Team BMWi x Harman/Kardon paired up for a history-making partnership highlighting sustainable mobility and the sound of the future during the first ever FiA Formula E NYC ePrix in Brooklyn.
The Harman/Kardon partnership with BMWi sponsors the MS Amlin Andretti Race Team in the global racing event. While NYC has hosted a variant of race-related auto events in the past, this weekend was the first time that a Formula E race has come to the Big Apple. Well-known globally for premium sound experience and a sophisticated aesthetic, Harman Kardon perfectly matched the BMWi and FiA Formula E appealing flair of sights and sounds from NYC’s Brooklyn Terminal.
During this weekend’s exclusive NYC ePrix experience, I got the chance to go behind the scenes from the MS Amlin Andretti Race Team and get a closer look at the technology and sound behind Formula E racing. I learned the lengths drivers and their teams go through to vigorously prepare their engine, tires and more for the race.
During race day, I got the chance to experience the BMWi x Harman/Kardon partnership in perfect harmony with speed and sound. There’s nothing quite like a race track hot lap, but when you’re in a BMWi8, it becomes a next level experience.
We reached speeds up to 110+ MPH and it was exhilarating! Pair uncompromised speed and style with a superior sound system and you realize why the BMWi x Harman/Kardon team was a match made in heaven. harman/kardon doesn’t just create amazing in-home and headphone audio products, it’s driving the sound of the future in the automotive industry with sustainable audio products. To support the move towards a greener, more sustainable future, it’s developed audio components that are more energy efficient and consume less power, all while giving the listener incredible sound.
The Harman/Kardon is an audio experience you have to hear to believe and luckily they’re closer to you than you think. Check out harmankardon.com/automotive to discover more behind the brand that’s changing the way we listen and driving the sound of the future, today.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ESSENCE Magazine & ESSENCE Street Style Block Party. The opinions and experiences expressed below are all mine.
It’s been three years since ESSENCE Magazine has disrupted what street style means to everyday people in NYC. Throughout the course of three short years, celebrity style icons, stylists, fierce fashionistas and beyond descend upon DUMBO in Brooklyn for the fashion and style party of the year. New York Fashion Week is known for the style cascading down the runways, but those that are in the know, knows the real creativity and fierce fashion takes place on the streets of NYC.
ESSENCE Magazine’s Julee Wilson and Kelly Rowland.
In addition to celebrating real women with real style, the ESSENCE Street Style Block Party transformed the DUMBO Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn into a summer street festival for all things fierce, fashionable and FUN!
ESSENCE’S 2016 Street Style Awards honored stylish bloggers, designers, stylists and celebrity trendsetters. This year’s stylish honorees included:
Kelly Rowland – ESSENCE Street Style Closet Crush Award
Khadija Shari – ESSENCE Street Style Curator of Cool
Zendaya and ESSENCE Street Style Disruptor honoree Law Roach.
Law Roach – ESSENCE Street Style Style Disruptor Award presented by Zendaya
Blake Von D – ESSENCE Street Style Chevy Street Style Maven
Romeo Hunte – ESSENCE Street Style Designer To Watch Award
The ESSENCE Street Style Block Party driven by partners SheaMoisture and Chevrolet was the epicenter of stylish inspiration. Chevy kept the block party rocking with a silent disco and included a chance to get to know and get inspired by creatives who are fueling their passions in art, fashion and music.
Chevy’s Fuel Your Hustle Silent Disco
Artist Jade 1911 will create original artwork inspired by the Chevy Cruze
The SheaMoisture team was all about the preserving the beauty and style, as stylists tamed tresses, refreshed curls and supplied plenty of tips & tricks for preserving natural hair care and beyond.
The runway show showcasing the best of street style hosted by Naturi Naughton was great inspiration for on site shopping and ESSENCE made it easy with local vendors and designers selling exclusive accessories, fashions and more via the Street Style Shops.
Of course no block party is complete without great foods and drinks and the Essence Eats curated local food truck experience and custom Caribbean-inspired pineapple drinks made the ESSENCE Street Style Block Party the perfect celebration of sights, sounds and styles and tastes of a unique New York Fashion Week experience and beyond.
