Around the T-Dot, Caribbean Culture, Music

Black Women’s Freedom Weekend

How are you doing, Dear Reader?

On Twitter I mentioned the combined phenomenons of Beyoncé dropping Renaissance, and this past weekend’s Caribana parade. The blissful timing of it all made me dub the last few days Black Women’s Freedom Weekend. There’s no doubt that if, like me, you’re a Black woman of Caribbean descent, and you love Bey, your mood might’ve gotten a double boost of energy within the past 72 hours.

First, New Beyonce

I’m still gathering my thoughts on Renaissance. It’s a surprise and a delight all at the same time.

If you’re a fan, you probably already know “Break My Soul”. Bey dropped a new visualizer for it the other day.

And every now and then I check the internet for gems like these. It’s fun to read interviews with the people behind the album of the summer.

So many of Beyoncé’s songs are sweet to my ears. If I never write another word on Renaissance, know this: From the first time I listened, my heart burst with pride. And I thought, “YES! THIS is what Black Girl Magic sounds like!”

Caribana, aka Toronto Caribbean Carnival

As already mentioned, my ancestors are from the Caribbean. When I was younger, growing up outside of the GTA, I felt like I was robbed of the chance to immerse myself in my culture. True, I was able to enjoy some experiences, like Caribbean home cooking. But I longed for more.

This weekend, revellers donned costumes and came together for the 55th year of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, aka Caribana.

Here are a few highlights:

Articles like this one serve as a wonderful reminder of the healing that can come through celebrating one’s culture. Everyone out participating in the parade looks so joyful and free—I long to join them!

Photo via sheenalashay on

Around the T-Dot

Hustle On!: Farewell to How She Hustles

Today’s the day!

Emily - HSH - 2013

Emily and Team HSH - 2013
Photos of Emily Mills and her team, circa 2013.

After a successful five-year run, the last How She Hustles brunch is being held today in Toronto.

I can’t attend this year. Still, I have fond memories. I went last year. In a few short hours I met professionals of all stripes who led double lives. They were everyday superheroes—women who dared to pursue their dreams beyond their day jobs.

I would like to thank my friend Emily Mills for taking the time to organize this event. Every year, she works hard with her team to create something truly meaningful: A space for women to gather and bond over their willingness to pursue their passions in spite of life’s craziness.

My time at How She Hustles will always be precious to me. The event is a genuine celebration of sisterhood that I will sincerely miss.

Around the T-Dot, scribble-scrabble

I’ve been working…

On my Tumblr.

Long ago a friend suggested create a writing portfolio. I’m still deciding where it will be.

As for this post, a few weeks ago I started studying copywriting via Skillshare. I’m behind–and I’ll post about why soon. 😉 But as soon as I started, I was inspired to create some fake advertisements.

Check them out!

Stretch Studio - Urban

I can’t take credit for the photos in either of these. I found them on Flickr.

a4gpa took the photo used for the ad above and shared it with an Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license. Just looking at it inspired me. I wonder if a place that’s as funky as Stretch Studio actually exists–even if it’s not in Toronto.

Toronto - 2

In this piece, I used a shot by Pedro Szekely, who presented his work under an Attribution 2.0 license. It’s such a gorgeous shot–it almost broke my heart to crop it.

Around the T-Dot

Broadbent Sisters – Poolside: Clearing Spaces

The Broadbent Sisters are an artistic duo who are, truly, sisters.

Since last year, Rose and Joy have been hosting shows at Toronto’s Huntclub Studio. I had the privilege of attending their most recent exhibit, held Thursday night.


Dressed in identical blue outfits, the ladies even gave guests hand massages.


Overall, the mood in the room was joyful. And I’ll admit it. I remained shy about taking photographs. Nevertheless, I had a lovely time.

Here’s to more urban adventures!

Around the T-Dot

Type Books

I love going downtown. When I’m there, I feel rejuvenated. On Friday I hit Queen St. West, and in particular…Type Books.









It’s killing me that I didn’t take the most important photo of all–of their sign. But I did capture their current window. KalpnasWindowMorrissey

If you don’t think that pic does it justice, here’s a better shot, courtesy of Beckie DiLeo .

The awesome Kalpna Patel (@GhostfaceKnitta) designs their displays. After over a year of following each other on Twitter, I’m glad to have finally met her.

Although this was my first visit to Type, it won’t be my last. In an era of big-box bookstores, Type offers a refreshing alternative.

Around the T-Dot

Hello Again: Soma

Earlier this month I went to Kensington Market. As I was leaving, on my way back to Spadina, a familiar face poked her head out of a doorway.

Remember the first time I mentioned Soma?

Well, the store has moved. Its new location is larger. And it offers the same eclectic clothes and great company.


Indera and I chatted and laughed for what seemed like forever.





She even had a blue version of the dress from my last visit.


Although I bought nothing, I coveted everything. The next time you’re in Kensigton, check it out!

Around the T-Dot

ALN*: It’s Always Something

Last night I volunteered at It’s Always Something–the variety show for Gilda’s Club of Greater Toronto.

The show was spectacular. Ron James hosted. Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood brought the house down with their improv routine. Featured musicians included Corey Hart and Jessica Mitchell.

I was on duty before the show started at the Sony Centre. There were a few famous Canadians in the room. It was hilarious. I offered a cheery “Hi!” to one actor, before I reined myself in.

Note to Self: Following someone on Twitter does NOT mean that they will recognize you in real life.

I can’t wait ’til next year! Lord willing, I’ll be back–either as a volunteer, or an attendee.

*ALN –> About Last Night

Around the T-Dot

So, I went to Nuit Blanche.

Yes, I know this post is late. As the kids say, I’m “Sorry/Not sorry…”

How was it?

People were everywhere. And if you don’t believe me, well…

NB Crowd

NB CrowdBlur2

NB Crowd4

NB Truth

NB CrowdBlur3

NB Crowd5

Note the two guys on the right in the third photo. My camera just…Did that. I didn’t use any filters or FX in these shots.

My adventure began when I exited Queen Station. The farthest I got along Queen was John Street. In fact, that’s where I found this woman:

Shortly after seeing her, I decided to go home. My night ended much sooner than I’d anticipated. (Earlier I’d had visions of pulling an all-nighter.) But it wasn’t disappointing. Not by a long shot.

I remember tweeting after I saw those guys that I’d captured them at Queen and Bay. But it was probably Queen and University.

No matter, though. The music meant more to me than the location. In fact, it’s what made the night worthwhile.