Sundays Are for Coffee Shops

Sundays are either for relaxing or catching up on all the homework you put off until the last minute. Usually going with the latter, I’ve picked up a Sunday routine that has made my pile of work look less daunting – studying at coffee shops. In a perfect world, I’d wake up at the crack of dawn, eat a healthy breakfast, hit the gym and tackle my assignments by the afternoon. But, in reality, I wake up in the afternoon. I’ve come to realize that just because I get a late start (usually a really late start) to my day, doesn’t mean that I have to waste the rest of it! I’ve always loved studying in coffee shops, so I was lucky enough to find the perfect one only a few weeks into my first semester of college. As second semester is slowly getting the best of me, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time at:

Communal Coffee 

2335 University Ave

San Diego, CA 92104

I always like to start my Sundays at Communal Coffee. I’m not a big coffee fanatic, but I love this coffee shop for their music, vibes and extremely nice customer service. They have amazing avocado toast and caprese toast, which becomes even better when you add egg and proscuitto. Their savory croissants with turkey and jalapeno cream cheese are definitely worth the try, too. For you non-coffee drinkers, like me, they have a cool selection of iced teas and pressed juices. If you’ve never tried lavender syrup, I completely recommend adding it to your drink – it’s delicious! Try their toast flight, which has avocado and egg, caprese and lavender honey. 

I also like studying at Communal Coffee because of their layout. The coffee shop has a backroom full of tables, bar-style seating and a bench tabletop by the window. Whenever it gets too busy inside, you can take your drink and homework outside to their outdoor tables. I love how the minimalistic decorations and bright, natural lighting makes the coffee shop look open; it creates a positive, happy atmosphere. Communal Coffee has become my favorite place to study because I always manage to get into work mode right away!

Not only are they a coffee shop, but they’re also an in-store floral boutique. Besides flowers, you can pick up candles, cards and knick-knacks. They also share their outdoor area with North Park Nursery, which sells mini succulents for roughly $3!

Featured Image by Sabrina Kim.

A-Plus: The Spring Cleaning Tour Show Review

 

 

The show itself was an experience like no other. A-Plus lyrical fluidity and classic, boom bap, hip hop beats transported me from a modern so-cal setting, to the golden age of Bay Area hip hop. Sounds dope, but who is A-Plus, you ask?

A-Plus began rapping at the age of 8 in Oakland, California. He continued honing his skills throughout his teen years, and when he reached high school he helped form the underground hip hop collective formally known as Souls of Mischief. This monumental hip hop group, consisting of A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai, made their first mark on the game in 1993 with the release of their album, “93’ till infinity.” This album was dropped under the Jive record label, but once the group deviated from the major label route, they became part of an umbrella collective known as Hieroglyphics. The collective was founded in the early ‘90s by a man known as Del the Funky Homosapien. The Hieroglyphics movement sent shockwaves throughout the Bay Area that are still felt today. Their iconic three eyed logo can be found scattered throughout various hip hop scenes, and they paved the way for a new generation of artists.

A-Plus’ success in the hip hop group circuit did not deter his ambition for solo ventures. Since the release of his last group project, A-Plus has released three solo albums. The latest was released in 2014 and is titled “Molly’s Dirty Water.”

I had the opportunity to meet up with A-Plus before the show and talk some hip hop. I first asked him about the origin of his passion for music. He went on to name the hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Run DMC as two groups who heavily influenced his love for hip hop. That love and passion for the genre is what A-Plus credits for his longevity in the music scene. This mindset empowered A-Plus and other like-minded individuals within his collectives to push the boundaries of underground hip hop and force the world to take notice. The Hieroglyphics movement was a vital catalyst which helped push the culture forward into where we are today. And, A-Plus respects the direction current music has gone and is grateful for having played a role in that direction. A few notable contemporary rappers who he enjoys are Joey Badass, Anderson Paak and Kendrick Lamar. In regards to where A-Plus himself is today, he is still going around the country doing what he loves: making music and putting on shows. The tour he is currently on is called the Spring Cleaning Tour and features other notable artists, such as Knobody and J. Lately, all supported by the spinning skills of DJ Nocturnal.

The Show

A-Plus and company’s second stop on their Spring Cleaning tour brought them to one of downtown San Diego’s premier live music bars, the Kava Lounge. The Kava Lounge is a small venue that hosts some big entertainment. As I was walking up to the venue, I was awestruck at the sight of a Boeing 747 descending over the beautifully lit San Diego skyline, and unlike the plane, my night only went up from there.

