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Texting Isn’t Dating

Written By Tyra Wilkes

PSA: Just because we’ve exchanged a few texts, perhaps even Facetimed for a bit, it does not constitute as dating. We don’t date. We don’t talk. You don’t have the right to claim me amongst your friends when my name comes up.

(To simplify things, we’re going to agree that talking and dating are the same. In this article at least.)

Now that we’ve cleared that up. I’ll dive right in.

If you ask me, men have this territorial quality to them that I’ll never understand. If I ask how your day went, or show interest in what book you’re reading, we’re now talking? Even if we’ve never been out together and I barely know a thing about your life, you feel it’s appropriate to publicly announce that we have subtle ties to each other? Interesting. But hey, no one asked me.

Unfortunately in 2016 people don’t date anymore. No one wants the real thing. By real I’m referring to actual emotions; the kind where your presence makes me nervous but calm at the same time, waking up and praying for someone, thinking of them before yourself, empathy, that restless love; restless because I’m replaying our happiest moments in my head, I’m drowning in your affection, not heartache, love. That kind. We want the social media thing. By social media thing I’m referring to surfaced love; likes and relationship goals. Who cares if you’ve known me twelve minutes, you’re cool and everyone seems to know you, so I’m going to quickly raise my hand and claim you before anyone else can and we’ll work on the rest later.

I’m the kind of girl that loves the process. Is the love for the process extinct? You know, sketching out the garment, frolicing the fashion district for fabric swatches, piecing together the pattern, and building up the excitement for when you finally see your finished product? The product that you’ve put your all into, dreamt about, saw the sample and made edits to. Is that over? If it is, please leave me isolated with a bottle(s) of wine and a straw while I sulk.

The moral of this rant is that texting is not the same as dating. Texting is texting. Texting means we entertain each other’s conversation from time to time and I think you’re a decent person. Texting means I see you often, and I’d rather not make it awkward when we bump into each other so I’ll respond from time to time. Texting means we aren’t dating, we’re texting.

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4 Art Exhibits to See in DC

Renwick Gallery
1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006
Open daily from 10:00 am- ­5:30 pm

At this point the Renwick Gallery is a bit cliche and overdone, I know. However, the WONDER exhibit has come and gone, and the museum has welcomed the return of their permanent collection, Connections. The exhibit, which features both old and new additions, is described as ‘an approach to living differently in a modern world.

If your heart is aching at the thought of separating from the phenomenal installation that was WONDER, you’ll be happy to know that Renwick Gallery has adopted three pieces from the exhibit into their permanent collection. These additions include Janet Echelman’s 1.8 (woven sculpture reminiscent of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami), Maya Lin’s Folding the Chesapeake, and Leo Villareal’s Volume (the breathtaking chandelier that makes stair climbing beautiful)


National Museum of African American History & Culture
1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
Opening September 2016

Finally! After an agonizing wait, the National Museum of African American History & Culture will be opening September 24th, 2016 on the National Mall. This museum is a journey through American history through the eyes of the African American people. In celebration of the grand opening, there will be a weekend of free, fun events that are open to the public!:

Three Day Music Festival @Washington Monument Grounds
Friday, September 23, 2016, noon-5:00 pm
Saturday, September 24, 2016, noon–5:00 pm and 6:00-9:00 pm
Sunday, September 25, 2016, noon–5:00 pm and 6:00-9:00 pm

Dedication Ceremony National Museum of African American History and Culture
Saturday, September 24, 2016 
8:00 am Gathering and Musical Prelude
10:00 am Dedication Ceremony Begins
1:00 pm Museum Opens to the Public

For more information http://nmaahc.si.edu/visit/opening


The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

Tuesday-­Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday Extended Hours 5:00 pm- ­8:30 pm
Sunday 12 noon – ­7:00 pm

With three exhibits currently on display, The Phillips Collection is a must visit. The featured artists include Karel Appel’s A Gesture of Color – this installation is made up of 22 paintings and sculptures, giving an inside look at Appel’s work over a 60 year span. Bettina Pousttchi’s Intersections – Intersections is a collection of contemporary pieces that intertwine the modern and contemporary worlds as it pertains to art. Lastly, William Merritt Chase’s A Modern Master – taking you on a trip of Chase’s forty year career, A Modern Master features over 70 pieces of his work.