For more information check out all the super stylish pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #EssenceStyle. You can also visit Essence.com/streetstyle or pick up ESSENCE’s upcoming fashion issue for a full recap of New York Fashion Week’s most stylish event of the season.
You’ve waited all summer, and now the Lyons are loose! Luscious, Cookie, Jamal, Hakeem and Andre are back at it again and season two promises to be filled with more excitement than ever before. Empire Season Two is just around the corner and thanks to Lincoln Motor Company, select vips, fans and journalists got the chance to experience the EMPIRE Season Two Premiere in NYC.
Cast members Taraji P. Henson, Terrance Howard, Jussie Smolett and more graced the stage inside NYC’s illustrious Carnegie Hall where guests were treated to an exclusive sneak peek at EMPIRE Season Two premiere episode on the big screen. Following the screening, Director Lee Daniels and the entire cast spoke about character development and just how they landed the role of their dreams on the Fox hit show!
Of course an EMPIRE NYC Premiere party wouldn’t be the same without a huge musical performance of “You’re So Beautiful…” by Jussie Smolett and Yazz. With major star power, music and more. This season promises to be the biggest yet!
Also this season, Lincoln’s latest lineup of vehicles will be integrated throughout the show including the all-new Lincoln MKX, which will be featured in Episode 6 airing early-mid November.
Lincoln has a longstanding relationship with Fox and has extended that partnership with EMPIRE for a second season in a row as automotive exclusive sponsor. EMPIRE serves as an additional platform to communicate Lincoln’s new and exciting Lincoln product portfolio including a new class-exclusive Revel sound system on show like EMPIRE, which is built around music.
Check out more exclusive photos from the celebrity-studded EMPIRE NYC premiere below.
EMPIRE returns Wednesday, September 23rd 9/8c on FOX – Are you ready?
Samsung will unveil the latest version of its Galaxy Note phablet series and maybe a few more additions to the Galaxy family on August 13th.
Unpacked 2015 will kick off next month, taking place at the Lincoln Center in New York. Samsung Mobile has traditionally shown off its newest Galaxy Note models in September, with the devices going on sale later that month, but it looks to be moving things up in the schedule to gain a first mover advantage over Apple — which finally moved into the phablet segment when it launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ last year — as rumors had earlier suggested.
Beyond the newest Galaxy Note, Samsung could well shell out a larger version of the curvy Galaxy S6 Edge — which is tentatively know as the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, according to some fairly extensive leaked photos. Which could prove that Samsung is going all out to dominate the larger smartphone segment, I mean, they are the originators of selling the successful phablet to the masses, remember?
Not in NYC? You can still be apart of all the action, @DivasandDorks will be in the building sharing all the announcements and first hand looks live on Periscope. You will also be able to tune in to the August 13 event via Samsung Mobile’s YouTube channel too.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience that stimulates your sense of sight and sound, why not check out the “Inseparable: Soundwall Experience” in NYC. “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” is a hybrid art, music and tech series featuring artist collaborations, exhibitions and events that seamlessly integrate art and music like never before. The summer group exhibition in partnership with Soundall reaffirms music and visual art as inseparable forms of expression. Soundwall is customized, hand-crafted, framed artwork that hangs on the wall and plays music wirelessly. Using the Soundwall technology as a channel to explore the bond between sound and sight, each artist was asked to curate a song paired to their visual work.
Recently I got the opportunity to explore “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” for myself and discover the artistry of Ricky Aiello Jr. (son of famed actor Danny Aiello), Bradley Theodore (artist behind the infamous Anna and Karl NYC mural), Fab 5 Freddy and more. The instillation of art and sound was an experience that went beyond the initial senses. It was interesting to learn the stories behind the artwork as well as how music played an integral role in the creation of some of the pieces on display. Apparently Soundwall pieces are the next big thing in heightening the art and entertainment experience. Curated by Laura O’Reilly of Wallplay and Mike Namer, Founder of Gallery 151, “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” can be viewed at Gallery 151 – 131 W. 18th Street in New York. For more information online visit gallery151.com and experience.soundwall.co.
