Archive for ‘Carnival’

March 4, 2014

Carnival Tuesday 2014

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Carnival Tuesday 2014, a set on Flickr.

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March 3, 2014

Carnival Monday 2014

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Carnival Monday 2014, a set on Flickr.

Random shots from around Port of Spain.

April 22, 2012

K2K Alliance & Partners – The Human Race 2013

In 2012, as I wrote, I played Carnival for the first time since Peter Minshall with K2K Alliance & Partners because of my friend Renee Cummings. It was a brand new band but it was epic. She told me that next year will be even better and looking at the theme I am certain of it.  This year we were the band that was Alexander McQueen meets Minshall – next year I suspect it will be that on a Mugler scale.

Welcome to K2K Alliance & Partners -The Human Race – Forging Your Own Destiny.  If any of my blog followers or  other friends have ever thought about visiting Trinidad for Carnival this is your chance  – I want to be in it with you.

My only connection with the band is I think it is the most beautiful thing to hit Trinidad Carnival in at least a decade and the most fun I have ever had playing Mas.

February 28, 2012

City of Samba – Carnaval 2011 in Rio

Via Towleroad

An awesome tilt shift time-lapse of Carnaval 2011 in Rio de Janeiro by Keith Loutit and Jarbas Agnelli. Never seen anything quite like it. Gorgeous.

February 25, 2012

K2K On Stage On Carnival Tuesday – Video

The beautiful Carnival Band I played with in Port  of Spain, Trinidad  – K2K – which debuted this year. It was beautiful being in the band but even prettier looking  at it through a spectator’s eyes. I am in the video too – hint – look for a green costume worn by a guy with no rhythm.

February 8, 2012

More of K2K

Went to the K2K Mas camp today as it  just around the corner from work and I wanted to see the costumes in person and pick mine. I am even more impressed than I was before. Photos don’t do the costumes justice – they are brilliant. What amazes me is the level of detail on each one. These costumes are true couture – as the band says ‘Peter Minshall Meets Alexander McQueen’.

See more information on K2K’s website here.

My preferred costume right now is at 2:29 in the video.

February 6, 2012

Andrew in Drag and K2K Carnival (Trinidad & Tobago)

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Completely disjointed ( though perhaps not) post tonight.  First off, I have been filling in for another manager at the TV station ( in addition to my writing and my normal TV job)  for the last 29 days without a day off and I am working till 8pm every day. I still have 10 more days before I can get a day off  so you can imagine my mood.  Today that mood changed when,out of the blue I got a FB message from someone I interview on a regular basis who asked  why I hadn’t contacted her in a while and to let me know that there was a  Carnival costume waiting for me at the K2K Mas Camp.

I need to put this into perspective.  Carnival is a big deal in T&T, the biggest party/festival of the year.  I used to like it but it lost its artistic roots for me once Peter Minshall ( now a friend)  stopped designing beautiful costumes that had a message and the thing turned into little more than an all-inclusive  party on the move with bikinis and beads. Then last year I saw a new band appear with the most beautiful costumes I had seen in years – K2K. Fashion and Carnival merged into a display of  gorgeousness that had me Facebooking and Tweeting the  band.

If all works out  I will be spending Carnival on the road with the most beautiful  band in years and I cannot guarantee I will not do my runway walk on the streets of Port of Spain.

If you want to see the amazing K2K presentation for Carnival 2012 – click here.

When you think about it, Carnival is really about being in drag for a day. Which segues nicely to my next bit. Just saw this  cool video and excellent song  posted by Randy Roberts Potts on Facebook . The Magnetic Fields – Andrew in Drag.

I love it!

 

March 8, 2011

Trinidad Carnival 2011

 

Alvie and Vedesh looking up at me on my perch on Tragarete Rd.

Trinidad Carnival 2011 ,which accounted for my virtual absence from the blogosphere, is now over. In case anyone doesn’t know T&T Carnival is billed locally as the Greatest Show on Earth – if nothing else it is one of the biggest street parties on earth. Took about 200  shots from our headquarters on Tragarete Rd, Port of Spain which was a busy Carnival thoroughfare.

Pics are available as a Flickr set here.

August 30, 2008

Gone with the wind

 

 

It is that time of year in the Caribbean again when the winds of change and the bluster of politicians are upstaged by the power of nature. Hurricane season normally puts most Caribbean residents on edge as the nature of our territory lends itself to being vulnerable to the raging power of one the the greatest forces in nature. Generally, we are small islands dependent on agriculture and with an infrastructure that is usually fairly rickety. Of course, as with most things here in Trinidad ( and to a much lesser extent Tobago)  we think we are an exception to everything. We are fond of saying that “God is a Trini” and pointing to the fact that we never get hit seriously by any of the storms that sweep through. That is not entirely true as though direct hits are a rarity it is more a matter of lucky geographic location than divine intervention.

 

Right now, as most readers will be aware, we are in an unusually active period of disturbed weather in our region. Hurricane Gustav has pounded Jamaica, the Caymans and Cuba and is now setting its sights on the Southern US having reached Category 4 strength and with all indications it will strengthen even further. A measure of the power of this storm is that Katrina ,which devastated New Orleans in 2005, came ashore as a CAT 3. To make our region even scarier we also have Tropical Storm Hanna malingering to the North just behind Gustav and another weather system forming in the Eastern Atlantic. This may not be a pretty season for our region and we can only hope nature and the atmosphere conspire to help things improve.

