Black Girls Do Hike: Muir Woods


I can’t believe I waited until the end of summer 2013 to hike Muir Woods.  Even as a Bay Area native, I have  heard about this national monument, seen it on TV, but have never made the drive to visit. People come from all over the world to see the beautiful redwood trees and so I’m glad I had a chance to experience it right in my own backyard.

Muir Woods is located on the Pacific coast about 12 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County.  I went with a friend and we drove from the east bay for about an hour to get to the park. Parking was kind of bad and there were a lot of tourist buses and hella people from all walks of life. We decided to bypass the tourist stroll and do the Dipsea trail which is about a 7 mile loop around the park, moderate to strenuous uphill, and took  us about two hours. I won’t babble on about my experience because my pictures can explain it all, however just know that this was definitely one of my best hiking experiences in the bay!









NYE Recap – Erykah Badu @ The Fox Theatre Oakland

New Years Eve has always been a nervous feeling me. Pondering plans on how I’m going to spend my last few moments of the year gives me anxiety; hell if you’re indecisive like me making plans in general will give you anxiety. While I juggled the club idea, couch potato idea, or the secret destination idea my thoughts brought me back to music. What better way to bring in the New Year in my hometown of Oakland, California with one of my favorite artists of all time, ERYKAH BADU. It was the perfect night to celebrate, dance, reflect, and of course scream and cry tears of joy and excitement.

Photo by Reesa

My best friend and I were front row in the newly renovated Fox Theatre and stood there for hours just five feet away from a phenomenal crowd pleasure, Erykah.   She was mid “yaaaayoooo” when the clock struck midnight and I couldn’t even wish everyone blowing up my phone Happy New Year cause of the musical trance she had put us in. Balloon drop, countdown, confetti, the beat drops, but no New Years kiss this time.  Just happiness and excitement for a new beginnings and another chance to be great!

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I’ve grown to hate writing concert reviews however I couldn’t pass up on this one.  So, instead of a long drawn out description you probably won’t read, check out these moments I’ve captured:

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Erykah9 Erykah10 Erykah5 Erykah

Photo By Reesa

photo by Reesa

Photos by Reesa

New Year, New Me, New You, New Us.  .  . .Can you say that again?

Life is Living Oakland 2012 – (Oct. 13)

It’s that time of year again, if you’re local check out this free event at DeFremery park in Oakland.  Its a FREE Celebration Of Urban Life Through Hip-Hop, Intergenerational Health, And Environmental Action.  There will be a music concert featuring local artists like Los Rackas and The GetBack Crew, host DJ Talib Kweli and a Nina Simone tribute by Isis Rising.  From 11-6 pm the park will be filled with live demonstrations, art exhibits, local vendors, teacher’s lounge, and a kids zone. So come out and learn, grown, inspire, and celebrate in the community!

Fore more information visit –>
(Bio from the website)
LIFE Is LIVING is a national campaign of Youth Speaks Inc. that generates partnerships between diverse and underserved communities, green action agencies, local community groups, urban environmental activists, and the contemporary arts world. Life is Living encompasses a series of six-hour inter-disciplinary, intergenerational, eco-equity festivals in neglected parks in underserved neighborhoods around the country. Previous cities include Oakland, CA; Harlem, NY; and Chicago, IL & Houston, TX.National funders include Columbia Foundation, Irvine Foundation, East Bay Community Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Black Girls Do Hike – Redwood Regional Park

I hit the trails this past weekend for some much needed fresh air at Redwood Regional Park; which is located in the Oakland Hills. I invited my co-worker along for the hike and we found ourselves lost between the Redwoods (figuratively).  First of all, I am new to the hiking thing so as I was driving up Redwood road I stopped at nearly every staging area where I saw other cars just to see if the trail was okay for us.  Little did I know that all the “safe” hikes were inside the regional park grounds.  We past stables, horses, and even homes deep in the woods to get to our destination.

We paid $5 for parking and decided to do the “Stream Trail” which seemed to be easier since small children and elder people were walking it.  Of course since I had a first-timmer with me who was scaring me to death talking about the “Blair Witch Project” and how she had no signal and how we should leave a paper trail.  It was funny at first but then I got scared cause we were the only black girls out there that day. We soon got over it when we took a detour up the “Prince Trail” which was an uphill slope about half a mile.  It really kicked my butt and reminded me that I was there to work out.

We hiked a total of 4.66 miles on the stream and prince trail.  It’s a very scenic route where dogs and horses were allowed.  I would rate it an easy/moderate hike, its great for beginners. I really enjoyed the redwood trees and the stream that we walked a long.  My goal is to one day walk to the end …one day. Baby Steps.

Hiking has become my new found hobby that will help me to lose 20 more lbs by fall.  Hiking is great exercise and bonding time that is right in our very on Bay Area Backyard. Check back for more hiking adventures next week!

The Occupy Wall Street Movement Comes to Oakland (Photos)

If you haven’t been following, heard of, or participating in, shame on you.  Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have been happening all over the country and in my hometown I go to work seeing protestors diligently fighting against corporate greed for over a week now.  Occupy Oakland is right outside of City Hall and for the past week there have been demonstrations, rallies, marches, and even celebrity appearances from different spectrums; Danny Glover and Lupe Fiasco.  Yes, I’ve been reading the concerns about public safety and people taking advantage of this opportunity but let me show you the positives visually that’s happening in my neck of the woods!

