Today I saw a dear friend in a casket. I’ve known him for almost 3 years. Bebe was the kind of man who would twist your ear slightly just to get a smile out of you. A tall man who was very fond of shorts no matter what the weather called for. (Gotta love an individual)

When I first met Bebe he was on the floor above where my desk was. His office was always dark and he kept a radio playing. He seemed pretty cool and kinda kept to himself. When we moved to our downtown offices I got to talk to Bebe more. I learned that he used to live in the Ft. Greene section of Brooklyn. He lived there before it was cool to. Bebe’s Brooklyn experiences were that of crime and a sketchy Ft. Greene park which is the vision I grew up with. Yet Bebe and I shared a love for the gritty time of NYC. He was a fan of the old rough around the edges bursting with creativity NY. Now all that’s left here is Applebee’s after Olive Garden after Whole Foods, you get the point. 😦

My first company related layout was critiqued by Bebe as it was on his brand and with an art director under his guidance. It meant a lot to me that he liked the work we came up with. I was fortunate enough to have a few private conversations with him. As a fellow person of color at an ad agency there were topics we could discuss with a candor that others would not get. I loved the way he spoke. He used words in a very relaxed manner. I never thought for a second that he would not return to create with our work family. I fully expected him to come waltzing through the door into work past my chair just as he would always do. He would flick my hair or pull my ear. Just something to let me know he was there and he noticed me too.

One thing I’ve learned from this loss is that we are only here for the time we are here. Don’t expect people to always be there because we are not promised tomorrow. Express your love for those in you life you cherish. Seize the moment and make your feelings known. Let them know you appreciate them.

There will never be another like Bebe, nor should there be. We got it right the first time with the Chinese “man in black”.

I love you B.


I feel privileged to be apart of such a talented family. A couple of my brothers over at Sunshowah Films put together a great short giving you a piece of Brooklyn. I look at it as a slice of life kind of film from a Young G’s perspective. For those of you unfamiliar with their work (Eye Jammie, Rev’ o. lu, shun…etc.) peep the trailer below and once you’re finished go to HBO On Demand and watch the film. Peace to Daoud, Dahkil and POP for putting together quality product repping our home.

My alarm went off at 7am. After dancing heavy at the Wonderful party the night before I felt a little fatigued. Yet once I remembered what lay before me for that day I perked up. I got ready within an hour and walked outside to find a stream of people walking down the street. First Shino and I had to get some supplies for the inauguration. We went to the supermarket up the block and decided on bagels and water (wrong choice but I’ll get to that later). There were a bunch of people had the same idea we had. Once free from the market we joined the continuous stream of folks headed towards the capital. Being that we did a trial run the previous day which led us to the parade preparations, we had a edge on the others.

As we walked I turned on a song by rapper Killer Mike called “Pressure”. It’s what I would call an angry political rap song. I personally love it. Once I took in the swarm of people all heading towards the Capital building to see the first Black President sworn in my eyes began to water. The sight before me combined with the lyrics discussing police brutality the price of freedom and ending with a speech by Malcolm X left me emotional. It started to hit home for me that history was happening and I was a part of it.

Once we got near the mall the traffic of people got thicker. Police began to have a presence and kind of directed us as a herd. I quickly realized that we were being sent towards the back of the mall. This didn’t worry me too much as I figured once we got on the mall we could just walk up and get as close as possible with no tickets. As we walked on the grassy area and made moves to walk through folks and cross our first street the cold DC air was there to greet us. It’s as if the earth said “oh so you think you are just gonna be a part of history and it’s a piece of cake? Think again”. It was a bitter cold out that day. The HAWK was out to see this President take the oath on this Tuesday morning. I felt my toes going numb and had to jump up and down a few times to make that uncomfortable feeling go away. While amongst the crowd Shino and I tried to eat our bagels, which became bricks and were at this point a joke. The bananas we purchased were our saving grace to have at least something in our stomachs.

