Getting to work with a brand like KIKI’s is always a treat, from here attention to detail to the way they work , these guys get the job done. This is our second shoot as we where working with there fall line. Having to be in Downtown Miami inside a old church Building with no AC , beautiful natural was all i needed to get it done. Inspired by the vibe and location made for a great morning of photography. Here’s some of the shots from our shoot. More of my work can be seen My Photos
I been a Pincho factory fan for over a year , recently I checked out there new location in Pembroke Pines here’s the breakdown.
Here’s the Twitter repost, Thanks @PinchoFactory
The best of both worlds.
— Pincho Factory® (@PinchoFactory) February 12, 2016
Started a small project with one of my closest friends ,writer , rapper, serious hip-hop fan @Paulwrites bka Paul Martinez who’s been a serious influence in my continued Love of Holy hip-hop and beyond. After many years of doing radio, I was sort of calling being on any type of video quits ,that soon changed with the help of my good friend.
While driving so many hours for pizza sounds crazy to some, I’m crazy enough. Hearing who the “Who-Has-The- Best-Deep-Dish-Pizza” debate in Chicago is entertaining. After a pretty extensive conversation with fellow writer Paul Martinez, I was sold on Lou Malnati’s. He had me daydreaming inside the car on our way there as he spoke about everything from its texture to its unique sauce. When we finally arrived at our downtown location at about noon, we found the place jam packed with the lunch crowd.
The sudden smell of this pizza had me thinking deeply about how this experience would be. We enjoyed a short wait for our order – an original deep dish pizza. Make no mistake, this deep dish was not thick bread based pizza with tons of toppings. Lou Malnati’s is different for all the right reasons. The crust is thinner than most which makes for a special crunchy and buttery outer core. The sauce is indeed the kicker: not too strong but with the perfect hint of acid, almost citric. The high quality pepperoni and Wisconsin cheese makes it all come together. Truly this pizza was one of the best I have ever had. I tried nothing else, but then, why would I? After this breath taking pizza eating session, it was only fitting to take two pies back to Miami with me. Not from here? Take my advice: have it shipped. The Lou Malnati’s experience has made me a firm believer that Chicago’s version of pizza edges NYC. Deep dish rules!
Juan Atiles is better known to his close to 400,000 followers (and counting!) in the social media world as LeJuan James, in honor of his basketball idol, Lebron James. Born of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, the young comedic actor made his atmospheric leap into the public eye with gut twisting skits portraying Hispanic culture and its community. Inaxxs’ own Manny Garcia had the opportunity to sit down with LeJuan James to find out what made him drop everything – school, work, etc. – to do it for the vine.
Do you remember the moment you realized that using your phone to make videos was bigger than something that was just cool to do?
I always remember that. I’ve been able to change my life, not only for myself but for my family. I was able to put myself in a position to be successful off of social media. Honestly, I got started on Vine. I was playing around. It wasn’t something that I was thinking about doing. I was a full time student/full time retail manager. I wasn’t really thinking about it. I got my family involved and people started gravitating to it. When I started seeing that I was a couple of weeks in and then a couple of months, the type of energy and attention that it drew, that it forced me to dedicate my life to entertainment. I had to leave my job and school. I had to drop everything. Everyone I knew was looking at me crazy. I had never been the type of dude to take risks, but I took a leap of faith and everything is turning out really good for me and I’m really excited.
Give us an inside look at the typical day in the life of LeJuan James. You made a radical jump – a leap of faith as you said. What’s the inside scoop? Do you write something up to post on Instagram?
To be honest, my days are really laid back and chill. There isn’t a routine or schedule for my content. I feel the real creative content comes out when it isn’t forced and it’s not over-thought. I can be watching something and get to thinking about it. For instance, I just happen to be scrolling through the internet and saw The Simpsons and thought about how funny it would be if I reinvent it from the Spanish culture point of view. The content comes out much better when it’s not overdone. I make sure that the content is relative to everyone and has humor. The day in the life of LeJuan is chill.
With everything that has happened for you over the past year with Vine, are you ‘programmed’ now? Is everything you see and experience something you immediately translate into an Vine video? Do they come at any moment?
Yeah, my body and my mind is programmed. I mean, me personally I have to come up with content everyday. I’m not stressing over it. I don’t mean to sound cocky, but it’s the confidence in me that I know I’m going to deliver something good that the audience wants. I see my following and how fast it’s growing. I pay attention to what the public wants and the perception of what to humorize.
I’m very conscious of my image, the things that I do, and what people are saying. I study social media as if it were a job. It’s a science to me. I have particular times to post, particular passions, and certain things I want to talk about. It’s a business at the end of the day.
MG: Let’s talk about the phone. Everyone talks about how funny your videos are. I thought it would be dope to talk about the important your phone is. I have a two part question. 1. How important is your phone and have you change your phone? and 2. If you talked to a phone company, what would tell them to change for people to better interact with social media?
Cell phones are extremely significant. 99.9 percent of the population cannot function without their phone. When I was growing up we didn’t have the phones that we’ve have now. I see kids in school with the new iPhone 6. Generations are evolving and the phone is part of their lives. I have been able to impact hundreds of thousands of people through a device that was originally created to communicate from Point A to Point B. It’s an integral part of my life and everyone else. As far as companies helping to better interact with social media, third parties have done this. Twitter, Vine, Snapchat, etc. These third party platforms have given me the opportunity to get ahead. This is America and this is a place where you can make your own dreams. I mean, I wake up everyday and feel blessed because I have been able to take advantage of opportunities through a phone. There is so much interest in cell phones that it gives the public more interest in me because all of my work is through a phone. You’re always connected to LeJuan James. Whether it be Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and now I’m working on some stuff for YouTube. You just have to make sure you’re marketable. You have to continue to evolve yourself.
