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Posts Tagged ‘Vikram Ghandi’

Around the way

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Networking, News, Video on April 28, 2016 at 5:36 am

I actually prefer to reside in a New York state of mind
for therein I have run into some “treasure finds.”

Beyond the confines of shop walls and niche stores
it is the heart of the people that I most adore.

We’ll start our adventure off Around the way
near the corner of Madison and Stuyvesant for a little play:

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April 19, 2016 — Vikram was in the foreground doing his thing on set while Jimmy & Chris held down the background on an adjacent block – near the viewing tent.

Jimmy and Chris were not a part of the film crew, kraft services, car services or even the sound crew. Jimmy and Chris live in Brooklyn off of Madison. This is their hood and they knew everyone.

Jimmy has lived in Brooklyn for 28 years – he was born on Coney Island moved to North Carolina as a child, went off to the Navy as a young adult and was discharged in Brooklyn. Jimmy is a firecracker while Chris played the wingman, oftentimes serving as the “political correct translator” for his off-the-cuff neighbor Jimmy. As passerby’s would come and go, Jimmy would speak and chop-it-up with most, and then there were those few that got no love at all. Like this one guy that approached our trio with conversation in progress – as if he’d been there all day with us. He came in saying, “Yo cous[in]! What’s up? What’s going on over here [referring to the set]?” Chris began to remark that he hasn’t been long on the scene when I cut him off with a compliment to the conversation crasher, “Great smile!”  All of his teeth were perfectly aligned and properly whitened to pop against his golden complected skin. He smiled a slight Obama-like smile and said, “Thank you. You too,” and that’s when I noticed Jimmy was missing in the round. Jimmy removed himself form the conversation while I was looking at the conversation crashers grill. The crasher continued to question probe and I did my best to alleviate his inquisition. Chris and ‘the crasher’ noticed Jimmy’s disposition – the crasher attempted to pitch conversation Jimmy’s way but Jimmy was posted up on one of the antique stunt cars and unavailable for remark. The crasher got the point, gave Chris dap and kept it moving. Jimmy rejoined the click.

  • JIMMY: I don’t play that. He’s not from around here. He don’t need to come over here talking about “Hey Cuz’.” He know I’m not cool with him.

Wow. That was the first person all day, out of, say 250 (+/-), that I had seen the Cancer respond to with his pincher. Yes – Jimmy is a Cancer and his nickname is Squirky too. Ask not how I know this, I’m a writer. I inhale oxygen and exhale questions. 😀 People are interesting. I love people and since Fab and I did not get to do lunch together I leaned on my new friends to recommend a place of dine that I could walk to before I passed out of low blood sugar and Jimmy went into his monologue as to WHY he does not eat out. Sanitation issues are real – according to Jimmy and he just ‘can’t do it.’ Chris laughed it off and confirmed that ‘Jimmy doesn’t eat out at all,’ and then he led me to a spot at the corner of Halsley and Lewis. A soul food joint. Jimmy is a great babysitter, he walked me to the restaurant. Brooklynites are fantastic. I am a fan of their hospitality. The restaurant was cute in decor and smelled delicious. I ordered the fried catfish and greens – no bread. It tasted delicious. I could taste a distinct trace of lemon in the catfish batter. I loved it. I was nourished sufficiently.

IMG_2790Jimmy and Chris stayed on that adjacent corner in Brooklyn with me for about 4 hours until Fab and I jetted off to that (not so speedy) 2-hour heavy traffic car ride back to Manhattan.

April 19th was primary voting day in New York and the New Yorkers got it in. I should know, because I accompanied Fab to the poles. I don’t remember if both of the Brooklyn Brothers voted, but I do recall asking Jimmy if he had voted and he confirmed that he had. Hearing as much made me feel good.

I am aware of 2 veterans that I had known for years before I learned that THEY DO NOT VOTE. One of the veterans is from NY and the other one from OK.

Why wouldn’t you vote? What is the point? Don’t ever complain about anything if you do not vote. I still like the two (who do not know each other), but it’s rough taking them serious when they scream “CHANGE!” I wish they’d change their ways and start voting. It’s not ever asking too much to ask a person to vote for their interests in local and national elections. It made me feel good that my Brooklyn Brothers seemed to be up on political topics  – but we didn’t linger there long. I’m not a fan of just politicking it up- I just want to know that you vote. Hitting on topic with Jimmy and Chris was appropriate for two reasons: #1 it was April 19 – voting day and #2 the film that was being shot that day was about Barack Obama before he was the president of the United States – during his stint in New York. Definitely memorable worthy stuff from Around the way. 

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Jimmy and Chris are neighbors – they are as real as real could ever be.
They ‘read folks on the to and fro’ but for the most part they kicked it with me.

The more I hung out with them – our tab of relations grew thick.
I was reminded that Brooklyn is “Jus like Compton” – joint by DJ Quik.

No hood is new – they’re all like yours – just on a different coasts.
I’m a lover of geography – I’m a lover of interesting folk.

I’m a lover of good authenticity, especially when “Around the way,”
I’m Qui
Friends of Jimmy and Chris in Brooklyn. For they inspired this say.

