UrbanRhetoric

UrbanRhetoric

10.13.2014

Parts Visited: Bronx....by pemora

If you are a true Bronxite, you tuned in to Anthony Bourdain's Parts Uknown: Bronx a couple of weeks ago. Not only was it a great episode but the live Twitter gathering was equally as epic. Shout to ProjectBronx for keeping us all organized and engaged.

As much as I loved seeing all of the places that Anthony visited (for a full list go here), I wanted more. So much more.

So, here is my humble list of places I love to eat at in the Bronx. It is my list and my list alone. If you don't like it, please make your own list and let me know. Let's put some shine on the Bronx.

1. Seafood City
I realize that Anthony visited a spot in City Island and I really like Sea Shore. But there is something so authentic, so gritty, so hood about Seafood City. Where else can you get deep fried lobster tails, wine in a plastic cup, kids play arcade games and an outdoor table? YASSSSS, just YASSSSS.

Note: this is a cash only spot. Don't ask why. Just get your money right.

2. Lloyd's Carrot Cake
Located in a hole in the wall spot across from Van Cortlandt Park, this is THE best carrot cake spot in all of the mothertrucking land. HEAR YE, HEAR YE, ALL OF THE LAND! A slice of this carrot cake will keep you full for 22 hours. It is family-owned and family-run, so feel free to talk to anyone about the history of the spot.

Note: parking sucks. Plan on coming here with a friend and park at the nearby fire hydrant while your friend sprints in and out. It is what it is. Do it for the carrot cake.

3. Bronx Ale House
I know this place has been highlighted in many places but that is because it is SO DANG GOOD. Besides hosting an amazing array of local and regional beers, their food menu is just nom nom nom. Seriously, nom. The surprise hit is the mac and cheese but you can order anything dang thing off the menu. Order it all. So good.

Note: while the food is family friendly, the space really isn't. Only high bar stools to sit. If you're like me, you tell your children to sit tight and hang on for dear life. Responsible parents might want to make this a date night spot only.

4. Frankie & Johnny
There are probably other Bronx Italian restaurants that true Bronxites love. This is a constant source of debate. Since this is my post, I will post about this restaurant because I love it so. I'm not sure what I love about it. It could be the backdrop of a brawl on Real Housewives of New Jersey (shout to table flipping Teresa) and cranks out the craziest array of music but this is the place I go to time and time again. Big personalities and even bigger dishes make for a great evening out.

Note: although hidden on the menu, the potato croquettes are the best thing EVAHHH. In fact, I would get a tattoo that says 'F+J Potato Croquettes 4eva' but I would be the only one amused. Which is probably the point of tattoos. But still...weird. And awesome.

5. Riverdale City Grill
The salads! The cheeseburger wrap! The sandies! Everything is so effing good! You can play trivia, watch sports, or dodge Manhattan College students. It is all so good. Another cash only place but worth it.

Note: get the yucca fritters! Trust and believe! Trust. And. Believe.

Honorable Mention: Bronxites also like to fight about their favorite cannoli spot. This is a tough one. I personally enjoy Palombo Bakery in Riverdale. But I think that as long as there is a hidden chocolate chip and a side order of espresso, I'm good.

Hope you liked my list! Any places YOU enjoy in the Bronx? Or in your local neighborhood? Hit me up on here or on the Twitters.

8.15.2014

LET'S BE COPS!

First movie that had my crying laughing in a long time.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a few thousand for ya:

This was so remarkably silly.  My herbal friends (those with glaucoma, I mean) would LOVE THIS after taking their medicine - fo’sho.  And all my straightlaced (20/20 visioned) friends would probably laugh almost as much as I did at the sophomoric inane goofiness anyway. 

VITALS

Luke Greenfield (Something Borrowed, The Girl Next Door, The Animal) – Director
Nicholas Thomas (Girls Behaving Badly) & Luke Greenfield - Writers
Damon Wayans, Jr. (New Girl, Happy Endings, and back to New Girl) – Justin  
Jake Johnson (New Girl, Drinking Buddies, Safety Not Guaranteed) - Ryan
Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries) – Josie
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street, The Internship) – Officer Seegars

Andy Garcia (Godfather 3, Untouchables, Oceans 11) - Brolin
Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele) – Pupa                            

IF YOU MUST KNOW

Justin and Ryan are 30-somethings who have not quite met their life goals… one, a videogame designer (Wayans) who can’t get his prized game made, and the other, a do-nothing out of work quasi-actor (Johnson) living off an $11,000 herpes commercial check for the last two years.  These two unfortunate bastards find themselves going to what is supposed to be a costume party.  Hence, the title - Let’s Be Cops.  Far too many foolish actions start with us dudes realizing that we might be able to get some from you ladies if we do-X… so we not only do whatever that is, we go HAM doing it.  That’s precisely what started the great ball snowball of wackiness that is this flick cartoonishly rolling down a mountain of silliness and picking up speed all the way to the end. 