Get a look inside of “Inseparable: The Soundwall Experience” below…
The Engadget Expand show took over New York City and introduced thousands of fans to the latest in technology and gadgets for the holiday season. We ran the gadget show floor looking for the hottest trends in the tech space and found some of the best tech finds below.
Check it out…
About Engadget Expand:
Expand offered live panels and one-on-one sessions with some of consumer electronics’ greatest visionaries, plus put you face to face with the product people behind the most interesting and innovative devices on the market today. Engadget Expand featured an interactive show floor, Fireside Chats and an after-party.
Gogo, Engadget + Gdgt LIVE in NYC
Last month, I got the chance to hang out during the Engadget + Gdgt Live event in NYC. During the event, I got the chance to check out Gogo’s amazing ultra lounge, Instaprints & spin the win for some amazing prizes. I joined hundreds of tech and gaming fans for Engadget + Gdgt LIVE in NYC for up close & personal tech fun. Engadget + Gdgt Live is the only nation-wide tech event series that connects thousands of real people with the top brands in technology. During the event, held in SoHo we kicked it in mobile lounges packed with the latest tech from from Samsung, Monster, Gogo and more! Check out my entire experience on their blog and the event experience featuring an interview with Monster Ambassador Tyson Beckford below:
DivasandDorks.com Youtube Video Interviewing Tyson Beckford below via YouTube.
Check out the complete recap on Gogo’s blog at Gogo, Engadget + Gdgt LIVE in NYC.
About: Gogo® is fast becoming everyone’s favorite part of flying. By allowing travelers to get online, in air, Gogo keeps them connected to life. Using exclusive network and services, passengers with laptops and other Wi-Fi enabled devices can get online on all domestic AirTran Airways and Virgin America flights and on select Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways flights – as well as on thousands of business aircraft – bringing the total to more than 6,000 Gogo equipped aircraft to date.
Back on the ground, with 400+ employees in Itasca, IL and Broomfield, CO are working to continually redefine flying as a productive, socially connected, and all-around more satisfying experience. Connect with us at gogoair.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/gogoand on Twitter at twitter.com/gogo.
After living in New York for so long I’ve grown used to the MTA. Not the most reliable form of transportation, but the one we must deal with. Throughout the years, trains have been upgraded with LCD screens the list the next stop and the direction it is heading in. Not all trains have been upgraded (waiting for the 7 train upgrade). We also have seen a recent increase in MTA vending machines. But what is the next MTA upgrade? Interactive Kiosks.
The subway maps. Yes the NYC MTA subway maps will be seeing a very much needed refresh. With the help of the Control Group, the subway maps will become interactive. By the end of 2013, there will be 90 touch-screen kiosks installed in popular stations. These On The Go Interactive Wayfinding Kiosks will provide valuable travel information.
What Information Will the Interactive Kiosks Provide?
“The new On The Go interactive HD displays will deliver real-time information, including simple visual station directions with transfers and line alerts, countdown to train arrival, relevant service updates, and a digital content loop. Up to 90 new installations will be placed at top New York City subway stations that service more than 4 million riders each day.” – Control Group
Think of what this could mean. Hopefully it means current information being updated in real-time. If you can’t access your Google Maps underground, you can check transfer options and directions underground. Of course you’ll see advertisements. They are hoping to bring in more revenue (hopefully no more fare hikes!)
How Will The Interactive Kiosks Work?
The waterproof (sanitation is a priority here) screens will be 47 inches and can operate in temperatures of up to 200 degrees. With touch interaction, tapping a destination on the map will give you a route to get there. The information will be provided by MTA approved third-party apps. Later on it will also provide wi-fi access and nearby destinations. If microphones are installed there’s a possibility of two-way communication with an MTA employee. They are even hinting at subway networking where you connect with other passengers and play smartphone games.