 

In other news last night was the final night for Alvie’s nighclub Sky. For three years it has been an oasis for all manner of people who needed a place to call their own ( and a convenient place for me to have conversations with Alvie) but as with all things it ran its course. I attended last night as I have had some involvement over the years helping with logos, flyers and the like. It was a strange experience with a huge but motley crew of people belonging to every imaginable race, orientation and age. Every time I turned my back to talk to someone it seemed that another throng entered until it reached the point I wondered if there was going to be enough oxygen available. 

 

It is always sad seeing a groundbreaking idea come to an end and Sky certainly was that – a dream that turned into a social phenomenon. I salute Alvie for his vision and know that he will soon be allowing another of his ideas to take wing. Sometimes I am just so darned proud of my friends and then I realize I chose them well.

February 16, 2008

Free at last, Free at last

Finally, at exactly 2:22pm today I finished the Curacao chapter of Fodor’s 2009 and uploaded the file for my editor. I also sent off the invoice immediately even though there is some smaller stuff left to do such as the planners and maps. Finally, an end to feeling guilty every evening and ending up hunkered down till all hours trying to make a dent. Not to say I will suddenly have a wild and crazy social life it is a few years too late for that but at least I could if I wanted to. 

I had to drive around a bit today to get my taillight bulb changed and to have my car inspected so it can get reinsured next week when the insurance expires. I did this not out of any concern for safety on the roads or my own personal safety but purely because the insurance company asked me to do it. The requirement for an inspection certificate, like so many things in this country, is a system that is only half finished and stuck in limbo. The necessary legislation to add any consequences has never been passed properly and thus if you are pulled over with a car that has an inspection sticker for..ooohhh..let’s say 2004… there is no penalty. The police officer can glance at your jalopy but there isn’t a single thing he can do. Why do these things end up half done? It may have to do with the national tendency to want to start things and then run off to do something else. A culture of distraction. More likely, it could be just a case of incompetent legislators who are unable to handle the strain of multitasking. So my car, which is in tip-top shape now has a sticker saying it is okay till 2010. In the interim my brakes could go wonky, my exhaust might develop a hacking cough and my wipers may stop working…but it is fine I have my useless and toothless sticker. 

This is just one of probably hundreds of bits of well-intentioned legislation that have been introduced in T&T which have failed to reach the stage of full implementation. The most egregious offenses in this area are probably the never ending ( and I mean years) struggle to introduce both the breathalyser and traffic radar. In a country where road fatalities are well over 200 annually these would seem to be no-brainers but, in fact, that description seems better applied to those responsible for passing the necessary legislation and actually obtaining the required equipment. Every so often we get a little glimmer of hope such as late last year when Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert assured all and sundry that the breathalyser would be in place in time for Carnival 2008. Of course, Carnival came and went with many a driver weaving on the road steering with one hand and  hoisting a glass of Johnny Black with the other. Good luck with the radar if they ever get around to it as the traffic officer is sure to be mowed down by one of the dozens of motorists racing on the shoulder. As I look at downtown Port of Spain and the rush to erect tall buildings as some sort of simpleminded attempt to create a developed country on the surface when the reality is otherwise, I wonder about the misplacement of priorities.

 Since I am on facebook I suffer the usual deluge of invitations to join this or that group not to mention the slew of inane quiz invitations. While it is easy to dismiss the Blank wants you to take the test ”what kind of furry marsupial are you?” there are a few that genuinely grab my interest. Today, for example, I noticed Peter Sheppard had  joined the “save the Boissiere House” group. The Boissiere House is a miraculous little gingerbread gem of a home located around the Queen’s Park Savannah at the top of Cipriani Boulevard. It never fails to capture my eye as I drive by it every day on the way to work mainly because, as they say, they just don’t make them like that anymore. Unfortunately the prevailing culture of this country is that old things are bad and tall and shiny things are good. It is, to be sure, a childish mentality that somehow dismisses the national heritage as a colonial travesty that is best erased. I have written about this before and observed that Barbados and Jamaica have a more mature mentality about older buildings recognizing them as part of the built heritage and, therefore, important. I am glad to see that people such as Nicholas Laughlin and Georgia Popplewell are working to change the status quo.

I also noticed that three of my friends joined a group called “Same sex tolerance in T&T”. I am not so sure about that one. I know T&T has laws that date to the Victorian era and proscribe any sort of male-male same sex activity a fact that is beyond comprehension to anyone living in the developed world. It is a situation that is beyond silly and positively reprehensible to anyone with a brain but it is a reality. The Government ( whichever one it happens to be) will continue to bend to the perceived or real pressure placed on it by the religious hypocrites and nothing will change in the foreseeable future.  I am a realist but I truly hope that this will not be the case. Besides that, though, I really don’t see how much impact a Facebook group will have in effecting change. Perhaps it is more of a support group. 

 

 

 I have a concern with the use of the word “tolerance”. In any aspect of my life I would prefer to be hated outright than tolerated. We tolerate the fact our neighbour is an out of control drug user or  we tolerate the screaming brat in the coffee shop. On the other hand we accept other races and we accept the fact the all have different opinions. The fact is there are a lot of gay people in Trinidad, and presumably Tobago, and, by and large, the community is tolerated. Thankfully we didn’t see the Black Community in the US marching to Washington in the 1960s loudly chanting they wanted to be tolerated. They marched so the larger society would come to terms with and accept them as part of normal American life and deserving of rights.  In the case of that Facebook group it reeks of that antiquated bit of religious twaddle one hears from time to time , “love the sinner, hate the sin” .Funny how some things get me riled.

 Off to bed with my little riled self now.

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