When I say the shenanigans ensue, I mean… like straight up all the stuff my friends and I would sooooo do IF we were stupid enough to dress up like cops and walk around the city.  They snatch a joint from a pack of hipsters (and smoke it on the street), indiscriminately yelling “freeze” to people, strolling past the pudgy bouncers at trendy nightclubs…
(dancing at club)
 
But then, Ryan and Justin do a whole bunch of crap that is just plain ridiculous. Stuff nobody in their right mind would be dumb enough to do, like get into a beef with very real gangsters, kidnap a killer, suit up for a gunfight, and worse… rock elbow pads! 

Ryan finds out he loves being a fake cop and Justin finds out that he needs to grow a pair and holla at the very comely (I like the word) Josie (Dobrev) and learn to stick up for himself – despite the fact that he sounds like one of Damon Wayans, Sr.’s white-voiced characters.  Anybody else think DWJ sounded paler than Jake?  

Quick Aside: Nina Dobrev… troubles me.  She’s right on that borderline of making me feel pervy, I mislike that.  Then again, she aint quite over the line, so there’s that... #38YOProblems

Now, usually, I don’t do this, but I have to tell you what other people are saying… Rotten tomatoes only gives “Let’s Be Cops a total of 9% fresh*** overall. NINE PERCENT!!! WHAT-THEWHAT!!! It’s a C-O-N-SPIRACY (get it? HINT: You, can walk on the moon, float like a balloon. Cuz it’s never too late and it’s never too soon…)

Let me put this in perspective –

Encino Man (that Pauly Shore shart) - 16%
Hangover 3 (those old dudes should already know about Gatorade, son) - 19%
She Hate Me (so does IMTHATDUDE) - 19%
Soulplane - 18%
Showgirls - 17%... I say again SHOWGIRLS!?
Master P’s I Got the Hook Up – 17%
From Justin to Kelly - 10% (they should get that much even if the critics are all named Randy Jackson, dawg)

Forget those critics on RT, you might want to stick with the name you can always trust (UrbanRhetoric, if you were wondering).  I promise you will laugh.  Unless, of course, you really liked any of the movies above - in that case, you’re hopeless and sad… those are some of the dumbest movies I’ve ever scene.  Everyone who has seen these films is a little dumber for having watched them.  I give them NO points and may God have mercy on your soul. (Billy Madison style.)  


Sure, there were a couple of scenes that I could ABSOLUTELY sue them for the psychological trauma of seeing for such an extended period of time (SPOILER ALERT - Why the brother had to be virtually tea-bagged... not cool man, not cool.) Still, despite the ew-scene and some of the lame jokes that miss, overall, I happen to enjoy movies that look like the people making them had a crapton of fun doing it.  Let's Be Cops is that kind of movie.  It wasn't as good as Superbad, but it was pretty funny and since I literally took out my handkerchief to wipe the laughter tears from my eyes, I think it is definitely worth the bread to see it. 

IMTHATDUDE gives Let’s Be Cops: 4

RATING SYSTEM:

5 = You should be about halfway to the theatre by now… Well… GET!
4 = Definitely worth the bread. Niiice.
3 = I won’t cuss anybody out and demand my paper back.
2 = Somewhere SOUTH of under-whelmed./I know it has a pulse, but…
1 = Not a good look. They played me AND I played myself.


***Since posting this, Rotten Tomatoes has more than doubled the critics' rating from 9% to 20% and the audience has it at 62%  #ThePowerOfUR

8.12.2014

Out with the old, in with the new: 4 ways to date better....by GCS

Out with the old, in with the new: 4 ways to date better


You’ve been following the old rules of dating, and what do you have to show for it? A bunch of
three month “relationships” and a slew of emo status updates. It’s time for a fresh approach.

1. Fix yourself. I know, I know, you’re perfect just the way you are, but hear me out. Thinking about why you do certain things in a relationship can help you out going forward. Are you a poor communicator because you detest all forms of disagreement? Do you have problems trusting people because of a previous bad relationship? Are you jealous because of your insecurities Nope? Flawless? Ok, cool...but just double check.

2. Think about who you want to date. The old criteria for picking someone to date are smart, funny and nice, right? You’ve just described a dog. Be much more specific. Focus on values and lifestyle more than specific activities. Also, rank your preferences. My wife loves wine and I love hip hop. We are happily married as I drink scotch and she listens to country. What are some things we agree on? How we want to contribute to the world and the type of community we want to live in. Sweat the big issues, don’t get hung up on the small stuff.