Also at The Phillips Collection is the Young Artists Exhibition. This exhibition features the work of students from schools all around The District, as part of their Art Links to Learning: Museum in Residence program.


Foundry Gallery
2118 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Wednesday – Sunday 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Opening reception Saturday, August 5th 5:00 pm – ­8:00 pm

August 3rd, The Foundry Gallery will debut their newest exhibit, Hot Hot: A Juried Show of Washington Area Artists. Expect to be captivated by vibrant colors and abstract pieces put together by some of DC’s most talented artists. Visit the exhibit from August 3rd­-August 28th.

 

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Yoga Good For Your Summer Body

Written By Tyra Wilkes

For those of us that hate the hustle and bustle of the gym, thankfully, there are more tranquil athletic alternatives. Aside from being able to be barefoot, yoga allows you to exercise both your mind and body.

Studies have shown that just like traditional cardio, getting in a namaste or two weekly can improve the body’s muscle strength and tone, while building up your body’s resistance against high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat.

Yoga has also been proven to balance stress levels, and cause overall improvement in your sleeping habits, flexibility, body alignment, and your sex life.

Here are a few free, yes free, yoga classes in the area. Take advantage!

Yoga in the Park complimentary yoga classes take place weekly in Farragut Park.

Tuesdays: Yoga in Farragut Park

Wednesdays: Barre at the Plaza at 2100 M Street

Thursdays: Yogalates in Farragut Park

Yoga in the Park complimentary yoga classes every Sunday in Meridian Hill Park.

June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26

July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

August 7 August 14 August 21 August 28

CorePower Yoga with four locations across the district, CorePower Yoga offers a week of complimentary classes when you register online!

See you on the mat!

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8 Stupid Pick Up Lines Guys Use

Written By Tyra Wilkes

Oh, you have a boyfriend? So you can’t have friends? NO! NO! And NO again! Geez! I think all women can relate to that feeling of discomfort resulting from unwanted attention from a guy. It’s almost like we can feel it coming; walking down the street, through the mall, even the grocery store. And God forbid we’re not interested, we get called every ‘b-tch you’re not even cute’ in the book.

If you’d like to know what not to say, look no further.

Disclaimer: All of the following are real statements, made by real men, in real life.

  1. “You gonna be my new girlfriend?”
  2. “I know you don’t deal with felons, but I’ll have you writing letters and accepting collect calls”
  3. “Not sure if you’re having sex tonight, but if not, I’d love to have sex with you”
  4. “Can we compare the size of our hands?”
  5. “Where’s your boyfriend at?”
  6. “I wanna have a baby by you.”
  7. *walks over as you’re on your phone* “Put my number in your phone.”
  8. “Excuse me, can you help me find the way to your heart?”

I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret, the one pickup line that is sure to work is… “Hi, my name is __” There you go! It’s really that simple. Don’t be a creep, don’t overthink it, just simply introduce yourself and be normal.

Also, please refrain from calling us b-tches, saying we aren’t cute, saying our friends look better than us anyway, etc., because we aren’t interested, you’re only embarrassing yourself. God bless.

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Who is Vittoria Antionette?

Written By Tyra Wilkes

Make a bold statement without saying one word!” That is the quote you’re greeted with when visiting the website of Vittoria Antionette, and rightfully so. For those who aren’t familiar with the brand, Vittoria Antionette is a distressed denim brand in which each item is made-to-order; giving the client a feeling of exclusivity. Aside from her in-house items, Vittoria has collaborated with Basketball Wives LA cast member Angel Brinks, creating one-of-a-kind pieces only to be sold in her Los Angeles store and online.

