The Final Word

April 22nd, 2009

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For 10 episodes we have given you a glance into our lives. Your 20s are the time to discover your life path. That includes careers, friends, lovers, and just finding out who you really are. This is the time to live hard and have fun because you are only young once. There are extremely rough situations and times where you curl up and wish you were a teenager again because jump-starting your adult life is a hard road to travel. The path to friendship can burn you time and time again, making you jaded toward making new ones. Relationships are more complicated because in a society where morals seem out of the window, finding that one person exclusive to you feels impossible. Especially when there is always another prospect around the corner. And getting into the groove of a career is attacked head on with an energy and hunger to be the best. Even when you are in the “proving yourself” stage.

**Sidebar: Which means less pay, more hours, and little praise. Y‘all know what I‘m talking about.**

“Harlem Heights” is ahead of it’s time for reality television. The norm is dating for no direction, pure foolishness, complete with melees. But we have opened the door to a world where young Black people from different backgrounds and industries, live amongst each other in a legendary community, all with a common goal of working hard to achieve success with no handouts. So the nitpicking and all-out hate some of you have displayed should be curbed for the big picture. Yes, there has been drama, but that’s a part of being a “young” adult. You will never like everyone you meet. There will be petty spats amongst friends. Look at your life, and I bet it’s not much different, minus the cameras.

But the positive outweighs the negative when it comes to our accomplishments and goals. I feel extremely humbled and blessed to be able to turn on my DVR and relive our 1st Black President being elected, my bag launch that I worked tirelessly during the filming of the show to produce, and the small things like just spending time with my lifelong friends. We will never have this time again, but I will always have something to remind me. No negative words slung at me will make me regret putting myself in a vulnerable position by opening my life to the world. All I’ve ever wanted in life was to design. The talent has ALWAYS been there, but race and gender made it that much harder to get where I am. But I fought tooth and nail to succeed. So if me putting myself on the line inspired someone to not hold back and go for their dream, mission accomplished.

For the critics that feel this show is scripted and we are hired actors: 100% incorrect. We have REAL lives, REAL struggles, and REAL histories.
And finally to my “Harlem Heights” cast:

Bridget: We came up from birth with a strong family that always loved and stood behind us…even when we decided to change our career paths. You are a true example of what a friend is. Always putting yourself out there for others, helping them reach their goals. You are a step away from your law degree and I am soooo proud of you. I will be front and center at the graduation like you were at mine.

Brooke: My sister, no matter what “they” have to say, we are forever friends. You have been there by my side through triumph and tragedy, always the one I can count on. Your future is bright, and no one can stand in your way to reach the stars.

Christian: Cephas! (inside joke) My little brother…I am so happy you and Brooke found each other. Keep striving for your ultimate goal. You have accomplished so much at a young age, but you have so much more ahead of you.

Pierre: You are a genuine man that defeated great odds of failure and became a success. Your mother, grandmother and aunts have proven it doesn’t matter where you come from, but with a strong family and good guidance you can excel to be anything you want. In our society a lot of Black women had to be Mom and Dad. You are the hope of that generation.

Aden: Even though the world didn’t get a total glimpse into your “mogul” transformation, I am so proud of the success you’ve achieved. We’ve been friends since teenagers and I feel blessed to have you in my life. Danielle is a wonderful woman and I can’t wait for the wedding.
Kelly M: Despite our complications I am very proud of you. You went through a horrific, life-changing experience, but proved to everyone how strong you really are by picking up the pieces and jumping right back into life. I wish you much success in your new career.

Landon: Politics better watch out! You have the community behind you and good friends to see you through the hard times. I know your father is extremely proud of your transformation over the past year into a man. Continue to fight for the good of the community.

Kelli C: At a very young age you have an overwhelming expectation on your shoulders. But you have hit the ground running and will be a driving force for Black women in your industry.

Jason: You are rare and refreshing. Leaving the streets behind to make a better way for your daughter should be the blueprint for every young man who has been in your situation. Harlem’s troubled youth are in good hands once your empowerment movement takes over.

Ashlie: I respect your hustle of putting yourself out there, going into a challenging field like acting. As a young Black woman it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of social life. But despite our issues in the past, I wish you the best going forward in the future.

