Spotlight Travels

There are so many people who live, visit, or are from some really great places.

So I thought it would be cool to have a section called Spotlight Travels.

This section will feature different people giving a glimpse into their lives and travel.

WELCOME TO

SPOTLIGHT TRAVELS.


Brockton, Massachusetts with Noel Gourdin

Brockton, Massachusetts
Brockton, Massachusetts

Soul and R&B singer Noel Gourdin (Gor-Deen) emerged on the music scene with his number one hit song “The River”, which stayed on the Urban AC charts at number one for 15 weeks! Noel’s childhood was not a traditional one; he was born in Brockton, MA., but spent his summers with family in Pachuta, Mississippi.

His current album,“City Heart, Southern Soul”  is a musical expression of his life. It is already producing hits like “FOXXXY”,  which is currently top 10 on UK’s urban radio soul charts and is in getting heavy rotation on UK radio. The single “Don’t You Wanna”, which was featured on VH1’s  “Love and Hip Hop – Atlanta” show,  is also becoming a fan favorite.

“I grew up on music that had meaning and it’s still around today; that music was made in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. What I want to be remembered for….. Timeless, Real and Soulful, music,” said Noel Gourdin.

The result is a man who is city to the heart but southern to the soul!

 

 Noel Gourdin: His hometown of Brockton…

 

Holly Dayz: What are your favorite things to do while in Brockton?
Noel: Well first and foremost it would have to be visiting and hanging out with my Family and Friends. Since moving down South to Alabama a few years ago, I really don’t get a lot of opportunities to get back home except for if I’m performing or attending an event. I try to catch up with the people who I grew up with and that had an impact on me and helped me become the Man I am today.
Holly Dayz: What are your favorite places to go in Brockton that bring out your creativity?
Noel: One place would be DW Fields Park, which is a huge park with biking and walking paths, and bodies of water. Whether your feeding the ducks or just sitting on one of the benches and watching the water, it’s always been such a serene and peaceful place to go to be creative. Other places would be the golf courses, DW Fields Park Course, or White Pines, or Ponkapoag. I know it may sound weird but I’m a very visual person and golf courses are beautifully manicured and it’s easy for me to be creative in such places. Haha….
D.W. Fields Park
D.W. Fields Park
Holly Dayz: What spots do you have to go to eat when you go back to Brockton?
Noel: The first place that I have to go is Cape Cod Cafe for their pizza, it’s impossible to explain how good they are if you haven’t tasted one. Next would have to be Supreme House of Pizza for their steak & cheese subs, as well as D’Angelos for their subs. Frank’s and McMenamy’s Seafood for my favorite seafood plates, and Mee King’s for the best Chinese food in the City. I know I may seem like a glutton with all these must eat spots, but hey…
Holly Dayz: Three things you would recommend doing while in Brockton?

Noel: If you’re there in the summertime then I would most definitely recommend going to experience the Brockton Fair while it’s in Town. Another things that I would say is to eat at any one of the spots that I talked about in the answer just before this one, haha… The third would be to check out a game of the sport that’s in season, whether it be the Celtics, the Patriots or the Red Sox, for obvious reasons of course. Haha… But the electricity while being there live is incredible and unforgettable.

Brockton Fair
Brockton Fair

Holly DayzDo any of your songs reference Brockton and have you ever shot a video there?

Noel: I always have Brockton in my mind while I’m writing songs, like the reference of riding up to the lake in my song “Foxxxy” off my latest album “City Heart, Southern Soul” is actually about parking near the bodies of water at DW Fields Park in Brockton. I have never shot a video there and that’s just because I’ve never really had the opportunity to do so, wherever the videographer has been is where I’ve shot my videos due to budgeting.

Holly Dayz: What are some family friendly places to go in Brockton?

Noel: There’s a lot of places to go, but I’d say you should take the short ride to Cape Cod, to really experience an unforgettable time and all that New England has to offer. Fun Parks, beaches, board walks with arcades, and shops with souvenirs etc..  If at all possible take a ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard as well, but try to spend at least a week there.

Martha’s Vineyard Photo courtesy of: www.fodors.com

Holly Dayz: How is your hometown different from where you live now and does it affect your writing?