Along with running a business, Vittoria is also a full-time mom and grad student, pursuing a Masters of Education in school counseling with hopes of opening a creative therapy center. Through her experiences, she was inspired to volunteer for organizations such as, Project Playtime in Washington, DC, as well as the Adoptions Together agency in Silver Spring. Together with the previously mentioned, Vittoria has organized and attended an abundance of philanthropic events in the DC area, all of which share the sole purpose of giving back to our community. These events feature a combination of coat drives, clothing drives, Hashtag Lunchbag, and more.

Vittoria’s ability to successfully maintain her studies while being a full-time mom and run a successful business, all while serving her community should be an inspiration for many. She is a shining example that it is possible to actively chase your dreams despite the odds you may have against you. She is a reminder that we all have the ability to reach great heights; it’s discipline, dedication, and actions that are eventually going to elevate you to the next step.

Q: The Vittoria Antionette brand puts a unique spin on the typical distressed denim shorts/jeans, what pushed you to explore new avenues within the trend?

A: I am not the typical DIY, I am an artist. I am very talented with my hands and my mind creates more artwork than I am able to produce. My cravings for “new” and “creative” are equally matched with my business efforts. I have an edge on the market because I have affordable prices, custom designs and amazing customer service. The design is not the only thing that puts a unique spin on the product; it’s the business and character behind the company that people truly adore.

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Q: Being from the Washington, DC area, do you feel like your local community plays a relevant role in the success of your brand?

A: My peers are not my biggest supports. My family and friends are the most important roles in my success. I am a full-time student, full-time mother and business owner. It’s absolutely necessary to have a strong support system in my position. As far as my community goes, I need them more than they need me. The community doesn’t need another “fashion designer” or retail store. The community needs leaders; they need people to inspire them, people to pave the way for excellence. That’s what I am offering. I don’t need the support for the success of my product; I know it will sell. I need the community to encourage and celebrate small businesses and the entrepreneurial community. The community doesn’t work together they continuously compete.

Q: On those days when you’re completely worn out and have not an ounce of energy left to give, what keeps you motivated to go that extra mile?

A: I am motivated because I am here with a purpose. I will not stop until I fulfill my duties on earth, which is to inspire, create, and help people. I feel it’s extremely important for my son to see me staying up late to do my homework, cooking dinner, and working long days for myself.

Q: What can be expected from Vittoria Antionette in the future?

A: I recently started The Scripted Collection which encompasses a lot of self-loving, inspirational and empowering pieces. Over the next few years I’m going to strive to grow my business, promote positivity, complete grad school and build my reputation as a community leader that can be trusted.

“I believe my purpose in life is to educate, inspire, and encourage young women through my story and experiences. I was a teen mom too, but I never let my responsibilities as a mother delay my dreams!” – Vittoria Antionette

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Does the Cost of the Date Matter?

Written By Tyra Wilkes

In social media land we often have the infamous $200 date debate. How much should a guy spend on a first date? If you take me to Shake Shack and spend $25, I’ll take that as a sign that you aren’t serious about me or any sort of future. But what if he remembers a conversation where you said you’ve always wanted to try Shake Shack but hadn’t because all of your friends are vegetarians and you hate eating alone?

I once had a first date that consisted of an afternoon at Renwick Gallery, followed by a stroll downtown. Aside from it being one of the smoothest first dates, we were able to really vibe and get to know each other in an environment that I felt most comfortable. Surrounded by the arts. His actions and mannerisms are what ultimately heightened my attraction to him; going someplace that he knew I’d enjoy, a place we can have have fun and stray away from the awkward first date jitters.

“The older that I’ve gotten the less superficial I’ve become. I like thoughtfulness- something that’ll provoke some emotion from me. I could go on a $400 dollar date and gain nothing from it, but can go on a free date at home and be satisfied. You know? I’m not materialistic – money doesn’t attract me. I like being cozy and being romanced. The heart attracts me, as cliche and cheesy as it sounds. Run me a bubble bath and pour me a glass of non-alcoholic wine & I’ll be fine! Sike, I prefer showers.” – @24karatgwin

I do agree that a man should go out of his way to impress you on a first date, but who’s to say that dollar amount determines whether or not there will be a second? For the women who need substance, it’s actually embarrassing that we’re grouped with such a superficial standard of dating. I once wrote a poem that reads, “What happens when my soul needs to be fed? My thoughts are becoming too heavy for this bag and these expensive shoes don’t fit me anymore.”

