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Ultra Glow (Houston)
Ultra GLO 2010

July 1st, 2010


TJJ is like the early cowboys in North America. Carnivals arrived on the east coast (NY, Miami, DC, Atlanta, Orlando) just like early settlers and then moved west (Houston, San Francisco, LA). We saddled up and headed in the direction of Tropical Storm Alex without fear, knowing that God takes us where we need to go.

We landed on Thursday bright and early, and as expected, no blue skies in sight. We can only see 10 feet ahead fuss it raining cats and dogs. The highway flooded and cars taking the snail pace to be safe. When we got to the hotel we were soaking wet (when you get wet from running between the car and the hotel, you know it's raining hard). We were convinced that tonight's party wasn't going to be well attended and Facebook updates were saying the same thing. BUT... the Gods were smiling on this unique Ultra GLO fete! The rain stopped and you can imagine our surprise to see such a ram out dance to support the mega stars from Barbados, Trinidad, and New York.

TJJ is always asked, "Well, which Carnival you love most?" And the answer is always the same... "It depends!" If you love Mud, DC Carnival is your thing. If you love Chocolate, Notting Hill Carnival all the way! If you love the Road ... Trinidad hands down! If you like beach settings, I suggest Barbados (Crop Over) or Cayman Islands. If you like a lil' dancehall vibes in your carnival, Bacchanal Jamaica all the way (climbing fast on TJJ's list of top carnivals). Now, if you've never been to Houston Carnival and you love to see Caribbean integration, packed with positive vibes, then Houston CaribFest is worth checking out! If you wanna ask somebody, give Rupee a shout!

It all starts from Wednesday night with "Camoflage", "Ultra GLO" on the Thursday.. so bring something white to wear because it is like religion there. Friday ... "CaribFest J'Ouvert"! You got to really consider wearing something you can throw away including your socks and shoes. Trust me, hotel rooms and wet socks are not a good combination! Get plenty sleep if you not eating Roti at RAM’s. Let me take a camp out at this statement to segue into RAM’s world. I never see callaloo bush growing so abundantly growing in the U.S. of A. This thing carpets his walk way into his backyard where you can feel like you're in a tropical garden of Paramin. Here you will easy find hot peppers, sugarcane, tomatoes, bhagi and other delights that makes you wonder you really are. And when sitting down enjoying roti and doubles with Rupee, MC Wassy and the TJJ team listening to Bashment internet radio in that garden you swear you are transported to Trinidad. Ram ... special big up!

Saturday we have another special mention to Limerz international for their popularly growing "Climaxx Day Party". I think someone called it the "Lara of Houston", but TJJ would not go that far. I understand what they were saying because the venue (The Mansion) was a top shotta venue and anyone who has complimentary valet for all patrons is definitely thinking upscale/high end. Also Houston's beloved event "Alternative X - The Stage Show", a new addtional to the carnival weekend lineup by Soca Passion, is a must do. The venue (Ayva Center) for this event was exquisitely beautiful. It's very roomy with high ceilings and draped with white curtains. We really believe that this venue was special, and this fete has a lot of potential for great things.

Sunday is all about the Park! God blessed us Caribbean people because the weather was fantastic on the day. It was not too hot nor too cold (okay, it was a lil' bit on the hot end - but this is Houston, the land of 100+ degree weather). Jumping under the blue skies in Houston’s Tom Bass Park Arts Pavilion is a very beautiful scene, especially heading to the hill top after the jump where the concert takes place. You can ask the "Trini Hill Toppers" crew about bird's eye view of the sunset in the park with the some of the best artistes, bands, DJ and hosts entertaing the crowds at your feet.

If you still have energy when it is all over there are a coupke of after parties like "Insomnia" and "Flag Party" that you can attend. We ended up at the door of "Insomnia", but realized that our mental bulbs were dimming and we had an early travel day the next day.

Rea, Sharon, Nadine, Mr. P and fam ... thanks again for the TJJ hospitality. God Speed. TJJ out.

Original Lime Flavor

Son of the Caribbean Soil,
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