Noel: Brockton is a little faster in terms of pace and how folks are always in a hurry and here in Alabama, things are a lot more spread out and folks are a lot more laid back. It’s quieter where I live now, and I prefer quieter. Doing what I do for a living, I’m frequently in places that are so loud and lively and I like getting back home to peace and quiet, and peace of mind. So if it’s had an effect on my writing, I’d say it’s been a great effect, and I’ve welcomed it.

Holly Dayz: Besides Brockton, what has been your favorite place to visit and why?

Noel: I absolutely love and feel blessed to go and perform where ever people request and want me to perform, but my favorite places would have to be Atlanta, Georgia, and Mississippi. Simply because when I go to those places to perform, I know I’m gonna get a chance to see my family that I haven’t seen in a little while. It’s always good and worthwhile to hang out with the Fam!

Holly Dayz:  Any hometown performances in the near future?

Noel: I do have a few things in the works, and I’m so hoping that they pan out because it’s always a special place for me to perform and show out! My People are my People and it’s all about LOVE!

Holly Dayz: What is your favorite hometown venue to perform at, or a place you would love to perform at?

Noel: There are well-respected, “hole in the wall joints”,  in Brockton named “Pete & Mary’s” and “GiGi’s” and they were always a couple of my favorite places to perform! Everybody went there, I mean generations and they were the types of places where everyone knew everyone. So when I would perform there and get props, it was like getting recognition from Family.

Holly Dayz: In your opinion, when would be the best time to visit Brockton?

Noel: I would say the best time to visit would be the summertime. There’s just so many things to do, and if you do go, tell them Noel Gourdin sent you and you just might get a discount! I’m not promising anything, but you just might! Haha…

Learn more about Noel Gourdin at www.noelgourdin.com and follow him on twitter @noelgourdin




 

NEW ZEALAND

South Island, New Zealand

 **FUN FACT ABOUT NEW ZEALAND:  The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit were filmed in New Zealand,and it is possible to visit Hobbiton yourself! **

 

SPOTLIGHT TRAVEL with Basketball Player – 

Glen Dandridge:

 

Glen Dandridge Basketball Profile

Glen Dandridge

Meet Glenn Dandridge. A professional basketball player from Virginia who has played in different parts of the world.

Today you will get a glimpse of Glenn’s life playing basketball in New Zealand for 5 months…


 

Holly Dayz: I know you went to New Zealand to play basketball, what part were you in?

Glen Dandridge: I was in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the South Island.

 

Holly Dayz: What were your first thoughts when you realized that was were you would be headed to play basketball?
Glen Dandridge: I knew that it was on the other side of the world and knew that it would be different.

 

Holly Dayz: Did you do anything to prepare? If so what?
Glen Dandridge: I did nothing out of the normal. Just train, like I normally do before leaving to go play in another country.

 

Holly Dayz: What team did you play for? Tell me about the experience.
Glen Dandridge: The team’s name is Canterbury Rams. A team with a high tradition value. Because of the earthquakes that destroyed the city, they weren’t able to have a team in the city for a number of years. So this was the first year for the Rams to be back in the league.
Glen Dandridge on the court
Holly Dayz: Were a lot of your teammates from the United States?
Glen Dandridge: My entire team was from New Zealand. Only two imports were allowed per team, so it was me and three other Americans. Two of the American players were naturalized citizens.

 

Holly Dayz: How is the city of Christchurch since the earthquakes?
Glen Dandridge: I enjoyed my time in Christchurch. The city is still being rebuilt from the earthquakes. It will be nice in the future when everything is built back up.

 

Holly Dayz: What are some of the “tourist” type of spots that you visited, versus places you went to as a “resident?” ex. Clubs, restaurants, shopping…
Glen Dandridge: I went down to Queenstown. Which is big for skiing … Also has one of the largest bungee jumping bridges .. Crazy thing is, their winter is our summer, so it was a little hard getting used to that.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

**(Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand‘s South Island. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.)**


Holly Dayz: How was playing basketball there,different from other countries you have played in?

Glen Dandridge: Basketball is basketball no matter where you go in the world. May be officiated differently but that’s part of the game and you just have to adjust.