Ally and Lamar: Y’all know I had to give it to you at the same time. lol. The two of you are a force, and extremely talented; Ally, with your dance career

For 10 episodes we have given you a gateway into our world. I hope that the change we have tried to bring to your home inspired the masses.
‘Til Next Time.

Ciao Ciao

-Briana

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‘Just when you thought everything was roses and sunshine…’

April 15th, 2009

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While Christian, Jason, Brooke, and I were getting our rock star on, Pierre was giving Bridget a heart to heart on the couch. She is always the go-to when you are struggling with issues. She gives it to you like it needs to be told. His life has been rapidly changing the past few months. But the move to the big city proved too taxing for his relationship, and it was coming to an end.

**Sidebar: Insert Bridget side eye here. Bwahahaha! I heart Pierre.**

And in the kitchen…. “KissGate” turned into a spotlight for the developing friendship between Brooke and Christian. All of us see the magnetic connection. But with Christian just getting out of a long relationship, Brooke is playing it careful to not fall into “rebound” status.

Landon finally gave his big announcement about throwing his hat into the ring for City Council. His speech definitely struck a chord, focusing on the gentrification taking place all over our neighborhood. Everywhere you look in Harlem there are construction sites and Starbuckses. Giving the area a face lift might attract the downtown dollar, but it doesn’t change the community for the better. It just alienates the natives that have struggled to keep it together.

With the tension and open bar the party provided, it didn’t take long for the drama to kick into high gear. The first serve of the night was the relations between HBCUs and predominantly-White universities. The second serve of the night was Pierre expressing his feelings to Bridget.

**Sidebar: Insert Bridget side eye here. Bwahahaha! I heart a Pierre and Bridge convo.**

And the match point of the night was the rally between Brooke and Christian about his party wandering.

*sigh* Just when you thought everything was roses and sunshine, you get pulled back in. lol

‘Til next time..
Ciao Ciao

-Briana

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Food For Thought

April 7th, 2009

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After the blow up at the open mic, Brooke and Ashlie made good on their agreement to talk outside of the social scene. During their meeting at the Den, Brooke expressed the reason for their relationship changing was because of Ashlie siding with Dawn after their fallout, not because of her relationship with Kanye. Ashlie realized what she said to a friend about Brooke was relayed back to her.

Later Brooke and Christian met for drinks to discuss the events that have transpired in their friendship. While it seemed as though Christian was leaning toward taking their friendship to the next level, Brooke felt it would be better if they kept the friendship casual for now. At this time it would be better if things stayed open instead of being exclusive.

**Sidebar: Some of the most solid relationships start with a close friendship. But a lot of times friendship will keep a couple from taking it further than just that. Hmmm…**

With all the stress I had been going through with work and launching my brand, I decided to go home to Atlanta for a weekend of relaxation. While away, to also relax and take time away from the drama, Bridget opened her home to Brooke, Jason, Pierre, and Christian for a dinner party. The laughter, wine, and comfort food only eased the mood for a moment when Pierre decided to confront Brooke and Christian with the current events. Pierre makes it clear that Brooke is not the typical girl he would date, while Brooke insists that the date they shared did not warrant the resulting drama.

Meanwhile… Ashlie confronted Landon about stepping outside of their friendship by telling Brooke the feelings she expressed at lunch with him and Allie.

**Sidebar: The first thing a friend told me before I moved to New York was don’t be fooled by the size of the city. If you don’t want something to get out, it’s best not to make it public. Because sometimes your words can go full circle and snowball.**

Landon assured her that she can confide in him in the future. But for Ashlie it will take time before she can trust him again…

‘Til next time.
Ciao Ciao

-Briana

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Brooke’s Voice: OPEN MIC

April 2nd, 2009

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So as we wrap up the latest episode of “Harlem Heights,” the single most common assessment is that ‘the men on the show are more developed than the women, they are doing their thing in work and in the community while the women come across very catty’. Noted and respected. Prompted by a comment left by a friend on my page (Brandon, I’m calling you out lol), I wanted to share some of the thoughts I had regarding this statement.

I think that the reason why the guys on the show come off like they’re more developed and mature than the ladies has a lot to do with 2009 being the birth of Harlem Heights, as well as our first Black President. This is a moment that, although touching to both genders, rang especially proud for Black men in America, including those men featured in Harlem Heights. Landon’s father is a prominent community leader in Harlem, that is his story…is he going to follow in the footsteps of his father? That does not mean that Landon does not have other issues he is dealing with in his life, that is just the most prominent.

