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LEISURE

Articles

Nnamdi Okonkwo: Artist of Abundance

At Throomers, we pride ourselves in our positivity and daily pursuit of a ‘thriving life.’ Said another way, we believe in the universal abundance that is available to nearly anyone who’s able to raise their awareness, spirit and energy and tap into the source. We recently discovered an artist who is tapped in deeply, whose inspirational life story fits so thoroughly with our philosophy that we needed to feature him in our inaugural edition. Born in Eastern Nigeria in 1965, Nnamdi Okonkwo is the consummate throomer. Inspired by all demonstrations of excellence and the core goodness of humanity, his fundamental calling is to bring that same essence to whatever he does as both an artist and a man. Further, his day-to-day focused intent is to strive for perfection in the cause of providing enduring positive value to society. This is a big, impressive vision and it clearly describes a man operating at a uniquely elevated level of energy. Just where did this determination come from? How were the seeds planted? When did his spark ignite? Buckle up, throomers, we delve

Wayne Toups: Zydecajun Legend

Man, is it steamy out here this afternoon. And why not? It’s late summer in the deep south’s marshy lowlands. There’s been a blessed weeklong dry spell allowing the floodwaters from the latest vicious storm to recede. I’m swatting away another ravenous, hummingbird-sized mosquito and keeping an eye on the raggedy thicket of brown grasses off to the left. If that isn’t the perfect home to a horde of gators, then I’ve never seen one. The iced beer goes down like life-nourishing holy water. A palpable sign there’s a God after all. I’ve changed shirts twice and I’m soaking through a third. Most of the guys don’t even wear shirts. Of course, most of the guys aren’t sixty. I misplaced my six-pack decades ago. A few too many six-packs, I suppose. The girls aren’t wearing much either. Their glistening contours are everywhere I turn. Milton was right about ‘silver linings.’ The energy is picking up in the joint, the crowd thickening, the din intensifying. The tall pole lights emit their wavelike, flickering beams through the stifling heat. A fog has

Take A Bite Out Of New Orleans

10 MUST-TRY RESTAURANTS (& WHAT TO ORDER) New Orleans has serious soul. Its rich heritage and distinct culture are discernable with all five senses. There’s music everywhere! And not just classic New Orleans jazz. Ten-piece brass bands congregate on street corners, and talented, solo rappers spit beats (the city gave us Lil Wayne, after all). I can’t imagine a quiet New Orleans. There’s a celebration for everything, and the city goes all out. New Orleans remains alive 24 hours a day, partially because the nightlife rolls straight into the morning. Beads aren’t just prominent around Mardi Gras: If you look up, you’ll likely find a few strapped in the trees and balconies year-round. La Nouvelle, as it once was called, is dressed in history; the diverse architecture reflects the city’s unique past. Its earliest roots were with the French (1718), overlain by the Spanish and personalized by residents from the Caribbean Isles. By the time Americans took over in 1803, each culture had left its distinctive mark. You’ll notice brightly painted Creole cottages in the French Quarter, and the most

Mike Farris: His Inspirational Road to Grammy Gold

The year was 2011. The weather was bright and sunny with a chilly, northerly 70-degree breeze, indicating our wintertime. Our good friends asked whether we’d be interested in joining them on the Sandy Beaches Cruise leaving in a few days out of Ft. Lauderdale. For the unaware, Sandy Beaches is a week-long, music-themed Holland America cruise headlined annually by one of my favorite rock and blues musicians, Delbert McClinton. Because a South Florida ritual is having two bags always packed and waiting in the foyer for last minute cruise invitations, my wife and I were heading off to the port in a flash. Little did I know what life-changing delights we’d be experiencing in the days ahead. As usual, we were having a magical time on our cruise. And why not? Our only responsibility was finding our way from our cabin to the several restaurants and lounges offering limitless food and drink day and night, and to the various music venues scattered around the ship, and then making it back to our cabin at night’s end. Actually, that was the

Pavlo: Mediterranean Nights

There is one common ‘language’ that has the power to emotionally connect every human being on the planet, regardless of their race, culture or living conditions. It is the language of music – especially instrumental ‘feel-good’ music. The universal melodies can speak intimately to people of widely diverse backgrounds in a similar manner, causing spontaneous reminiscences, moving a person to tears, be they of despair or joy, and they can compel a person to leap up and gyrate their body excitedly in jubilant, celebratory dance. The inventor and reigning king of an instrumental ‘feel-good’ musical genre known as ‘Mediterranean’ is recognized across the globe only as Pavlo. The Early Years  In the aftermath of World War II, over half-a-million Europeans left their war-torn countries and emigrated to Canada, specifically to the Greater Toronto area. By 1960, a third of Toronto’s population were newcomers, including an estimated 12,500 Greek immigrants. By the 70s, the Greek population had grown to 30,000, and a section of town called ‘the Danforth’ was dubbed, ‘Little Athens.’ Among the early influx of immigrants were George and

