Tag Archives: radhika jit

Romanticizing New York City

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I’ve written a lot about my love of New York City. Romanticizing New York has always been a constant in my life, whether I was young and dreaming, living there in my early 20s, or now after I moved back to San Francisco.

Like so many others, I’m in love with loving the city that never sleeps. There’s something so beautiful about it. It kicks you down so much, yet you still love it.

Even though I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which isn’t exactly small town, I was always mystified by the allure of the Big Apple. My first visit was when I was 21 and I instantly feel deeper in love. I just knew, no matter what it took, I had to live there, which came two years later.

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Why I Write


The incessant need to write. The millions of words in my head and in my soul are searching for a place.

Ever since I can remember I have been writing – for both my sake and others. Often, at the lowest points of my life, when I did not write for myself, it was as if a part of me was missing. A piece of my soul was incomplete and the words were trapped in there, searching for a release.

This was the case when I began, for the first time in my life, writing for others. My first paying writing job. I was consumed with turning out piece after piece of quality work that readers would hopefully enjoy. I got a thrill, a rush of adrenaline, from seeing my name on a byline. I still do.

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Radikal Readings: Mrs. Kennedy and Me

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I am fascinated with the past. History was always my favorite subject growing up and I always had an interest in the complicated, but short 1,000 days that was dubbed Camelot by former first lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

I happened to be home on November 22nd – the 50th anniversary of President John Fitzgerald’s assassination in Dallas, and was sucked into the endless specials being shown on the History Channel and CNN among others. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, the Zapruder footage of the actual shot hitting the president is horrific and the sight of Jackie Kennedy reaching over the trunk to pick up a piece of her husband’s skull, while a secret service agent is jumping on the car is forever etched in my mind.

It wasn’t until watching all the specials on television, that I found out that the secret service agent leaping onto the car, Clint Hill, had written a book in 2012 about his life with the enigmatic Mrs. Kennedy as he called her. Mr. Hill as she called him, delivers a poignant memoir about his years with perhaps the most iconic first lady in history.

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Beyoncé and Modern Feminism

BEYONCE-ALBUM-COVER-2013-THE-VISUAL-ALBUMA surprise album? Why the hell not? If you’re music royalty like Beyoncé, you can completely change the industry in a matter of hours. When B dropped her self-titled, 14 track 17 video album, she broke the internet and sold hundreds of thousands of copies in just three hours, in route to 828,773 in just three days. Add to this that the songs can not be bought a la carte – so that’s almost 900,000 people who spent $15.99 on an entire digital album (something I haven’t done since, well, I can’t really remember). Forbes magazine pointed out that her three day sales totaled more than Katy Perry’s Prism and Lady Gaga’s Artpop opening week sales combined.

Forgetting the surprising, record-breaking manner in which it was released, Beyoncé is a damn good album. It’s a little different than her past albums, but that makes it all the more interesting. It’s definitely more personal and just like she has always stated, it is I am woman, hear me roar – but in all facets.

I have always been a fan of Beyoncé, not just because of her music and her insane talent, but because of what she represents – a strong, independent black woman. She represents a modern woman – one that loves her her baby and being a mother, and her equally successful husband, yet, is also fiercely independent, has her own brand, wears revealing clothes and sings about loving sex. Women are complex beings and she let’s us know that you can be a feminist and be sexy. She takes the word feminist, that still has such a negative connotation, and uses in it in the way that it was always intended.

The tracks on Beyoncé, go from being Drunk in Love, to ladies being on the receiving end in Blow, to struggles in motherhood in Mine (which features Drake), but the song that discusses feminism outright is Flawless. Halfway through it features Nigerian-born writer and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking from of my favorite TED Talks on feminism. It’s about being more than someone’s wife. That women are taught to aspire to that, when we are so much more. I love that Beyoncé tells women to tell “him,” I woke up like this – we flawless/I look so good tonight. The video features is Beyoncé with a number of female dancers of all different races, which is another reason she gets it right.

Are some of her messages at odds – sure, but that’s what makes it better. Women aren’t just black and white and Beyoncé gets that. She gets that as a woman I want to be accomplished on my own, but I still want a life partner that I love. I am sexy, but I do not want to be objectified. I want a child and family, but I do not want to give up my career.

In the midst of the current musical landscape, it’s nice to have Beyoncé remind everyone why she’s a positive role model for women.

Product Rave: NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencil

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Winter and deep/dark lips – so cliche, but so right! My favorite (actually only) way to wear deeper lip colors is matte formulations. So when I saw the NARS display for their Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, I had to snap at least one up, which happened to be the berry/wine Damned.

I am so glad I did, because these are amazing. They are probably the best matte lip product I’ve used and at $25 a pop, they better be! The NARS website says, “lips are instantly saturated with rich pigments and a velvety matte finish. The long lasting, non-drying formula is enriched with emollients for a creamy texture…” All of that is very true.

Song of the Day: Electric Lady

JanelleMonae_TheElectricLadyThere’s been a common theme with most of the music I’ve been listening to lately – it’s all on the slower side of things. Actually, in general, I tend to listen to slower music than uptempo tracks, but everyone it’s nice to switch it up.

Janelle Monáe is the perfect way to do that. Her sophomore album, The Electric Lady released in September, but I didn’t give it a listen until this week (big mistake!) The whole thing is pretty entertaining, and I’m a fan of anything featuring Prince (he has a cameo on Give Em What They Love).

One of my favorites is the title track, Electric Lady, featuring Solange. It’s just so, so much fun. Plus, who wouldn’t live lyrics like this: You got a classic kind of crazy/But you know just who you are/You got the look the Gods agree they wanna see.

The Fijian-Indian Conundrum

fiji_2440570bA first generation child will always tell you how difficult the push and pull between your so-called American-ness and your family roots. It’s a constant battle straddling the line between being cool and American in front of your friends, while remaining traditional and cultured and tied to your roots with your family.

One minute you’re eating poori and kaddu at a family pooja and the next you’re out having turkey burgers and fries with friends (explaining why you don’t eat beef is a whole other issue).

Being Fijian-Indian and born in America brings up a whole other set of issues. The world we live in always wants to label us. Filling out those little race forms was always so confusing to me. Are you Indian? Are you a Pacific Islander? You’re supposed to fit in a neat little box.