“Honestly, I have no idea why people are so into the whole money thing. When you’re trying to actually date or seriously get to know someone, that sh-t will not compensate. I think women let men get away with a lot of bs as long as they’re compensating with bags and shoes. I want that too, but those things take a backseat to actual substance.” – @naomi2x

Not saying that bags and shoes aren’t appreciated, but is that the right way to determine if someone is a match for you? You can spend $300 on a spectacular four-course dinner at Crustacean and still be a complete douchebag under the surface. Moral of the story: character and thought runs way deeper than your pockets ever will.

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Outdoor Workouts to Try

Young people running in the park

Young people running in the park

Written By Tyra Wilkes

The Spring season is finally upon us! All winter we’ve been cooped up inside the gym and pilates studio, but at last the weather is allowing us an athletic alternative.

  1. Outdoor Running Clubs Like most things, it’s easier to get fit when you have a team behind you to push you and keep you motivated. The District is filled with running clubs for those of us that prefer company with our workouts.
  1. Hiking To my surprise, there’s more than a few local spots for hiking. Take advantage of the hidden gems in the area and do some exploring while you sweat.
  1. Outdoor Yoga Yes, it exist. Brought to you by TriFit, yoga and pilates in Farragut Park all summer 16’. Catch them on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting May 17th.

May 17th – September 29th

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesdays: Yoga, Farragut Park

Wednesdays: Barre, Plaza at 2100 M St.

Thursdays: Yogalates, Farragut Park

LAUNCH EVENT

May 17th: Yoga with Robert Sherman at Farragut Park

May 18th: Barre with Amanda Strand of Freedom Barre at 2100 M St. Plaza

  1. Pilates on the Patio Every Saturday and Sunday at 9am, join Chauna Bryant for outdoor pilates, followed by a complimentary glass of wine. If the complimentary wine didn’t convince you, I’m not sure what will.

Roofers Union

2446 18th Street NW

Washington, DC 20009

Saturdays in June

@ 10 am | $24

The Swift Apartments

3828 Georgia Ave NW

Washington, DC 20011

Sundays in June

@ 10 am | $24

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Pay It Forward: Places to Volunteer in the City

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Written By Tyra Wilkes

A few weeks ago I was grabbing food when the woman at the drive-thru informed me that the customer before me had paid for my order, with the simple request that I pay it forward. Paying it forward refers to responding to someone’s kindness towards you, by being kind to someone else.

For most of us, we’re blessed beyond measure. We wake up in our warm beds, drive our functioning vehicles to work, and have the ability to live a comfortable life. Give thanks and give back by lending a helping hand to those who need it; not only during the holidays, but all year round!

  1. So Others Might Eat (SOME) is an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. We meet the immediate daily needs of the people we serve with food, clothing, and health care. We help break the cycle of homelessness by offering services, such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling, to the poor, the elderly and individuals with mental illness. Each day, SOME is restoring hope and dignity one person at a time.
  1. Capital Area Food Bank is the largest organization in the Washington metro area working to solve hunger and its companion problems: chronic undernutrition, heart disease, and obesity. By partnering with 444 community organizations in DC, MD, and VA, as well as delivering food directly into hard to reach areas, the CAFB is helping 540,000 people each year get access to good, healthy food. That’s 12% of our region’s mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and grandparents.
  1. 826DC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
  1. Access Youth, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide disadvantaged young people with access to the skills, resources and support they need to stay in school and out of the criminal justice system.
  1. Peace thru Culture, Inc. was founded in 2006 to provide cultural enrichment programs for children and youth in under resourced communities via Global Education (Out of School Time Programs and Events); and Global Trek (International Travel).

Also, check out this article from American Graduate DC filled with opportunities to help the community!

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Is Distance a Deal Breaker?

Bearded man standing at the airport with a suitcase and backpack

Is distance a deal breaker? Sometimes when you care for someone, you’d rather be apart from them temporarily, than not be with them at all. After dating a few frogs, it’s better to hold on to them and work through the barriers versus ending things because of something minor like separation, right?

