5 Reasons To Visit the Only English-Speaking Country in South America
27 years is a long time. I hadn't been back to my parents' home country since I was a child. As I stepped off the plane at Cheddi Jagan International airport and felt the rush of humid air suddenly dampening my skin, I realized this was a foreign land. However, after only seven days, I found 5 reasons I will be making more trips to Guyana.
Not to be confused with Junkanoo in December, the Springtime Carnival has the nightlife and parade of bands standard in a Caribbean celebration. In only its third year, The Bahamas competes with other newbies like Bermuda and Cayman to appeal to outsiders. However, it is the uniqueness of the mas itself that may set Junkanoo Carnival apart.
Post-Carnival Depression, while not yet a medically diagnosed condition, is a severe case of nostalgia for carnival that can affect the lives of many feters. New York promo team Shorblu Events, Live by the Henny, and B2B Ent offered a cure that included live performances by Skinny Fabulous, Sekon Sta, Dawg E. Slaugher, and “Mr. PCD” Lyrikal.
The International Soca Monarch competition takes place on the Friday prior to Carnival called Fantastic Friday. Artistes compete to see who will take home the title of Soca Monarch and the cash prize. Notably absent was the Ultimate Rejects whose hit "Full Extreme" has been making mashing up fetes and headlines in the global soca world. The 2017 show was perhaps evidence of the declining relevance of Soca Monarch.
With Trinidad Carnival fast approaching and noted outrage over what seems like discriminatory practices, such as requesting photos and personal information to get into fetes and mas bands, it's good to see a carnival that is taking steps to be inclusive.
I may be bias, but New York City does New Year's Eve partying better than anywhere else. There's something here for everyone. You can turn up in a party with strangers, head to Times Square with drunk tourists, or watch the ball drop on television with family. I usually ring in the new year at a soca fete in Brooklyn with about 500 fellow socaholics. However, sometimes I like to switch things up. To ring in 2017, I decided to attend the masquerade ball at the SoHo Grand Hotel in Manhattan.
This is not a review of a party or Carnival. This is a review of an event that shocked America. On Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 billionaire Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. As the child of immigrants, this not only shocks me, but concerns me.
It's been one week since Labor Day. A day where West Indians celebrate the culture and pageantry of the Caribbean with festivities throughout the long weekend culminating in a parade along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. However, this day was full of disappointments and tragedy. The predawn j'ouvert street party was once again marred by violence and the annual parade was a lackluster crawl.
I was so ready for this weekend to be horrible. With all of the parties that were cancelled and shut down last year, I was prepared for multiple "Due to circumstances beyond our control" posts. Surprisingly, this was not the case. I saw very few cancellations and they were mostly due to the storm that never came. In fact, I had a lot of fun at the events I attended. Therefore, I decided to blog about what my fellow party goers said worked well and what they want to see promoters do more often.
On July 28th, the much-anticipated film Bazodee premiered at The PlayStation Theater in Manhattan. Set in Trinidad during Carnival, Bazodee is a story of a young woman, Anita Ponchouri (played by British actress Natalie Perera) who is due to marry the son of a wealthy London businessman but finds herself in an emotional upheaval when she meets a down-on-his-luck musician played by Trinidadian soca superstar, Machel Montano. The story explores Anita’s internal conflict between duty and passion. The musical dramedey (thanks for the term Natalie) also showcases West Indian culture and soca music.