The show itself was an experience like no other. A-Plus’ lyrical fluidity and classic, boom bap, hip hop beats transported me from a modern SoCal setting, to the golden age of Bay Area hip hop. My head instinctively rocked to almost every song as the truly experienced MC showcased his ability to handle a mic and ride a beat. He played songs spanning all the way from the early ‘90s to his upcoming album collaboration featuring Knobody, titled “Grow Theory.” Knobody joined the rapper on stage. The duo’s back-and-forth style was truly captivating and reinforced the old school hip hop vibe. The Souls of Mischief rapper seemed at home on stage, and rightfully so, given that he has been doing this for decades. To conclude the show, he performed one of his group’s most beloved hits, “93 ‘till Infinity.” This was the moment I had been waiting for. This song features one of the most legendary hip hop beats on record. It was truly an honor to witness a living legend masterfully weave his words within rhyme and rhythm over such a historic instrumental. Given the small nature of the venue, at times it felt like the rapper was speaking directly to me, and that made for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. A-Plus performed for the intimate crowd with just as much passion as he would a crowd 10 times its size; even though the quantity of space was limited, the quality of the performance did not suffer.

Overall, I went to go see an A-Plus show, and that is exactly what I got: an A+ show. Twenty-four years ago, A-Plus said, “you will see, from now ’til infinity.” And, he seems to be keeping his word.

 

In the Closet of: Ayana Jimenez

Meet Ayana:

24-year-old Ayana Jimenez was born and raised in the Philippines, but she moved to Seattle, WA last summer. I met her at Coachella Weekend 2, and her style was too good not to capture. Two out of three of her outfits were original creations – she’s in the process of creating her own clothing line! Ayana loves to travel, dance and take photos. She was most excited to see Bon Iver at Coachella. Her dream job would be a professional dancer. In ten years, Ayana hopes to be “settled in,” hopefully by the beach.

How would you describe your style?

My style usually goes with how I feel. It could go from bohemian to sexy, girly to preppy, casual to elegant. Mixing and matching color palettes is my favorite thing to play with.

What inspires, or influences, your style?

I get inspired by my surroundings – color palettes of buildings, landmarks, sunsets, trees, deserts, skies, etc. Some [of my styles] are influenced by past fashion trends.

How did you decide that you wanted to start a clothing line?

I simply wanted to create clothes that inspire the free spirit – something that could work for everyone.

How would you describe your line? What kind of pieces are you hoping to put out?

I don’t have a line at the moment. [My cousin and I] are in the process of experimenting, and hopefully we’ll slowly put it out when we’re ready. For the line of dresses, we were thinking of something that has a gypsy, island girl feel to it, with subtle, elegant cuts or slits here and there. We want a lot of looks that tie around the body and waist, so it can work freely for anyone. My cousin, Alexis Jimenez, is currently working on a collection of sexy and elegant robes.

What has been the hardest thing about this process? What has been the most fun?

It’s a challenge to find the right fabrics and patterns. The fun part is seeing the actual product come to life.

Where do you see your clothing line going?

We could see it starting out online, and then moving into boutiques. Hopefully, we’ll be partnering with brands in the future.

What’s your favorite current trend?

Tattered jeans and denim. I love seeing sneakers!

Featured Image by Alexis Jimenez.

SDSU Baseball Deserves to be Ranked

Tyler Adkison of SDSU baseball swings away (GoAztecs.com)
Weston Lowe, KCR Sports Host | May 3, 2017

This year’s San Diego State baseball team is one of the best they’ve had in years. With an overall record of 29-13 and a conference record of 13-5, the team is succeeding expectations. The offense is explosive, led by Tyler Atkins who is batting a cool .370 with 11 bombs and 38 runs driven in. The pitching has improved incredibly since last season led by Brett Seeburger and Dominic Purpura, who are both on the list for the National Pitcher of the Year award. The team has had big wins over big time programs such as UCLA and USD who both consistently put out major league talent. They also have wins over two currently ranked teams by the Associated Press, #11 Long Beach State and #16 Cal State Fullerton.

This team is clearly good enough to be ranked. They have an offensive that puts up big time numbers, and a pitching staff that has consistently been able to get the job done. Head Coach Mark Martinez has really put together a team that he has able to get the most out of. The question whoever remains; “why aren’t they getting the respect they deserve?” There are plenty of answers to this question, the most likely of which is probably that they play in the Mountain West, which is often considered a weak conference by AP voters. There also historically tends to be an East Coast bias against West Coast teams, which is also probably another rationale behind the lack of votes the team receives in the polls.

It’s unfair for this team to fly under the radar the way they have been. They consistently give their all on the field and have shown that they can keep up with the big time programs they’ve played. The players and coaches deserve to be recognized for their on-field accomplishments. Although they may play in a “weaker” conference, the team has dominated conference opponents giving them an in-conference scoring margin of +67. It might be wrong that this team is unranked, but the one good thing that may come out of it is that the team will likely use it for motivation to continue beating their rivals. One thing we know for sure is that is the team is extremely good and if they keep this up, they may find themselves making a deep run in the College World Series.