The good: 4th of July in Bushwick


This gallery contains 10 photos.

Hello there dudes! The week of the 1st of July was so packed for me that I haven’t even gotten the chance to tell you what what went down! I had quite a few friends visiting from Canada, Germany, and … Continue reading

Racist New York: Mmmhhmm gurrrl

Last week I went to a free show in red hook (Brooklyn) and not surprisingly, the fact that Das Racist was playing didn’t stop some white demons from being racist. Before you go all “OOOH MY GOD did she just write white demons???” bear in mind that it’s a reference to Das Racist ‘cus they have used the line during live shows. Also, COLONIALISM! I mean, if that wasn’t demonic…

Alright, alright, back to the show. There I was having fun and dancing to the sophisticated and badass sound of Action Bronson. Ok, I was most likely simply swaying back and forth ‘cus I got little rhythm. In front of me, there was a group of three girls enjoying the music as well as me, although more competently aligning their bodily movements and gyrations to the beat. To my right, there was this group of high school kids trying to move like rappers (especially this one tall kid) but looking instead like they had weirdly coordinated muscle spasms in their neck and one of their arms.

In case you assumed these girls were white ‘cus you know white is still the norm in our society, they were black. During the short break between the Action Bronson and Das Racist show, one of the girls got REALLY excited for some reason. It might have been because there was a hot guy on stage or in the VIP area or she remembered something hilarious – I have no idea. Regardless, she displayed her excitement quite strepitously. I think she was even jumping up and down at one point. All of a sudden I hear the white tall high school kid going:

“Mmmmmmmhhhmmmmm Gurrrrrrrrrrrl”

All while snapping his fingers and ungracefully wobbling his head in a “Oh no you didn’t” fashion. What the hell? These girls were having a ball, joking around, having a hilarious moment together and this idiot feels the need to interject with the so-called Z snap (according to urban dictionary), often used to portray the racist “Black Ghetto Girl” stereotype. Why? If other than black or non-white latina girls were making a raucous, would he have done the Z snap? I highly doubt it.

I guess if your black or latina and you’re being loud, mind you, WITH YOUR FRIENDS and at a show it’s like “Oh the z snap is coming!”

The good: Spread Love Party in Greenpoing, BK (and how I avoided a fine)

Based on TV shows, articles in magazines, and my own wild imagination, I constructed a pretty solid yet possibly misguided image of what underground brooklyn dance parties are like, or should be like. I have been looking to experience this ideal since the first time I visited New York during Summer 2011 and the quest only intensified once I moved here in May. It finally came to an end last night at the Spread Love Party in Greenpoint, organized by the Brooklyn Good Guys. I am not sure who the Brooklyn Good Guys are. I just know that they are a collective of artists, musicians (and good guys?) who organize dope events. Dope as in fucking amazing. I found out about this one through a 3rdWard post on their blog about stuff going on this weekend, which you can find here.

The Spread Love Party was advertised as a live dancehall/rap/hip-hop music event with no cover, in front of the waterfront, and to which you could bring your own booze, drinks, beer, liquor, poison…. Now if that doesn’t sound like the best event, I don’t know what would. Unless you hate rap/hip-hop and happiness, in which case you should just die or something. Check out the awesome flyer below.

I went there with a new friend, Julio, who I met through couchsurfing. He’s from El Salvador, just like me! Other couchsurfers as well as my friend Jerome visiting from Quebec joined us later. Julio and I got there super early (around 8:30), with a 6-pack of brooklyn pilsen. We wanted the party to get more ballin’ before going in so just we sat down by the water, a few centimeters away from the venue which was half a construction site & half a backyard (?) behind an apartment building. Low resolution pictures I stole from twitter are below.

We started a-drinking… enjoying the New York skyline and the good enough sunset –mediocre compared to salvadorian sunsets obviously. Two guys came up to us at one point and asked us how to get into the party. Seconds after we directed them, Julio spotted a police car. I know, WHOoaaA.

We instinctively hid the booze behind a concrete slab and i lit a cigarette. Not due to stress but to seem like we had nothing to hide — it made sense in my head at that time. We also started taking pictures of each other as well as excessively and exaggeratedly pointing at the buildings in manhattan, to pretend like we were there for the view, YOU KNOW. The cops didn’t even come to talk to us or anything so IT WORKED! Unfortunately, the guys who asked us how to get in did get a fine. ha! suckers. Just kidding, poor dudes.