Jason has a young daughter whom he has been inspired to be a better father figure for, ala Barack Obama. He wants to teach her that she can be and do anything she wants, unlike what he thought when he was growing up.

Pierre has been involved with the uplifting of communities through his job, however, this is not the crux of his existence.

Though not as adamant about being a leader in the community, Christian is also affected by our new Black president, in the sense that he wants to rise to the occasion and be the best man that he can be as well. As the season progresses, you will see that these men are introduced as being career and community driven, but their other issues soon show face as the season progresses.

The ladies of the show come from a difference place as we are introduced, and just because the things that drive us are not based in politics, that does not make us shallow.

I for one, am addressing a very close friendship that went bad. Prior to Harlem Heights, it had been close to 2 years since I had spoken to Ashlie. She was my very first friend (and very close friend, might I add) I made in New York, as my mother is good friends with her aunt who introduced us. Shortly after, I began dating a celebrity and it wasn’t that I changed, it’s that my schedule did and we began to hang less and less. Not a lot of time went by between Ashlie and I becoming friends and me entering a relationship, so I felt that Ashlie didn’t really get to know the real me to later assume that I had changed…we spent more time together after the relationship ended than we ever did before so that sentiment was hurtful…especially since the first time I ever heard of her feeling that way was from the lips of a mutual friend.

People hopefully grow up from 22-27 and change because of that, whether they dated someone famous or not. We are all guilty of it ladies: spending all of our time with our girlfriends and when we get a boyfriend, sort of trailing off. And when that relationship ended it was hard to get back in the groove of the friendship because some years transpired, not because I was too hot for Harlem. Harlem Heights picks up 2 years later where 2 prior close friends are seeing each other for the first time and trying to figure out a) where things went wrong, and b) if they can be fixed. That is a very natural and relatable story.

Harlem Heights is also about friendship and the different types of friendships that exist between women, between men, between men and women, and between different classes and social circles. There are best friends, me and Briana, and as my best friend, she rides for me. That does not mean she is mindless and spineless, but she is the big sister that reacts to her little sister being beat up on the playground, then goes back the next day and asks the questions. We all have one.

Me and Christian. Harlem Heights picks up when our friendship is already solidified…I mention briefly that Christian is my homeboy that I play Rockband with late at night, my homie that asks my advice about girls very candidly, and even has a permanent pallet in my living room on the couch as a resting place for his late night shenanigans after being out with his women friends. I am the ‘guy’s girl’, and that dynamic is tested eventually. Harlem Heights asks the question, is an adult friendship between a man and a woman ever platonic? So me giving him advice about not dating Ashlie is not ‘catty’, it’s the nature of our friendship. Of course I don’t think anyone is good enough for my little brother/friend. Christian is charming, yet very impressionable and gullible, so big sisters Brie and Brooke are always there to have his back and send any of his chicks through the wringer.

Me and Pierre…Pierre is a friend of Christian’s that was always around naturally because Christian was always around me. As Briana states, ‘Pierre is gorgeous, anybody can see that’, however, looks are not enough anymore. Don’t get me wrong, just because I was bored sick on our date does not mean that I do not like and respect Pierre as an individual and a person. A date is meant for 2 people to connect on a romantic level, and I felt like we made a more brother/sister connection than a romantic one…and like Briana eluded to in her blog, 2 attractive people on a date is just that, not a love connection.

My rejection of Pierre had nothing to do with me thinking I was too good for him by any means, and I was truly appreciative that he felt me deserving of such an over the top first date…it just wasn’t a love connection and after all, isn’t that what dates are for? :O) But stay tuned for episodes 5 and 6…this isn’t the last you’ve heard of DATEGATE. lol

Harlem Heights addresses the socioeconomic relationships that exist between us, for it is only on Harlem Heights that you see someone affluent/siddity like Kelly Mitchell attend a play with the likes of Jason ‘Young Harlem’ Allen. We are a conduit for each other; through us, Jason expands his horizons and is motivated to do more. And through Jason, the rest of us are reminded about the simpler, important things in life like home, belonging to a community, and just remembering the joy of just plain good ole people who tell it like it is without using big fancy words. I bet none of us thought that post-college any of us would welcome a local Harlem dude into our friend circle and love him the way we do, or that he and Landon would have anything to discuss. This is a real lesson to people to never close your circle of friends, or limit yourself to the types of people you hang around because you could really be missing out.