I can’t say enough about…

In Communication, Griot, Networking, News, Self Improvement, Travel on April 25, 2016 at 7:42 am

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The last few days — for they have truly impacted me,
but then these are “the usual vibes” I take away from the NYC.

I was merely dropping in to hiatus and perhaps write a little,
but hooking up with Fab5Freddy made all of the difference in the middle.

4/19/16 @ 10:30am I receive a text from the legend extending a lunch date. I accept! I call an Uber and get to Brooklyn pronto! Upon arriving at the address, I see Fab outside on a landing looking towards what obviously is a film production in process. “Yippee!! I’m going to be up, close and personal. I was bursting at the seams with curiosity as to what type of film was being shot but I restrain my curiousity and instead open up to absorbing as much of this experience as I could. I met an interesting dude while on set, a director, Vikram Ghandi. He mentioned a documentary film that he shot in Phoenix, KUMARE and how he enjoyed the experience. I researched the piece and while I haven’t seen it yet, the concept of the film and the way Vikram went about approaching the films production is a tale in itself. I can’t wait to see the piece. I met dozens of other characters while I waited in earshot distance of the filming and I’ll write about them on a later date. It was a good time that I can’t say enough about…

Fab and I did not spend as much time together  on this trip as I would have liked, for instance, we didn’t share one meal. Not even lunch. He was working. However, what we did share was far more substantial. We talked for what must have been hours…well, he talked and I listened – intensely. I learned a lot about a lot of things though especially about him. At one point I, actually thanked him for ‘clarifying and filling-in-the-gaps about his life on things that I honestly did not know.’ I then said, “the only reason I’d never asked of you this information prior is because I was sure you’d told this story a million times and I didn’t want to…” before I could finish he said, “No I haven’t! I don’t go around telling people my personal life information. You’re special.”  ——

I promise to God, I thought I was going to fall out.
The words were subtly said, but came with BIG ENERGY – no doubt.

It took me seconds to collect myself and work it out.
I’m thinking, ‘Words you’d want one to say – has been said aloud.’

Internally, I piped down, and then turned my face back to the legend, (Yes! Imagine that. I actually snapped my neck to the right away from Fab when he said that and was facing the wall while I collected myself. Length of time wall watching: 7 seconds +/-). I politely re-entered into conversation with a question and he continued to paint historical reminisces and references that I otherwise would not have ever known. How blessed am I? How lucky can you be? I’m all of the above and recognizing such is key and this was the foundation of everything that he told me. He was not coy in letting me know that he is blessed and he knows it.

He took me to his art studio in Harlem and I saw his mind burst with color and boundless energy…

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He talked about appropriating art and how he pays homage to
and how the CAMPBELL SOUP TRAIN CARS were “exactly that” too!
Art appropriations.

I can’t say enough about his art. I really can’t. I can’t afford it either but who wants to dwell on that? 😀 I don’t. But I did linger in his presence and gained new perspective as to how he does it, his motivation and… honestly most answers came back having to do with ‘something from his life.’ The kid from Brooklyn. He was close to his mother, or as he put it, “My mother and I were close.  Unusually close.” Fab lost his mother a couple of years ago, but when I was in his presence, I felt her. I smirked. I wasn’t going to bring it up, but then he did. He feels and recognizes her energy. Again, I was taken. It’s not everyday someone converses with me about being cool with energy that they cannot see. I am very cool with it and I talk about it often, so certainly I was “heart warmed” and dimensionally informed about the legend when he spoke of his mothers energy around him. That’s #Good411.

fab5-subway-carsWe talked more about that famous Campbell Soup art on the subway trains that he painted too. Very cool backstories emerged. Very movie’esque stuff – still. Even though his film WILD STYLE incorporated and cross referenced a lot of what was going on with him at the time – being involved in the early days of HIP HOP, however it’s his early days of art development and his parental & familial influences (in the round) that is quiet appetizing. His life is a cool movie that we haven’t seen yet. I saw some of it when he told it to me the other day. Obviously it left a reel impression on me, therefore I can’t say enough about…

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4/23/16 @ 6am — When something turns out better than you originally expected – ever say ye something similar aloud:
“This is so good. So very good. I can’t say enough about…” ?

I do on occasion. I love being caught off guard
and for what I experienced in New York – I must thank the good Lord.

I have to, because however were things orchestrated to be so cool — yo?
Not only was I on set with and visited studio with but I also accompanied Fab to vote.

Yo! Yo! Yo!
April 19th was their day to Vote.

I was thrilled to tag along. It was a well painted community picture
to top the earlier part of the day – spectating on set and meeting Vickram.

Meeting Jimmy and Chris was a whole ‘other act on its on.
That’s why I’ll write of them in the latter; comedy was strong.

Brooklyn. Brooklyn.
She can’t go wrong.

I really can’t say enough about her, I was sent there via Malcom X Blvd,
I’m Qui
and I had a good time in the NYC. Thanks Fab, supporting cast and the good Lord.

Now it’s time to get to work. I’ve got film scripts to tighten up and kick out…