Tag Archives: Cali

Love Haight

I just got back from a short visit to San Francisco. It was amazing. My good friends, Ryan & Brian, just had twins & I just had to meet them. I mentioned before, that Ryan was a huge inspiration to me when it came to traveling & seeing the world. She’s a special person in my life.
Even with brand new babies & lots of feedings and diaper changes, plus some bathroom remodeling & a full house, she knows how to make me feel completely welcome & at home.
I made a quick, last minute decision to head to California to visit. I was greeted with a delicious dinner with the entire family (Ryan, her husband, the new twins & Ryan’s mother-in-law) at a restaurant in Sausalito with a killer view of the city (forgive the absence of photos). We had invigorating conversations of family, and of course, travel. It was great to catch up.
The next day, the plan was to spend some time in the Haight Ashbury District…a place I’ve always dreamt of seeing…
When we arrive, we park near Amoeba Music and start our walk through the historic neighborhood. Ryan’s mother-in-law tells us that she’s excited to be here, too…she lived through the Summer of Love & has wanted to visit the district for almost 40 years. It’s a first for all of us.
The walk up the street if full of diverse music & fun fashion. We stop to grab lunch at El Faro (they let me feed my Mexican food craving). I We devour every bite, before continuing our voyage.

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We pass by all the cute shops, the hippies – locals and tourists- & loud music to get to the famous corner of Haight & Ashbury, where we stop to snap some photos.
It’s exciting, it’s nostalgic & it’s just plain beautiful…

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The smell of “herbs” in the air, the variations of music, and the fun crowd make for such a great experience. I’m in love & I’m pretty sure I’ll live here someday.
After our adventure, we head home to feed the babies & prepare for dinner. I get to know grandma a little more… She’s actually the one who inspired Ryan to travel so much, so, it’s great to hear her stories..!
There’s one story, in particular, about how she wanted to fly for Pan Am after college that touches me. It’s amazing to hear about such a pivotal moment in her life…
Dinner leads to more stories & quality time. The food is delicious & the conversation is just as indulgent.
The night ends with dad & I drinking “Mexican Ashtrays” & playing games as mom, grandma & babies sleep. Then, we feed the twins before we head to bed.
In the morning, after a quick visit with the ladies & babies, I’m off to the airport…back to Philadelphia, back to work… This is always the hard part. But, alas, I know I’ll be back & I’m
Looking forward to it.
There’s no place like home & nothing like friends & family…

Thanks for reading, everyone. Peace & love!

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Sick Jacken in San Francisco

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a few days off & was spending time back home, in California. So, when I saw that Sick Jacken was going to be in San Francisco on the same night I’d be there, I knew I had to catch the show.
*You know Sick Jacken from the hip hop group Psycho Realm
I was in town for a baby shower for one of my favorite friends, Ryan. She’s having twins and we’re all so excited. It was great being reunited with so many lovely ladies. My friend, Nadia came as a surprise. I was so happy to see her! Nadia & our mutual friend, Jessica, booked a room in the city and invited me to stay with them. Nadia even agreed to accompany me to the show…now I’m really excited, because it’s her first hip hop show ever! I love it when things just work out.
We decide that we’re going to walk to the show & enjoy a little bit of the city. After a sushi dinner, we start the tread from Union Square to the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. It’s a beautiful night in the city…even along some of the “questionable” streets we pass. Lol.
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We get to the venue just in time to catch rap duo, I.L.A.M. The guys (Trey C & Playa Rae) are really working the crowd. It’s a small, intimate show (my favorite) and there’s a great vibe in the space. It’s the perfect setting for the next MC to hit the stage. Reppin’ for the ladies, is Gavlyn. During her set, she’s joined by special guest, Oh Blimey, to perform a fun track entitled “Ew.”
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Next up is Bambu. I’m stoked to catch his set, since I missed him at the Observatory the night before. He has a great stage presence; very entertaining. I’m super excited when he introduces his special guest…his “baby momma,” Rocky Rivera. They have great chemistry (obviously) & are a lot of fun to watch.

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Now that the crowd is hype, it’s time for the headliner to take his place. When Sick Jacken takes the stage, the crowd goes nuts…or should I say Psycho…? 😉 This guy is simply captivating.
Almost everyone in the audience is dressed in black, & wearing either the Psycho Realm, Soul Assassins, or Oakland Raiders logos (which I’m sure are all directly inspired by Sick Jacken’s wardrobe). Hands are in the air & heads are bobbing as the crowd joins in on spitting lyrics from classics like El Barrio from The Legend of the Mask & the Assassin (Sick Jacken’s collaboration with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill). More crowd favorites from Terror Tapes Vol. 1 are performed & Sick Jacken tests just how psycho the attendees are when he goes on to perform tracks from Terror Tapes 2.
The whole show is very entertaining & Nadia & I are having a blast. When it’s time to wrap up, Sick Jacken (like other favorite artists of mine) takes the time to meet & greet fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures. I get the honor of chatting with him after the show & having a drink with him & some of the other performers in the green room. We discuss music, food, family, travel, and even more opportunities for future blog posts.
I treated our conversation as a casual one, not an interview, so, I won’t quote anything here. I will, however, say that Sick Jacken loves menudo! Lol. He’s a funny guy, with a big heart and a great smile. I look forward to sitting with him in the near future for an official interview. Stay tuned…!

For upcoming events, follow Sick Jacken on Instagram and Twitter

Thanks for reading along, everyone!

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A very sincere Special Thanks to Joaquin “Sick Jacken” Gonzalez for granting me access to the show!

Special Thanks to Federico, for special accommodations.