Kingdom Come – Enter The Black Panther

Kingdom Come – Enter The Black Panther

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With roughly a month remaining before Marvel’s highly anticipated blockbuster, Black Panther hits national theatres I can’t help but think of how crazy a time this is for something that has been for so long a dream for by so many. I look at the various reactions across social media, the tweets of joy, the Facebook posts organizing movie screenings all across the nation and it’s a powerful moment.

I see this building hype in momentum in two vital parts. First and foremost I saw this from the position of a near lifelong comic book fan who wondered if such a film would ever be created. The question of if the Black Panther would ever make it to the big screen and why had he not made it there  yet has been on the minds and on the lips of comic book fans for years. So, for many of us, this is a dream come true. This is a long time request, hell a demand finally being realized.

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On the flip side, you have the contingent that is excited that we are seeing an all-black powerhouse cast put together with no expenses being spared for essentially what folks have dubbed The Blackest movie ever created. Yes there’s a whole lot of black in that last statement. It’s a lot of black, blackity black, the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice, once you go black you never go back. Anything that you can imagine that encompasses the joy and the pride of being black within this world is being showcased right now through the presentation of Black Panther.

For many, it’s much bigger than just a really good comic book being turned into a movie. This is a chance for people for a race of people that have forever and always contributed creativity created art and push culture to the limits each and every day finally getting something that showcases just how Grand are people are. An All-Star once in a lifetime cast no expenses being spared the Black Panther is.

via GIPHY

As I look at these two sides preparing for the release of this film I don’t want the moment to be lost solely on the Black Panther. Don’t get me wrong, the story of the Black Panther in itself is amazing but for those who did not come up in the comic book world who were not begging for this movie 10 years ago, I want you to stop and take a second to add some perspective. Google it yourself, talk to your comic geeks’ friends and get familiar with the history of Black characters in the comic world. It’ll add even more joy to the moment. Learn about Indie legends like Brotherman, trendsetters like Milestone, learn how Dwayne McDuffie made Jon’s Stewart’s Green Lantern the face of the Green Lanterns to millions of kids via the Justice League Cartoon. Do the knowledge of Luke Cage prior to his Netflix debut. There is a rich history out there. We’ve always been here and hopefully, in one month we take center stage and never give it back.

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Long live the King!!

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SAMURAI RIDES: MIAMI – ART BASEL 2017 WITH THE 2018 MAZDA CX-3

SAMURAI RIDES: MIAMI – ART BASEL 2017 WITH THE 2018 MAZDA CX-31(13)

**Learn more about the Mazda CX-3 Here**

I can’t think of a better way to wrap up my year than in Miami returning to Art Basel. Last year I wasn’t able to make it down as I was preparing to enter Digital Daddyhood but now I’m back and I’m blessed to have my little buddy on the road with me too even if Max may not remember it. But I knew as soon as I confirmed that I was going to be down here I had to get a new little toy to run the Florida streets and without fail, the 2018 Mazda CX-3 was on deck for the weekend. I was sad that I didn’t have a longer stretch of time to really put this vehicle through its paces but for the weekend that I was there,  it did everything that I needed and then some.

Making my way from Fort Lauderdale International I picked up the 2018 CX-3 and made my way right to Lynwood for my first of many art exhibits for the weekend. Without fail, Mazda’s sleek design and easy on-road handling were apparent on the wide Florida highways.

One of the features that I tried for the first time while syncing up my phone via Bluetooth was using my Google assistant and word command more than I ever had before. The hands-free efficiency was recognized immediately. Locking in my residence for the weekend along with the important locations that I had to touch base with while I was in Miami was very easy to enter and save in the navigation system.

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As you may know from previous reviews I have been fortunate enough to try out all of the Mazda crossovers over the past 2-3 years. In getting a glimpse of what they have in store for 2018 I don’t have any doubt that they will continue to lead the pack as one of the top SUV crossover producers.

CX 3 Features

As you can see in the images below Mazda has perfected having sleek laid-back design combined with incredibly detailed luxurious interior layout. The finely stitched leather trim in gives these Mazda rides a sort of race car design and feel that makes you want to step on the accelerator a little harder. But, if you get tempted to do such a thing don’t fret because Mazda comes complete with its package of safety notifications to keep you from going too wild on the road.