 

Holly Dayz: Do they try to emulate USA styles or do they have their own unique ways that we in the US copy?  Did you pick up any styles that you brought back with you to the states?
Glen Dandridge: New Zealand was very unique. They definitely had their own style as far as people just in the city. My teammates were very much “Americanized”. Meaning, they watched or have been around Americans, so they use some of that style as well. No I didn’t take on a particular style, but a local clothing company, named of Uptown Goods, has great street wear and I did bring some of that back with me to the states.

 

Holly Dayz: What is the public transportation like? Are there a lot of cars or do the locals take buses , trains or taxi’s more often? How did you get around?
Glen Dandridge: Public transport is the same as in the states. There are buses, and taxis. Most of the locals would take buses or have their own car. I don’t know what the fares were… I had my own car.

 

Holly Dayz: What is the weather really like there? What can people visiting expect during the different seasons?
Glen Dandridge: Weather in the summer time is nice. The sun is more harsh there… Also the seasons are the reverse of the seasons in the U.S..  Right now it’s winter time there and summer time here.

 

Holly Dayz: Did you pick up the Kiwi language?
Glen Dandridge: There is no Kiwi language per say… It’s all English they just had a different accent that I would have to ask to repeat often because I didn’t understand the first time.

**(There are several languages of New Zealand. English (New Zealand English) is the dominant language spoken by most New Zealanders. There are around 70,000 native speakers of Maori out of a population of over 500,000 Māori people.)**

Holly Dayz: What were some places you liked to go to grab some food?
Glen Dandridge: For the most part I ate at home. I cooked most of my meals. But I did like the local fish and chips spots.

Traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking.
Traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking.
**(No trip to New Zealand is complete without a delicious Hangi. Hangi means earth oven, and is a traditional Maori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven. Fish and Chips is a bona-fide Kiwi favourite. Freshly caught snapper, terakihi and hoki are the most common types of fish used.)**

Holly Dayz: After practice or on a day off, what were your favorite places to go to relax?
Glen Dandridge: I like to go up to the hills and just relax and take in the beautiful scenery over the bays.

 

Holly Dayz: I know your really into photography, what were some of your favorite places to take pictures?
Glen Dandridge: I liked taking photos at the beach, or on the hills overlooking the bays. Also, any beach that has a pier. I would go to New Brighton Beach and Pier, that would light up just after dark.
New Brighton Beach/Pier
New Brighton Beach/Pier


  BARBADOS

Barbados ©2014
Barbados
©2014

Meet Dear Pricey, a hip-hop artist from Brooklyn by way of Barbados.

Dear Pricey gives us a glimpse of his hometown, Barbados…

 

DEAR PRICEY formerly known as LYRICZ is a rapper based out of New York who was born in St. Michael, Barbados.

Dear Pricey ©2014
Dear Pricey
©2014

Dear Pricey grew up with his aunt and three cousins in Barbados before relocating to Brooklyn, New York at the age of seven.

He signed his first management deal with Nickel Plated Enterprise in early 2005. During this time, he recorded 400+ songs. Later he signed with Musik Note Entertainment after a conversation sparked at a local barbershop with Jay Dunning, the CEO, who has worked with musicians such as Jermaine Dupri and Alicia Keys.

He also went on to release four mix tapes: “The Commercial”, “Flow With The Stars”, “The Hottest Youngest Unsigned Artist”, and 2011’s most inspired mixtape,“Dollar And a Dream.” Dear Pricey implemented his persona all over New York City, frequently performing at local shows and conducting radio interviews to build a fan base. A defining moment in his career came in the form of June 5, 2010’s Musik Note Black & White Affair,  held at Brooklyn’s Oceana Hall.


We interviewed Dear Pricey about his native land of Barbados.

 

Holly Dayz: I know you flew standby to Barbados, can you relate to my “Passing On Buddy Passes” post?

Dear Pricey: Yes, I can relate to passing on the buddy pass! It is a great price, BUT not being sure if your going to get on the flight can be  frustrating. I flew on stand by to Barbados (which by the way was a great experience flying in first class! S/O to my cousin Julie!) Then coming back to New York was a hassle! I couldn’t get on a flight for 3 days. Then I had to spend the night in Miami for a connecting flight to NY!

