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Amon Focus take us on a Tour of Miami Art Basel, SCOPE, Naked Taco and Wynwood Art District



Amon Focus

To be honest, I fully intended to host this Art Basel video like Anthony Bourdain or try my best to emulate the travel show hosts I see on tv. But then I had a second thought, why don’t I just be myself and tell my story. That is a lot easier for me. I’m not very good at being other people.

Music kindly provided by:

Willard Hill –
Broke for Free –

My trip to Art Basel started in the Lower East Side. First thing I did was catch a super early flight to Fort Lauderdale because the tickets were a better deal than flying into Miami.

I skipped the rental car this time because it’s made more sense to just cab it everywhere and to be honest, parking in South Beach can be a bit of a hassle.

I booked a room at a hotel on Collins not too far from Wet Willies. It was walking distance from Art Basel, as well the food, drink and the other art shows.

Art Basel takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center and the show itself is huge. I learned pretty quickly that comfy shoes are a must because there is a fair amount of walking. My kicks are pretty comfy but I will say, at the end of each day my feet were KILLING me.

The amount of art that I saw was staggering. Art Basel is this beautiful maze of over 200 international modern and contemporary art galleries. Those galleries are displaying artworks by about 4,000 artists, easily. That’s everything from paintings to sculptures to installations, photography, film, digital art…you name it.

Before entering the building, I did a little bit of research. Nothing too heavy, but I had an idea of the artists and galleries I wanted to checkout. That way I didn’t miss the work that truly moved me while exploring the show. Art Basel has an app that’s pretty thorough, but you should also have Artsy on your phone, especially if you’re going to be exploring art in other destinations.

Which brings me to my next point, Art Basel is way more than what takes place in the Convention Center. There are literally dozens of other satellite fairs to checkout. They each have their own vibe and flavor, depending on the time of day you go.

I checked out SCOPE International Contemporary Art Show because I knew I’d see a slew of my favorite artists, as well as a bunch of fresh work from emerging artists.

One night, I stumbled upon a show called Aqua Art Miami. It was on Collins. I was walking back to my hotel, I saw a line, it peaked my curiosity so I went in. It was cool because they gutted this hotel of its furnishings and turned each room into gallery.

OK, let’s talk about food for a second.

Right by my hotel was a spot called Naked Taco, I ate there like 5 times for lunch and dinner. I kid you not. Don’t judge me. I’m always down to discover and try new food spots but when I find something that just works, you’ll see me again… and again, and again if need be. They also make great Pineapple Mojitos with Coconut sugar.

Anyway, if it’s breakfast time head to News Cafe for a fruit salad and a coffee. If you like cuban coffee stop by a spot call Las Olas Cafe for a colada and a huge egg sandwich.

Ok so, from South Beach I hopped in a cab and headed to Wynwood. It took about 30 minutes but that was mostly due to traffic.

Wynwood is kind of like Bushwick out in Brooklyn. It used to be a rough area and while I was there a local was telling me about a riot that took place but now Wynwood is drenched in art and culture.

A good place to start is 2nd Ave. Start at Wynwood walls and you’ll see work from artists from literally all across the globe.

Inside, there are murals of course but there are also 2 or three traditional galleries with a bunch of great work, a spot to get some food, and if you’re on you’re on a health kick there is a juice spot called JugoFresh.

Ok, here’s a tip most videos or blogs won’t tell you.

There aren’t that many bathrooms in Wynwood, so I highly recommend to use the restroom at JugoFresh before you leave the property to explore, because once you get out there on your on your own.

If you really want to catch the flavor of Wynwood, you have to explore. If I were you I’d just zigzag through the back blocks.

Trust me, you will find all kinds of hidden gems.

While I was walking around I saw super dope graffiti, murals galore, some of which took up entire buildings. I also had the opportunity to catch various artists bringing their ideas to life too. Most of them are approachable, but if they had headphones on or if it looks like they’re in the zone, I wouldn’t bother them.

