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When Bloggers Unite

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When Bloggers Unite

           I love when my fellow bloggers decide to collab and not compete! We all win in that situation. I've met some amazing people through this simple concept, especially the amazingly talented Kim Thomas (KPFusion.com). Recently she organized a blogger meet up at the uber luxurious Guesthouse at Graceland hotel. Not only were we awarded with an amazing tour of the grounds, but it allowed me to meet more bloggers in the city. I'm not sure if I enjoyed the hotel or people more; either way I truly loved the experience! 

            Of course I had my Sony camera handy and decided to turn the whole place into my own location shoot! I mean why wouldn't I take advantage of being in this fancy hotel!  

The Interior 

          If you're into interior design, you might go into overload. The Guesthouse at Graceland has some of the best I've ever seen. Admittedly, I'm not an interior designer, but I know nice things when I see them. Every piece has a subtle nod to Elvis Presley in some way. It's like a little scavenger hunt in each throughout. 

The Bloggers 

          I didn't get a chance to snap a pic of everyone in attendance because we were all pretty amazed by all the sites, but I did manage get a couple! Some I've previously known and a couple I had no clue even existed. A special shout out to Denzel Alexander for helping me step my fashion game up and Carmeon Hamilton of Nubi Interiors for showing me how to decorate a coffee table!  Both invaluable!  

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          If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and check out the Guesthouse at Graceland. You will definitely be amazed! Go see Charles at the Lobby Bar! He's literally one of the best bartenders in the city. If you know me, I try to stay as close to the bar as possible! Go check the Guesthouse website for upcoming shows, events, and other happenings. There's something for everyone here! I would like to once again thank Kim Thomas and the entire Guesthouse at Graceland staff for making this all possible. It's always great to showcase Memphis in a positive light and show how many awesome attractions we offer. Thanks everyone!! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

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The KickBack

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The KickBack

Looking for a dope spot to hear the hits from the 80s and 90s hip hop and R&B? Well you need to check out The Kickback!

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Just a Night at Brooks

         Last night I get a call from my pretend friend, Cassie, about an event going on at Brooks Museum of Arts. Seeing how it was Taco Tuesday, which is my favorite day if the week, I was slightly uninterested. Then she told me it was Spring Preview for Paradox Catering that included drinks! Well naturally I dropped those tacos and ran to Brooks! 

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        I arrived a bit late but I still was able to see a masterpiece being created on red cheesecloth. I'm not entirely sure what it was but I know there were beets and smoked chocolate.  

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           So the Brooks Museum now has a cafe inside and it is really cool! It's called Cafe Brooks and Paradox is partnering with them on it. I had espresso shots, made with vodka, and chocolate croissants! These croissants though!! I think I ate 10 of them and I'm not ashamed at all. 

 Chocolate croissants

Chocolate croissants

 Espresso shots  

Espresso shots  

         I really was impressed with the decorating of the venue and took the opportunity to snap a few photos because snapping pics is what I do! The decorating was top notch!

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          I wish I was gotten there a bit earlier to fully enjoy the event, but I still enjoyed the one hour I was there. Especially seeing some friends there. If you're looking for catering for your event go check out Paradox Catering. Click HERE for their website. 

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B

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 Cassie, Elizabeth, & Alma

Cassie, Elizabeth, & Alma

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SneakFest Recap

        So I got the chance to attend Sneakfest on last Saturday at the Agricenter. I love going to these even though I'm not a sneakerhead like most that are in attendance. I prefer to love sneakers from afar. The brains behind Sneakfest, RJ, Sherman, Adam, and Jay, instantly noticed and clowned me a little. I guess I deserved that much for wearing a pair of Clarks to a sneaker festival. 

 The creators of Sneakfest; RJ, Sherman, Adam, and Jay

The creators of Sneakfest; RJ, Sherman, Adam, and Jay

         I didn't let it bother me too much. I thought I had a chance at winning the prized trophy based on thinking outside the box a little lol. Sadly I did not win. I'm pretty sure that it's all rigged. 

 The trophy I should have won. 

The trophy I should have won. 

          Another reason I go to Sneakfest each time, even though I rarely wear sneakers, has to be the crowd it attracts. I absolutely love the diversity of the crowd! Far too many times in Memphis we get wrapped up in black events or white events. I'm not a fan of division. Sneakfest literally has participants of people of all races and gender. It's an event that transcends race and focuses on what everyone likes as opposed to the differences. That is amazing to me. 

