I wrote this about two years ago. Back then it felt like an accumulation of hunches I’d had since high school. I forgot about it. Looking at it now, I kinda feel like I’m living it. Which is dope.
Yesterday night. I feel weird so I decide to walk the 60 blocks home. These folks have a jump rope going in times square, letting people get in. I’m watching from afar. They invite people to come closer and I’m the only one who does. The guy instantly snaps to me:
"You wanna jump?"
"Uh, cuz I think I’d be…bad"
"Nah man you’ll be fine, come on"
*I look at huge crowd*
"Come on, bro!"
So I get about one hop in and trip. He’s like “try again, jump higher”. I get two jumps in and trip. He’s like “man, just jump!” So I did. I kept jumping. The he’s like “now use two feet!” And I’m like “nah!!!” (Actually though) but I do and for some reason my body isn’t tripping. Then he’s like “okay do a 360 spin!” I’m like “what?!?!?” He’s like “do it!!!!” And I do. And it’s not exactly right, so he goes “that was a 180 do a 360!” And I’m like “ok! Ok!” And I do, somehow, do a 360 spin, while jumping rope. At this point I have no idea how I’m still going. He’s like “okay now touch the floor”. I look down at these two spinning ropes and I’m thinking this guy is messing with me but what else are you gonna do, so I dip down and touch the group while somehow still jumping on beat. Then he’s like “do a jumping jack”. And my brain doesn’t even know how that would work but I go for it and keep jumping and don’t trip but then I keep doing it and finally do trip.
When I step out Times Square is applauding me and I’m out of breath, exhilarated, etc. The dude gives me a dap and says “I told you you could do it”. And the girl asks me if I’ve ever jumped I said not since the 5th grade.
It was super fun but it also made me realize how much you can do, that you think you can’t do, when you stop thinking, and just do.
Also, glad I chose to walk the 60 blocks home.
MONROVIA, Liberia — Some people are swimming in and out of the Ebola quarantine zone in this seaside capital. One man slips out every day to reach his job at a Western embassy. Another has turned his living room into a tollbooth, charging others to escape through his apartment at the edge of the cordoned area. Countless others have used a different method: bribing their way out with fees that soldiers determine according to a person’s appearance, circumstances and even gender.
Christian Verre, 26, a clothing salesman, sneaked out through an abandoned building with his girlfriend, Alice Washington, 21, and eight friends. “Go back! Go back!” soldiers and police officers yelled, he recalled, but the conversation quickly took on a different turn: “What do you got?”
Those carrying goods handed over more than $8, Mr. Verre said. Traveling light, he was charged $4.25 for his girlfriend and about $6 for himself, “because I’m a man.” The couple now share a shack a few blocks outside West Point, the vast, sprawling slum that was placed under an Ebola quarantine last week.
“I didn’t want to stay in West Point for 21 days,” he said, referring to Ebola’s maximum incubation period. “I wouldn’t die of Ebola but of hunger.”
This is my first film. It’s called Post-Emma. It’s three minutes long, and I’d like you to watch it. I made it with my buddy Jonan Everett.
Peace to the brothers and sisters in Ferguson right now. This moment will affect history.
Images via NYT.
"And like every narcotic, the mythology of the Big Idea is addictive. Once you start looking, you can never quite stop. We don’t just look for shortcuts in our careers. But in our love lives; in our personal lives; in our friendships; in our hobbies. Everything we do, everything we wish to be; we search obsessively for the secret shortcut."
"Love as you wish to be loved. And live as you wish all those who will ever live to live."
I’ve been following Umair on twitter for a long time, and he really comes through big on taking certain timeless ideas about meaning and folding them into the quagmire of modernity which (I think I’d agree with him) is rightfully sucking us dry. Really enjoyed this piece about quitting it with the shortcut nonsense, which has been #trending in American thinking for too long now.
"Not everyone can or wants to be educated.
Not everyone can or wants to be liberated.
Not everyone can be persuaded by a shot gun pointed at their backs.
Those individuals have to be abandoned, even if we love them.
Harriet Tubman taught us this a VERY long time ago.”
- Son of Baldwin
"I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if only they knew they were slaves."
- Harriet Tubman
It’s probably a little weird the amount of times I’ve listened to this in the last week alone.
(Source: SoundCloud / Lido<3)
Favorite looks from a recent visit to The Sartorialist. I look at a lot of outfits and get real puzzled, but then I try to take them in more and end up falling in love. Shorty with the pilled sweater and basketball shorts is case in point.
Aiight y’all, the cat is out of the bag… I’m tremendously proud to announce that my next NYC gig is “Brownsville Song” by Kimber Lee at Lincoln Center. Under the direction of Patricia McGregor (and beside a LOT of talent including the homie Sheldon Best) we’re fixing to do some real deal conjuring. Working at LCT is a dream come true (I went to HS across the street some 8 years ago) and this play is simply amazing. Stay posted.
The cast is now set for the New York premiere of Kimber Lee’s brownsville song (b-side for tray). Sheldon Best, Sun Mee Chomet, Lizan Mitchell, Chris Myers and Taliyah Whitaker will star in the LCT3 production. The play, directed by Patricia McGregor, will run from October 4 through November 16 at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater. Opening night is set for October 20.