Obviously, this is one of a series of vehicles in the Mazda CX line. The 3 is the smallest of the vehicles in the series but even with that being the case, the majority of my travel this weekend was solo so I had more than enough space once I reclined my seat. Just make sure you’re not sitting behind me. In any case, I had no complaints with Mazda’s latest creation. It was fast, efficient, easy on my pockets when I had to go to the gas station sounded, the audio was powerful and kicked when I needed to ride with my son I felt confident and safe that he was in great hands.

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Mazda does it again so take a look at some of the images above of the vehicle and some of the incredible art below that Miami had on display during Art Basel this past year I will be back again.

**For more Samurai Rides Click Here**

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THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI: THE REAWAKENING

THE STORY OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SAMURAI: THE REAWAKENING

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They say some things are like riding a bike. When you return to it it’s like you never left. As I log on and type these words, already I feel a surge of familiarity in the expressive process I’ve used for so long. So, let’s get back the question(s) at hand. Jason where did you go? What happened to the Social Media Samurai over the last 1 1/2 years?

The simple answer, the one most of you know is that I had a child in May of 2016. This has been touched on before and a quick click to this previous post provides more detail into that background story. I relocated a begun a new chapter of life as a father. Almost overnight the priorities changed and via a series of trials and errors, I learned quickly just how much of my old ways were not going to transition over into parenthood. The combination of my new city and my new daddy duties put much of what I building personally with this Brand on hold. I maintained just enough to exist but it wasn’t the same.

Max and his well-being were all that mattered and I work(ed) my self into the ground to provide for him. That included returning to the grind of regular employment. After working remotely for the latter half of 2016 to be able to spend time with my growing boy, I took on 2 jobs to prepare for Max’s changing needs and mine too, as I continued the relocation process.

Professionally, I streamlined everything. Philadelphia is not New York and when it came to the event covering element of my career that took the biggest hit of anything I was doing. The networking and residual work that came from those events fell off too. Shout out to Lady Blogga for hitting me with that writing plug though. Those checks were timely. I also had to adjust my social media consultation and management work. Less free time resulted in fewer clients. In this case, though, life would provide as I’d sign up my longest running client early in the year.

The surprising point of my mutating business world was Nomadness. The powerhouse leader of the Urban Travel Movement was going through its own shifts and changes, most of which were unseen to the public. New team members in, long time members out, a transition from various campaigns, the creation of new ones, all of this happening as Nomadness creator and dear friend Evita Robinson is raising in clout, notoriety, and fame. Business and friendship don’t always mix. It was clear across the broad that things were changing. Nomadness wasn’t the only Travel crew on the block. Various collectives arose with an array of agendas that often put the work and sacrifice of Nomadness in a unique perspective.

I felt different in my role and position and come to find out I was being viewed differently too. Eventually, conversations were had. Real conversations. Candid, truthfully, surprising and even hurtful…but needed conversations. Loyalty, if it’s something you abide by will cost you at one point or another. It is not meant to be forever a comfortable place to stand in. With that said, this changing dynamic put a new spark in me regarding how my energies would be spent going forward in both business and personal dealings.

I’ve always fought moments of feeling undervalued or unappreciated. I’m kind of like the moon. You may look at it when it’s extra big for a few moments but you don’t really spend much time thinking about what it does for the planet. It’s just there. That is what I’ve felt in many cases, often of my own doing. I allowed folks to have me as the consistent dependable force that was just there. So, when my world shifted and Max became the new focal point, slowly but surely I found myself in exchanges with longtime friends apparently confused by who I now was. No apologies were given and as a result, some friendships have been damaged/lost, but for the most part I’d say respect, more respect has been earned through the personal exchanges 2017 brought to me. If I’ve told you I love you then I’m here for the long haul. I do hope the folks that need to know that get it. I may never be the stand out guy that gets the public acknowledgment but my impact will always be felt.

And that brings me to today 1/2/2018. I don’t deal in numerology too heavy but something about that number 8 makes me smile. Things that a year ago I lay awake fighting back tears about have now been earned and life has me a good point for the next step of this journey. I make plans with the understanding that things change in a heartbeat. It’s this more open approach to life that has me back in a familiar lane of hustle and drive. No pun intended but the samurai is learning life and taking important baby steps. Max is my world but I must have balance in my life. Max’s mom asked me about new years resolutions. I didn’t make any as much of what I want to do I started working towards before the ball drops. I will say that in 2018 taking care of “me” will not be confined to just my birthday months. I have few self-help measures to imply and I look forward to what I gain from them.

