Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Welcome To My Personal Domain

Hello ! My name is Shawn Tavon Sims, and I was born and raised in the city of Baltimore, Maryland USA. I studied as a computer science major at the University Of Maryland Eastern Shore with brief summer stints at Salisbury University, Univ. Of MD Baltimore County, and years earlier at the University Of South Carolina's Coastal campus (now Coastal Carolina University). I have now reached commencement with high honors, and am looking forward to a position as a technical support specialist or a graphics designer with my own firm. My hobbies are music, travel, photography, movies, and keeping up with current events local to worldwide. Look for me at some of the nation's largest Afro-American, Caribbean, and Hispanic festivals throughout the East Coast and the Midwest every summer. Or better yet, I can be found roaming Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Lexington Market , or on the streets of the historic and trendy Fells Point.




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Nationally Known

As I said before, each year I attend some of the largest Afro-American and Hispanic festivals east of the Mississippi, and this year was no exception. The Harlem Weeks in New York City, for example, run every August, centering around Lenox Avenue (a.k.a. Malcolm X Boulevard) and 125th Street. Everybody who is somebody can be seen along the big 1-2-5 near the Apollo Theatre. Vendors and street performers tend to set up within a four-block radius to sell their wares, and photographers with backgrounds line up around the abandoned buildings where the famous theatre stands for anybody who wishes for that "Kodak moment". Not to mention the ones who walk the derelict but vibrant 125th with professional cameras taking pictures of the scenery, and the many performers, like Nas here, who was at the Apollo as part of the Harlem Weeks. Another place that is high on my list is the Philadelphia Greek Picnic (top left corner). This is one of the three major fraternity/sorority gatherings taking place on the East Coast. More than 600,000 people representing the Great Greek Letters from years past gather up along South Street on Friday, shopping, frolicking, exchanging numbers, selling their wares, and doing just about whatever. On Saturdays, the venue is Fairmount Park, between Girard Avenue and the area known as the Belmont Plateau. That is where major celebrities and entertainers gather up for a benefit concert and also where the sorors and the frats have their stepshows. On Sunday, the final day, the place to be is along the Jersey Shores, specifically in Belmar Township and Asbury Park. There the masses trek along the Boardwalks and take part in major afterparties. One more place I cannot forget is the Indiana Black Expo (top center), for the second time. This one is considered one of the largest expos in the nation, stationed at various places in the state capital of Indianapolis and featuring many well-known stars.Two regulars on the Black Expo concert circuit are known regulars everywhere else : Patti LaBelle and Anita Baker. They perform at the American Legion Square, in front of the headquarters of one of this nation's largest societies of war survivors. Recently they have showcased the recently created Muhammad Ali Amateur Boxing Tournament and another venue which used to house the old minor league baseball team has been customized to hold a few R&B/hip-hop concerts.The expo itself takes place yearly at the Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome, and with great exhibits and great food, it is not to be missed. Around 400 to 500 thousand people from all over took part in this event, and I DO plan on repeating this experience with those masses.

Some other places that may be of interest (Links to be made to non-linked items at a later date) . . .

Artscape(http://www.artscape.org) Taste Of DC Festival(www.tasteofwashington.com) Atlantic City Black Bike Week Freaknik The Heritage Festival(http://www.aahf.org) Columbus Jazz And Ribs Fest Cinco De Mayo New Orleans Boston Hispanic Festival(http://www.latinofest.org) Cincinnati Riverboat Jazz Festival Penn Relays(http://www.pennrelays.com)

Personal Shoutouts and Seasonalysis

Personal Shoutouts

I would like to acknowledge the Lord thy and my God for placing the compassion in my heart and the guidance in my soul while I continue to live in a world filled with people who are devoid of both.

To my mother Carolyn and father Rudolph for bringing me here and giving me the tools, socially and otherwise, needed for me to walk the Earth in the straightest of lines.

To my brothers Michael and Akeem for standing strong despite the troubles you guys have been through and the mischievous things that you basically do. Keep your heads up, whether in school, on the street, or among the family. I love you both. Just stay the hell out of trouble.

To my grandparents on both my maternal and my paternal sides for helping maintain the family network, for helping me make it through in life, and for taking me to all these nice places to shop and to hang out. Even providing the loot for me to aid in doing it . . . talk about being saviours ! It must have been bred in them to do so. RIP George Perry Sims (1916-1999) who passed away on December 30th of 1999. RIP to Mamie Ineese Sims (1917-2002), who fell from grace on Mother's Day, May 11th of 2002. Gone became the blessing of having all of my grandparents still alive but the reality of it all was the fact that it was bound to happen someday. But alas, you will still be remembered by God and all of his children. So walk the earth with holy dignity, search for the highest clouds to be on ---- even surf or skate on them if you have to ! Special thanks go out to Rosalie and Columbus Jackson for having so much of a presence in all of the gospel revivals, tours, festivals, and the funerals known to man and to the lord thy and my God.

