NYC Fashion Week Kick-off: Meet Designer Michele Lovetri

One of the great things about ZazenLife is that we genuinely enjoy helping people out with any start-ups, foundations, charities, non-profits etc. We were once a newly born website looking for guidance and direction, and we received it from people that we consider business partners today. Karma is an amazing thing. Sharing and spreading positive energy with anyone can go a long way.

Since Fashion Week has started up in NYC, we decided to promote a non-profit called CITYarts, Inc and up and coming designer Michele Lovetri. She is a handbag designer who started last September 2012 and has quickly impressed the fashion world. During her latest show, they raised $2,000 for CITYarts. Check out some pictures of her work and latest fashion show below!

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The Evolution of New York City (VIDEO)

This is a slideshow video that shows how much New York City has changed over its long and storied history. The main lesson to be learned from this video is that the city is always changing, and times can get tough, but New York and New Yorkers will always come back newer and better then ever! Read more of this post

The House That Donnie Built

The New York Knickerbockers

Courtesy: @NervousNeophyte

I would like to personally dedicate this New York Knicks blog to the former General Manager and President Joseph Donald Walsh Jr.,(aka Donnie Walsh), for doing everything a recent Knicks fan has ever asked for.

When I sit down and actually think about what that man has done for the Knicks in the past two years, I find it hard not to smile.

I’ll never forget the days when the Knicks and the MSG network would try to sell us the games of Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury and my favorite one of them all, Eddy Curry. The 2011-2012 New York Knicks are possible championship contenders with an all star front court filled with a great amount of respect that is given by us so-called die-hard New York Knick fans.

I’d be lying to you if I said I never thought about giving up on the Knicks in the past few years.

Staying home for a Friday night Knicks vs. Timberwolves match up and seeing them get blown out while the Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love drops 30 points and 30 rebounds isn’t necessarily what I would call a productive Friday night for Knicks fans.

I can now say that the NYK community can finally enjoy some productive and winning basketball. I hope I don’t jinx it but knowing the Knicks of late they’ll find a way to break the hearts of thousands once again. Check the 2010 Knicks playoff exit if you don’t believe me.

What amazed me the most about Donnie Walsh, is the way he negotiated multiple trades, not in favor of the basketball talent on the court, but in favor of their payroll. Mr. Walsh came in with one goal and one goal only, and that was to completely dump every huge salary issue the Knicks had on their financial books. Its funny how former coach, GM and President Isaiah Thomas found a way to make such a mess on and off the court; even though he was one of the games best guards to ever play the game.

Mr. Thomas would spend money like I do after a twelve pack and a few tequila shots and believe me that’s not a good thing.

Thomas deserves 75 percent of the blame for the Knicks abominable free agent signings and pathetic performances.

But year after year, New York Knicks and New York Rangers owner, James Dolan never tried to put a stop to the madness. He just continued to sign the checks and live in hiding.

Dolan would refuse to address the media every year.

I’m convinced he has no idea about hockey or basketball and doesn’t want to come off like an idiot in front of his hard paying fans if caught in a tough question during a press conference. Dolan showed his face when newly acquired superstar power forward Amar’e Stoudemire signed his new five year $100 million dollar contract.

When things are all going right in the MSG world, Dolan doesn’t hesitate to show his smile. During the dark days, he was just the wealthy ghost of 33rd and 7th Avenue.

Now the Knicks have a “Big Three” that consists of  Brooklyn’s own Carmelo Anthony , power forward Amar’e Stoudemire and seven-footer Tyson Chandler.

The roster the Knicks have put together this year could arguably be one of the most talented opening day rosters in franchise history. With Carmelo’s ability to score at will and Amar’e Stoudemire’s leadership, the Knicks should be in tip-top shape to make a serious run at the NBA title. Its hard to believe how far the Knicks have come in the past three years.

The Knicks are plugging in veteran role players such as Mike Bibby and Baron Davis to give quality minutes  and guide the way to the young talents of Iman Shumpert , Landry Fields and Tony “Teach Me How To” Douglas.

The garden will be rocking every time the boys in orange and blue are in town.

This New York City fan base is ready to join them at the Canyon of Heroes during their championship parade.

P.S. What ever happened to David Lee?

Knicks Defeat Celtics in Season Opener Thriller at MSG

Amare Taking It To KG

I rarely watch basketball games in their entirety, but this game was the exception. I was very curious to see how the Knicks would perform against a Boston team that has championship experience and great team chemistry.

In the first half the Knicks had complete control of the game, it seemed everything Boston did, New York had the answer for it. However, the 3rd quarter proved to be almost fatal for the Knicks winning chances.

The Celtics, led by All-star point guard Rajon Rondo, overcame a 10 point deficit at halftime and took the lead heading in the 4th.

The 4th quarter was an epic seesaw battle between a team predicated on flawless execution in the Celtics, against an upcoming power in the East in the Knicks, this game had a playoff atmosphere and this Knicks win had a “changing of the guard” feel.

Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudmire carried the Knicks past the Celtics. They did  it with clutch shooting and good team defense led by the newest Knick Tyson Chandler.

Chandler Made A Defensive Impact Today

BUT..