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I’m not one for grand statements but the Samurai is back. New, better, refined……far from finished but ready to get back to business.

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SAMURAI RIDES: THANKSGIVING WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND THE 2017 TOYOTA RAV 4 HYBRID

SAMURAI RIDES: THANKSGIVING WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND THE 2017 TOYOTA RAV 4 HYBRID
THE 2017 TOYOTA RAV 4 HYBRID

**Learn more about the Toyota Rav 4 Here**

The holiday season is always my favorite time of year. As Thanksgiving approaches you start to get that chill in the air, the cooking starts to take on a certain scent as those classic favorite dishes like those sweet potato pies fill the air. This year I’m extra thankful as I’m able to bring my son into the festivities for the first time. Making this all happen I got my first look at the next year of Toyota vehicles.  The 2017 RAV4 hybrid is a beautiful car that would take me from Philadelphia to New York unexpectedly back to Philly and then to New York. He was a little too small to be running around with last year so now I’m happy that he’s able to be a part of family tradition.

Yes, this year’s Thanksgiving holiday had a lot more running around than usual as I still had to fit my other occupational duties into the holiday schedule. Fortunately enough the RAV4 kept it classy, comfortable and easy on my pockets to make the runs back and forth from Philly that was needed.

Since this isn’t the first time you’ve seen the RAV4 via Samurai Rides 4 I had a pretty good idea what to expect from Toyotas mini crossover hybrid. The Interior was lush with a beautiful leather layout and trim.
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All the usual bells and whistles were on deck to make your travel the best ride possible. Navigation was tight and accurate with traffic changes. The audio was crystal clear via JBL speaker systems and electronic Bluetooth integration with my phone’s music.

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**Learn more about the Toyota Rav 4 Here**

Messenger sync for incoming texts keeps hands-free phone usage seamless. Everything you can ask for was taken care of so that my numerous rides would be as efficient as possible thanks to Toyota, so let me hit you with some nice images of what the Rav 4 has in store. You know the quality that Toyota produces so I have a strong feeling as 2017 finishes, 2018 will be another strong year for the Toyota brand.

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SAMURAI RIDES: CELEBRATING 6 YEARS OF NOMADNESS W/ THE 2017 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER HYBRID [NMDN CONFERENCE]

SAMURAI RIDES: CELEBRATING 6 YEARS OF NOMADNESS W/ THE 2017 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER HYBRID [NMDN CONFERENCE]

THE 2017 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER HYBRID
#DriveToyota #LetsGoPlaces

With summer officially wrapped up and fall now underway it’s that time to kick off another season of Samurai Rides.  This go-around was extra special because this almost felt like reuniting with a family friend. The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum Edition is an amazing hybrid SUV that reintroduced me to a family staple. Both my parents and my brother drive Toyotas, Camrys and Avalon’s respectively. So getting a chance to try this latest ride was almost like getting back on the old bike you had. You never really forget how to do it.

As big as the Highlander is it runs incredibly smooth and truthfully speaking, it was a pleasure to be able to spend some time in this vehicle for such a special occasion.  The Nomadness Travel Tribe was kicking off its anniversary weekend with its 3rd annual NMDN Alternative Travel Conference and its 6th Anniversary party in New York City. It’s the biggest weekend of the year for Nomadness so I was glad to have Toyota holding me down.

I remember a time when folks had negative connotations with Hybrids. They all thought they were tiny unattractive toys geared for kids. Jump forward in time and you get a beauty like the Highlander that sits at the top of most experts ratings for overall midsize SUV performance. Consider a quiet ride that can seat 7-8 passengers, delivers 300+ horsepower, excellent mileage and a solid list of standard safety features and you have the makings of a top quality vehicle.   The Highlander is a nice looking SUV without too many over the top bells and whistles. I’m a fan of the grill display that fans out from center to the base of the front.The understated exterior is a real set up for the gorgeous level of interior design you get inside the Highlander. The dark peanut butter leather trimmed with black looked super clean throughout the ride. On top of the great looks, the Highlander is one of the efficiently designed cars I’ve ever seen and it really via the power of simplicity. There is a shelf built into the front dash that runs from center to the end of the dashboard. Once you set your phone to its Bluetooth hands-free setting this is the perfect space to place it. This shelf frees up the center console and drink spaces for more fitting items.