So in watching the first 4 episodes of Harlem Heights, it is my hope that amidst the catty everyday endeavors of men and women, that you are able to walk away from Harlem Heights with a broader perspective of all of us, fresh off of quarter-life crises and see yourself, or some part of yourself in all of us…and remember that behind 30 minutes of television are 8 full lives and what you are getting is a glimpse. Take all of your downfalls from one week and string them together in 22 minutes, interspersed with 30 second pleas to use certain skin care and eat certain food and drive certain cars, and there you have a mirror that you see is also your life… If you stay at the surface, you get cattiness, but I urge you to delve deeper and realize that every personality has 360 degrees and cattiness is just a piece of the pie.

Rest assured that in the second half of the season, the boys will face their fair share of ‘dog fights’ and the ladies really delve into their lives at work and their career aspirations and you really see us get focused and buckle down, and it’s like I always say, every personality has 360 degrees…right now you’ve seen about 90 of those degrees so stick around. :O)

Yes, Harlem Heights is a reality television show…many of you have cried out for years for more ‘positive Black programming’…yet many of you were bored out of your minds with the first episode (let’s keep it real) and raved that the second episode was much better…which featured what? A cat fight at a birthday party. So we got back to the basics with community stories and stories of single parents…bore and snore from the public…so this past week we got back to it with insults flying, you guys ate it up…so at the end of the day, speak on it. The ‘positive Black programming’ nobody gets, and the cattiness we look down on is heralded in ratings…SPEAK ON IT!

Just food for thought guys!

Always,

-Brooke

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Blame It On…

March 24th, 2009

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27 and single is a hard age for a woman. 25 is far behind, and 30 is full speed ahead. What have you done with your life up to that point? I think so far I’ve done pretty well, but my ultimate goal feels far from my fingertips. That’s what keeps me going day in and day out.

Living in Manhattan in your 20s is different from anywhere else. You dance the night away with bottles flowing, but come the AM you are bright eyed back on your grind.

**Sidebar: Struggling through your smile at work, hopped up on Gatorade and Red Bull…lol.**

Lately Brooke and I have been having conversations about the future. Partying takes a lot of energy away from what we want to accomplish. And now is the time to get serious and buckle down.

But the second you try to leave, the nightlife pulls you back in….

Christian, Brooke, Angelo, and I hit up Club Body. All I can say is bottles, bottles, and more bottles.

**Sidebar: The Goose was loose! I was in a zone with my hat low. Honestly, all the events of that night are a little blurry.**

But the next morning, one memory I could conjure up was the cuddling Christian and Brooke were doing all night. Brooke was hoping a night of drunk friends wouldn’t get him in trouble with Ashlie. But we all know better.

**Sidebar: With that said, let KissGate begin!…. sigh.**

Later that day Christian popped up at Body to talk to Ashlie. After him showing up to her job, and getting his kiss on, she made it quite clear she would prefer to end their relationship completely, including the “friend” zone.

That’s the thing about Harlem nights. Situations can arise, and actions have no excuses. Sometimes all you can do is blame it on the alcohol…

‘Til next time.

Ciao Ciao

-Briana

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Disaster Zone

March 17th, 2009

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So much transpired this week I don’t know where to begin. With everything unraveling, and reaching a boiling point, I guess I will start off by saying:

Say hello to the bad guy..lol.

Like I explained to you in the past, I’m not much of a filtered individual. If you’re looking for someone who is all smiles through gritted teeth in your face, but talks about you like a dog when your back is turned (*side eye*), you’ve found the wrong one. I don’t apologize for my views because they are just that, mine. What has to be understood is there are always two sides of a coin. When the coin is flipped, what you’re presented with might always be one sided. But, there is one thing that always shines through. What is dark will come to light.. With that said, let’s go!!

Black to Broadway started with a stand off between Bridget and Kelly. Bridget wanted to get Kelly’s side of where the shadiness she had started to display originated since being introduced to Ashlie.

