Friday, September 23, 2016

Alex Gotta Eat #1: The Maple Syrup and Bacon Cinnamon Roll



I graciously gave Hamilton's Bakery another chance after being powerfully disappointed by a lackluster Jack Daniel's muffin there a while back. As a raisinbearing foodthing, its quality could never truly surpass "aight," and despite a jazzy sign and fanfare from the cashier, "aight" may even be generous.

The Jack Daniel's Muffin and tea at Hamilton's Bakery in ze Hamilton Heights, Harlem, New York City

It promised Jack Daniel's-soaked raisins, which is as enticing as a VIP membership to Rita Ora's fan club. Here's how I described it when the trauma was fresh:
I had the "Jack Daniels Muffin" (french toast muffin/booze-soaked raisins) from Hamilton's Bakery in Harlem. Clearly, the Jack Daniels is the selling point, which is why you're reading this now. I fell for it. It's not that the whole affair was forgettable, it's that they're raisins, and there's only so much goodness that can come from raisin-bearing baked goods, as raisins, like Iggy Azalea singles, have few redeeming qualities. In retrospect, I don't know why I expected excitement and razzle dazzle from booze-soaked raisins. I bent my raisin avoidance policy for this. It was...cute. At least it was moist-ish. 6.5/10 (from my @AlexGottaEat Instagram)
But I was in a forgiving mood, and wanted a change of scenery from my usual cafe-offices. I ordered a cold brew (coffee, not beer), glanced at the display case and saw it: the bacon cinnamon roll, winking at me. Glee. Skepticism. Hunger.

And finally, curiosity: I asked the cashier, "How do you feel about this situation here?"

Him: "The bacon thing? It's freaking awesome."

Me: "You'll know in a few minutes if it's not. It'll take one."

But he wasn't lying and so he made it home unmurdered. It was moist and the bacon was a nice balance to the sweetness. I just wish I could have tasted it fresh from the oven, as the heating lamp did it zero favors. The maple syrup drizzle was a nice touch.
A maple syrup and bacon cinnamon roll from Hamilton's Bakery. Round 2 > Round 1
A scoop of Talenti on top would have really turned it out. If it's not fresh from the oven, you have to eat it quickly, because ain't nobody got time for a tough cinnamon roll.

...and so I may or may not have returned a few days later at the exact moment a lovely young woman was placing freshly crafted baconflowers into the display case. If that were true, the gathering of bacon in the middle would have been precisely what my soul needed, alongside the brown sugar factor, to recharge. Round two may or may not have even caused a tingle down low. Maybe.

I give it a 9/10, because in a perfect Trump-free society, the bacon and the brown sugar element would have had a hot, sweaty quickie moment in a skillet, since we're already boldly courting The Sugar. But yeah, me gustó muchísimo or whatever. Get you some.

Hamilton's Bakery
3570 Broadway (between 146th and 147th Streets)
New York, NY 10031

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

mo' writing: "7 Reasons You Should Get Out of Town" (for Esquire/Jim Beam)



The third of six posts I wrote for Esquire/Jim Beam Black hath hit the streets. This one is on why you should get the hell off the couch and getting the hell out of town for a bit:
"5. It broadens your worldview. Getting out of your bubble and interacting with different cultures with different values and different ways of living helps you see the world, well,differently. Traveling can even awaken your creativity and ignite your curiosity. And, it'll help keep you from becoming narrow-minded. 
6. You get to do stuff you can't do at home. Maybe your city doesn't have mud baths in volcanic craters, rainforests through which you can zipline or ostriches you can race in public (if that's what you're into). Here's where you get to step outside of your comfort zone and rack up some enriching new experiences."
Read the rest at Esquire.com.

Read #1: "8 Perks of Packing Up and Moving To A New City"
Read #2: "7 Great Moments That Happen After You Buy a House"

-alex

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"7 Great Moments That Happen After You Buy A House" (written for Esquire/Jim Beam)


Piece number two in the six-part series I wrote for Esquire/Jim Beam is live on Esquire.com. The series explores the best things about XYZ milestone, and this entry was on what to look forward to after buying a new castle or whatever. Good times.

"4. Your castle, your rules. Shoes off at the door? Okay. No talking before 10 a.m. on the weekends? Cool. Establishing a No Macklemore Zone or a Jim Beam Black-only adult beverage policy? That's fine, too. 
5. Marking the occasion with sexytime. Getting the keys and waiting for the cable/Internet/phone installation are fantastic moments, but few things top that first commemorative hump in your new home. Make it a good one."
Read the rest at Esquire.com.

Read #1: "8 Perks of Packing Up and Moving to A New City"

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Monday, September 12, 2016

I been writing: "8 Perks of Packing Up and Moving to A New City" (for Esquire/Jim Beam)


HOWDY.

I hope that your day is pleasant and that your elbows are sufficiently moisturized and ready for battle. I'm recuperating after a much needed trip to Cleveland, Ohio with a group of folks to hit up Cedar Point, ze home of many of the biggest, tallest, and most gut-twisting roller coasters in the the U.S. or whatever. More on that later.

After an impromptu trip to the Googles, I discovered that first of six pieces I wrote for a Esquire/Jim Beam Black went live today on Esquire.com. This is my second copywriting campaign for Esquire.com. Last summer, I worked with Esquire editors to produce three pieces for Courvoisier (one, two, three).

These six pieces will live on Esquire.com, and two of them will be featured on their Instagram situation. Hooray and things like that.

While the process is at once terrifying, awkward and trying, relocating to a whole new city can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself. A change of scenery can help you break out of a funk, discover a new passion, or work up the nerve to revisit an old one. Here are some other things to look forward to when you're not digging yourself out of the fresh hell that is unpacking. 
1. You can rediscover or reinvent yourself. Much like Drew Barrymore's character didn't have to be Josie Grossie anymore, you, too, get to start over and leave baggage/bad habits behind upon relocation. Get that haircut or pick up that banjo you put down ages ago in your Mumford & Sons phase. Nobody here has any expectations of you.
Read the rest at Esquire.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Episode 9 of The Extraordinary Negroes: "Explore, Embrace, & Empower" (Feat. Kent Johnson & Eric Martin of Black & Abroad)



In our latest Blackstravaganza (episode niiiiiine *cartwheels*), we invited Black & Abroad co-founders Kent Johnson and Eric Martin on to discuss how they transformed their passion for international travel into a thriving clothing brand and cultural collective, how they use their use their platform to give back to our communities, some of their memorable experiences abroad, and the eerie resemblance between Kent and Omarion. Additionally, Jay spends way too much money on Supras and Alex adores carrots.


Catch up on all the magic here.

For your convenience, you can listen and subscribe via iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Mixcloud, TuneIn, and Google Music.

You're so pretty.

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Love The Extraordinary Negroes and help us continue making magic? Check out our Patreon page to see how you can help. You da bess.

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