The 3rd Annual Bollywood in the Bronx: A Taste of Culture

The Westchester Square Business Improvement District and New York City Councilman, James Vacca presented today’s 3rd Annual Bollywood in the Bronx. Present was Lisa Sorin, Executive Director of Westchester Square and Bharati S. Kemraji, Founder and Choreographer of Bharati Dance Academy who organized a fantastic Saturday afternoon with dance and live music.

Among the incredible talent were Singer/Songwriter/Author/Actress, Nisha Ramracha, Middle Eastern Dancer, Nahla and Mariachi dancers.

I took the liberty of capturing some fun and amazing moments from the event.

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Bellydancer, Nahla
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Bellydancer, Nahla
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Mariachi Dancers
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Mariachi Dancers

 

 

Nahla, Nisha and Bharati were so sweet. Thanks ladies for a wonderful event. My mother and I enjoyed every minute.

Nisha shared with me that her first American CD is coming out soon. So please visit her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for further information. And don’t forget to visit Nisha’s Youtube channel to indulge in good music and hear her glorious voice. She is available for weddings, events and parties.

In addition, feel free to visit the sensational bellydancer, Nahla on Facebook for party and event requests.

Until next year!

Please take a moment to read some interesting and important facts on India. Thank you.

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The Broadway Enthusiast

This afternoon was fantastic. I had the pleasure of meeting the brilliant and talented cast of Finding Neverland The Musical. Everyone was gracious. I cannot wait for the Tony Awards so I can see these wonderful actors live once again. (continue reading)…

Broadway’s Best New Comedy Musical ‘It Shoulda Been You’ Is Phenomenal

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Welcome to the St. George Hotel where everything and anything can happen.

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Future in-laws, Judy (Tyne Daly) and Georgette (Harriet Harris), do not see eye-to-eye on anything. Judy is eager for her daughter Rebecca (Sierra Boggess) to get married, but Georgette does not share the same sentiment. She confesses to her husband, George (Michael X. Martin) that she hopes the wedding  never manifests. After all, she is losing her only son, Brian (David Burtka).

Jenny (Lisa Howard), who is ill-fated when it comes to love, adores her sister Rebecca and wants nothing to interfere with her big day. And this includes keeping Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend, Marty Kaufman (Josh Grisetti) far away from the bride-to-be.

Despite the clashing in-laws and the return of the ex-boyfriend, Rebecca and Brian tie the knot. But what happens post-nuptials,  no one sees coming. Not even Albert (Edward Hibbert) the know-it-all wedding planner.

The wedding takes many unexpected turns including the revelation of a secret told by the intoxicated Aunt Sheila (Anne L. Nathan) – who happens to hear it in the powder room.

The intelligently written comedy musical ‘It Shoulda Been You‘ by Brian Hargrove blends humor and sarcasm with intense and emotional moments while tastefully delivering a profound message of acceptance. And in his first Broadway directorial role, David Hyde Pierce shined bright.

The actors were enchanting and gave riveting performances. The cast never missed a beat and delivered one-liners with ease and perfection. Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris were exceptional. One of the best ensemble ever.

I highly recommend this sensational comedy musical to anyone. Experience the fun, excitement and unexpected twists first hand. You won’t regret it!

Below are some photos of a sweet proposal and the talented cast which took place after the show. Much happiness to the future bride and groom.

My Review on “Dating” As Told By The Modern Whore

“Dating” As Told By The Modern Whore – Aylin Vega

Publisher: Aois21 Publishing

Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Pages: 129

Dating” As Told By The Modern Whore is a non-fiction book based on the author’s most outrageous and at times comical sexual escapades. The twenty-something year old author insists dating is not how you may envision it. Old-fashion courtship does not exist. And if it does, good luck finding it. Nowadays, dating is all about meeting (and having sex with) complete strangers and doing the nasty at the drop of a hat. Though she does hint at finding a permanent relationship, she is content with sleeping around.

