Canstruction 2013 Hits New York City

The 21th Annual Canstruction NYC Competition was held in New York City October 21 to November 8, 2013 boasted very creative art pieces made entirely from...

Dining At The Gap Café

Tucked away deep in the Jamaica Blue Mountains is a small cafe called The Gap Café...

Stunner Conquers Sigma 2013

In my last post I wrote about my intentions to run the annual Sigma Corporate Run this year and my hopes to even try to get

Getting Back Fit for Sigma 2013 and Beyond

My Running sneakers It has been many years since I blogged about doing the annual Sigma Corporate Run!

Toscanini - Italian Dining Experience In Jamaica

When you think of Jamaica you think of jerk chicken, jerk pork, oxtail, rice and peas and the many colourful and delicious Jamaican meals guaranteed to tantalize the palate. Fine dining to delicious Italian...


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Friday, November 15, 2013

Canstruction 2013 Hits New York City

The 21th Annual Canstruction NYC Competition was held in New York City October 21 to November 8, 2013 boasted very creative art pieces made entirely from unopened cans of food. These creative exhibitions were on display in the heart of the downtown New York City district at 285 Park Ave Lobby, Grace Building Lobby and One Liberty Plaza Lobby and were quite an eye-full of ingenuity and a creative expression of art for a worthy cause. At the end of the exhibition the pieces will be dismantled and donated to City Harvest for distribution to those in need. Canstruction admission is free but the public are encouraged to donate a can of food on their visit and the organizers had their eyes set on beating last years record of 91,000 pounds of food.

I had the opportunity of viewing this year's exhibitions as well as the winner of last years competition while on a visit to Manhattan. Even though I didn't have my professional Nikon camera with me I still managed to get a few decent photos of the amazing pieces on show with my Nexus 4 mobile phone. Here are the photos I took of this year Canstruction pieces, enjoy!

Below are photos of last year winning piece.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dining At The Gap Café

The entrance of The Gap Café
Tucked away deep in the Jamaica Blue Mountains is a small cafe called The Gap Café. This quaint rustic restaurant is located in Portland Gap, twenty one miles away from Kingston. However, the journey certainly feels longer as the mountain road to this well elevated restaurant in narrow, windy and is a very rough ride, so you may want to prepare your self mentally for this long drive. Nevertheless, if you are longing for rustic dining in the clean mountain air away from the noises, the hustle and bustle of city life then this journey will worth the trip.

Directions along the winding road.
Milestone at The Gap Café
Driveway to the café from the road
The rustic charm and board structure of this restaurant and cafe definitely blends in with the natural look and feel of it's rural location and is reminiscent of a old country house. It is perched on the side of the mountain overlooking the lush green forrest that carpets the Blue Mountain Range, perfect for that rural dining.
The back balcony or The Gap Café

One of the many plants outside the café
View of Holywell from The Gap Café
Once you enter the cafe you cannot help noticing the blue and white inside of the main inner dining area and lobby is decorated with white and cream furniture with framed pieces of Jamaican history mounted on the blue board walls. If you are looking for even more of a natural rustic dining experience the balcony overlooking the blue mountains will definitely fulfill that desire.

Interior of the café
Interior of the café
The food was pretty good, and I especially enjoyed the oxtail which was season to the bone, full of flavour and the meat fell right off the bone with stroke of a knife. My dinner date had a variation of Chicken Cordon Bleu, chicken breast stuffed with callaloo and cheese.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Rice and Peas
Oxtail with Rice and Peas

My highlight of the evening though was the French Pressed Blue Mountain Coffee which was absolutely delicious with that wonderful freshly brewed coffee aroma. We had it with a slice of chocolate cake which was not as wonderful as I had hoped but definitely the coffee made my day.

French Press Blue Mountain Coffee
French Press Blue Mountain Coffe and chocolate cake
If you are looking for a good drive out in the hills on a Sunday evening and want to dine in a rustic country atmosphere then The Gap Café is worth a try. And be sure to end your evening with some French Pressed Blue Mountain Coffee!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Call Di Contracta (Tutty Gran')" - DJ Powa Refix Video

This was just too good for me not to drop on my blog! Best video since the Cliftwang Brown Cannon Cross it video back in 2011! Jamaicans are the best I tell you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stunner Conquers Sigma 2013!

My Sigma 2013 gear!
In my last post I wrote about my intentions to run the annual Sigma Corporate Run this year and my hopes to even try to get a medal by training vigorously. Well, getting a medal may have been a bit immature at this point in my life but a man can dream can't he?

With my eyes firmly set on doing well in the Sigma 5.5k this year I started out my training regim and went to Emancipation Park at least three times for the week. Things started out rough as I have not ran in ages, almost eight months in fact. So I started off by walking about two laps around the park, each lab being equivalent to 500m, then running as much laps as I could after which I would walk the remainder to make it 5.5k. So going around the track at Emancipation park eleven times would be the full Sigma 5.5k distance. Things were going well as each time I went to the park I ran longer and ended up going around the track even more than eleven times. At this rate I was sure to be in good shape for Sigma, or at least so I thought!