After getting stuck in an area due to tight security and being kept from moving up much at all on the mall, I realized we were gonna watch the event on a jumbo-tron near by. All good, because at least we could see and hear everything, plus we were THERE! From the moment the man of the hour Barack Obama graced the screen the place went nuts. We were cheering to be heard in the heavens above. However when the current President graced the screen he was met with a round of boos only topped by a bad call during a Super Bowl. (I’ll leave it up to you to determine if that was proper or not.) Once Obama placed his hand on the Bible and was officially sworn in everyone screamed from the top of their lungs. Now there were musicians and other notable people speaking at this inauguration but by the time a poet got behind the mic I knew it was time to make a strategic exit. My walk back home wasn’t too bad. I ran into a friend from back in Brooklyn whom I’ve known since 2nd grade. The spirit was high on those DC streets. I just wanted to get out of the crowd though and you can tell by the look on my face in some pics.

There were people from all over in that crowd with us that day. All wanting to be a part of something great. American flags were everywhere and the hands waving them were of all different hues. And of course vendors looking to make a profit to share in the occasion. Gotta love it.

Now if you weren’t in DC and still want to represent this new administration in a fashionable way check out Potter Esquire Clothing and their official Inauguration shirt.

I hope you enjoy all of these pictures taken by Shino (except the one she’s in). The following are more scenes from a joyous occasion.

If you enjoyed the photo’s displayed thus far in this entry check out the links below for a much broader view of this historic trip to DC. You can also see pictures from the Stevie Wonderful party I mentioned in Part 1. All photos taken by Shino Yanagawa.

DC Pics 1

DC Pics 2

DC Pics 3

DC Pics 4

For most of my childhood I had only two sisters to grow up with (lil bro came later). Growing up as a kid in the 80’s in Brooklyn I was pretty regular. I loved to play Nintendo, watch cartoons and use my imagination to entertain myself. There was a time when in the mornings my sisters and I would watch cartoons. Being the dude that I am I would want to watch He-Man, Rambo you know, shows like that. However I had two younger sisters and when we were in the living room we had to share the TV. These two young ladies loved to watch JEM! (truly outrageous). Naturally a cartoon about some female music executive who was a manager/girlfriend by day and a secret rockstar by night didn’t immediately catch my interest. I was CERTAIN there was something else I could be watching. But after the first episode I was hooked. JEM was actually a highly entertaining cartoon. Every ep had a lil video performed by JEM and her band the Holograms. There was also another rival group on the show called the Misfits always out to take JEM’s spot at number 1. If you ever set your eye’s on this cartoon talk to me.

For those who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about peep game.

And yes I’m secure in my manhood.

Newsflash: Layoffs Suck

February 3, 2009

So today at the J. O. B. the ax came down on about 40 heads. Is this my first experience with layoffs? No. Will it be the last with the way this economy is going? Likely not. I’ve been on both sides of the layoff coin. Packing my stuff and saying good bye as well as shaking hands and giving well wishes. It’s never easy.
There’s always the same questions. Does this person have a family? How’s the job market at the moment? The mood in the office is tense. People go out for lunch to discuss what’s going on. There’s a company meeting to discuss/calm things. Rinse/Repeat.

I seem to be safe at the moment (like my ex-coworkers thought yesterday). Things are ugly in the streets. I have friends who have been unemployed for more months than I’d like to mention. I have freelance companies calling ME for leads. Not because they have opportunities, but things are so dry they are basically cold calling folks for work.

Now I grew up in the 80’s in NYC so I’m pretty much used to making it through hardship. I have a feeling a lot of these “New” New Yorkers who think NYC is sweet because of the Disney era Giuliani ushered in might be in for a rude awakening. I grew up in Brooklyn and sure my area wasn’t nice then and it aint nice now. However areas like Ft. Greene, North Flatbush, Crown Heights and especially Bed Stuy have had an influx of folks who haven’t lived there since before Civil Rights. Rents were raised, Subway franchise’s were opened and people were priced out. Fast forward a few years and the economy is in ruin, jobs are scarce and unemployment is up up UP. Folks are gonna start going back to the “get it how you live” mentality. Stick ups and the like I expect to rise. Harlem already lifted the ban on shoot outs last summer. The new residents up there already see the changes back to the bad ole NY.

So for those of you who think that layoffs begin and end in the office, I’d like to say think again. I am happy to still be employed for the moment and have put any National Lampoon European Vacation ideas on hold.

For those unfamiliar with Layoffs peep the ultimate movie on such a topic.