         I didn't buy any sneakers this year, but I do plan on buying some at the next event. I'm also currently shopping for sneakers now so that I will be ready for the next Sneakfest. No way I'm getting laughed at again lol. Sherman told me that I had on the media person classics! That was a good one. Here are a few pics from the event. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

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Memphis Comedy Festival - Laugh Your Ass Off!

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Memphis Comedy Festival - Laugh Your Ass Off!

          Did you know that this weekend is Memphis Comedy Festival? Did you even know that Memphis has a comedy festival? Well now you do and it's really something you should be doing this weekend. The festival goes down March 9-12 in various spots around Memphis and will be headlined by Baron Vaughn and Dominic Dierkes. 

      This year's lineup looks awesome and brings some national firepower. Dierkes is a Memphis native and has worked with Donald Glover(Childish Gambino) and has written and produced for Comedy Central. Vaughn stars in Netflix's "Grace and Frankie" and has made several appearances on Conan and Jimmy Fallon's late night shows. 

          I'm really excited to see the "You Look Like A" show! If you're from Memphis then you know about the fine art of checking. It's a rite of passage from middle school to high school to learn this delicate technique. This show is a checking battle and is sure to be an awesome time. Showtime will be 10pm on Friday night and is hosted by the very funny, Katrina Coleman. I'm also excited to see the "Black Nerd Power Comedy Hour"  which will feature Baron Vaughn that goes down at Theaterworks on Saturday at 8pm. There's also an Underwear Comedy Party at midnight on Friday....yeah. Not sure about it, but hey I will check it out just to say I've experienced a comedy show in underwear!

         Head over to the Memphis Comedy Festival site for tickets and more info or if you're lazy, CLICK HERE. This will be an awesome event Memphis. Let's get out, hear some jokes and laugh our asses off!!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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Cognac, Cars and Cigars Recap

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Cognac, Cars and Cigars Recap

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          Cognac, Cars and Cigars was once again another hit for Memphis!! Just like last year, this years event was a sold out! I do remember telling everyone to not delay about getting tickets.....But I won't say I told you so. Even if I did tell you so!

 Pink Palace

Pink Palace

         This years event was bigger and better! Being held at the Pink Palace really set the mood of class and sophistication. I must be honest when I say I was looking forward to what the NBA ballers would roll out, but I didn't see many this year. I still dream driving about last years Bentley. Nevertheless, Gosset Porsche and Gossett Audi showed up and showed out with some dope rides!! 

 

Here are a few rides that caught my eye! 

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          This year's Cognac was provided by Martell, which happens to be one of the oldest suppliers of Cognac. Little trivia. Does you know Cognac is type of Brandy? Which means it's made from distilled grapes, which are also used to make wine. I didn't indulge in the Cognac as I am trying to abstain for Lent. 

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          The food was great! Shout out to Sweet Potato Baby!!! Please go check them out!! The music was also amazing! Carmen Hicks came and blew the house down as usual and Devin Steel manned the turn tables in front of the dancefloor. Yes there was a dancefloor this year!! 

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         In closing, this was yet another amazingly successful event pulled off by some amazing people. Everyone was super cool and really chill and this is something the city of Memphis really needs. A different type of event that's open to anyone that enjoys cars, cigars, cognac, or just being around really energetic and positive people. 

          I totally enjoyed myself and I can't wait until next year's event! I will definitely make sure I bring more batteries for my camera! You probably didn't notice that drop in photo quality though lol. Go check out Cognac, Cars and Cigars on their Facebook page as well as their IG page for more pics and news about next year's event. Also check my IG page for more pics that didn't make this post!! @_one901. 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Memphis Black Restaurant Week

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           It's that time of year again and this one revolves around my favorite pasttime, eating. Next week the city of Memphis will once again feature Memphis Black Restaurant Week. A week dedicated to introducing Memphians and everyone in the MidSouth to some of the lessor known black owned restaurants that the city has to offer.

            Memphis is no slouch when it comes to dining establishments, but it's always great to find that hidden gem or the diamond in the rough. I get excited thinking about new food possibilities.

