Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Monday 68 :: Conya Doss

Music Monday :: Conya Doss

If you've never heard of Conya Doss, she's now on your radar and you'll wonder why she's not more famous than she is. If you've from Cleveland, you're already hip to Doss' wonderful voice (Cleveland is her hometown). Of course she's in that neo soul genre that includes Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and some others.

Doss has a new project "Blu Transition". Should be nice.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Top 5 Moments of Summer 2010

Top 5 Moments of Summer 2010

1. Hanging w/the family especially that girl of mine. She's a gem when she's not being gnarly.

2. Birthday week in D.C. w/the sis and a really cool batch of friends!

3. Seeing and doing things in my hometown that I've never done: go to Mary Coyle for ice cream, visit Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland, ate broasted chicken from that place on Portage Path, ate at The Lockview in downtown Akron, visit Lanterman's Mills in Youngstown (see image below).

4. Managing my way around Amsterdam dolo!

5. Driving my Jeep baby ... though it did nearly die on me twice in the last few days. When I left it had 207,000+ miles.

And now that it's officially and totally over, how was your summer?

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Music Monday 67 :: Citizen Cope "Sideways"

MUSIC MONDAY 67 :: Citizen Cope "Sideways" (2002) (2004)

When I come on late to music, I come late. Not ashamed to admit that. But sometimes it's how you come in contact w/an old song.

In this case, I was recently watching the movie "Ghost Town" w/Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear. The movie was okay, but at the end they played this song during a sequence and it really stood out. Of course, when the movie's over, I'm waiting for the song to be listed in the credits. I'm looking for a song w/the word 'feelings' in the title, but it ain't there. Nah, the song is called "Sideway," a word that's part of the hook of the song.

It's slow and simple and has just the right amount of acoustic guitar (there is, however, another version w/Carlos Santana going to town). The lyrics to "Sideways" just have a way of resonating ... maybe because he sings the same line over and over again: "These feelings won't go away ... they been knockin me sideways", but I haven't gotten bored with it.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Tips for Visiting Cleveland's Terminal Tower

The Terminal Tower view of the ever popular Warehouse District in downtown Cleveland.

Over the summer, I had a chance to visit Cleveland's Terminal Tower. Some people might say 'so what?' Thinking that Terminal Tower is a tourist attraction that's open year round - it's not.

Apparently, they stopped allowing access to Terminal Tower at Tower City after 9-11 in 2001. However, in late spring/early summer of this year, after some renovations, they decided to open it up for a limited time in July.

Well, good news, the folks in charge have decided to open up the Terminal Tower Tours for the months of September and October. Now, before you get all gussied up and what not, let me tell you how my trips - note the plural there - went.

On Sunday, July 18, 2010, I successfully made it to the Terminal Tower Tour in downtown Cleveland, but here’s the back story and some tips for those planning to take the tour in the next few weeks.

My friend and I decided we’d take the Terminal Tower Tour the first weekend that the tours were available since renovations; that was on a Sunday afternoon. My friend got the details, most notably, that the tours ended at 4 p.m.

We arrived downtown (to see the infamous LeBron ‘Witness’ billboard coming down) at about 2:30 p.m. When we entered Tower City from Public Square we immediately asked a security guard for information. She gave us that ‘who do you think you are?' kinda look, but not in a way that offended us. Then she said “It’s sold out for today.” What? What do you mean it's 'sold out'? Yep, seems this baby sells out on most weekends and usually by 2 p.m. Then another security guard walks over. The two of them encourage us to come back the following weekend (the tours were only being offered on the certain weekends). "Next time," one of them says “Get here at 11:30”. "No," the other one says, “they should get here at about 11.” The other concedes that 11 a.m. is a good time to get in line to get the $5 tickets. We thanked them for their insight and went on to decided what we could do on a hot Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center

After a bit more research on the particulars of the Terminal Tower Tour and along w/the information from the security guards, my friend and I decided to try to take the tour again. The primary point in our game plan the second time: arrive by 11 a.m. ... and it mostly worked out. I arrived on time and headed inside to get tickets. I ran into the security guards again. They were quite impressed that we’d taken their advice and sent me in the direction of ‘guest services’ where I could purchase the $5 tickets. Though the tickets would not go on sale until 12 noon. Interestingly enough, at the time of my visit, there was little signage about the Terminal Tower Tours like where to go and the cost of the tickets.