**Sidebar: There is nothing worse then someone who will laugh at someone one second, then the next second when no one is around come to that persons aid. But when called out, act like they are above everything. SMH. Be consistent with your friends. No one really cares who you consider a friend. But it’s never good to play two sides of the field, fronting like you wear one jersey.**

The “Couple” double date was like a train wreck: Awful, but you can’t stop watching. The look on Christian’s face was a classic mix of huh?, and WTF. The dinner went from bad to worse when Lamar questioned Christian’s choice of higher education. I’m pretty sure Kilgore Hall on Morehouse’s campus erupted with boo’s and plastic cups being hurled at the big screen. lmao.

The after date download with Ally and Ashlie didn’t go down any smoother. Ashlie let her know that Lamar should watch how he expresses himself, and use the correct dialog. Ally defended her man, and felt slighted that Ashlie didn’t jump in and try help her defuse the situation. Noting that Christian was over it before it started, she made it clear they will not be making their future outings a double.

Ashlie wasted no time venting the date events with Kelli and Kelly. With Alley not there for defense, she threw Lamar and his statement all the way under the bus. Being that K & K went to Christian’s sister school Spelman. The two took turns driving and reversing the bus over Lamar. lol.

Walking to lunch with Brooke and Christian we wanted to hear all about his double date. Christian is like a little brother so we can get protective, and he is the same with us. I knew by him not bringing it up earlier, it must have went bad. Because of certain situations that had arose my trust in Ashlie was 0%. Therefore I might tend to get a little harsh..hehe. But I stood firm that I didn’t believe Ashlie was then right girl for him. Sometimes your friends know you so well, they can predict the future…

‘Til next time.
Ciao Ciao

-Briana

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Back Talk – Briana Answers Your Questions

March 16th, 2009

Milcielys said on February 28th, 2009
Hi Briana, we met today at HEAF and it was such an awe-inspiring experience for me. You all gave great advice to us and I wish you the best. Great bags (and fashion designs) by the way! I liked the black one the best to be honest.   I hope you guys visit HEAF someday and inspire more of us to do great things like today. Thank you again for your words. Take care and you can count on me seeing the season if even I’m packed with homework on Mondays. Lol.

Well hello again Milcielys,
I had so much fun with you and all the kids! You all are so smart and have so much ahead of you. When you’re so young it’s easy to live life like you will be a kid forever. I admire how driven you all are. You take your education serious, and donate your weekends to building your future. I look forward to getting more involved in your program. The sky is the limit for you!

 

Desi said on March 11th, 2009
There seems to be a pattern here Briana. You need to really review all of the episodes. Brooke tends to give you slightly modified versions of events. If you review this particular episode you will see that Brooke asked Pierre to tell her about himself. Later she told you that he just went on and on like he was trying to impress her. She is not a very truthful person and you should strongly reconsider going for broke for her without having all of the facts. Brooke would not do the same for you. She does not appear very trustworthy. You really need to review the facts and be on guard because you might miss out on developing some sincere friendships based on the information you received from Brooke.

Hi Desi,
Sometimes the downfall of television is that unless this was “The Truman Show” (1998 Jim Carrey movie where the camera is live 24/7), you won’t be able to get the full dialogue of everything said. If Brooke and I only had 15-second conversations I doubt we would be the best of friends. lol.

Pierre is a good, hardworking, stand up guy. But even with a resume as lofty as his (looks, personality and education), it doesn’t mean he will be compatible with every woman he goes on a date with. And let’s keep it all the way real… You know how girlfriends talk. We don’t describe our dates like a panel discussion on Meet the Press! lol. :-)
Jkeys said on March 11th, 2009
I like the show, what a breath of fresh air, young black professionals who are positive and love life. The fashion is off the chain; I enjoy seeing what everyone is wearing and how they put their fits together. At this point I notice that some like the appearance of being elite and above others, but they come off as being drama seekers and mess starters. (hint: 2 of the 3 B’s) P.S. Bridget, keep smiling and being the positive clue in the group!!

Hi Jkeys,
Elite is a very bold word to use when you haven’t really had a chance to know the person. I can speak for myself (as well as the people that surround me); that is not at all the way I live my life. We come from different backgrounds but are striving toward a common goal. I’m not a trust fund kid or CEO. I go to work every day and grind out for every dime I have. When that dime is made it goes toward my bills, my business, and some fashion here and there. One of the greatest accomplishments I feel is being able to support myself after college. Knowing my family doesn’t have to worry about me, or break their pockets for a grown woman’s lifestyle.