 Cynthia Daniels

Cynthia Daniels

           Memphis Black Restaurant Week is the brain child of Cynthia Daniels, Cynthia Daniels and Co. She organized last year's culinary event, which was a major success resulting in $85,000 in sales, 3185 customers and creating 38 new jobs for local Memphians! Now that's impressive!! I actually first met Cynthia officially at last year's MBRW and since then she's done some amazing things since. Not only is MBRW back for a second year, but it's expanding to 9 additional cities!

           This year's MBRW features 12 restatarants including familiar faces in H&M Dessert Lounge, Déjà vu and Scoops Parlor, but also includes new comers Phillip Ashley Chocolate, Sweet Potato Baby and 2 Vegan Sistas. For full listing of this years participants, click HERE.

           This is another great event for Memphis and we should all support the participants. I'm currently planning my week out! No reservations are required, but be mindful that lines could be a bit longer than normal. So have some extra patience.  Memphis offers other successful events that are open to all; including Memphis Italian Festival, Memphis Jewish Festival, and Memphis Greek Festival. Let's all get out and make Memphis Black Restaurant Week just as big and inclusive to all!!

For menus and participant info, click HERE

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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2017 Beale Street Music Fest

        The lineups for this year's Beale Street Music Fest has finally dropped! 

 Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

        I haven't gone recently because the lineups weren't very diverse and seemed to exclude a certain demographic (cough cough black people cough cough). It's something I've heard from others as well. I normally hear of the lineup announcement and ignore it, but this year the lineup is much better. They finally heard our groaning and complaining!!  

Friday 

 Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

     It's Snoop!! I'm excited to be able to see Snoop perform. I have always loved his music and sound. I wasn't too thrilled when he went Jamaican for a project but nevertheless it's still Snoop Dogg. 

I'm also interested in seeing Jimmy Eat World and Brad Webb.  

Saturday 

 Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

 

         This will be the most crowded day by far! I'm excited about seeing Kings of Leon definitely, but Wiz Khalifa, Ludacris and Lil Wyte all on the same day!! What?! That's a great lineup!! Saturday is definitely the day to go if you like hip hop music.  

Sunday

 Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

Photo cred: @bealestreetmusicfest

       Sunday is pretty good as well. Jill Scott will definitely attract a good crowd as well as Ziggy Marley. Machine Gun Kelly is intriguing, but I think he would have been best on Saturdays bill. I do want to see Bush and Tori Kelly.  

          This year's Beale Street Music Fest looks to be really good. I definitely will be snagging a ticket, getting my rainboots and poncho ready, and getting something to cover my camera. What artist are you excited about seeing? Do you feel this year's lineup is diverse enough? Are you going? Drop a comment and let me know. 

 

For pricing and tickets, click HERE.  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Juicy J performs at Minglewood Hall

        Last night, Memphis legend Juicy J performed at a packed out Minglewood Hall. This was a concert I had to attend because I'm a huge fan of Memphis rap. Juicy J takes me back to my high school days when I had a pair of crappy 10 inch subwoofers attached to an even crappier 200 watt amp that my cousin gave me. I told it was bumping and that's all that matters! 

       Anyways, Juicy J brought along fellow Memphis rap alums Project Pat and Lil Wyte. He also brought along XO/ Roc Nation artist Belly, who was actually pretty good. He was a mix of DJ Khalid meets Drake infused with the Weeknd.  

 Juicy J  

Juicy J  

 Project Pat

Project Pat

 Lil Wyte

Lil Wyte

 Belly

Belly

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         All in all, it was a good concert. I wish Minglewood had seats so I could sit down between sets, but that's the old man in me talking lol. I had a great time!! 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Cognac, Cars and Cigars Part 2!

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Cognac, Cars and Cigars Part 2!

          Coming up March 4th, on the front lawn of The Pink Palace Museum, will be the 2nd Annual Cognac, Cars, and Cigars. I'm very excited about this event, because last years event was great and definitely something new and fresh for the city. Last year's event was held on top of the LAZ parking garage downtown, which I thought was a cool and out the box location. The event sold out all 600 tickets last year as well. 

          Here's a little background of what to expect. The event features cognac samples from, cigars, food from local restaurants, live entertainment, iHeartMedia radio personalities, vendors and luxury cars from Gossett Audi, Gossett Porsche as well as personal rides from NBA ballers! The Bentley definitely stole the show last year. 