On one hand, I enjoy my space. I enjoy building up the momentum and excitement for the moment when we see each other. Sometimes too much togetherness can cause friction and frequent irritation. On the other hand, there comes a point when missing someone just isn’t satisfying anymore. The things you love most about them you have to go without. After so many weeks and months of not seeing each other, not being able to feel their energy, how are you supposed to survive? How long is too long? How long can you go without looking each other in the eyes and feeling each other’s touch before you lose that spark.

Aside from the physical, there’s so many other components to consider when you’re dating someone. If you’re not going to be here physically, I need you to be here mentally and emotionally. If we allow it, the sea that separates us will break us. What used to be our magic will be spread across the 50 miles that divides us.

So, for anyone currently living out a long distance relationship, I’ve grabbed these tips from Reddit on making your situation a little more comfortable.

Communication

The most important aspect of every relationship and even more so in long-distance ones. You don’t get to physically share your daily lives and experience your days together. Talk about anything and everything that’s going on, in your day and in your mind.

Facetime

As much as you need and want to. You can only express so much through texts and calls, so make good use of our technology.

Trust

You need a deep level of trust for a long distance relationship not to fall apart. If it isn’t there, our minds tend to wander to dark places. Trust issues, no matter how profound and deep you deem your love, are omnipresent in most long distance relationships.

Live

Yes, missing someone can bring you down, hard. Yes, it’s absolutely okay to mope. Missing someone can be seriously depressing. But, try your best to cultivate and maintain an optimistic attitude.

As I’ve read here once:

“Don’t focus on the fact that you are apart. It’s only numbers. Focus on the fact that you are together and that you found someone who makes you happy. Time will pass quicker than you think, and the distance will only be a memory.”

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10 Reasons Not to Date a Club Girl

Sexy girls in the car. Celebrating.

Club·Girl (adjective) A female you see at the club every week, mingling with all of the promoters, dancing on couches, and drinking their Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, etc.

I once dated a guy who said that at first glance I gave him ‘club girl feel’. I was immediately thrown off because what exactly is a club girl? According to the aforementioned definition, he was right. Apparently, going out with your friends after a long week of writing, designing, and working full-time in a city that is well-known for their nightlife, makes you a club girl.

As usual I reached out to friends for their opinions on why you shouldn’t date club girls:

  1. They’re on the scene too much
  2. She’s probably in someone’s VIP trying to use them for liq
  3. 9/10 she’s trying to get chose
  4. There’s no sense of mystery with her because you already knows what she likes to do in her spare time, hit the club (So we’re only allowed one interest?)
  5. She’s an attention whore and loves the attention she gets from club guys, so why does she need my attention?
  6. Most likely my good men that are in the club with me went smack already
  7. If you’re looking for a laid back, chill, humble girl…the club is probably not the place you want to go for that
  8. She f**ks different dudes, different nights
  9. She has a dude in each club (But it’s okay for ya’ll to invite all twenty girls you’re dating to your party? Interesting.)
  10. Whoever is getting her in VIP in those clubs most likely cracked (Not true.)

Bonus, and also my favorite:

  1. They stink.

I literally LOL’d the entire time I was reading their responses. I like to think there’s a difference between a club girl and a girl who likes to club. With summer approaching, how can I not take advantage of day parties that so easily transition into the night? With so many friends who work in the nightlife, how can we not dance on their couches and take advantage of the drinks we’re handed? There’s a clear double standard when it comes to men vs women in the club scene. If we go out on a regular basis, we’re hoes. But when guys do it, it’s appropriate. I had to close my eyes from rolling them so hard. We’re expected to sit at home and knit while you guys go out and have all the fun? No. In my opinion, if you carry yourself in a respectful manner, you’ll be respected. But if you’re willing to do anything for a flute of Moët, then you’ll be treated as such. I would agree that if a woman has any of the above traits, no, you shouldn’t date her. But also learn to separate ‘club girls’ from ‘girls who club’, there’s a difference. See you guys at Rosebar day party, I’ll be waving from the couch!

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