Toyoata Highlander Interior 1.0

On the technological side, you have no shortage of charging ports as Toyota has spread out 5 USB ports so everyone can keep their batteries in good condition.  Your main ride operations display on a 6.1-inch touchscreen. You can also use voice recognition and Siri integration.  You’ll be protected by Toyota’s Safety Sense, which features a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. You can also add a Blu-ray entertainment system, a 360-degree camera, and Driver Easy Speak

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You can also add a Blu-ray entertainment system, a 360-degree camera, and Driver Easy Speak to send your speech through the cars speaker system when the folks in the back seats want to act like they don’t hear you.

You really couldn’t ask for more. As I secured my son in his car seat we took our familiar ride from PA to NY, the level of comfort made a 3-hour trek through rush hour traffic quiet enjoyable.

My eventful weekend started with an intimate gathering at the NYC main office of AirBNB, who have supported as sponsors of NMDN the past 2 years. Seeing the familiar faces and catching up with my fellow Tribe members made a for a great evening.

The next morning I made my way down the Westside Highway to the Centre for Social Innovation, the site of this years NMDN Alt Travel Conference. This years conference tackled a number of important travel issues tied into the current national social and political climate. Panels on Traveling with Disabilities, Self Care and Traveling under Trump were standing room only. All of this climaxed with a 1 on 1 Fireside chat with Nomadness Founder Evita Robinson.

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As a massive surprise to the audience, she premiered for debut TED Talk which is already one of the most viewed talks in the history of the TED Residency program.

After the business of #NMDN2017 was concluded, the Tribe would dance and party the night away celebrating 6 years of groundbreaking travel advancement at Madame X. Top that off with Brunch in Harlem Sunday afternoon and you have an action-packed weekend. My Highlander transportation made the movement back and forth through the boroughs and suburbs of New York City a piece of cake.

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It’s known that I love rides with room. The midsize SUVs have been good to me. Many people market these as family vehicles and technically they fit that need perfectly but don’t be locked into seeing the Highlander as just a pretty soccer mom car. I would scoop this up in a heartbeat for everything from my daily city errands business trip or family travel. I’d highly recommend this ride from Toyota to anyone in the market for something new. Swing by Toyota’s site and check out more on the Highlander Hybrid!

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The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

Lawrence Insecure

Insecure has done a great job of highlighting so many of the dynamics between men and women trying to find a common ground in relationships, dating and just overall social interaction. One of the things that I’ve noticed while not really picking sides between the star characters Lawrence and Issa, is that Lawrence’s journey is one that surprisingly I connect to. I say that not in terms of the struggles that he’s having in his relationship with his now former partner but the background elements of him trying to live the life that he wants and that he has been working towards.

The backdrop of this character throughout these 2 completed seasons has been one of unfulfilled potential. We meet this character dealing with unemployment, clearly having a high level of intelligence as he pitches this new potential mobile app but not being able to get enough traction to get things off the ground. In the meantime, his struggles are wearing thin on his partner and on various levels we get a number of hints that perhaps their sex life among other things is not what it should be. These factors lead to overall growing tension between the two of them.

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I can wholeheartedly relate to the experience that Lawrence has been going through on the personal side regarding his professional advancements or at least his attempts to do so. More people than you know are dealing with an economy and a business world that has been in flux for probably the last 7-plus years now. There are more people with high education and higher work experience all vying for the same jobs. As a black man I already knowing what that job hunting process entails and how much higher you have to aim above the crowd, it’s stressful.

It takes a lot to get up and put on that professional face, hold it together throughout the course of the day and then come home and function when you’re not contributing your fair amount to the household situation. So we follow Lawrence as he goes from unemployment to finally bite the bullet and taking a Best Buy opportunity that was presented to him. It’s an ego check as it falls far below his intelligence and experience, but you do what you have to do to provide for your situation.