          This year's event will be held at The Pink Palace and there will be more tickets available. Tickets and general info is available at www.cognaccarsandcigars.com. Hurry because the tickets usually sell out pretty fast. 

         Tickets are $75 and includes a souvenir glass( last year's pictured above), beverage samples by Martell Cognac, food from local restaurants, and a cigar from BeLeaf Cigars. Also remember that 15% goes to the Make-A-Wish Mid-South, which provides wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. That alone is a great reason to attend. You can find out more about Make-A-Wish by clicking HERE

         I'm also excited to hear this year's entertainment provided by Carmen Hicks. This woman is amazing and can really SANG. Yes, that's way better than regular singing. I try to see her every chance that I get because she's just that great at what she does.             

Carmen Hicks

         So, please don't delay and try to get a ticket at the last minute. This event will definitely sell out! Stop reading this and go get your ticket ASAP! I can't wait to see you there!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

        

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Attack of the Giant Bunnies

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Attack of the Giant Bunnies

        Saying the art scene in Memphis is booming is putting it extremely lightly. It's exploded recently into more of a norm as opposed to being a niche crowd. More Memphians are getting out and experiencing the works both works renowned and local artists. 

         I really like the type of art that gets people out and active. I'm not sure what type of art this is called. Maybe it's called public art. I really enjoyed the Big Red Ball Project from last fall and now Memphis Brooks Musuem of Art has a new exhibit called Intrude!  

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       Yes! Rabbits! Giant rabbits! I never thought I would get excited about seeing rabbits, but there's something about a giant rabbit that gets me out the house. Artist Amanda Parer brings her bunny take over to the Bluff City from Jan 18- 29, so you still have some time to experience it. 

 Its eating the museum!! 

Its eating the museum!! 

 Lucky rabbit foot  

Lucky rabbit foot  

        I think this would be a great exhibit for families as well. The kids get to run around and see some big rabbits and the best part is that it's free! Also the Memphis Zoo is nearby so you could make a day if it on the weekend. The times of the exhibit are 10am through 8pm, because bunnies have to sleep of course.  

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       This could also be a pretty cool and cost effective date idea as well...you'll get brownie points for creativity fellas!  

Also, Brooks Museum has a cool social media contest going on. Follow @brooksmuseum on Instagram and use #brooksmuseumbunnies. Take some dope pics and the winner will be announced each day at noon. 

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Life is for Living, 

Michael B

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20 under 30!!

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      Last night, Memphis Flyer hosted its 20 under 30 event to honor 20-somethings who are making a big impact in the community. The event was held at the soon to be opened Old Dominick Distillery on Front St. I must admit that this party was lit!! For those that don't know what Lit means, it's basically another word for awesome. Trust me, I had to get lots of help with that word as well! 

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       It was great to see so many people in one room to not only celebrate the achievements of the awardees, but that also want to see a positive change in the city. I do believe there's a need for a youth movement in our decision making positions in Memphis. Fresh ideas and a different way of thinking.  

 Awardee Jimmy Sinh, Sushi Jimmi

Awardee Jimmy Sinh, Sushi Jimmi

 Awardee John Martin, 92.9 ESPN Radio

Awardee John Martin, 92.9 ESPN Radio

 Awardee Katie McWeeney, Broad Ave Arts District

Awardee Katie McWeeney, Broad Ave Arts District

        Ok before we go any further, I want point out that this event featured a Mac and cheese bar. Yes you read that right. You get your Mac and cheese and add toppings to it and then it's magically sautéed together and presented to you in all its amazing glory. Yes, I will definitely have one of these at some point!! 

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     Because this was also an opportunity to be in a yet be opened building, it was also the perfect opportunity for photo ops! There's an awesome patio that has a great view of the New Bridge. What's cooler than the New Bridge at night? Ok, maybe a plate of ribs but that's for another post. Check out the great product placement!! 

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 Photo cred: Elizabeth Ennis

Photo cred: Elizabeth Ennis

 Photo cred: Elizabeth Ennis  

Photo cred: Elizabeth Ennis  

      This was an awesome event and I would like to personally congratulate all the awardees for their accomplishments. It takes more than one person to make our city awesome. Everyone has a job to do and I think the future is in good hands. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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NYE at Hard Rock!!