3. Talk about the big stuff kinda early. Blasphemy! The old rules say don’t talk about anything serious in the first couple of months. Well, to hell with that. I’m not saying a first date should be an interrogation-you’re just getting to know someone at the basic level. But by the third or fourth date, start to subtly work some bigger topics into the conversation. Discuss current events as a way to get a read on where they stand on social issues that are important to you. Talk about your relatives so you can get some insight into their future family plans. Too often a person shelves these topics for fear of scaring someone off. Unfortunately, it means you end up spending lots of time with someone you have almost no chance of being with for the long term. If you want a minivan full of tax breaks and soccer players, don’t sleep with someone for a year only to find out they never want to have kids.

4. Hit eject if you aren’t getting what you need. Simple concept, I know. But from personal experience it’s an easy move to screw up. This step is based on the foundation of the first three. Once you are confident that you’ve eliminated most of your baggage and know what you want, it becomes much easier to properly evaluate whether or not you should be staying or going. All aspects of the relationship are not equal. Don’t allow the less important parts of the relationship to guide your decision making. If joking around a lot is really important to you, don’t hang around with a guy who is tombstone serious just because he has a nice family who likes you. One is more important than the other. There is always social pressure to stick it out when the boilerplate characteristics of “smart and nice” are present, but don’t fall in to that trap. You deserve as much or as little sex/laughter/exercise/drankin with your partner as you want. Wasting your time in a subpar relationship means you might be missing out on someone who is much better aligned with your key interests.

8.01.2014

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy aka Why Bautista Is Hot Even Without Randy Orton....by pemora

I know, I know...usually IMTHATDUDE does the movie reviews. And he just might review this movie too. But I *had* to sit down, sip some wine (or 2) and holler at you about Guardians of the Galaxy...because it is the sheez and the bee’s knees.

Do the youth still say that?

My 6.5yo son has been bugging me about this film. He loves everything Marvel, going so far as to ask me 3 times per hour which is my favorite superhero and villain. Sheet. I don’t know. I keep on saying Ironman and Skeletor and then he gets mad at me for the latter. Like, I don’t know these things, Ye! Listen to me! But, being that he is my first born and prodigal son and future prince king and all dat, I give in to almost everything he asks for. He will probably be the youngest child to own a car, just cause.

I had my reservations because:
1. One of the main characters looks like a chupacabra. Yes, I know it is a raccoon. But what raccoon walks around on his hind legs, wearing a vest and talks smack? A chupacbra, I tell ya!
2. Bautista is in it.
2a. Yeah, yeah, he goes by Dave BAtista. But I’m going by his government name. Shoosh. Write your own review.
2b. I really don’t like him in WWE. We’ll get to that later.

So, I waver on saying yes. And then my man J-L Cauvin posts about it and I’m intrigued. Well, maybe more willing to say yes rather than no.

AND THIS MOVIE WAS AMAZING.

Zoe Saldana was a bit too thin but looked stunning in green. The main guy is super cute and people know him but I don’t and that’s ok because he is super cute. Vin Diesel supposedly was the big tree thingy and I guess that’s cool too because he delivered the one scene that made me cry real chola tears. But listen. Listen to me. The BEST parts of the film?

The chupacabra.

And Bautista.

WHAT?!

The chupacabra is hilarious. Let’s ignore the fact that he is voiced by Bradley Cooper, a guy I dislike as much as I dislike John Mayer and for the same reason -- they look like those college frat guys who will only talk to you (me) when drunk. Eff em. And, uhm, didn’t he seriously date Zoe? Am I getting my Latinas confused? It WAS Zoe, right? Anyway, the chupacabra was so very good. I wouldn’t even mind Bradley “Frat Guy” Cooper getting nominated for best voiceover. Or something.

But really? Bautista was so very awesome. Ok, I don’t like Bautista in the WWE because he is always so unemotional, so not ‘in’ on the match at hand. He can be really boring to watch and, often, easy to cheer against but not because he is a bad guy. Simply because he is a snore. But this movie seemed to take advantage of all of those traits and make it work. Bautista’s I-don’t-do-character facial expressions work perfectly in this film (I don’t remember his character’s name. I been dranking) and I hope there is a sequel simply to see him in this role again. Also, he is hot in a blue-ish tint. Where you at now, Randy Orton?

Also, shout to the end-of-credits scene. Won’t tell you who shows up but know that my 80’s inner spirit was extremely happy.

So, uhm, go see this. It rocked. It was turnt up. On the molly. Wait, no, that last one was bad. It was fresh to death, yo.

7.20.2014

New Kicks [most wanted]....by pemora

Where have I been? Good question....mostly on the Twitters and the Facebook. It is hard staying a G on these here social media streets.