When it comes to drama, I’m far from an instigator, I stand by my friends 100% until I’m given a reason not to. It’s that simple. If a new person comes into my bubble with a blemished past, I have every right to be distant and question their presence until I can totally read them. When asked advice, I don’t treat the situation like an episode of Sesame Street. I give you my complete observation. As adults, I feel like being honest with one another will get you everywhere. I’m protective of my friendship so I don’t give it to everyone; you’re not supposed to. What I say about someone is known to that person. I feel if we’re cool you should give me the same respect. It’s never good to hear friends’ “feelings” about you through another person’s mouth.
Nawlins said on March 7th, 2009
Briana,
I’m just wondering how you did it all! I am a fashion student living in DC also from the south and also a fiend for the industry. But my biggest downfall is that I am SO broke, it’s unbelievable! How did you keep your fashion forward appearance up-to-par when you were broke and in college?

Hey Nawlins,
I looooooove DC! I try to get down there as much as possible. Especially Love (the club) for the First Fridays party. College years are tough for fashion, especially in design school. The girls tend to compete rather than study. lol. Disposable income is hard to come by. But lucky for you, DC has great spots for a cheap buck. The upside to being a woman (especially in this economy) is that our sales are ridiculous. It’s all about variety and mixing up your wardrobe. You don’t need a closet full of Gucci to be fierce. One of my favorite vintage spots on this earth is located in Georgetown: Annie Creamcheese. Prices are beyond reasonable, and their selection will guarantee you leaving with a staple piece every time you walk out. Good luck with school, hope to see you on the runway soon. ;-)

shubbie said on March 3rd, 2009
Ugh, I was okay with the show until a stereotype, about how the south is always keeping blacks down, reared his ugly head. The south continues to struggle with what the rest of the country struggles with– covert and overt racism. The self proclaimed “pretty girl” (I don’t remember her name), in trying to talk about her comeuppance from her previous place in the world, helped to perpetuate the negative image of the south. I have lived in the south all my life and have never been held back from achieving my goals. I wish that image could be put out there too.
On another note, the “characters” are both boring and two-faced (I didn’t even know that you could be both at the same time until I watched the show). The dialogue seems forced and the plot seems bland. Hopefully it gets better. I won’t know, since I won’t be watching.
P.S. “birfday” isn’t a word: episode 2

Hi Shubbie,
I don’t believe you can take life experiences and call them a stereotype. I love the South from the bottom of my heart and miss it something awful. We have come a long way from slavery, but the oppression of our past can still touch our generation. I had a very tough childhood moving to a new state from an all-Black community, to one of five within a mile radius. It was a culture shock. I was called many hateful and racist things by not only students, but the teachers and principals that were supposed to nurture my growth. I had to learn to adapt to a world that rejected me before a word was exchanged. I had to show my peers, who were raised to not befriend my “type,” that we were the same, just a different color. It was almost like the game of Survivor: Outwit. Outplay. Outlast. To this day in some ways my experiences in Texas still affect me.

Election Day was one of the most memorable nights of my life. It was obvious who the best candidate was, but until that vote came down it could have gone either way. The party was filled with stories of growing pains of being Black in America. And even though we have come so far, a lot of feelings were that the country wasn’t ready for Obama. The moment the winner was announced it was extremely overwhelming. When you have spent so much of your life fighting racial conditioning, seeing our people and the world come together to change was a liberating moment. November 4, 2008, was my Independence Day.

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The Tale of Two Dates

March 10th, 2009

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The New York romance scene is almost like a sport. With so many people to choose from on a small stretch of land, we take speed dating to another level. Your first date is almost like a job interview. During drinks everything is put out on the table before you get to appetizers. So you’ll know if it’s even worth making it to the entree. And the five Blackberry messages you were typing under the table will hopefully turn into a Plan B hookup, because damn you’re so hungry. lol

Pierre and Christian wasted no time to make good on taking the girls out. Christian dined Ash at a popular restaurant, the River Room.  While Pierre opted to go baller and rent the top floor of Talay.

Ashlie got straight to the point about Christian’s relationship status. In this city you have to go for the jugular, because if not things will be swept under the rug until you start cleaning. Being that he is newly single and getting to know someone, making date numero dos a double might not be the best move. Four can be a crowd.

