Uptown Barbershop Trending Topic: Infidelity

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Before we get into this, it is a must I provide a little context. My barbershop is the quintessential Dominican barbershop. Tons of people, music blaring, barbers dancing as they perform their duties. In short, a hive of activity; in many ways it is a place where a party is taking place and they just happen to cut hair. This is the kind of barbershop where you may find yourself being served little plastic cups of sweet espresso while you wait for your cut, as a whole host of street peddlers enter and exit the establishment to hawk bootleg DVD’s, clothes, sunglasses, watches. Maybe even furniture. Another thing that takes place at my barbershop and others like it is conversation. Straight up, loud, unfiltered, non-politically correct, sometimes anachronistic, man talk.

Photo Credit: Briana E. Heard

The topic on this particular outing was infidelity. For the most part, the general consensus among the barbers and the clientele was that women by nature will eventually cheat on their mates, so in order to mitigate the hurt from that inevitable occurrence, it was better to cheat before she does. In other words, pre-emptive cheating; cheat before getting cheated on. That way when the fateful day came, and everyone here was sure it would come; one could at least keep their head held high with the knowledge that they had their fair share of trysts, two-timing, affairs and adventures.

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Hustle Hard…

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

I find it absolutely absurd and at the same time, cosmically comical, that my whole way of being, my philosophy, the very essence of what I am about, could be described or better yet distilled into a saying on the inside of a fortune cookie. Really? But there it was. God has a sense of humor. But it’s true, right now; that little bit of fortune cookie wisdom succinctly describes my modus operandi. One of my mottos is “never not working”, a concept which I heard through Kristoff via his indispensable, informative and insightful blog, Rebel Socialite. Even though it is not correct English, it is on the money. My life is my work.

At the end of the day, coming from where I’m from, I don’t see any other way. My mom came from the Dominican Republic in the early 70’s with nothing but determination, hard work and hustle and was able to make ends meets for her children as well as the extended family. Now that I am a father of 3 beautiful daughters, I see that my grind not only provides financially but also instills a work ethic to emulate.

The word hustle is at times viewed negatively because it is associated with drug dealing but hustle is not about an occupation or a trade. It is about working hard everyday to make your dreams come true, whether you work in a factory or you own the factory. My mom, who is an old-school Dominican woman that absolutely hates drugs, is a hustler. Latinos in general and Dominicans in particular have hustle hardwired in their DNA. Being that I am a Dominican New Yorker from Washington Heights, aka the hometown of hustle, my hustle is on some mutant ish. I will not be stopped. I can’t, I have too much riding on my success.

So there you have it! Get yours or get yours taken. Hustle hard!

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com

From Monte Cristi To The Major Leagues: Nelson Cruz’ Journey To Baseball Greatness

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

Even though I only watch baseball during the playoffs and being a New Yorker I am more of a Yankee fan, this recent article on Texas Ranger Nelson Cruz on the local Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas news channel WFAA really struck a chord. Reporter Rebecca Cruz and crew took a trip to the DR to Nelson’s hometown of Monte Cristi to speak with the family and learn more about his journey to the majors. In the accompanying video, Nelson parents, grandmother and siblings as well as Nelson himself, give you quite a touching look into his rise to baseball greatness. I couldn’t help but choke up when his father tells the reporter how proud he was of his son and is practically in tears. I totally empathize with Nelson when he states, “Everything I am is because of them. They teach me the right way to be, how to treat people, how to be a better person. Everything I am now is because of them.” Amen, hermano – stay excellent.

Click here for the article replete with a poignant video.

By the way, the Wall Street Journal has dubbed Nelson Cruz the new Mr. October for his record smashing six-homer performance for Texas in the American League Championship Series. “Only four other players—Ken Griffey Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Chase Utley, and Reggie Jackson—have hit even five home runs in a postseason series.”

Click here for that article.

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at ledblackNYC@gmail.com