I connect with this so deeply, I know from personal experience how that feels to have to sit down and look at what you’ve done in the past, what you’ve accomplished, what you know than sit down and have to take a role that realistically you probably could have retained with no more than a high school degree. Again you do what you have to do to bring in that paper regardless of how much your ego takes a hit for it. Let’s just look things over a bit. In the midst of trying to get your paper right, you now find yourself out of your relationship not established in terms of having your own place so you know what happens next? You holla at your homie and you’re dealing with that air mattress struggle. Again I’ve never been in a situation where I separated from someone and ended up in that way but the air mattress struggle is real I’ve been there and when you find yourself in certain spaces of transition and you’re essentially starting from scratch. Building life from the bottom up is a very humbling position to find yourself in.

So as we watch Lawrence deal with these various levels of change some people may see it as him being the butt of a joke, however, your personal experiences will relate to the perspective that you’re going to bring to the situation and for me without touching the way he interacts with Issa, I get the stress, strain and the conflict that he is dealing with internally.

Interestingly enough the story of Insecure seems to present a situation where it isn’t until Lawrence is away from his supportive partner that he starts to make traction in his life professionally. He gets the new job, he gets the place and it makes you wonder was there something within the relationship holding him back

When shows like this hit the scene it is natural for people to start picking sides. The internet is full of Team Issa and Team Lawrence fanatics. People who just like me, connect to these characters in some personal form or fashion and are riding out hoping to see the best for that particular individual as the show progresses. As I said, I’m not on either of these individuals teams because I feel a lot of the decisions they are making in regards to each other and their former relationship have been incredibly destructive and hurtful to themselves.  

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I had this conversation with a friend recently; they are both being incredibly messy single people. But at least on one level of existence, I get where Lawrence is coming from I get the idea of wanting to be something aiming to be something falling short and having constant reminders around you of your shortcomings. I know what it’s like to be a certain age be in a certain place look around you and see others advancing others prospering and you still struggling to get to a place that you know you should be at. It’s not cool to admit the things that I’m talking about but this isn’t something new I’ve been very transparent with my life for years now. But as Insecure continues to grow in popularity I think the show presents real opportunity, to be honest about the lies that we live. As women open up and claim spaces in our society that they have been due for the longest. I think as men we need to start feeling enough comfort to open up about the difficulties that we have we are expected to be stone cold emotionless and just proceed with life like nothing ever affects us and that’s not true that’s not honest and it’s not healthy.

If anything the true level of insecurity comes in our inability, to be honest with ourselves and others that sometimes we’re just not happy with our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better to acknowledge your feelings and address them than bottle them up and have them possibly explode in the wrong direction or towards the wrong person.

While we await the next chapter of life between Lawrence and Issa in season 3, I do hope that the level of conversation that this show has sparked doesn’t die down. There are so many areas we need to address with other. We need each other more than ever and the first step to that position comes through understands open communication. We’re all insecure about something so why not share and heal together?

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SAMURAI RIDES: NOMADNESS SUMMER BBQ W/ THE 2017 HYUNDAI TUCSON

SAMURAI RIDES: NOMADNESS SUMMER BBQ W/ THE 2017 HYUNDAI TUCSON [NIGHT EDITION]

Hyundai Tucson 2017

Every summer there is an event that I can’t wait to attend. From humble begins on Riis Beach in NY the annual Nomadness BBQ has grown like no ever event thrown by my community. This year the festivities were hosted in the City of Brotherly Love. After 3 years in Atlanta, this return to the North East resulted in our largest crowd ever. Fortunately, moving around Philadelphia would be handled in style as I would be rolling through in the special Night Edition Hyundai Tucson. Since my first time with this crossover SUV I’ve had enjoyable experiences. This combination of loading space, power, and agile handling is great when dealing with the roads out here. Pot holes and construction require a steady eye on the road and quick reflexes, but the Tuscon and I ate those up with ease.

It’s funny just how well I’ve taken to crossover SUVs after 12 years in a full sized Ford Truck. Tucson is one of my favorites with the right balance of SUV toughness and compact agility. Not to say that it handles light on the road, but it definitely doesn’t feel heavy on the road.

Let me hit you all a few of the stats and numbers behind this beauty.