There are some important factors us Knick fans MUST confront before we can officially label this Knick team a Championship caliber team.:

The Celtics Did Not Have Paul Pierce  – Any basketball fan knows that Pierce is the unquestioned closer on this team. He is a great clutch shooter and a nightmare for opposing teams to guard. The Knicks received a Christmas gift for him not playing this afternoon.

Consistency – The Knicks started the game very strong, however they allowed the Celtics to come back and take the lead in the 3rd quarter. I give credit to the Celtics for coming back, but from a Knicks perspective you got to close the door on a team, especially a team with championship experience.

Rondo Having His Way With The Knicks Defense

Point Guard Play – The Knicks had no play execution in the 2nd half. Their talent (Carmelo and Amare) allowed this team to edge the Celtics. The Knicks could not set up scripted plays from the point, you just felt that the knicks were trying to figure out how to get the ball to Melo and Amare. A healthy Baron Davis can really make this team a threat in the East, experienced Point Guard play is CRUCIAL for a team to be successful in the playoffs.

Manage Your Expectations – We are ALL excited about the Knicks being relevant again, and this win proves that. However, you can not account for how important Paul Pierce is to the Celtics.

I believe this game would have been completely different if he played. It was a great win, BUT I don’t put the Knicks over the Celtics YET.

Let’s enjoy this win because it is a great one. It could be the first step towards a championship, something that Knick fans have been dreaming of for 40 years. However, the Knicks must improve their point guard play and their ability to keep teams from crawling back into games.

This is something that will take time to do, but the question is how much time?

The “Mole People” of NYC

  • People live deep beneath the surface of Manhattan

In 1900, New York City began constructing the worlds largest underground railway system.

In 1940, this underground railway expanded to almost 750 miles long, creating a maze of tunnels. Soon after, many of these tunnels became obsolete and were forgotten about.

This long-lost area became the home of the “Mole People.”

Under the busy streets of New York City, there is said to be a civilization ranging from 3,000-5,000 homeless people. They live in “multilevel labyrinths” beneath Grand Central and Penn station, feasting on rats, garbage or anything they can get their hands on.

Before Jennifer Roth published her book “The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels beneath NYC,” most people perceived these Mole People to be alcoholics, drug addicts, or mentally ill.

But when Jennifer Roth went to find out herself, she discovered it wasn’t as simple as just a bunch of lunatics living in the tunnels.

Within these 5,000 homeless people underground, there is a sizable community consisting of a group of 200 separate people. These 200 people formed their own society deep under ground in a strange place.

This Community has its own social structure consisting of:

  • a teacher
  • a mayor
  • a nurse
  • an exercise room
  • cooking
  • electricity
  • “runners” (discussed later in the article)

Their “homes” are constructed with plywood and cinder blocks. They have beds, rugs, night stands and even gas stoves in these homes. Children were seen using leaking pipes as showers.

One man explained that his alarm clock is the sound of a train passing 3 feet over his head. Since he has no watch, and he knows the subway schedule so well, he uses the sound of the trains to manage his time. He called himself a “Runner.”

These “Runners” go to the surface of NYC to collect food and supplies that their society needs. They have jobs, they steal, they ravage through garbage pals, and they even collect government checks from churches.

People of NYC have seen runners climbing through the tunnels and going in and out of their “secret doors” sandwiched between midtown apartment buildings and bodegas.

The leaders of this society have been down there for over 15 years.

When they were interviewed by Jennifer Roth and filmmaker Mark Singer, they explained that life down in the tunnels is better than “at the top.”

Some of them have chosen to live in the tunnels, leaving everything they had behind. I question why they would want to live in such a strange place.

Fighting gangs that try to take over their territory has been a major concern for them, but their only fears are that Police and/or the MTA will have them evicted. They have yet to cause any disturbance to any New Yorkers, but the MTA still wants them evicted. Their excuse is that the tunnels are too dangerous for the homeless people.

I personally believe that this is a lie. I feel that they want them evicted because they are living down there for free.

Years after she discovered the society and her book was released, Jennifer Roth fled from New York City because her life was anonymously threatened.

The fact that there is an organized civilization in the tunnels has given the mole people a spot in our strange place collection.

See the rest of our strange place collection here!

Here is a short video introducing the Mole People:

Safety in Big Cities

Let’s face it – The world we live in is very unforgiving.

If desperation could be measured than I could almost guarantee that it would be at an all-time high. With uncertain futures due to economic turmoil it seems likely that crime patterns will rise.

Recently, I have noticed an attitude that has worried me.

This attitude could only be described as a blissful ignorance towards your surroundings. Big cities are homes to some of the world’s biggest criminals.

Cities play host for millions of people each and every day which make it an ideal hide-out for any repeat offender. So instead of ignoring your surroundings let us take use some precautions to make you safer.

Here are some tips on how to stay safe in big cities.

Be Smart! Be Safe!

I know some of you are thinking that you don’t want to live in fear.

All I am asking is that you have these in the back of your mind and just be aware of the possibilities.

If you are proactive then you can prevent an incident from ever occurring.