In an ideal world, these real time updates and interactive kiosks will be great. It will diminish train delays and hopefully will prevent you from getting lost. Are you ready for next generation transit?
Do you think the MTA is ready for such an upgrade? What can go right with this? Wrong? Do you think there are other things the MTA should repair or are the subway maps in desperate need of repair?
The Trip to Bountiful, originally released in 1953 as a teleplay on NBC, has now been revived featuring an all Black cast. This April The Trip to Bountiful will be taking a trip to Broadway, starring Emmy winner Cicely Tyson, Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire,” “Red Tails”), Emmy Award nominee Vanessa Williams (“Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives”), and Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias,” Broadway’s Stick Fly).
This amazing story is about Carrie (Cicely Tyson) who lives in a cramped apartment with her son and daughter-in-law and wants to make one last trip home to Bountiful, Texas. Carrie’s son (Cuba Gooding Jr.) doesn’t think his elderly mother is strong enough to make the trip and her daughter-in-law (Vanessa Williams) doesn’t care for her very much, often making her feel like an imposition. However, her motive for not supporting the trip is based on the issue that she is surviving off of Carrie’s pension check. When Carrie escapes to make the trip home it sets an adventure in motion that has its serious and comedic moments, leaving you with a different prospective of the concept “home”.
All of the stars including director Michael Wilson and Hallie Foote, the daughter of the playwright as well as executor of his estate, gathered at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City to talk to the press face to face about the production. We got some face time with the divas of the show including Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Condola Rashad as they shared their favorite moments and talked about their roles in the play!
Up first, the youngest member of the cast but not the least talented by far, Condola Rashad. In The Trip to Bountiful, Rashad plays the part of Thelma, better known as the “girl on the bus”. Rashad’s character meets Carrie as she is on her journey home- two women of contrasting ages going on two separate journeys. However, in the time that they sit next to each other on the bus they form a brief yet remarkable bond. That bond seems to continue even off stage when Rashad and Tyson are not in character.
“Cicely reinforces everything I have grown to know [about acting]. As long as you are honest and in the moment it will work,” says Rashad. When looking at the way that her character interacts with Tyson’s she doesn’t think she differs from her character in real life. “My character treated her as an adult. When I was a teenager and I would volunteer at nursing homes, I was respectful of people of a certain age not only just because of their age but in the way that allows them to have their freedom and decide what they want to do. My character doesn’t limit Carrie, she respects her journey.”
Cicely Tyson has not been on a Broadway stage since 1983 in her role for The Corn is Green, yet the iconic actress is the recipient of countless awards and is a living legend in her field. Sitting across from Tyson, her demeanor was calm and collected. You could feel the warmth of her spirit but there was also an air of regality that surrounded her.
When asked what she did to prepare for the role Tyson shared her approach to playing this character. “I went to Texas because I wanted to know what was it about this place that this woman needed to go back to. You cannot project anything about anybody unless you know their culture. You have to smell, feel, taste and breathe in order for you to honestly project that character. My method has always been to go where that person stems from.”
Tyson also speaks to the lesson about the way we treat and view our elders, which flows through the undercurrent of every interaction in this production. “One of the things that touches me about this character is that she is an elder and today there is such little respect for the elderly. They are tossed aside and put in a home and disregarded by family members and/ or close friends. I want the audience to leave with a greater appreciation of what we have to offer.” In essence, this is a role that Tyson always wanted to play. In an admiration for the movie adaption of the teleplay, Tyson told her agent immediately “to get me my Trip to Bountiful.” She was referring to one last great role which turned out to be none other than a role in this production. When talking about the kismet way in which she was led to this role Tyson jokingly says, “Be careful what you ask for, because you will get it.”
Vanessa Williams‘ most recent stint was on the show 666 Park Avenue, which was unfortunately short lived. Not long after, however, she found out that she was not going to continue the run on the small screen after she’d gotten the call that she will be getting a chance to show off her skills yet again on the big stage. Her character Jessie Mae makes no effort to hide her annoyance with her mother-in-law Carrie, thus there is a constant conflict between them. As Williams puts it “Mother Watts relishes the past. Jessie May loves the city. She couldn’t care less about the past. The past is too painful. Jessie may is forward in terms of her process and her intention. Mother Watts is always going back. Jessie Mae thinks that acknowledging the past is morbid. Mother Watts thinks that not acknowledging the past is unfeeling. Who’s right who’s wrong?”
