Through the strings and fingertips of two classically trained violinists comes a fusion of musical genres.
Classical, Rock, R&B, Pop and Hip-Hop fusion is what you will find when attending a performance by Black Violin. Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” are classically trained violinists who first met playing in high school orchestra in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was from there that their passion grew and led them to where they are today. The fusion of genres is an eye opening and exhilarating experience as you are able to feel the music in a different way. Usually when one things of Rock and hip-hop, a classically trained violinist rocking it out on stage does not come to mind. However, Wilner and Kevin deliver on note their passion for music, with not just their classical training but the skills they developed through the years of playing and adding vocals to their sets. It is their drive to “Inspire, Uplift, and Entertain” that keeps them playing and touring to various performing arts centers through the United States. Watching Wilner and Kevin perform on stage, you are able to see and hear their passion for music. They tie in not only various genres, but also add vocals to step it up a notch. Playing music since they were in middle school, Wilner and Kevin have come a long way and it shows that they have kept a consistent dedication to the art.
A glimpse of some of my work from 2013.
Through my years of developing my photography skills, I have shot photos through the season . In a project last year, I took a series of photos capturing the morning light on campus. It was the time I was on campus, so I used it towards my advantage and took these shots at different locations and times during the sunrise.
My favorite part of this series was the way that the sky was a different color in each photo. Not one sunrise was the same as the day before, as the weather changes. My favorite one was when the ground was covered in frost and a light fog was all around campus. This gave a nice softening effect to the light and made it slightly easier to photograph in the direction of the light.
Nature is one of my favorite areas to work with, as I am always pleasantly surprised by what it has in store. Everything is different from a distance, and when you get up close it is like a new world.
Pizza and the flavors of Thai cuisine have certainly made a delicious experience and impression on me. In a little spot on Delmar Loop there is this pleasant restaurant called Thai Pizza Co. The restaurant comes from a chain of restaurants in the St. Louis area owned by Supatana “Pat” Prapaisilapa. Pat opened his first Thai restaurant in St. Louis’s University City back in 1991, as a way to bring Thai cuisine to the city.
During my visit there, my friends and I selected 7 items from the menu. These seven items I felt were quite satisfactory and a little different from what I usually eat at other Thai restaurants closer to home. There is honestly nothing better than some great Thai food when the weather is chilly. For a first impression the restaurants atmosphere was full of color and inviting. Its was inviting with its yellow walls and colorful decor that was not overwhelming, it gave a nice comfy and relaxing feel.
Starting first with the appetizers we selected a variation such as the Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls – rice wrapper filled and great with lettuce, bean sprouts, carrots. Served with a traditional peanut sauce for dipping. The Crispy Sweet Potato – lightly battered and deep fried. These sweet potato fries were unseasoned (no salt) and served with a creamy wasabi sauce.
Lastly, the Chicken Satay that was fried and had a nice crust on the outside sealing in the curried flavor, which is different than other restaurants I have been to which have grilled them. It was served with a peanut sauce for dipping as well as a cold cucumber and onion relish on the side to put on the chicken if you choose to do so. These are defintley some simple starting favorites for everyone.
Moving on to the entrees of the afternoon, once again it was varied through the menu as it had much to offer and passing up the opportunity to eat a Thai pizza was out of the question. The pizza size was a perfect serving to share with another person or eat by yourself if you are hungry. Picture to the right is a Kratiem Prikthai Pizza it was topped with mozzarella and Monterrey jack cheese to compliment the flavors of the Thai cuisine it was topped with. The second dish we indulged in was the traditional Thom Yum Soup with chicken, made with lemon grass, Thai spices and red chili. It was full of flavor and the lemon grass was not overpowering to the vegetables or chicken in the dish. It was the perfect balance of spice just right.
Of course like at any other Thai restaurant you are able to pick the level of spice. At Thai Pizza Co. their spice range is 1-10. One being the least spicy and 10 being the spiciest. I was daring that day and picked a 5 which at first was overwhelming but ended up being perfectly fine.