I actually took this one

After the cops left, we finally went into the party. I am still not sure if it was somebody’s house or maybe a studio but we definitely went through an apartment-like space. The first DJ set was very good. he was playing some cool vintage Rap and Hip Hop. The second set was OK although he didn’t have any Das Racist and was playing almost all top 40 music, which I dont mind. However, one of the highlights of the night was the live show by the band Nyle vs. the Naysayers, which played at around 10pm (after the first DJ set) and again towards the end of the party (after the second set). They were SO GOOD that Das Racist might have to make some room in my heart for them. Check their website and music here. If I had to describe their musical style, which I am not very good at doing, I would say they are a hip-hop/punk/reaggae group. But who isn’t these days? The important thing is that they fricking rooockkeedddd.

I am not sure if this would qualify as an “underground party” as ir was definitely advertised and the purpose was to celebrate the CD release of Nyle vs. the Naysayers. To be honest I don’t really care. I had so much fun and my friends did too! I think they under the erroneous impression that I am some sort of cool girl who knows about all these ~underground~ events. But I try to explain to them that I am just a really good researcher!!!

The good: I saw Das Racist for free in Brooklyn!

“I’m at the Pizza Hut
I’m at the Taco Bell
I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”

– Das Racist

Anyone a fan of Das Racist? They may come off as a joke rap group at first, but they have a unique hip-hop/electro/rap/hardcore/punk sound that really sets them appart from any other rap group. In addition, they are lyrical geniuses, often inserting a clever racial commentary and obscure references in their songs.

They were playing a FREE show last night at the Red Hook Park, in front of the Recreational Centre, in Brooklyn. The event was part of the SummerStage concert series, which I highly recommend checking out. Find more info about lineups, dates, and locations here. Actually, SummerStage is ran by the organization I am interning at, which is the City Parks Foundation. Represent!!


The show was AMAZING, to say the least. The crowd was great. This for me means that most of the people there were over 21, that it was only about 30% white hipster, and that people actually danced. Not bad for a free, all ages show in Brooklyn!

I also discovered some great new muzik: rock/punk group Trouble Andrew and rapper Action Bronson. Action Bronson at one point threw little bags of weed to the crowd and smoked a blunt on stage. I may or may not be in possession of one of those bags. Can you fricking believe it? I still can’t This is America people, and it’s great. Actually NO, this is Brooklyn people, and it’s fucking dope. Literally.

Also I think I fell in love with Dapwell (from Das Racist)

Brooklyn unexpected industrial pockets

On my way to she show from the Caroll St G,F stop

Trouble Andrew

Dapwell (Das Racist)

The bad: How I was stood up by a brooklyner

So this post was supposed to be a happy post about how I went to this awesome event that takes place every wednesday in Brooklyn at this art gallery/space/studio called 3rd ward. Instead, this is an angry post about how this guy who I thought was my friend totally bailed on me! Cancelling is one thing but this guy didn’t even bother to tell me he wasn’t coming or to even apologize afterward for not showing up. Human beings simply should not do that to other human beings.

The event in question is called “Drink & Draw” and it consists of a life-drawing session and beer in all-you-care-to-drink quantities. Info can be found here. It’s from 8:00-10:30pm and I recommend you get there very early because it gets packed. I waited for like 30 minutes for the guy because I am always late so I figured, why not? But after 2 unanswered calls, I made my way to 3rd ward alone. Unfortunately, the place was full so I couldn’t even get in. Oh well.

The ugly: How I went out by myself last night and enjoyed it

Park Slope (A) and Williamsburg (B)

Last night was a tough one for me. There were two events I really wanted to go to and no one to go with. Cool Brazilian music playing in a Park Slope bar and a cool DJ party/art thang in Williamsburg with an open bar. An open bar! We don’t get those in Canada, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal there to have fun give out alcohol for free at a party, which is shitty makes sense.

I generally consider myself a single girl, unless otherwise specified. I was also an only child for over 12 years. So you would think I would be OK and totally cool with being alone or doing things by myself. Surprise: I am not! I texted the following people: two new friends I made last weekend; this friend I knew from before; my cousin; couchsurfing people. Granted, I tried to organize things a little to late in the evening but no one seemed to be available. They either got back too me to late, had other plans, were not in the city, or just didn’t respond. Why would anyone not respond to a text/call? SO RUDE, amirite? Man, I’ve slept with the person who didn’t get back to me. I would never even do that to an enemy.