 

  1. Learn your city – You never want to be lost in an unfamiliar place. Being lost induces panic in which makes you an easier target.
  2. Travel in numbers – A criminal is less likely to attack you if you are with a group of people. More witnesses lead to a better chance of being caught.
  3. Don’t look like a tourist – Tourists are generally easier targets. Running around the city with expensive cameras and “I love NYC” t-shirts is the equivalent to painting a bull’s eye on your forehead.
  4. Drink in moderation – The best bars are usually associated with cities and it is easy to get lost in the thrill of the night. Stay      composed and make sure you never leave your drinks unattended. The last thing you need is to wake up as a sex slave in a foreign country.
  5. Wallets and bags – If carrying a purse make sure it is fitting to your body and never loose hanging. As for wallets, always try and keep      your wallet in your front pocket. If you must have you wallet in your back pocket make sure to keep the longer side horizontal to your pants pocket.
  6. Jewelry – When wearing jewelry always have it concealed within your clothing. To the right eye your jewelry can tell thieves what you are worth and if you are worth their time.
  7. Phones – Phones are very distracting. Don’t spend too much time on your phone because it may distract you from what is actually going      on around you. Also, phones are just another item to be stolen; some smart phones could range in the hundreds of dollars.
  8. Never pursue a thief – Do not attempt to pursue the thief, even if you think you can catch him. Bag-snatchers carry knives so it      would be best to leave it to the police.
  9. Avoid Crowds – When in crowds you are more likely to bump into people. What feels like a bump could easily be a hand in your purse or backpack. Also, we live in the age of terrorism; crowds are perfect targets for suicide bombings.
  10. Know your surroundings – Always know who and what is around you. This will not be the last time that I speak on the topic of terrorism but recent plots have been stopped thanks to the alertness of pedestrians. Unattended bags should always be reported. Majority of the time it will turn out to be nothing but it is better to be safe then sorry.

Occupy EVERYWHERE

Unless you have been living under a rock or in a spaceship for the last few months, you probably are aware of the movement that is known as Occupy Wall Street. While most of us will dismiss this group as a bunch of lazy hippies who don’t want to get a job, I am more concerned about how movements like these are popping up everywhere in a a variety of different forms.Communities and movements are forming all with one intention, to change the way things are currently being run.

People of this country are beginning to realize that we have been lied to our whole lives. We have been lied to on a variety of different levels and the search for truth has begun. If you are reading this right now and already have a biased view on what you think this country offers, you can exit your browser right now, I’ll save you the trouble if you don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint.

This Occupy Wall Street movement has an “overthrow the government” type feel that we have seen happen throughout history. As the saying goes, history does repeat itself. It repeats itself for a reason however. Once the power distribution has been thrown out of line in a society, someone is going to step up and fight for a change. With enough support, that one person can make an everlasting change.

History only repeats itself because it has to in order for the survival of this species. I think the people involved with the wall street movement realize that they are victims of a financial vampire that is sucking the money out of the people it employs. While not everyone in this movement is rallying for the same cause, the underlying theme is that people are unhappy with the way things are being run and they are willing to step up and speak their voice regardless of what everyone else thinks of them.

The way our financial system is designed in this country is absolutely absurd and if you haven’t realized that, it is only because the government has covered it up well enough for you to not realize. You don’t ask questions, you just accept everything that is told to you by your “superiors.” They use powerful persuasion methods to make even questioning their methods seem rebellious and “hippy-like.”

What I find most fascinating about this whole movement is that there is no one leader. There is no guy with a microphone telling everyone where to go and what to do. It is a collective effort of separate cell groups all over the country fighting for a change in whatever way they seem fit. Throughout history, we can attribute large social movements to having someone who designed them in the first place, then led their followers on the movement. Here we have people coming together as a community and figuring out how to operate next.

There is no end in sight for this. It is growing daily and is growing interest at a staggering rate. I am not saying I support it, or will be joining the movement, I am merely pointing out that we have something big on our hands. We have something big that is going to grow bigger and bigger until it eventually accomplishes it’s goal. They are not going to quit until they do, and I don’t blame them. If you really want change, you are going to have to be willing to die for it or find yourself quitting when faced with enough resistance.

I think this is the start of the movement towards world peace and enlightenment. Many people label the 2012 Mayan prophecy as being the “end of the world.” I don’t feel like the world is physically going to end, but I feel that the world and society we live in now will end. The new world we will eventually live in won’t be constructed overnight or on a specific date but will take time to implement into a new system. The December 21st date associated with 2012 is only the date at which as a MAJORITY, we consciously will agree on a future goal. A future empty of lie and deceit, and full of compassion and love for each other distributed equally.

I will save my 2012 and truth movement rants for future blog posts but I felt the need to get out how I feel about this Wall Street movement immediately. I predict they won’t be stopping anytime soon, I predict they will continue to spread like wildfire and I predict other interest groups will be starting their own revolution in whatever way they seem fit. It will eventually all come together into one global shift of consciousness resulting in a bright future for us all. All who discover truth will discover it in their own way, and you will know when you are on the right path when you meet people who feel the same way you do. I know I have, and I meet more and more people each day who feel the same way I do. It is the start of something HUGE, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

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