Just a heads up, if you’re taking pictures of artists working in their element, be mindful of their desire for anonymity. Some folks don’t want their faces shown and others don’t mind, you can easily get the answer by looking at pictures they post on their IG or an easier option would be to ask them. They might even get a kick out of it.

As I got deeper and deeper into Wynwood, I kept finding more and more cool stuff. I found this ice cream shop called Serendipity Creamery and they had the killer strawberry cones. I found the old RC Cola Plant which was just gorgeously bombed top-to-bottom in tags, throwies, burners and blockbusters.

It’s owned by the Mana Urban Arts Project and a lot of the work here is curated by the Bushwhack Collective, so you’re bound to see some pretty epic walls.

Wynwood at night is pretty dope too. They had a festival called Hive. It was like a big party that housed a skate park, good music, food trucks and more art. They even had Pete from the Airbrush Factory doing old school Shirt Kings type airbrushing on tees for free, so you know I got one for New York Said.

Before I made it back to New York, I stopped by the Faena to check out the Gold Mammoth Bones by Damien Hirst and Science Ltd, visited the Public Sector which is a sculpture garden curated by the Public Art Fund, ate more tacos, then took dip in the pool so I would be nice and exhausted for my flight back home.

And that’s how I did Art Basel.


Arts & Culture

Kenny Vera talks Ecuador, LOOT Lifestyle and Poco a Poco



Kenny Vera


Kenny Vera talks running a small business, launching his LOOT Lifestyle brand, learning new languages and overcoming mistakes.

Keep Up With LOOT

  1. LOOT
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter


Show Notes

Being typed as we speak…
This episode is sponsored by Gorilla Coffee.

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Arts & Culture

BlusterOne: The Birth of a PNB Nation, Spirituality and Graffiti




Part 1

Part 2


This episode is brought to you by Peralta Project. Well not officially, I didn’t actually speak to Tony and his team but I’ve love what they’re doing over there. I’m a fan of Tony’s art and of course I love the clothing. Plus he’s been a guest on the show, click here.


Photography by Laurie Markiewicz

When Tony opened up his shop Taller Peralta, he connected with today’s guest to paint the front gate. Today’s guest is James K. Alicea aka BlusterOne. This is going to be a two part episode. In this episode, Bluster and I talk about growing up in the Lower East Side, his early graffiti days, Rakim lyrics, religion, spirituality, the Five Percent Nation and his introduction to Islam.