This Thai restaurant is a location that takes you away from the hustle of the main street which makes it even a better spot to sit down and get away. So take a walk down Delmar Boulevard to this location and enjoy some tasty Thai food with a twist. Do not be scared to grab a pizza because it is a well worth it experience!
…with a Bailey Irish cream cheese frosting.
Yes. It is beer, chocolate, and Baileys Irish Cream. Combine it together and you get a delicious adult cupcake that makes you thankful for those who are able to combine these ingredients and develop a tasty dessert just for adults.
Last week I took the chance on a cupcake recipe that I found courtesy of http://www.buzzfeed.com.
It was simple to make and delightful.
Recipe from : The Baker Chick
Yield: 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup stout (Guinness)?
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder? (dutch process is best)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour?
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ tsp. baking soda?
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs?
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
- 4 tablespoons of butter (softened)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4-8 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line pans with paper liners. Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, and whisk together. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream until creamy. Add the stout-butter mixture and mix just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients slowly whisking until just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For Bailey’s Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until well mixed. Add in the Bailey’s a tablespoon at a time until the texture is smooth, creamy, and spreadable. Frost as desired. Decorate with cake crumbs or sprinkles.
Oldie but goodie, it is one the numerous photos I took while living on the island of Guam. It keeps me calm and gives me a warm place to think about during these below freezing temperatures of the winter season here in Illinois.
Haputo, which is located on the northern side of the island. It is an arial view because in order to get to the shore its about a 30 minute hike down a trail going through the jungle. The elevation changes about 300 feet from the start to the shore and it is well worth it. The path down to the short is a mixture of an old eroding stair case and some dirt paths from where the stair case did not hold its ground.
So watching your step is a must and it is important to never take your eyes off where you are walking or you just might tumble down the side of the hill that the trail winds down. Reaching the end of the trail, the beach greats you with a breeze as you are finally out of the humid jungle. The waters at Haputo are clear and calm. In some areas there is fresh water coming from the shore and mixes in with the salt water. The water is clear enough for you to see someone five feet in front of you and to also b e able to take a look at all the life below the water such as corals and fishes.
There are not many visitors as it is only accessible to the military due to it being on base. The limited access however has allowed this beach to thrive and remain mostly untouched by harmful things such as garbage, fires and other silly things that us humans do.
Not saying I am the best at taking photos in this type of weather, I am still learning as this is my third winter in my entire life. There are some good things to the cold and snow. Since I am home for the day due to the weather closing campus, I geared up and took a walk around my back yard and the front yard snapping photos. I went in and out of my house a few times to get the photos done because I do not have protective gear for my camera.
I have a love and hate relationship with winter ever since I moved here.
I love it because it is something new for me to explore, and I hate it because it makes me sick. The snow is pretty most of the time, and fun to play in when you have the right group of friends.
It sucks when someone decides to throw a snowball at you and it ends up being mostly ice and hits your head. I think that the next week will be a mixture of emotions.
There will always be the great memories of the warm and white beaches of Guam for me to day dream about. Especially during these below freezing days and nights. I shall see you in my dreams Guam.
Today, tomorrow and Thursday I will be participating in the Twitter Scavenger Hunt 2014. There are a handful of schools participating this month, and it is about promoting our school and showing what it has to offer.
Until next time, good morning, good afternoon, good night.
On one of my recent visits to the Delmar Loop, I stopped by a small Middle Eastern restaurant called Ranoush. I was with my brothers girlfriend, and showing her around the area so I picked a restaurant that would be something different.
Entering the restaurant it was quiet and not busy for a lunch hour, but then again it was a Tuesday and most people in the area were either at work or school. So we go inside and are greeted by our server who lets us pick a table by the window. The server was helpful to the two of us in giving suggestions on what to eat, as we had never been there before. We ordered the Batata hara and Falafel dishes to share. The beverage in the left photo is Rosewater Kahwa (Arabic Coffee made with rosewater.) It was a fragrant and delightful coffee that I enjoyed with just a little sugar added to it, as the rosewater flavor and aroma added to it. The Batata hara is a mixture of spicy potato cubes tossed with coriander, garlic and red peppers. Another great thing aside from the awesome food, is that the prices are low and worth it!
Here is the address to the restaurant –