Snacks

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New York is hard most, if not all of the time. But when friends from home visit or you get to escape for a few days, you get reminded of how special you can make your time here - no matter how long you stay, when, the agenda, your intentions or even how you define this place as “home.”

None of us can count on the city for the MTA, but one thing seems to be universal among any one who has been here: the city is never short of inspiration or energy.

Don’t get me wrong though - sometimes it’s a lot. Too much even. There are too often days where I’m overloaded with stuff but it’s also usually those same times that I realize I am exhausted by things that aren’t necessarily inspiring, meaningful or worth my (already limited) time.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and debated for a long time whether or not to do this. I said I wanted to write more but find that I have to many half-baked thoughts with not enough material to write something worthwhile.

To be honest, this list is for me: to be able to track and archive a “highlight reel” of sorts, of the things that I encounter on a semi-regular basis. But to also visually see them in conglomeration with one another... The list is serious, stupid, sometimes academic, mostly creative, etc—but ultimately a personal one to show what’s bopping around in my head each week and I figured, if anyone was interested… they can bop around in yours too.

Introducing SNACKS: a conglomeration of things I consumed over the course of 1-2 weeks that inspired me, made me think critically about something, had a gut reaction to, or left me with more questions than answers. Or just liked.

If you’re interested, follow along for the ride //


SNACKS 001

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READ: Communities of Color Must Turn The Tide Against Urban Planning's 'Creative' Destruction

written by my wonderful friend and roommate here in New York, the infamous Francis Yu. I’ve said this since day 1, becoming friends with Francis has been an absolute pleasure as I literally learn all the time. For example, I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little about Filipino-American history which let me tell you, runs so much deeper than I ever imagined. Through Francis, I’ve learned about the historic I-Hotel in San Francisco’s Manilatown which was home to many elderly low-income Filipino and Chinese immigrants. Unfortunately as we’ve seen in many North American neighbourhoods, the pressures of neighbourhood change (read: gentrification) eventually won a long hard-fought battle against thousands of community members. Read the full article here

WATCH: ON MY BLOCK ON NETFLIX

I binge-watched this (tbh I don’t know if I know how to watch things in any other way anymore), but if you haven’t heard about it, On My Block is the awkward coming-of-age (in the most delightful way) that every POC kid in North America wishes they had growing up. Hell, I feel like I’m reliving my California alter-ego tween self through it. Forewarning: the season finale had me S H O O K.

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SAW: An Incomplete History of Protest at the Whitney

if you’re in New York at any point this summer, a definite recommendation (exhibit ends August 27th).

SAW: KARENA EVANS BEFORE THE DRAKE VIDEO

You know that feeling that the world is just so. damn. small. Take Karena Evans, the up-and-coming 22-year-old director from Toronto who created Drake's 2 newest music videos. What's crazy is that just a few months before, I was in a black hole of finding talented young people in Toronto's music scene who were starting to gain traction. Naturally, I encountered francisgotheat (Already a platinum-record producer) and Anders (r&B Artist) - who had Karena film one of his latest videos. Now here we are. I don't care what anyone says about drake, what he does for the city + the young people in it = HOW TO USE YOUR FAME.

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HEARD: MAEKAN IT UP PODCAST ON VIRGIL ABLOH 

I've known about MAEKAN for a bit now but finally got around to listening to their podcasts. Their MAEKAN IT UP pod is exactly along the lines of the style of pod I enjoy listening to and this episode is a good one. I only found out recently that Virgil Abloh has an M.Arch and since then have had a pretty unique opinion on them. Eugene and Charis articulate some of the feelings I've had - and honestly, I'm just glad I'm not the only one who has thought some of these things.

HEARD: TOM MISCH’S NEW ALBUM

I know there’s a lot of good music that literally just dropped within the past week or so -- but this might be my year-round bump. Start to finish, each song issssaaa viiiiiibe. I swear there’s something for everyone.