

On February 5, I had the pleasure to be in attendance of some truly dope performers at the Leftfield, a spot hidden in the swanky, urban ambiance that makes up the L.E.S. This chill bar/performance hub was an epicenter for the Friday night crew: youngsters ready to start the weekend RIGHT. Among the hipsters and inhabitants of the cool was a quaint little collective body of music lovers ready to be immersed with some pleasant noise. The first performer I heard for the night,  Conscious LEO, provided an incredible energy to the dwellers of Leftfield. The crowd was in full out cheers, enthusiasm and uninhibited energy during the blight of his performance. LEO served us some knowledge with his humble tribute to his home of Memphis and brought out the lion in us all with his powerful stance to the #BlackPower movement.

After Conscious Leo’s dynamic performance, I was glued to the energy of the room. My butt wasn’t going anywhere. My musical heart was overjoyed at my decision. For that night, two more artists took me on their lyrical journey where I was able to sway in elation from the sweet grooves of ISA and delve into the Chicago sound from R.O.E. (Rising Over Envy). Both performers packed a punch in how they creatively showcased their individuality. ISA’s gorgeous croons had me bouncing to the reality of having no money but also had me in the feels for that special someone from her sultry, genuine tunes. R. O.E did not fail to represent the artistry of his sound with positive messages about grinding, making it after leaving the nest, and more. All of these performers had that ‘wow’ factor which will keep myself and many others a fan for years to come.

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Conscious LEO

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ISA

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R.O.E.

 

 

 

Cute With A Twist – Kianna Mare Fashions

Most of us know how it feels to long for the perfect outfit. While shopping, you’re tense and your eyes shift from side to side searching for the “one” that will satisfy your wardrobe. Your feet slowly glide the ground in anticipation for what you’ve been waiting for. When you’ve found it, you can finally exhale. Your eyes bug out and then twinkle along with the curvatures of your mouth forming a smile to create the perfect package of joy. You did it! That gorgeous outfit you’ve been searching for for weeks is finally in your grasp.

For me honestly, it’s difficult to gain that moment. The right attire is always a needle in the haystack. But upon looking at fashions from young upcoming designer Kianna Mare, I’ve definitely fallen in love. Her line evokes fun and flirtation with an edge. My favorite is her salmon colored shawl adorned with a white lining. It looks perfect to sink into on a chilly evening, but still rock on a date or an evening out with friends. She also has a stunning collection of sophisticated and chic evening wear. More of her designs look ready to be worn by the masses. For any woman who wants to feel feminine with a kick, K. Mare fashions are for you. Dare to end your search for the perfect look by checking out her incredible designs.

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Kianna Mare herself in my favorite shawl.

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Check out more of Mare’s fashions here.

A Splash of Japanese Culture at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

It’s something I look forward to every year. Seeing the gentle sway of the Japanese Cherry Blossom trees all lined up and sprinkled around the Brooklyn’s Botanical Garden during Sakura Matsuri is a hard to miss spectacle. I mean seriously, just being in the presence of these delightful treasures will bring on instant peace. Having a bad day? Go to Sakura Matsuri, gaze at these pink wonders and you will immediately forget what made you so upset. Boom! There you go! Of course, I can’t forget the collection of Japanese culture laced throughout along with the luscious greenery and pink.

At the 34th annual festival, even the parking wars, the wrap around lines and the lack of blossoms failed to lower my high of excitement. The grounds were filled with people of different backgrounds and some were dressed in well done Cosplay costumes. It was incredible to see the diversity filling the place. One of my favorite parts of the day was the “Takarabune Dance” by the Awa Odori dance and narimono drum ensemble from Skikoku, Japan. The performers were so full of life; they were literally drenched with enthusisam. I could not understand how they could dance for so long. The performance was eloquent, graceful and at times comedic. It was a treat to hear the repetitive drumming arrangements and see the stylistic movements similar to a crane.

It was fun just walking around the grounds and taking in the sights. Men and women were adorned in these beautiful kimonos and yukatas. And it was hard not to stop and capture the creativity displayed in each Cosplay outfit. My friend Serena and I got to see some pretty impressive creations. The fabulous Un-Re Designs (Who was also at Divisi6n’s first Brooklyn 2 Tokyo) made quite the mark with their unique cutesy accessories. There was also some great literature including a book by Abby Denson about dolls taking back womanhood by defeating the negative idiosyncrasies plastered upon young women.

In all, Sakura Matsuri was an excellent start to the lovely season we like to call Spring. And there was still so much that I missed still. I hope all who attended truly enjoyed themselves. For those who didn’t, you better be there next year – Or else! (Jk) :p

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Brooklyn 2 Tokyo : A Night of 4 Kings

Brooklyn 2 Tokyo was definitely the place to be Saturday night. The vibe at Muchmore’s was magnetic; it was a calm buzz that energized everything from the organisms inching across the floor to the gamer bobbing his/her head on the cozy couches. Diversity filled every inkling of the bar where video game enthusiasts to hip hop heads congregated the Brooklyn venue. Divisi6n brought this eclectic bunch together to become a part of the chemical reaction that is Japanese culture and hip hop. Rahmein (the uncommon gent) and myself were the hosts for the lovely evening.

Kuro Pop joined us again and brought the energy to insurmountable heights through their poptastic dancing curated with bright smiles and precision. DJ Triple Play kept the vibe real cool with his mix of great tunes. While some enjoyed the delights of the bar or just chilled out on the couches, gamers immersed themselves in the kick a** game of Street Fighter. (At the next one, I definitely need to get at least one round in). Mic Blaque shook the stage with his explosive performance along with the gorgeous Kia Sleet. This entertainer went in on some empowering issues as well as keeping the crowd bumping to his delicious sound. Next up was the Head Ninja in Charge, Malik Champloo. The man responsible for this greatness graced us with one tune, but supercharged the energy already electrifying the place. Muchmore’s was stifling with heat as the Real Mike Wilson created a catalyst for the creativity bouncing around the place through his set. For the final performance of the night, Freedom Scott and his band (Scott’s avengers?) blazed the stage with a marvelous musical arrangement of talent and pure dopeness.

The Street Fighter tournament closed out what was a much excellent night. With the likes of Kuropop, Mic Blaque, Mike Wilson, Freedom Scott and Malik Champloo gracing the stage, it was truly a night worthy of royalty. Until next time, Ja matane. (See you later)

For more photos and video, check out Divisi6n.com and feel free to follow us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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The ladies of Kuro Pop on the right with the lovely staff from Muchmore’s

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Freedom Scott and his incredible band