First, I felt like a less cheerful version of this:


Then, I was like:


And so with all the support of my friend Talia, whom I was skyping with at the time and telling her about how I had NO FRIENDS, I decided to just go out by myself. I really wanted to check out these events, more importantly they were free, and I just couldn’t stand the (otherwise great) idea of staying home to watch an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit before going to bed. So I went and to be honest, it wasn’t the most fun I’ve had in years but I did have more fun than I was expecting. More importantly, I went out and did exactly what I wanted. Oh! And I had some delicious pizza before coming home, which is always good.

My night ended in Williamsburg at the loft part, very close to the East River waterfront. Since I was flying solo that night and didn’t have to wait for anyone, I left the party as soon as I got tired of it. Of course, not before getting my free drinks, dancing for a bit, and talking to some hipsters that I will hopefully never encounter again. I then walked to a nearby park on the waterfront overlooking Manhattan. I sat there for maybe 20 minutes looking at all the buildings, wondering how many people were still working and stupid shit like that. I listened to the pixies, reflected, and cried a little bit because I was drunk and friendless. That was probably my favourite part of the night (I’m serious).

I guess the morale of the story is that no matter how shitty people are with you, you can always count on yourself to make you happy. If other people are mean to you, at least you can choose to be good to yourself. Rather than feeling sad about myself, I decided to go out and have a little adventure and I also conquered my fears of doing things by myself. I am really really happy I did it and I feel a little bit more powerful.

The good: Meeting my cousin for the first time at an illegal bar

Have you ever red One Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez? If not, skip to the second paragraph or go read it and then come back. I suggest the second. I first read the book when I was around 17 years old and I have been convinced ever since that my family is the real-life incarnation of the Buendia family. We, the Aranivas have it all: notoriety in a small town in El Salvador, a killer patriarch, a Rebeca who used to eat dirt (ca c’est moi), emotional unavailability, forbidden love stories, a longevous matriarch, and you know… we’re kinda weird-quirky-yet-awesome.

I am an Araniva on my mothers’ side so I unfortunately do not carry the name but I feel more Araniva than anything. My father is mexican and he doesn’t get along with his family all that much. I barely know who they are and I’ve met my dad’s family maybe three times in my entire life. But I don’t mind at all. Although small, the Aranivas are a pretty tight clan and it’s all the family I need.

A couple of years ago, my cousin Fran created a Facebook group for all the Aranivas to join and keep in touch since we are all scattered throughout America and Europe. As a side-note, he’s my mother’s cousin so I think I should call him my cousin once removed, but who has time for that shit?

So anyways, the group remained open and people from everywhere started joining. It was pretty neat because we all turned out to be somewhat related. Let it be known that Araniva is actually an alternative spelling of the basque last name Araniba or Aranibar. It is fairly uncommon outside of the small town of Chinameca in El Salvador. One way or another, all Aranivas are connected. When the group was first created I thought “omg this is sooo lamerz, I’m totes ~tooo kewl for this~ who r this random pple anywayzzz?” so I didn’t join.

Eventually my mom befriended on of the people in the group, a girl living in new york. She dreams of going to Peru and I think that’s how she started talking to my mom, who travels to Peru every so often for work. I noticed on my Facebook feed that they’d write on each other’s walls and like each other’s comments. I didn’t think too much of it until I visited new york last summer with my friend Talia and I decided to contact this “fake” cousin of mine. Our schedules ended up conflicting and we missed each other.

This weekend, we finally met up! She took me to this really cool reggae show/party in Bushwick, Brooklyn which is the new Williamsburg or in other words, the new up-and-coming hipster artsy neighbourhood. Half overpriced bars and pretentiousness, half interesting people and places. The event was held at this illegal bar, meaning that some dudes’ decided to sell booze in their converted loft without a liquor license. In case big brother is reading, I will keep the address to myself. Although apparently every other house in Bushwick is an illegal bar (in other words a huge party).

Guys, this was totally like Party Girl’s opening scene:

Except the guy charging cover was not as charismatic as Parker Posey. And no cops came. Also, the bathroom had barbed wire, as pictured below:


My cousin used to live there and I highly considered moving there but the barbed wire kind of threw me off.

Also make sure you watch Party Girl! It’s a great movie.