When asked about what it was like to work with Tyson, Williams referenced a time when she was just a child watching Tyson playing Jane Pittman on television “Now we get to share a stage,” she says. “I’m living my dream.” Of course it can be surreal to work with someone you look up to. Williams adds, “I kind of have an out of body experience when I’m arguing with Cicely Tyson while we’re character.” Because we are proud to be divas, I couldn’t help but ask Williams how she felt about the extravagant diva qualities of her character. Her reply was that in comparison to the other characters she has played including Wilhelmina on Ugly Betty, she sees Jessie Mae as more of a wannabe. “Wilhelmina was a Diva. Jessie Mae aspires to be a diva. She is always reading her movie magazines and trying to do the hairstyles she sees in them.” In response to being often cast as the in the roles of the headstrong diva, Williams says, “The characters may not always be likable but they are interesting.”
From talking one on one with each of these women, you could feel the strong connection each of them had to the overall meaning of the story in The Trip to Bountiful. From the passion they each had in the telling of the story it is clear that they will bring the same exuberance to each of their roles on the stage. This is a play that holds relevance to anyone regardless of background or age and is definitely a must-see!
Previews for The Trip to Bountiful begin on March 30 and will officially open April 23, running for a 14- week engagement at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, located at 124 W. 43rd St. Tickets range from $37 to $142 and are currently available on Telecharge.com.
We’ve officially survived the Mayan Armageddon, yet another presidential election and a handful of fashion weeks the world over. But when it comes to our closets, have we really moved forward? The internet is full of New Year’s Eve fashion resolutions, but we wanted to take a more local approach to discover what our readers were really thinking. We scoured the streets of New York City to find out what style habits its citizens want to break, change, or start in the name of the New Year and you’ll never guess what resolution admissions they revealed.
Here’s hoping that that their experiments in aesthetic evolution might influence some stylish science of your own!
Hometown: Far Rockaway, Queens
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: Adding pants to her wardrobe and experimenting with chunky heels
Hometown: New York City
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: Dressing more businesslike
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: “Stay true to my personal style.”
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: “Wear better jeans”
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: “Wear more blouses”
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: “To take more fashion risks”
Hometown: Hackensack, New Jersey
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: “To be less label-conscious”
New Year’s Fashion Resolution: “More makeup”
The Divas & Dorks Guide to Making A Fashion Resolution of Your Own:
1. Make it fit your life now, not 12 months ago.
Take a second to look at how your day-to-day schedule, commitments, personality, relationships, work life, down time, and general lifestyle have changed over the past year. Then look at your wardrobe— does the tone of your personal style match that of your personal attitude (i.e. bolder color palette for a bold personality, more tailored/body-conscious pieces for a more confident body perception, etc.)? If not, pinpoint where it’s going wrong, and reconstruct it to reflect the current you— or, on the flipside, the you who you’d like to be in the New Year.
2. Make sure it’s doable.
DO NOT, we repeat, do not aspire to spend insane amounts of money or to rack up ridiculous credit card bills in the pursuit of your fashion revolution resolution. Do what the real fashionistas do— emulate design, not etymology. Rather than getting hung up on labels, make a pros-and-cons list of what you love about your favorite designers’ designs, and scour your favorite stores for their more-affordable incarnations. Allow yourself to invest big bucks on one piece that simultaneously captures your new attitude and straddles fashion borders (i.e. day-to-night or work-to-downtime).
3. Commit to the change.
Don’t be afraid to break your former fashion cycles. Trust that those who love you will welcome your fashion attitude as a reflection of a new and better you on the inside— that the change in your style cycles reflects a renewed sense of confidence and a reinvestment in self.
Do you have unique fashion resolutions for the new year? What are they? (Share your ideas below…)