The author is a sexually active college graduate who has no shame in sleeping with men on the first or second date, in the presence of strangers who happen to be doing the deed, or having sex with different men in one day. When she is not in physical contact with a man, she is on a date hoping to have sex. But the guys or the dates turn into utter chaos. One particular date assumes she ran out on him; meanwhile, she was waiting on line to use the facilities. The entire encounter was a misunderstanding, but it managed to bring some humor. Throughout her book, she explains similar dating scenarios that had me in tears laughing. On the other hand, the book is drenched with hardcore sexual encounters and vivid descriptions. She definitely lives up to her title: The Modern Whore.

Risqué. Raw. Sultry. These words best describe “Dating” As Told By The Modern Whore. Who doesn’t enjoy a good non-fiction novel reflecting on dating and relationships? I know I do. It was fun, witty and most entertaining. Nevertheless, certain behaviors were disconcerting. Ms. Vega tries to promote safe sex by elaborating on the importance of condoms during each sexual adventure, which is commendable. However, she is involved in plenty of oral sex with men she doesn’t know. Safe? No. In addition, the author is easily trustworthy when it comes to asking strange men to come over to her house (with or without roommates present) to smoke, drink and have sex. Safe? No. The author makes it abundantly clear that she is content with the way she lives her life and does not care how others perceive her. I do respect her for not caring and living her life as she pleases. But life is very precious and should be treated as such. This book does not create awareness or attentiveness to safeguarding one’s life.

If I put aside the topic of the lack of safe sex and asking strange men over, Ms. Vega did produce a real-life erotica that held my attention from beginning to end. If you are looking for a sexy book, “Dating” As Told By The Modern Whore is it.

Purchase “Dating” here.

My Review on Please Save Me From Myself: A Memoir Of Mental Illness

Please Save Me From Myself– Sebastian Aiden Daniels

Publisher: Amazon Kindle

Publication Date: July 31, 2014

Pages: 221

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Sebastian Aiden Daniels is handsome, intelligent, and has the potential to be anything he wants to be. But in his eyes, he is not worthy. He is not worth living anymore. The demons, the uncertainties, the paranoia rapidly increases his eccentric behavior leading to a self-destructive life. Sebastian struggles with suicidal ideation, psychotic and delusional thoughts, depression, and anxiety.

As a young child, Sebastian suffered from sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse along with not feeling the love and acceptance of his father. He explains in details his relationship with his siblings, parents, friends, and girlfriends. Each time something went sour in any of his relationships, Sebastian would immediately struggle with depression and suicide. His solution was to eliminate himself from everyone’s life. After all, no one would care. They would be sad for a little while, but get over it and move on. Sebastian’s war with himself was a constant uphill battle. Until one day with the support of his parents, Sebastian accepted the fact he needed professional help.

While receiving the appropriate medical care, which includes group therapies, one-to-one therapy, and medications, Sebastian is still learning how to cope with mental illness one day at a time. Nevertheless, he has come a long way from those days in which he thought killing himself was the solution to life’s troubles.

Compelling and heart-wrenching is the best way to describe this riveting memoir. He pulled me into his world instantaneously. There is a lot of content to take in. There are many vivid, descriptive moments on sex, death, and more that may leave some people with an extremely uneasy feeling. Nevertheless, those moments are critical in telling the story. The author made me think, feel, understand, sympathize, hurt, laugh, cry all throughout the book. I was on an emotional roller coaster ride along side Sebastian. I commend him for writing this heartfelt memoir as a form of reaching out to people suffering from the illness. His message is very clear: not to give up. He has opened my eyes to a whole new world, a world that exists right under our noses; but so many of us choose to ignore.

Most of us may not know what mental illness is. There are misconceptions about the illness. Allow me to suggest the following: conduct the appropriate research, ask questions, and keep informed. Mental illness is not fake nor is it humorous. This illness is detrimental to the person and the person’s family and friends.

Let’s help spread awareness on Mental Illness – and reading Sebastian’s memoir is a great place to start. In my opinion, there is no better way to educate oneself on mental illness then from someone living with it.

 Purchase Sebastian’s book here.