As an overview of the Compact crossover/SUV field, Car and Driver ranked the Eco Tucson 5 out of the Top 10 in the field. Pop the hood of the Night edition and you find  A 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo four, seven-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. In addition to that, the Night Edition adds on 19-inch matte-black Rays wheels, a black-tinted panoramic sunroof, and gloss-black mirrors. Aluminum pedals and a leather steering wheel lace the interior adding to the dark styling on this ride. Color options are limited to white, black, blue and gray. All of the darker shades of course. Hyundai is now it

Hyundai is now in their 2nd year of the Tucson and it looks like things are only getting better. The ideal SUV experience for me is a vehicle that handles my day to day needs without making me feel like I’m driving a tank. The enjoyment features and smooth driving should balance the space and cargo carrying aspects. The Tucson does this really well.

OK @hyundaiusa let’s work this trunk space. 👀 #drivehyundai #cars #rides #hyundaituscon #samurairides

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Even when packed to the roof with drinks for the annual BBQ the Tucson rode excellently while my music played loud, crisp and clear.

Hyundai Inside

The Night edition was supposed to be a limited quantity release so don’t waste time if you’re planning on picking this beauty. It definitely passes the test with me.  More info is available over on the Hyundai USA site too.

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SAMURAI RIDES: FAST PACED SUMMER FUN WITH THE 2017 MAXDA MX-5 MIATA!!!

SAMURAI RIDES: FAST PACED SUMMER FUN WITH THE 2017 MAXDA MX-5 MIATA!!!

Copy of Mazda MX 5

There are few times during the year when I get extra excited for a review ride opportunity. To be perfectly honest with you this particular samurai ride has been in the making sense much earlier in the year. And it almost didn’t happen but I’m glad to say that I got my time to try out Mazda’s incredibly fun sports car the MX-5 Miata. The Mazda MX-5 Miata 2017 edition was an incredible ride and I can’t wait to tell you some of the things that I enjoyed about it. I’m sure when it’s all said and done someone in the mood for a little fun on the road will definitely want to take a look at this vehicle. Once again I was back on the 95 from the city of brotherly love back to Gotham and this summer experience was definitely a highlight of the year.

What’s on deck for today? #summer2017 #mazdamx5 #drivemazda

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Last time I was in the MX-5 it was an early look at the 2016 Miata and that model was a soft top. It had basically the same size.

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The roof came down with a simple flip up on the latch via your own hand and you can go from topless to fully covered without any issue. This time around I had the hardtop version of the MX-5. The big difference in handling here is that going from fully covered to drop top operation simply requires you to engage the power switch. Hold down the switch and the car does the rest as long as you are stationary or at least under 6 miles per hour in motion the vehicle either pulls up or pulls back the hardtop and you’re ready to go.

As I’m sure most of you can tell this ride is not made for excess baggage. There is a modest trunk in the back if you’ve got some moving around to do for the day. If you have a simple travel bag, a carry-on luggage type of bag then you’re good. Outside of that, you’re not going to be moving tons of cargo in this vehicle. And honestly why would you want to? This is definitely a ride meant for you, maybe a partner and a very, very light load. At 6’4 I say that I probably am tapping on the limits of space that this ride is really designed for.

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With that being said I was able to drive with no levels of discomfort. I was able to reach and handle all buttons and knobs. All Miata functions and accessories could be operated without any trouble despite my size. So if I was able to do that, the standard size person should have no trouble utilizing in everything that the MX- 5 has to offer.

MX Inside

On the road handling is incredible. This lightweight speedster really picks up speed in no time and I’ll be perfectly honest, you have to watch that speed when you get on the open road because you cam find yourself hitting 100 miles per hour very easily. We don’t want people messing up there driving record while enjoying this fun sized vehicle. We also know that Mazda takes incredible pride in its craftsmanship and the design of its rides inside and out. You won’t be let down by the combination of luxury and racing design that is fully on display with the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Mazda has continued to put out some of the most beautiful rides on the market and they haven’t it missed a beat with this one either. Dive into the galleries for some gorgeous shots of the MX-5. This is truly a feel good ride. If you’re in the market for something fun, fast and built for special company, then you’ll absolutely love the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata. #DriveMazda

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Milestone Summer – Family Ties

Milestone Summer – Family Ties

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Already this summer may go down as one of the most eventful periods in my life. It started out with me celebrating the first birthday of my son Max. Not to be outdone, the following weekend I saw my brother become a husband. Witnessing the marriage of my little brother, as his best man, in front of our family was probably one of the most emotional moments of my life. So between that and the one-year celebration of my son, it’s been quite a summer thus far. With that said there’s been a lot of reflection a lot of introspective days just thinking about where I am where my family has come from and where we’re going. Knowing everything that emotionally struck me when I found out I was about to be a father to where I am today has been quite a path traveled.