Icing my knee
By my third week into running I started feeling pains in my knees, at first it was that bad and so I thought it was just a little soreness as my body was not used to the running as yet. So I figured that after a few mow times running it would eventually go away, just like the soreness associated with starting back at the gym. However, this pain only go worse, even walking became a painful ordeal no matter how slow I went. This caused my training to come to a screeching halt and much to my dismiss and utter disappointment. I resorted to icing several times for the day and rubbing Voltaren on my knees, but this only temporarily eased the pain a bit. As if this wasn't bad enough my sinus started to drain and gave me a nasty chest infection. At this point Sigma seemed to be nothing more than a dream dashed to pieces by a series of unfortunate events. I had to go to the doctor for medication to put an end to the chest infection and also decided to ask him about the knee while I was there. The good news was that I got medication that would clear up my sinus issues and chest infection, but the prognosis on running was very grim. I was basically given pain killers and told to rest and at most walk at most if I still wanted to do Sigma. My dream sank even further into the darkness, no Sigma for me.

Some of the medication I was on
Two weeks of pain went by slowly as I watched the days go by in my dismal routine of icing my knees and rubbing Voltaren. Three weeks of only walking... No limping to do my daily activities. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel, as the week before Sigma progressed the pain got less and less until there was only an intermittent hint of discomfort. By Saturday night February 16 I was virtually pain free and I cleared myself to run the following morning!

Me just before the Sigma Corporate Run on Knutsford Blvd.
I arrived at Emancipation park at about 6:30am and already the place was abuzz with activities as participants were all ready to challenge themselves for charity. I went up to the starting area on Knutsford Boulevard so I could at least get a decent position, which was a good idea as people were already there securing a good starting point. I did a few stretches and did some stepping in place during the starting ceremony to get my muscles warmed up. After about 20 minutes the horn blew for the runners to start and I was off! I made my way along the route at a steady pace, not as fast as I had hoped I would have been going, but it was what I could manage. The route was not easy, despite the morning being overcast and cool. As I progressed along the route I passed many runners who sprinted off only to come to a snails pace and I also got passed by a lot of people who were obviously in better shape than I was. Nevertheless, I pressed on with my steady pace as I listened to my running music that I had complied just for the half marathon. But as the route continued so did the difficulty and  the muscled and my body cried out for a break! Would I make it?

The Sigma Corporate Run 2013 was the same route as that of 2012
By the time I was going up Hope Road and unto Winchester Road my body had enough and was ready to give up, my running pace slowed down to a brisk walk by the time I was midway along Winchester Road, this was it! But then I said to myself if I continue to walk now then I would have completely failed. I grabbed my iPod Shuffle which was clipped to my shorts packed and skipped a few tracks to the Rocky Theme Song! It started and so did my pace, it picked up slowly like a locomotive train and builded and builded up, by the time I realized I was in a a full out sprint! my body running only on sheer mental energy and will power. My chest burned, my muscles ached, my breaths were short, my heart was pounding but all I could see is the finish line, all I could hear was the Rocky Theme Song playing. As I got closer I groaned, I puffed and as the finish line as nearer, the faster I went and the more people I passed. It was there, before me, the prize, the finish line! I did it! I did it! I crossed the finish line like an unstoppable force! Pain, agony, fatigue was nothing compared to the will to succeed! I conquered Sigma!

The champ not long after crossing the finish line on Oxford Road
I finished the Sigma Corporate Run in 33 minutes and 7 seconds, not as well as I wanted, but not bad considering the circumstances.  Now, I have reaffirmed that I need to get even fitter, to challenge myself even more. With this in mind I will continue to run, I will do more half marathons and maybe one day, just maybe I will conquer a full marathon!

My results 00:33:07
The race has ended, but the journey continues...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting Back Fit for Sigma 2013 and Beyond

My Running sneakers
It has been many years since I blogged about doing the annual Sigma Corporate Run! The last time I blogged about participating in the event was back in 2008 and 2009 when I challenged myself to run the five kilometer race not just  in the name of charity but also as a personal feat. It has also beed quite a while since I even ran any at all as I have not done any exercise since I quit the gym in September 2013. However, after gaining a few unwanted pounds and the fact that being a photographer demands that I be fit and healthy I have decided to get back on track... literally!

What better way to get back into being fit than to challenge myself to complete the very race that I haven't done in ages! So I got signed up for Sigma 2013 as a guest of one of the participating institutions. But it would really be foolish of me to just get up and expect to run the five kilometer race to start off my fitness journey once again! With that in mind I have started my fitness journey before race day, yes I have begun to train for the Sigma Corporate Run! By ding so, I will be in good shape for the race and well advanced in my challenge to lose the extra fat, build my endurance and to be fit and healthy overall. So how am I doing?

Well I started last week Tuesday and ran 4 straight laps before I alternated between walking and running for a total of 10 laps. Ten laps on the Emancipation 500m track is equivalent to 5 kilometers which is the full distance of the race, so this is a decent training ground. I went back on Thursday of last week I ran 6 straight laps and this week so far I have ran 8 straight laps in approximately 30 minutes. Today I ran 11 full laps in 38 minutes so hopefully I can do 12 laps in half hour or less before the end of this week or early next week. In the coming weeks I will be working on running 15 laps then work on my speed up to race day so I can at least complete the 5 kilometer race in under 25 minutes.

I am hoping to keep determination going and keep my motivation high to make it not just through the race but also after the race. I am hoping to get a medal this year though as that would definitely be a significant reminder of a milestone in my fitness journey. So the fitness challenge continues!