Photo by Fred Shavies

Photo by Ben Margot

Photo by Reuters Pictures

If you have stories, photos, reflections, or other protest demonstrations in you area share them in the comment box below.  You may also email your photos to and I’ll post/retweet them =)


Life is Living Oakland: A Free Celebration of Urban Life (Oct. 8)

It’s that time of year again for the annual festival and celebration of Urban life through Hip Hop, intergenerational health, and Environmental Action.  I had a chance last year to participate with my internship Bay Localize so this is definitely an event you wouldn’t want to miss.  A few crowd pleasers like Quest Love and Bay Area’s own Ryan Nicole will grace the stage as well as exhibits from urban gardening to HIV testing, visual and hood games. See you next week, Sunday October 8th from 11- 6 pm @ Defremery Park in West Oakland 🙂

TheSeKondElement – What Would You Be Like?

Check out new music from Journalist, poet, and emecee TheSeKondElement also known as KAMMZ theACE.  Her song entitled, “What Would You Be Like?” derived from a tumblr post where he friend reference the popular book Eat. Pray. Love. Here’s an excerpt:

“Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.”

Take a listen to “What Would You Be Like?” and share your thoughts in the comment box below!

For more on TheSeKondElement, her radio show and more music visit

Afro Chic’s Friday Jam: Netta Brielle x In$an3

Check out “In$an3” by Netta Brielle. This Bay Area bred has been on my radar for awhile thanks to Rawe Mag for putting me on last summer when I returned home.  Ladies, add this one to your playlist cause it’s a perfect kick-off to summer, (although it looks ugly outside and I’m fighting a horrible cold) it really got my Friday going. Give it a listen!

I.V.A.N x Never Marry A Musician

A lot of artists dropped new music on Valentine’s Day and I thought it was only right to give this Bay Area bred emecee some spotlight. I.V.A.N released Never Marry A Musician and the buzz has been well received.  In this album you will find artistry that goes above the typical hip hop trend.  I.V.A.N has selections on here that display his creativity and his ability to naturally stand out.  One of the tracks that I liked was “Monterey” where he tells a story about the day in his life, his goals, feelings, and aspirations. If you never been to Monterey it really is a beautiful city to visit along the California coastline and I could totally visualize his reflection behind it.  Never Marry A Musician is a great compilation if you want to stimulate your creative senses.  Take a listen, download, and support good music!

Download Never Marry A Musician here

Nican Robinson: A Look into a Photographer’s Soul

It’s always interesting to watch an artist’s life unfold right before your eyes and I had a chance to meet one that was so inspiring it immediately took my weekend into a world of creativity.  Nican Robinson is a local photographer in the Bay Area that may be seen at your Monday soul events or local concerts but he possess a talent that I rarely see in people that take pictures; it is his ability to capture the beauty of the human body.  Born and raised in Oakland, a graduate of UC Berkeley, college athlete, and a salsa dance king, Nican Robinson proves me to be one of the most outstanding and illustrious photographers in the Bay Area.

Reesa: When did you first start doing photography?

Nican: This may be a surprise but how long do you think?

Reesa: I’m not good with guessing but your work is phenomenal so I would say in High school.

Nican: February 14th at 9 pm 2009.  My life was surrounded by athletics, all the men in my family played basketball and football.  After the big game with Stanford, I sat down with my dad and expressed to him that I wanted to pursue photography so immediately my dad ran into the room and brought out a Nikon B50 and just gave it to me and from then on it was history.

Reesa:It’s not so often that you find a photographer who started only two years ago and has built a professional platform that can rank with some of the veterans. So what do you have an eye for or what is your inspiration when shooting?

Nican: Different aspects or occurrences that happen in my life are my inspiration.  I come from a very loving and nurturing family, sometimes my family is referred to the Cosby’s…like no joke.  My father does not wear the sweaters but were pretty much Cosby-like.

Reesa: (laughs) Ok, I was looking at your photos on your website and I really liked your black and white portraits. What makes you choose to do black and white versus color?

The Blackout

Nican: That a good question. The reason why I think that black and white photos should be used is number one; depending on what you photograph, colors tell you the answer but when using black and white it has to be read and felt. And two; the energy of the photo is locked into your imagination and you really have to feel the emotion.

Reesa: How do you go about capturing the perfect photo?

Nican: When I go about capturing a picture I use all different type of models and bakcgrounds.  Whether you are big, small, tall, the human body is a model.  It all depends on the situations on how I’m feeling.  I’ll go and reach out to a certain person and express the situation through my photography.

Reesa: One of my favorite models you shot is Adryan Sterling.  I love how you can capture her beauty from a different perspective. How do you define Beauty in the human body?

Model: Adryan Sterling

Nican: My answer is very simple but my meaning is deep. Everything is beautiful.  Everybody has a beauty about them; they may not see or recognize it.  As an artist/photographer you can pull the inner beauty out of someone.  When you look at my photos you can feel the beauty in every one of my models.  My goal is to define the beauty that people ignore within themselves.

Reesa: As an artist we tend to appeal to all of our senses when it comes to creativity.  So choosing one of the five; what sound or noise do you love the most? And why?

Nican: I like the sound of the dishwasher.  It’s really calming.  My mother would turn the dishwasher on and it at night and it would be soothing to me when I fall asleep. Also, I love the sound of Sam Cooke, even the song “Keep Moving On” he talks about how things in life happen but you have to keep moving on.

Nican Robinson is currently working in Oakland to pursue his career as a professional photographer.  Every week he has current projects that he displays on his blog and his portfolio at