    I love New Years Eve! It's one of the most wonderful times of the year. It's a time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and also a time to think of all the great possibilities of the new coming year. Another reason I love New Year's Eve is the parties! Ok, maybe that's the main reason I love New Year's Eve. 

The walk towards Hard Rock

   I decided to take my talents to the Hard Rock Cafe to party and for the guitar drop at midnight. There really is no other place I wanted to be on New Years Eve than being in the crowd of 40,000 plus on Beale Street. There's nothing like it. Well, maybe New York City does it a little bigger, but we are bit more hospitable. 

What a great crowd!

      The party inside the Hard Rock was electric! There were partygoers from wall to wall and DJ Howard Kew definitely kept everyone up and dancing the night away. Who would be sitting down at a New Years Party anyways? On my way in, I met some tourists that traveled all the way from Australia to spend New Years in Memphis! Now that really made me proud of my city!!

     Back outside on Beale, the concerts were everything! Hip Hop legends Al Kapone and Playa Fly were on stage along with others. There was something for everyone that loves music. 

 Then the magic moment was upon us; the guitar drop! It was just as epic as I imagined it would be. Here's a clip! 

       Last night was great and I'm so hopeful and optimistic about 2017! I have a few New Years resolutions that I intend to tackle as well. I want to thank Hard Rock Cafe of Memphis, Just My Memphis, and Real Memphis Blog for all they have done to make this all possible. Next year I hope to see you at the party! I wish everyone a very happy and successful 2017. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

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SNEAKFEST

      So how about this Memphis weather we had over the last weekend? Last Saturday the temps in the city got to 70+ degrees and all of Memphis rejoiced. It was short lived, but while it was here it was freaking amazing! Another cool thing about last Saturday was Sneakfest being held at FedEx Forum. Now I don't wear tons of sneakers, but I do enjoy looking at them and seeing the reactions of others seeing the rarest of sneakers. Last SneakFest, a guy walked in with a pair of Air Mags from the Back to the Future movie! 

Disclaimer: All photos taken by myself, Jarvis Hues(@jarvishues) and Brandon Williams(@b_will_made_it). All photos are copy written and can not be used without written permission. 

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     Not only was I excited for SneakFest, but I was also excited to test out my new camera. I recently purchased a Sony a7ii and I was so anxious to try it out. I've been shooting with a crop sensor so I didn't have any full frame lenses, but luckily my guy Dereck Larsen hooked me up with a vintage Canon 24mm 2.8 FD lens. 

Another reason I was excited is because SneakFest was one of the first events I covered when I started blogging about the things that I do. I reached out to them and I knew they had never heard of me, but they invited me out and treated me like I was reporting for TIME magazine! For that I will be forever grateful. 


About SNEAKFEST

Sneakfest is an event dedicated to sneakers. Pretty straight forward, huh? Well, that's not entirely true. It's an event that is put on to bring all the sneaker heads (this is a name they like) into one place to buy, sell, and trade sneakers. There's also apparel vendors and sneaker cleaning and customizing. 

Founders of SNEAKFest


The Experience

 A sneaker festival in an NBA arena. You can imagine what that atmosphere was like. Not only could you go get a rare pair of Jordans, but you could also bring your family along for a great family outing. Sneakfest brought out sneaker heads from all ages, races, and backgrounds. People hauling around luggage and show boxes filled with shoes. It shows how much sneakers have influenced cultures. A few hip hop legends and also a few Memphis Grizzlies players were in attendance. 

Memphis hip-hop artist Lil Wyte attending Sneakfest

Photo by @jarvishues

Photo by @jarvishues


   The Sneakers

    Of course the sneakers were the stars of the show. Here's a disclaimer. I'm not as well versed on sneakers as some, but I do love them. With that being said, I will not attempt to label each shoe. That would take me about a week to do. 


The Winner

What's a Sneakfest without someone going home with the trophy of Best Kicks? This years winner had the everyone's attention as soon as he walked through the door. This years winner is Zack Myers(@zmyersofficial) and we was rocking the Macklemore 6s!

SneakFest was yet again another success and truly an awesome event for the city. I look forward to the next one. I might even try to win that trophy!! Once again a special thank you to the guys behind SNEAKFest, RJ, Adam, Sherm, and Jay. You guys are awesome. Also follow the official SNEAKFest IG page (@sneakfest) to see more sneakers and pictures from the event. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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