I was about the 10th person in line, but the awkward thing about this tour is that you purchase the tickets in one place and the line for the tour actually begins in another place. So by the time we purchased our tickets and took the short walk to get in the actual line, the line had grown and we were no longer 10th in line, but something like 30th. That's not so bad, but I couldn't figure out how that happened: the key is to have one person wait in the purchase tickets line and the other people can wait in the actual line to get up to the tower.

It's definitely worth the little bit of hassle and the $5. It would have been nice to get in that first weekend since that was the weekend that Tall Ships were in Cleveland. But even on the day that we got up to the tower, the weather was gorgeous and the view was spectacular.

Other tips:
  • It's not a tour. You basically go up in the elevator (40 + floors and very quick) and you check out the view. There are some folks around and I'm sure you can ask them questions about the history and what not, but we didn't ask them any questions.
  • The ticket taker at the Terminal Tower line will actually 'take' the tickets. So there's no souvenir tickets (they have a larger flyer on the Terminal Tower deck, but it's not the same).
  • Take your time and see the city from all angles.
  • Oh, take your camera, the good one! Don't rely on your mobile to give you good pics.

Information about the Terminal Tower Tours:
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7 Things People Don't Know About Me

7 Things People Don't Know About Me

I know that this is an old list that's been going around, but I'm feeling like revealing a little bit about myself. Going for a bit of transparency here.

Saw Princess Lasertron's Things I Don't Want People to Know list and her cutie pie webbie and I thought 'why not give it a go?'.

1. I've never seen the movie "Superfly" or "Foxy Brown" or "Dolemite" or most of the blaxploitation films. I'd like to blame my parents, which is good for them that they wouldn't allow me to watch those films as a kid, but it's been, what, too many years to count, when I could have seen them on my one and I haven't. Oh, well, there goes my black card.

2. While I'm on the subject of films, can I just put it all out there? I've never seen all of "The Godfather" and I haven't seen "Scarface" at all. I think that this is as bad as it gets as it relates to movies ... and so I'll move on because, well, because I'd like for you to forget those first two and fast.

3. When I was young, like 2 years old, I used to have braces on my legs. Seems my feet just wouldn't do what they were supposed to do on their own which is point straight. I thought I saw a picture once, but I can't seem to find it lately.

4. Less than a year after I'd finished my undergrad degree, I'd lost two very close friends: one while still in college in a motorcycle accident and one soon after (murdered). They were like my brothers always looking out for me. Miss them both - a lot.

Sometimes I'll have a smoothie with my breakfast.

5. I eat breakfast almost daily. I love a big breakfast, though I don't eat a whole lot and I usually only get a big breakfast on days when I'm not working (time constraints). I'm a fan of pancakes, french toast, omelette's, turkey sausage or turkey bacon, grits, oatmeal and cereal. Not so big on bagels or muffins, but I might take some banana bread. Oh, and some juice. I like a nice breakfast to line my belly and get me off to a good start.

6. I've met some of my best and closest friends while working at WBLK in Buffalo. I thought I'd be there for a year or so and ended up staying for four years. Some of the worst winter storms of my life, seeing the Bills lose four Superbowls, breakfast at Mattie's, being a Girl Scout leader, frequent trips to Toronto and just some plain ole, ridiculous, knock down, drag out high end drama! My grandfather was right when he told me that Buffalo was just a "raggedy ass city", but the people are priceless. Not a day goes by when I'm not in touch w/someone from my Buffalo posse.

7. I fell in love once ... and with someone who was also madly in love w/me. You know how people are always saying 'live in the moment?' and 'enjoy the moment?' ... well, that's what I did then! Incredible. So glad that I had a chance to experience that. I used to regret that I let that guy go; that the relationship didn't go where it could have gone, which was down the aisle. But now ... today, I'm so glad I am where I am in my life and I would have never gotten here had I stayed there.
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