Holly Dayz:  What is the best mode of transportation?

Dear Pricey: If you are comfortable with driving on the left side of the road a car, if not there are a bunch of public buses that run.

*(Public transportation on the island is relatively convenient, with “route taxis”, called “ZRs” (pronounced “Zed-Rs”), travelling to most points on the island.)

Holly Dayz:  What do you consider to be the best beach for singles vs families?

Dear Pricey: I’ll go to Brandon Beach in Barbados to get away and be private. For the family we would have to go to the beach by Sandy Lanes.

Holly Dayz:  When you’re in Barbados do you go to the clubs? If so, what clubs are your favorite?

Dear Pricey: I haven’t gotten the chance to “turn up” how I really would like to in Barbados! I heard they have a few dope places down by Harbour Lights.

Holly Dayz:  What is YOUR go to place to eat in Barbados?

Dear Pricey: You have to go and visit Chefette. You can’t miss them, go check them out in Bridgetown or the local airport.

 Chefette is known for its roasted chicken meals as well as a local curried-meat and vegetables (similar to the European Gyro) roll-ups or wraps that are locally known as a roti.

Chefette Restaurant - Barbados
Chefette Restaurant – Barbados

 

Barbadian Roti ©2014
Barbadian Roti
©2014

 

Holly Dayz:  What type of music is most popular there?

Dear Pricey:  Calypso, Spouge, Contemporary Folk and World Music. They have a festival every year called Crop Over!

Crop Over Festival - Barbados ©2014
Crop Over Festival (June – August) – Barbados ©2014

 

Crop Over (formerly called “Harvest Home”), is a traditional harvest festival which began in Barbados, having had its early beginnings on the sugar cane plantations during the colonial period. The crop over tradition began in 1688, and featured singing, dancing and accompaniment by bottles filled with water, shak-shak, banjo, triangle, fiddle, guitar, and bones. Other traditions included climbing a greased pole, feasting and drinking competitions. Originally a celebration signaling the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest, it has since evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. (From Wikipedia)

 

Holly Dayz: What is your favorite time of year?

Dear Pricey: My favorite time of the year is during the summer. Barbados is hot all year around, but in the summer it is cooler unlike in the States.

Holly Dayz: I recall you saying that the prices compared to New York were much higher.

Dear Pricey: Expensive!! I once went to a local supermarket in Barbados to buy a bag of Doritos chips.  Can you believe it cost $12!!! Which is $6 in US currency.

Holly Dayz: Do they play a lot of American music?

Dear Pricey: Yeah, on the radio. I heard 50 Cent recently there & Chief Keef.

Holly Dayz: Between USA and Barbados, who is your favorite artist?

Dear Pricey: Jay Z.

Holly Dayz:  I know you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a huge lover of music, so who are your idols?

Dear Pricey: Warren Buffett, Jay Z, My Mom, Birdman, and Diddy.

 

Dear Pricey is quickly becoming a successful major recording artist and entrepreneur.

He is ready to establish his name all over the music industry. He is now on a mission to knock down barriers, build new beginnings, and breathe new life into the rap game.

Contact Dear Pricey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dearpricey

Keep your eyes and ears open for Dear Pricey!

 




6 Comments

  • risharepsetf

    I Freaking Love You , and I’ve been to Barbados’s , I Loved it . didn’t know you were originally from there <3

  • Hanna

    My eyes and ears are wide open to hear your great music!! And when i visit Barbados then i’ll see all the great places! Thanks for your advice 🙂

  • Pamela

    Now I really want to go to Barbados

  • Tory

    This is an awesome interview…. I see you!

  • Ruhshikuh Lakor

    THIS WAS VERY INTRERESTING AND EDUCATIONAL TO ME. I ENJOYED READING AND LEARNING ABOUT WHERE YOU CAME FROM AND WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN! I DEFINITELY LOOK FOWARD LEARNING MORE ABOUT YOU AND WORKING WITH YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!! 🙂 KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK CAUSE YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT PATH SO STAY FOCUSED!

  • Josselyne

    Can I get a spot in your suitcase? I love travelling and reading this reminds me why. Other cultures.. the world is a beautiful place

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