(also, I've been reading. Like, actual and factual books.)

Anyway, I was spending 1,348 hours on the Pinterest and saw this amazing pic:



What is there not to love about this? It is the perfect I-may-or-may-not-have-2-kids-to-take-care-of-but-I-am-still-hip-to-it outfit. Of course, I would wear bike shorts underneath because I don't need to expose my wiggle and jiggle to the playground set.

Looking at sneakers, I found 3 that I am coveting. For some reason, I am drawn to blue but, heck, I will take any color. What's your fav?

I can go with this:

From Coach and on sale!

Or I can go with that:
From Aerosoles (seriously....who knew?)

Or I can go with this:
From Reebok. This is some old school steel-o right here....

Any new kicks you are rocking this summer?  And for a peek into some of my favorite kicks from my personal collection, check out my interview at Kicks Culture.

3.28.2014

Q+A with kevfrumbk....by pemora

kevfrumbk has been a longtime supporter and friend to UrbanRhetoric and is also one of my very good friends. He is a really positive spirit with a ton of creativity, ideas and talent. Thanks to kevfrumbk for taking a couple of minutes to answer some questions for UR!

1.     Let's start from the beginning. What started you in the fine arts?

My earliest memories of making art really are of Saturday mornings sitting on the floor in the bank as my mom waiting in line to cash her paycheck.  I would travel with a plastic bag of crayons and a legal pad and sit there drawing away secretly hoping the line would take extra long so I wouldn’t be interrupted.  So the love has always been there.  Coming up in the 80s a lot of my family lived in the same building so my older cousins and the graffiti in our neighborhood was a big influence.  They introduced me to artists Biz, Kool Moe Dee, Audio Two and I would copy the things they were doodling on their canvas 3-ring binders as well as the stuff I saw on the walls of our apartment building. There’s one image that I remember drawing all the time in multiple variations of a guy with a flattop, rope chain, 4-finger ring, and boombox. Since then, hip-hop culture has always been the background to my art, whether it is the music or the inspiration or, usually, a combination of the two.

2.     Describe this medium. Why do you enjoy working with it?

My work right now are digital illustrations which I create using a couple of different Adobe programs.  When working digitally, my approach varies based on the concept.  Most pieces begin with research for reference images and a sketchbook drawing.  After that, again, it depends on the concept, sometimes I’ll work it some more on my iPad to get it to a more final state then transfer that image to my computer for final edits, or I’ll take the sketchbook drawing straight to Illustrator and finish it there.  

The biggest reason I enjoy working digitally, is the ability to manipulate the image.  I can move things around, create layers, resize, change colors, etc. with ease and accuracy. Not to say I don’t still love the other mediums I’ve worked with, but without my own studio, it’s hard to execute some of my ideas as well as I would like.

3.     Your art is clearly influenced by hip hop (mostly from the 90's aka the golden era) and pop culture references. How do you decide what you want to present in your art?

This is going to sound cliché and cheesy but it’s a lot about what speaks to me. Often, I’m listening to the music and an image pops into my head.  But a lot of it is about representing those iconic moments, items, and verses.  I want my viewers to get a tinge of nostalgia and see themselves in the piece.


4.     Do you have a favorite piece? Which one and why?

I have a couple favorites… 

I love “Mixtapes” because it’s a symbol of my relationship with hip-hop.  Coming home from middle school and sitting by the radio with the tape deck on record/pause waiting for that hot song of the moment to come on.  Some of the best mixes on my itunes are based on lists from those tapes I made in the early 90s (which I refuse to part).

Another piece is “I listen to Classical” which is a play on T-3’s line from Slum Village’s “Fall N Love”.  For me, it really says it all when it comes to how I feel about the state of the music now.  Not to mention, although many of us think of the music of golden era as if it was yesterday, it really was 20 years ago so it has reached that “classical” stage.


5.     What does the future hold for kevfrumbk?

Right now, I’m working on a series called “I Got A Story to Tell” in which I aim to present some of favorite Hip-Hop stories/songs as a comic book or picture book.  It’s a really slow process as some parts of a song aren’t as vivid but I love the challenge of finding ways to present those parts as images.  In between, I’m doing smaller concepts pieces based on whatever pops into my head, like the “Warning” and “Technics 1200s” series.

6.     Where can UR heads find your work?

To be honest, I feel like I’m kinda scattered about the Internet, but here it goes… 

The formal site (for now) with some of my older work is

For the more current things I’m working on and the occasional random musing,

 To purchase my readily available work,

Pharrell - Happy Feat. The Notorious B.I.G. (DJ Rob Dinero Remix)

Happy Friday, y'all!

Pharrell - Happy Feat. The Notorious B.I.G. (DJ Rob Dinero Remix)