Rhye | Open


Oozing with ambient beats that gesture to Sade and Annie Lennox, Rhye’s “Open” is a toothsome, sensual track that fuses fine orchestration and electronica harmoniously. An anonymous musical partnership of two, Rhye is signed to L.A.-based Innovative Leisure. Irrefutably, this is a notable addition to this year’s music releases.

Hear the song below:


April Travel Intarsia

I did not account for a 15-hour layover in London’s Heathrow’s airport. Fortunately, running into Lana Del Rey and grazing on English potato crisps made up for it. Notably, crisps which were steak and onion flavored, allowed me to relive my expatriate days when my sister and I would gush over the salt, fat, and crunch a packet of Walker’s crisps would deliver.


Riding the waves of pop culture, I read “The Hunger Games” imbibing on Flat Whites from Costa and Eat. The purgatory of transit can be quite a taxing affair, unleashing an inevitable sense of melancholia when you’re on your own with your thoughts. Having said that, Heathrow’s airport signage was a pleasant distraction, particularly their mark for women’s toilets. I especially admired the substitution of the female’s ubiquitous triangle (implying a skirt) for a bubble dress of some sort.

Toilets of Heathrow

The final hours of waiting prior to boarding, I wondered the terminals aimlessly. What struck me then was the plethora of impeccably-clad male travelers. Business jaunts on a Monday morning, I presumed. Inspecting the swarms of European suiting and exquisite shoes, I asserted that this region’s men know a thing or two about utility and managing to look more than presentable.

Finally arriving in Doha, I exchanged embraces with a familiar mild April heat. At my mother’s I was greeted not only by her presence but her Hummus, Lob el Koosa (sautéed inner flesh of Middle Eastern Zuchinni) and bulgar salad. Over and above that, sweet, hot, mint tea, and a generous slice of date cake with walnuts made up for all the international hassle I had endured in the last 48 hours.

A Levantine take on Egyptian Kosharee was a memorable lunch. Browned lentils with pasta, fried onion, cilantro and a sweet-hot-tomato sauce. Equally delicious was a baked Kibbe tray most rich, glistening with olive oil. It was moistened with ground lamb and spiced bulgar, pomegranate molasses, and pine nuts.

Fattoush paved the way for a fresh and acidic segue. Melba wheat toast offered a healthy alternative to the dish’s pivotal fried pita chip, doused with olive oil and tangy sumac.

Seafood Night Take Your Pick

Satiating my craving for Hamour, my most prized Arabian fish of sorts, I indulged in a seafood filled evening at L’wazaar, one of few, local, boutique seafood concepts around here. In a city that measures its cred with the name dropping of international labels, franchises, and chains, it’s always refreshing to experience a local venture that delivers something both delicious and own-able to the region.

Stone Street Coffee Company

Stone Street Chelsea

On a surprisingly hot and sweltering day, a downtown trot had left me unexpectedly parched but all the while craving a coffee of some sort. I suppose such are the complications of urban dwelling in the 21st century.

Stone Street’s darling window, with its warm oranges looking onto the Chelsea street that is 9th Avenue invited me in. They make a delicious, nutty, cold-brewed iced coffee. Even better, you don’t have to hike to Brooklyn where it is roasted, to drink it.

Stone Street Coffee Company
132 9th Ave

(between 18th St & 19th St) 
Manhattan, NY 10011

Yasmine Hamdan Resurfacing

Yasmine Hamdan

The latest by Lebanese songstress Yasmine Hamdan is spearheaded by Nouvelle Vague’s Marc Collin.

Following 2009’s collaboration with the producing genius that is Mirwais Ahmadzaï, it appears that the urban, electro-bathed beats of Y.A.S. have been abandoned. Nonetheless, Hamdan continues to draw from her discography, retaining her haunting vocals all the while cultivating a new-found harmony with acoustic instrumentation.

In Kan Fouadi (If My Heart) is an extremely delicate, dainty ditty, expressive of heart wrench. What is most striking about Hamdan is her continuing ability to showcase the Arabic song in unconventional lights. Her formula never appears contrived, a malady of modern-day Arabic pop. Refreshingly, Hamdan has a beautiful tendency to serve idiosyncratic lyrics steeped with pan-Arab colloquialisms, set amidst a cosmopolitan range of musical styles.