My Review: True Love by Jennifer Lopez

True Love – Jennifer Lopez

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Publication Date: November 4, 2014

Pages: 288 pages

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“Sometimes you have to explore the darkness to get to the light and get back to who you are.” – Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, one of the most influential Latinas in Hollywood, pens a heartwarming memoir. This is one more accomplishment to include on her already impressive résumé. Dancer, actress, singer, producer, fashion designer and now author. Is there anything Jennifer cannot do?

The public envisions Jennifer as such a diva. She’s gorgeous, wealthy, talented, one of Hollywood’s most influential and powerful women. Though she could have had some diva ways, Jennifer shows us who she is today. She is human. She is down to earth. She is a beautiful soul looking for love.

In True Love, Jennifer lets us into her real world behind the cameras, behind the glamour. She shares moments of low self-esteem, panic attacks, emotional and verbal abuse. In trying to make her partners happy, she forgot to love herself. Sadly, she found love in all the wrong places. Furthermore, Jennifer gives us a play-by-play of her highly successful World Tour and how it integrates with her innermost emotions. For many years, Jennifer contemplated doing a World Tour but, when the idea surfaced, it was never the right time to pursue it. But the day did come. The day Marc Anthony and Jennifer decided to end their 7-year marriage, she knew it was time for her tour. It was time for her to Dance Again.

Jennifer briefly touches on her past relationships. For example, she recalls a conversation she held with Sean “Diddy” Combs about her career, but never gets into details about their intimate relationship. Later, she explains how she and Marc united. When Jennifer suffered a heartbreak after her break up with actor and then fiancé, Ben Affleck, she took comfort in Marc. After all, they’ve been friends for many years. He’s always been there for her – and still is. In addition, Jennifer shares some American Idol moments including her anxiety before taking on the job as judge and lovely pictures of her tour and one of her sitting at the dining room table in her Castle Hill home. That image was on my favorites.

If you are expecting intimate details about Jennifer’s love life, then this book is not for you. Jennifer lets you know that early on. Nevertheless, the admirable and inspiring Latina does open up her heart to talk about the different types of love shared with lovers, family, children, friends and above all – oneself. The essence of her book is finding true love. And in her particular situation she has two different types of love – love for dance and love for her beautiful twins.

I read True Love in one day. I normally take my time reading books (interesting or not), but this particular book spoke to me. I connected with Jennifer, not only because we are both from Puerto Rican descent and we were both born and raised in the Bronx. But because we both experienced some type of abuse in our past relationships, low self-esteem and other factors. While reading her book, I will admit I had tears in my eyes. Especially when she expressed her anxiety and panic attacks. I’ve been there before. Though Jennifer wrote this book for her fans (JLovers), I felt as if she wrote it just for me. Sounds weird, right? Nevertheless, if you can relate to her journey in some way, you will definitely appreciate True Love. The essence of her memoir is to never forget to accept and love yourself.

Purchase your very own copy at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

My First HuffPost Live!

Based on an article I wrote a while back for Familyshare called No quitters zone: Why you shouldn’t let your kids quit, I was asked to participate in the What Message Should Kids Take From Peyton Manning discussion this afternoon.

Boy, I was nervous, but I think I did OK overall for my first time. It was a great discussion. Check it out!

Warning: I say the word “fear” a lot without realizing it. :(

Huffington Post

Honeymoon In Vegas Is Laugh-Out-Loud Good

 

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I know now why the New York Times said Honeymoon in Vegas was “Over-the-top funny.” This musical had the audience dying of laughter from beginning to end. Everything about the musical including The Buddy Rocky Experience and the Flying Elvises was out of control hysterical. I can’t remember (more…)

Kristalbelli Left Us Wanting More

Kristalbelli is a Korean barbeque restaurant located in Midtown, New York. This alluring restaurant is inviting, relaxing, clean and delightful. Our waiter flawlessly explained the menu along with recommending three desserts, which didn’t disappoint. Moreover, the food was breathtaking. Each meal had distinct flavors creating delicious results. We were blown away by the Chef’s perfection. It was our first time indulging in Korean food – and it will not be our last.

Take a look (more…)