Keep Up with BlusterOne

  1. Official Website
  2. Instagram
  3. 1xRUN




Part 2 Show Notes

  1. Islam
  2. Quran
  3. Hadith
  4. Hafiz
  5. Islamic Cultural Center of New York
  6. Charlie Hebdo shooting
  7. How are you trying to grow as a human being?
  8. Christianity
  9. Buddhism
  10. Dogma
  11. The globe is bigger than the books
  12. Nuyorican
  13. Latin communities that are Muslim
  14. Moors
  15. History of Spain
  16. Mecca
  17. Make it to Mecca
  18. Malcolm X Explains His Pilgrimage to Mecca 1964
  19. PNB Nation Part 1 from The Limited Edition Magazine
  20. PNB Nation VIBE Article
  21. The 50 Greatest Streetwear T-Shirts of All Time by Jeff Staples in Complex Nov. 19, 2013 (Just a note tying this all together- Jeff was on the New York Said Podcast too- here’s his episode: Jeff Staple talks Streetwear Ambassador, 20 Years of Staple Design and Reed Space
  22. PNB Logo
  23. Post no bills
  24. Cooper Union
  25. Hardcore into Stamps
  26. Casey Rubber Stamps
  27. Afro-Latin Americans
  28. Afro-Puerto Ricans
  29. Shout out to Chessa
  30. Graffiti Culture
  31. Racking- stealing supplies for graffiti writing
  32. Sullivan County Community College
  33. Writer
  34. Behold the Pale Horse (book) by milton william cooper
  35. The Spook Who Sat By the Door YouTube Full Film
  36. SS3Tony
  37. Kahlil “Zulu” Williams Twitter @sergefc
  38. Yuri Kochiyama (political activist)
  39. Roger “Brue” Mchayle Twitter @Brueroc
  40. Issac “West” Rubinstein
  41. Sung Choi Twitter @sungchoi_
  42. Post No Bills
  43. Free Stylin‘: How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry: How Hip Hop Changed …By elenaromero
  44. Futura (artist)
  45. 48 Laws of Power by robert greene (book)
  46. Hello my name is…
  47. Sean John
  48. FUBU
  49. Rocawear
  50. Phat Farm
  51. Phillies Blunt Street Wear
  52. The 50 Greatest Pop Culture References In Streetwear by Complex
  53. School of Hard Knocks (visual)
  54. School of Hard Knocks Founder
  55. 555 Soul
  56. Union
  57. FUCT
  58. Stussy
  59. Eric Brunetti Book FUCT
  60. West Coast Streetwear
  61. GAT-Gypsies and Thieves streetwear brand
  62. Freshjive Streetwear brand
  63. Tribal Streetwear
  64. D12 Logo for Anger Management Tour
  65. Keds
  66. RockRubber45s Original Poster Art was done by BlusterOne
  67. What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito Podcast
  68. ‘Rock Rubber 45s’ Q&A with Bobbito Garcia a.k.a. Kool Bob Love New York Said Episode
  69. Respect for the culture
  70. WBAI FM Third World Cypher Radio Show with BlusterOne and Brue
  71. Shabba Ranks – Wicked in a bed – YouTube
  72. Duffed
  73. Lose with the mouth
  74. Quality of Life
  75. We don’t want no smoke
  76. Many an L taken
  77. Cool with those who are cool with me
  78. If I have my headphones in that means don’t ask me
  79. Amon is giving out fives
  80. That was brought to you by the letter…
  81. Most important lesson thus far is to be about your word. BlusterOne
  82. Honesty
  83. Deathstyles vs. Lifestyles
  84. Forward
  85. Fuse Green Episode: Gun Pockets: The Triumphs and Challenges of Fuse Green
  86. Tony Peralta Episode: M. Tony Peralta shares Insight from his Growth as an Artist and Entrepreneur
  87. Leo
  88. Vault of Culture
  89. Arturo Vega shares his Journey to the Ramones and Beyond Episode
  90. TMNK – Art is my Weapon Episode
  91. Lower East Side

This episode is sponsored by Gorilla Coffee.

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Arts & Culture

Contact High: 40 Years of Hip-Hop Photography with Vikki Tobak



Vikkie Tobak


We’re back in Brooklyn, DUMBO to be exact and this time we are kicking it with Vikki Tobak. Vikki is a journalist, producer and the author of Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop. In this episode we talk about growing up in Detroit, her photography moment, working with Gang Starr, working at Paper Magazine, interviewing Diddy when he was on the come up and her journey to Contact High.

About Vikki

  1. Purchase Contact High: A Visual
    History of Hip-Hop
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram

VIKKI TOBAK is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The Fader, Complex, Mass Appeal, Paper, i-D, the Detroit News, Vibe, and many others. She is a former producer and columnist for CBS MarketWatch, CNN, Bloomberg News, TechTV, and other leading media organizations. Vikki is also the founding curator of FotoDC’s film program and served as the art commissioner/curator for the Palo Alto Public Art Commission in Silicon Valley. She has lectured about music photography at American University, VOLTA New York, Photoville, the Library of Congress, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.


Contact High


Show Notes



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vikki Tobak (@vikki_tobak) on


Photography by Janette Beckman

Salt-N-Pepa // Photography by Janette Beckman


Show Notes Continued…


Vikki Tobak

We would love to hear your thoughts on the episode. Leave a comment on the Apple Podcast app and don’t forget to rate the show.

This episode is sponsored by Gorilla Coffee.

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