Over at Talay Pierre is running down his life story, while B listened. The only fireworks at that dinner were the candles burning on the table. It might have gone better with just a couple chapters of his life, not the whole book. lol

**Sidebar: With all the stops he pulled out you would think that would be grounds for a second date. Not so fast homie.*

Attraction is first and foremost. But what does that matter if all that comes from it is two good looking people with nothing in common but good looks.

MEANWHILE..

I’m not very easily persuaded, especially when it comes to my designs. But for the past 3 years I have been beat in the head by the tag team that is Bridget and my mother Ramona to launch a handbag line. I work really hard and sometimes that means the sacrifice of putting personal things away for a while.

**Sidebar: Criticism is extremely HARD for artists, so until the line was perfect I was determined to keep it under wraps.*

I had Bridget come with me to see my Production Liaison Merlet. My patterns were ready, now the next step in choosing leather and lining. With sampling underway in China, I finally felt ready to show and prove. Giving into Bridget to do a preview of my line for a select crowd. With both of our connects put together it should make for a memorable night. I am not known for doing the norm, it has to be big and over the top..

‘Til next time..
Ciao Ciao

-Briana

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Friend or Foe?

March 3rd, 2009

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The election had me partying into the night, but after such a hectic emotional beat down I needed some download time with my girls. I find myself organizing outings, but am the last to show up. Fashionable yes, but always late. lol.

In the middle of our brunch Brooke gets a text from Ashlie about coming to her birthday party….

**Sidebar: Brooke is more than a best friend, she is a sister. I’m very protective of my family, and will ride for them until the wheels fall off. So after hearing there were comments made by Ashlie on her character I take issue.*

We all agreed to stop through and see what it was about. Brooke and I rolled out and went straight into wardrobe hunt for the event.

At N Boutique I probed into B’s past with Ashlie. I knew very little about her, so before I show up at her event I needed to find out what I was getting into. She expressed how their relationship never really officially ended. It was more like she was phased out the friendship.

**Sidebar: Even worse. :-/ When a door is left cracked open instead of closed, it makes for an uncomfortable situation. Especially when neither person fought to keep the friendship alive.*

Guess who was last to arrive to the party? Hehe. Always down to make an entrance. It was clear the tension was in the air with our arrival. I’m not good at making phony conversation when I don’t have much to say. So I. stepped on down to the end of the bar to hang with my cousin Bridget, Christian, and Pierre. A packed venue with all eyes on you is never the place to try to settle old scores. And that was obvious from the cool reception Brooke received when she went to wish Ash Happy Birthday.

Time will tell where this situation will lead. If a bond can once again be established. For now my alert is at level orange for caution.

‘Til next time.
Ciao ciao

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Yes We Did!

March 3rd, 2009

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With the election season winding down, the mood in Harlem was almost blinding with anticipation. Negative press and long lines at the polls weren’t keeping us from contributing to history. Yes we can!

My crew assembled the night before at Moca for drinks. Our gathering was to celebrate Pierre completing the New York marathon, but the only topic on the table was the determination to get Obama into the Oval Office. Pierre made it very clear that if Obama wins, racism can no longer be an excuse for failure.

Bridget and I met up at Montgomery’s to look for an outfit for Aden’s party later on that night. I let her in on my antics of turning the voting booth into a photo shoot. I was excited, but also confident that Obama could take the White House. “Can’t” was not in my vocabulary for the day.

Christian and Pierre met Jason at the jumbotron on 125th Street. The Harlem community came together to experience the end of the greatest election in our country’s history.

Downtown Providence was packed, and with Obama winning state after state, the crowd was electric. Drinks were flowing, and there were conversations about the hardships of growing up Black in America. I reflected on the harsh racism I experienced in the South. And even though over the years we’ve seen a rise of wealth and power, racism was still very much alive. The boys rolled in just in time for the closing of the West Coast polls. We gathered in front of the TV and counted down the last 10 seconds. When we got to zero the screen flashed the next President of the United States was Barack Obama! Cheers rang out, then reality smacked me in the face and the tears rolled.

**Sidebar: Look, I know my face was contorted in strange positions, and my knees gave out. But that moment in time was priceless. So get your laughs out now at my crocodile tears, ‘cause you won’t get that chance again. lol*

We have risen above the slavery, segregation, and water hoses. Every door that was closed in our faces, we found a way to open. Together – not just as a people, but as a nation – we have shown the world we are better than our past.

Yes We Did!

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