I’ve been without the internets for the past week and a half, and upon FINALLY being reunited with my social family yet again, thoughts of my time eating at Emeril’s down in New Orleans would not leave me be. This was in no way a problem.
Last year was in fact my first time dining at Emeril’s, which forced me and a colleague to hightail it back again this year simply because the memories of the attentive wait staff, yum yum food and ambiance lingers with you for that long a time. Many who visit New Orleans tend to dip into NOLA, his other foodie pad. But my heart (& stomach)? Loyalties lie with homemade boudin & andouille sausages and southern cooked greens that melt in your mouth. Can’t wait to head back!
I’ve been trapped in a moment over the past few weeks where the constant question asked of friends & coworkers is – “what day is it?”
This past weekend I flew to New Orleans to take part in the 2013 ESSENCE Festival and while it was pretty much the most inspiring place you can be each year – surrounded by the empowering spirit of thousands upon thousands of African American women – I’m beyond exhausted. I’m talking physically & mentally.
So a woman is currently in the arms of her parent’s humble home, noshing on the luxury of home cooked meals and hugs…hugs…and fights over the remote. Good. Times.
Above is the only shot I could post relative to how awesome this year’s ESSENCE Festival was (2nd row y’all!!). Were any of you there? I have more pics to share & will do so upon my return to my little nook in BK, soon come.
While in the NOLA, I also picked up a box of the new Shea Moisture Hair Color System (now available at select Targets) at their pop-up store & am making plans. The 2nd half of this summer is looking oh so bright.
In the meantime, hope you lovelies are enjoying these summer days! Always make them count…
I fell in love with Poketo sometime last year and can easily curate a list of fancy & fun things to add to my stash each time I visit. These cute pens are littered all over my home desk! & because they are an actual brick and mortar (lucky LA) + online retail store, the selections are often rotating each season. I can easily pack up & rock any of these cute pieces for upcoming summer jaunts.
I’d really be remiss if I did not come clean and explain why the latest drop by Chimamanda Adichie has me smiling inwardly (and outwardly) on my train rides to and from work lately. I’m currently midway through & for serious…. so much in love. Between the pages, lessons on identity, culture, acceptance & class are told through the context of our hair. Opinionated, head strong, intelligent, witty, Adichie weaves the story of her main character, Ifemulu and her journey to becoming Americanah – but how she lays the story down is where we find the smarts. From nearly the first few pages of chapter one, we enter an african braiding salon and head down a winding journey that begins in Nigeria, traverses to the States of the US – then back again. But the in-between? Here’s what you’ll find:
On an unremarkable day in early spring – the day was not bronzed with special light. nothing of any significance happened, and it was perhaps merely that time, as it often does, had transfigured her doubts – she looked in the mirror, sank her fingers into her hair, dense and spongy and glorious, and could not imagine it any other way. That simply, she fell in love with her own hair.
Now my list of girl crushes is quite short, but Adichie had my heart after reading these thoughtful interviews where she discusses her journey to natural & the complexities that still exist when choosing to wear your hair natural in Nigeria. Are you guys still reading along? If not, what’s the hold-up, hmmmmm….
This is an awesome video all around, but Lady Ross hit it on the head when she implored us all to really just accept & love the hair that we already have.
That is all you must do to love. Accept all of you.
And if you’re asking that quiet question of, “well, how do I do that?!” The answer is simpler than you thought. You must choose to love.
Now it may not come right away, but it begins with the commitment to follow the journey to exploring & discovering the many facets of your hair. But you have to do the work.
& along the way, what you will discover is something so much more than hair innuendoes and compliments. Eventually, you discover a part of you that was meant to be uncovered & untwisted & revealed for not just the world to admire; but for you to cherish as wholly you. Begin to accept the grime & dirt & good as what they are, a part of you.
In it’s purest form, this is all quite relative – and depending on the conversation, we just may all agree that ‘hair is just hair,’ but over the years I’ve quietly learned to discard that argument. Since putting my heart and the care of my hands into nurturing my FRO, I know that what I have today is a relationship that is rooted in love. No doubts there. And it’s been my experience thus far that there simply is no fairness in limiting my experiences over the years to ‘just‘ moments. I can never ‘just‘ love my hair. I go in.
I do secretly have this great wish that we may, at some point or another – all come to this empathic understanding – a moment where all that our hair is to the world is something that is uniquely a part of us, belongs to us, can only be defined by a sole undeniable truth. A truth that can never falter bend or break when presented with another person’s reproach or dismay at what our hair means, sounds or looks to them.
But until then, I have chosen to love without abandon.
As of today, what I know of my Fro is this: It is ever-changing. Stubborn. Soft-hearted. Has a quiet ego. Loved.
This past weekend a friend and I made a slow trek into the halls of the Brooklyn Museum to view the latest installation by Ghanian born artist, El Anatsui, Gravity & Grace. The show was spectacularly breathtaking & I’m pretty certain the pics below won’t do it justice. But on the off chance you find yourself lingering in BK starting now until the exhibits closing on August 4 of this year – pop in, but don’t touch. Believe me, so much easier said than done. The installation houses over 30 works made of wood & metal (mainly recycled bottle tops and caps) that have been transformed into the most tangible connectors. The brilliant part? Each hanging metal sheet takes on a radically different shape each time it’s hung.
Get familiar with the artist here, El Anatsui in Conversation earlier this year at The Brooklyn Museum.
You've stumbled upon Back To Curly, a blog written & brought to you by me, Chai! I'm a writer, work-body, incessant daydreamer, currently residing in a little nook in Brooklyn. Here you'll find musings on natural hair, beauty tales & so much more. Share a bit here...