Tell me about your videos. I checked out your YouTube and you do a pretty dope job at acting. What’s so cool is that it relates past Puerto Rican and Dominican culture. They’re hilarious and the comedy is clean and I was thinking that there are so many out there who do things on YouTube that is really edgy. Why did you make the decision to keep it clean and so far what has it shown you?
I know I represent Hispanics. There are stereotypes and I want to break those barriers. I don’t want to be another stereotype. I want to show that Hispanics can be educated and progressive, be about their families, and want to get ahead. Specifically in the comedy department, some feel like they have to curse to bring humor, degrade females, or to talk about drugs and crime. At the end of the day that’s not what I represent. A big portion of that is the way I was brought up. I refuse to let society change my mindset. I get people from all walks of life being able to identify with my work and I’m very proud of that. That’s what resonates with me and there’s no dollar amount that can change that.
Let’s talk about the pressure. Is there any to constantly bring out content that is relevant and funny?
I try to live one day at a time. I know many people have high expectations of me, but I just focus on the next thing.
What is the future of LeJuan James beyond just doing Vine videos? I know you done some hosting of parties, done some stuff with Univision Orlando. How do you see LeJuan James five years from now?
As far as the future, we have a lot going on. I invite people to check me out on all social media platforms. It started out with the videos and now we’ve been able to branch out to other platforms. I’m right now on a TV station every Sunday, working with Telemundo on some things, and quite a few other things. The sky is the limit. I don’t want to just label myself. I’m an entertainer. I want to be in movies and TV shows. I want to be able to do everything in my ability. It’s a year in October that I left my job to go on this voyage and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.
I know that family is very important to you and plays a very vital role in your life. Hispanics are pretty private about their lives. Give me a word that describes each one of your family members that are included in your videos.
Everything that has happened to me and has got me to where I am now is my family. When you see you videos, you see the bond. I have a traditional family that really loves each other. Without their unity, I would never be even where I am now.
MG: What team on your own? iPhone or Android?
Listen, I’m on both. I shoot all my videos on iPhone because the video editing is better. I use my Android to talk on. I win all the time. (laughs).
While on a trip to Mississippi, I was clear on getting BBQ. In Miami, awesome BBQ is hard to come by or at least is difficult to find. Cozy Corner was the place I was told to go to. After watching a history video on the place, I wanted to feel the same thing I saw on the video. When you arrive to the Cozy Corner it’s pretty clear that you’re in the hood, which I love by the way. Yeah, I’m from the hood, enough about the restaurants area.
If you’re looking for a serious decor, cool lighting and nice set up this isn’t for you but if you want finger licking BBQ, than this is the place. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon to find the owner sitting table side talking with customers and just helping all around. You could tell that many of the customers are regulars as they speak like family.
We couldn’t help ourselves so we ordered way too much food like rib tips, rack of ribs, and chicken. The portions are huge. The BBQ sauce is a little sweet but counters well with the deep smoky flavor of the meat. Service is OK, a little un-personal, sort of felt like they knew we were from another state.
The BBQ is moist, soft, smoky and ohh so succulent. Yes, you can lick your fingers now. If you can get pass the not so great decor and all your worried about is amazing taste than you hit a home run!!!
* A small tip for all my sweet tooth loving people, try the banana pudding. It’s so good, simple yet done right. We took 5 servings for the road which never made it to Miami. Cozy Corner gave us history, not so great service and serious good BBQ. Don’t worry about the neighborhood, you’ll be fine. Stick to the food, you’ll be safe there.*
When I arrived at Glazed and Infused in Chicago, Illinois, I predicted I was going to get some serious fried dough. It was a cold Saturday morning as I arrived to a hip doughnut shop with great decor and a serious amount of small samples. You can actually try 80 percent of the doughnuts before you buy which really makes a serious first impression.
As I gazed at the vast variety of options, I thought of taking them all but realized that wasn’t going happen. I kept it simple and tried their signature maple bacon log doughnut, which was good. It’s not to sweet but has a solid balance of sweet and savory flavor, making it a great doughnut. The whole time there, I was tempted to try these huge home made marsh-mallows.
The staff is very friendly and made me feel at home. They gave great info on the doughnuts and the history of the shop. There’s something about Chicago’s cold winter weather with a great cup of coffee, and a huge glazed birthday doughnut from Glazed & infused, it’s as good as it gets. Be ready to see working people in the area. Parking is limited which was the only down side. Tips for newbies, do what I did, get someone to drive you up to the location and wait outside while you pick the fresh,glazed ,fried goodness. Glazed and Infused has really made a new fan, especially with all the amazing doughnuts I didn’t try.
See you soon Chicago!
When you say coffee house, few will ever think, nice, sunny, and river side location can be mentioned in the same sentence. Chattahoochee Coffee Company in Atlanta, Georgia is not your normal, overcrowded, free Wi-Fi and hip location. It’s the simple things in Life; a nice cup of coffee and river side.
First let’s take a look at the location. Inside a private apartment complex sits this small but unique coffee house. Walk up the stairs to get a coffee and head outside to an amazing relaxing experience, with lounge chairs, rocks or even a mountain trail if that’s your cup of coffee. The Chattahoochee River is feet away from the coffee house and it just makes the fact of getting a frappe or hot coffee something exciting and blissful at the same time.
The Service is friendly and knowledgeable. No big machines, just the classic real way of brewing coffee. Prices are fair, coffee is good, and parking is easy with in house staff telling you where to park which is nice. The beautiful nature background is what easily sets this place apart. You have to see it to believe it. Have a nice cup of coffee on the rocks and the riverside are things you will never forget. Coming from Miami, it was a new and refreshing in every sense of the word. Or coffee bean in this case.