Nasimo: Walls are His Canvas

His art bears witness to freedom of expression after the fall of communism on a scale so grand, even buildings can barely contain it. It was a time of great tumult as a revolutionary wave in the late 80s and early 90s marked the end of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. After the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria in 1989, a young artist took an interest in spray painting on walls. He would later be known as a pioneer of Eastern European graffiti art culture and become an icon of graffiti fine art in the Balkans. “Let’s go scribble on the walls,” said a young man. The year was 1994 when a young skateboarder left the theater and did just that. It was a clear night in Targovishte, Bulgaria, and Stanislav Trifinov, known as Nasimo, stood in front of a large wall, holding a can of spray paint. The sound of sirens began to blare, and everyone dispersed in every direction. “When it was my turn, I had not thought of anything yet. I took the can,

Stephen Wiltshire: Remarkable Artist

Just a brief observation and entire cityscapes are drawn as finely detailed masterpieces — from memory. An Exceptional Talent Imagine flying over the world’s most memorable metropolitan cities, glimpsing the panorama below, imprinting the vision in your memory, and coming back to the studio to recreate in painstaking nuance, every detail, completely from memory. This is the innate talent of British artist, Stephen Wiltshire, now 45. Like the character Dustin Hoffman played in Barry Levinson’s 1988 film, Rainman, British artist Stephen Wiltshire possesses some extraordinary and inexplicable abilities. His remarkable artistic talent is linked to an equally remarkable and photographic memory.   Researchers postulate that unique wiring between the two hemispheres of the brain allow certain people to access reserves of creativity, unavailable to most of us. Wiltshire is one of those people.  His motto is: “Do the best you can and never stop.” The Early Years As a child, Wiltshire exhibited exceptional artistic abilities, even though he didn’t speak until the age of five, when he uttered his first word, “paper.” In school, he was fascinated with sketching images of wildlife,

23andMe: Discover Yourself!

Decoding the human genome is the most profound scientific endeavor of our lifetime. You’ve seen the television commercials which may have piqued your curiosity about getting your own genetic profile. Technology has simplified how every day people can find out about their own genes and chromosomes. Ever wanted to know more about your ancestry? Now you can learn your family bloodline going back generations. There are over 1,000 genetic tests available today and one of the most popular services is 23andMe. Through their online platform, you can choose their Ancestry Service or get the Health + Ancestry Service for the full experience. Instead of relying on historical records, 23andMe differentiates itself from other services by analyzing genetics-based ancestry reports and tools. They have over five million genotyped customers so far. Take a peek at their short video about the importance of genetics… Finding Your Ancestry Covering over 1,000 global ancestry regions, 23andMe provides you with an ancestral regional breakdown by percentages and can connect you with DNA relatives. You can learn about your ancestral origins going back 500 years or

ANTIQUE MECHANICAL BANKS

Time to dig through the attic. You may have a piece of rare history more valuable than gold. Can you imagine a bunch of throomers huddled closely together, perhaps cradling a tumbler of scotch, or a glass of wine, or beer in their hands, having an intense conversation about their toy collections and paint chips?  Well, if not, you might be interested to learn a little more about antique mechanical banks and the eclectic ladies and gentlemen who are exceptionally passionate and extremely competitive when it comes to collecting these rare gems. A Delightful Way to Save Toy mechanical banks were first introduced in the mid-to-late 1800s, designed to encourage children to have fun while saving money.  Sculpted by an artist, they had moving parts, springs, and levers to create an action that would encourage children to use them time and time again.  The period between 1869, when the first mechanical cast iron bank, known as Hall’s Excelsior, became available, and 1910 was known as the golden age of mechanical banks, when most were produced. You’ve probably seen them but

Oliver Clark: Behind Closed Doors in NYC

When visiting New York City, according to many travel guides, those interested in our country’s history will not want to miss the iconic American Folk Art Museum. That’s good advice. Less well known is on that same Manhattan island, a private folk art collection may be just as rare and important, just as jaw-dropping, and worthy of a visit. However, unless you’re a friend or client of the proprietor, that’s not possible. Luckily, Throomers.com is just that. Recently, we were invited to visit the duplex of Oliver Clark, the fascinating man whose passion and dedication is responsible for the existence of this extraordinary collection. Here’s what we discovered. Discovering a Passion In his youth, Oliver Clark was busy with a wholly different artistic craft. He appeared regularly as an accomplished character actor on popular television shows such as Barney Miller, Golden Girls, M.A.S.H., Bob Newhart, and St. Elsewhere, in addition to several film credits, including the original ‘A Star is Born’, starring Barbara Streisand. While living in Los Angeles, he experienced his exhilarating”wow” moment and discovered his purpose. Pioneering folk