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Max Turns 1!!!!

With that said there’s been a lot of reflection, a lot of introspective days just thinking about where I am where my family has come from and where we’re going. Knowing everything that emotionally struck me when I found out I was going to be a father to be where I am today is a major step. In conjunction with that seeing where my brother is at has made me so happy and so proud of everything that he has accomplished.

Interestingly enough, the announcement to my parents that I would be expecting a child and the announcement from my brother that his girlfriend had accepted his proposal all happened within the same November week back in 2015. So to have the wedding and Max’s birthday fall within a week of each other was kind of interesting and pretty cool. I say that now as I think back to the same younger brother who I used to play video games with, play ninja tag and get into fights with, to now seeing him as a grown man and myself now as a father is just a testament to the power of family.

#BestMan #BigBrother #MagicalMountainWedding2017

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I have always said that nothing matters more to me and nothing is more important than family. It is a foundation that not only holds me together in some of my weaker moments but is the foundation that I plan on building and raising my son upon. It’s something that I’m still trying to capture in words right now, where I am where the time has gone and yet almost feeling like we are all at a point of new beginnings. I’m in the early stages of life within Parenthood and now my brother is embarking on the journey of marriage. It really is a brand new world. I look forward to what it will mean for him and I look forward to the life that I’m going to craft out for myself and my son.

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SAMURAI RIDES: CELEBRATING LOVE AND FAMILY WITH THE 2017 MAZDA CX-5

SAMURAI RIDES: CELEBRATING LOVE AND FAMILY WITH THE 2017 MAZDA CX-5

Mazda cx 5

This has been quite an eventful summer. The last edition of Samurai Rides featured me celebrating the 1-year birthday of my son. This time around I had the honor of celebrating my brother’s wedding as Best Man.  With so many major events taking place across so many states, I need to have faith in the transportation I use for myself and my family. Fortunately, I was riding in 2017 Mazda CX-5 and let me tell you it took care of me, my son, my parent’s, anyone that needed to move around the event space for that wedding weekend. Mazda had us covered.

The last time I was driving a Mazda CX-5 I was in Atlanta preparing the final details for the Nomadness Summer barbecue so I know just what type of work this vehicle can put in. Fortunately, this time around I didn’t have as much stuff to carry and pick up. There was no food or alcohol runs,  just a few guests and some luggage bags for the festivities. More so than anything I needed to make sure that the ride was comfortable for my son. This was his 1st time him going to upstate New York and I wanted to make sure it was a comfy ride for him going up and back. He slept for most of the time so I take that as his stamp of approval. Up front in the driver’s seat Sirius XM and my USB port kept the tunes steady.

Mazda does a great job of combining convenience, control, and power with race car like design that still has this luxurious touch to its interior. Mazda is well-known for its stellar designing, especially its well-stitched leather interiors.

The weather that weekend was a little unsettled including more rain then I personally would have liked to see at a wedding but we worked around it. I will say that as always Mazda handled perfectly on the road despite the conditions of rain and wind. Nothing was able to mess up a ride. There was more than enough space in the ride and in the trunk. I would say that if you’re really looking for maximum space you probably want to look at the CX 9  but if you’re someone who is pretty modest with the loads that you’re going to be carrying then you’ll do great with the 5.

On the detailed side the Mazda’s crossover SUV currently ranks near the top of the SUV pack via U.S News and World Report. All this power and style will run you about $25K which is an amazing price. Mazda has been knocking it out the park with their recent redesigns. They have figured out how to pack so much into an affordable package and it’s a win/win for the people.

Hop over to Mazda.com for more info for this top on the line Crossover and stay tuned, the next edition of Samurai Rides will be a fun one, trust me.

**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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