To all my immediate relatives for believing in me and seeing to it that a brother like me does not become another nasty number on the list, if you know what I mean. A special thanks shall go out to my cousins Damon Smithwick for making it in the biochemistry and publishing businesses and Shantel Jackson for helping to network all my resumes and for her poetic repertoire. They helped me continue from there as I grew up, and as a result, there's no stopping what can't be stopped. Rest in peace cousins Charles Anthony Green (1974-1998), Darlene Foster (1955-1998) and recently her sister Marlene Foster (1955-2000).

To all the UMES insiders and real world outsiders (top brass campus heads, teachers, counselors, graduates and non-graduates) who kept it REAL with me throughout my years when many other people just wanted to keep it FAKE! To Anitra, The Neat Dog Nina K., CeeJay, Kiana The Down To Earth Sister in my book, Kim Shawanna Osia, Brian, Kevin Butler, Drea, Gee, Pascal, Leash, Lenore, Kesha James, Mayetha and Francine Johnson, Giesha, Ambiyo, Emmanuel Nwazojie, Basile from Togo, Caroline Chebet, The Sterlings, Howard Abdul, Jean-Claude, Karen the "KRYBABY" Yarborough, Akia, Renee, Steve, Mully-Man Kevin, Malik Collins, and Tatia Leaks: The Lord shall be with you as you all prepare to either graduate from college or to stand atop a much higher pedestal. To Mrs. Stephanie Barnett : If I write a book someday, you'll be the first one to find out! To Counselors Pat Sampson and Kevin Washington for listening to me when I reached a low point in my life and my lady Kiana became highly concerned, and to Drs. Ojiabo Ukoha and Eddie Boyd for keeping up with the credit hours I needed. Steve Outen, the frat brother from Kappa Alpha Psi (or was it Phi Beta Sigma ?), rest in peace in the year 2000. You were all there for me sympathetically even though the art of walking the Earth was an art that God created for me to do on my own. I understood your problems just as much as you understood mine and even though I was forced to keep up my mental guard in a hostile, deceitful, and false environment, there were those who got to know me up close and personal and saw the REAL me, a young man who stood his own ground, engaged in his own confrontations, and followed behind NOBODY !!!! Note that the shoutouts are only for the ones who were down with yours truly from Day One, so please take it all in stride, and as Woody Rock from Dru Hill would say, "Charge it to my heart and not my head".

Also, for the ones I haven't named, I must say this: There are too many people these days who feel a need to ride someone else's coattails, to perpetrate, to be two-faced, or to cause some degree of trouble in a sorry quest for what they see as respect and recognition. Those kind of people who don't wanna get to know you, but they wanna know your business and what makes you tick. Those who make it clear to themselves and to you that you are the enemy, yet they wanna smile in your face and act like they wanna be friends. Those who have no respect for themselves, much less anyone else. And most of all, those people who feel a need to wear a mask and act as "chameleons" in order for them to belong. As far as I'm concerned though . . those were years past, and I had emptied a lot of that doggie-doo into a dumpster that's headed straight for the incinerators awaiting.


To all the colleges out there that put me on besides UMES: UM-Baltimore County, Howard, Morgan State, University of Baltimore, University of South Carolina - Coastal Carolina University, Coppin State, and Towson University. I've been to all their homecomings, took part in their summer sessions, and found sanctuary in the outside events centered around them. It was pleasant to say the least.

To all the fellow photographers and the legalized businessmen who aided me on my trips throughout the East Coast and the Midwest, and also on the will to have an entrepreneurship of my own: Shabaka, Samuel Ramadan, Darrell Green, The Pinnicks, Devon, Ketel Cesar, Dominick and Big Mike Graves. To Hashim "Appleseed" Yasin and his brother Ramadan, who were doing their things since childhood. We all stuck with each other since the year I started out with you guys and as a result we are all going places. Someday, one of us is going to be internationally famous. Cause we're already famous in Charm City.

To my fellow representas from Great Britain : Ervin and Raj Mudhar, aka ENIGMATIX (RIP), for keeping in touch with somebody.

To my fellow Charm City representas: Dana Robertson and LaShaun Harrington. To the Terrells from Columbia: Mister Frederick and Mrs. Angela for being members of such a hilarious and thoughtful clan, Brother Jamal for his strong taste for music and his knowledge of every song that was sampled by a famous hip-hop artist, and to Sister Yahne for coming through for me and telling me all those stories about "keebler elves" and "raw chicken" and "whose is pinker" ! To Dante LeSane, Marc Jones, Twin Mayhem Jesse and Joseph White, Booka, Jermayne and Dwayne Gwynn, Sage, The Allen brothers (keep your head up Jay and RIP Lynburg), Daric (Rest in peace, brother !) and David Bishop, Alonzo, John Scott aka the Warlock, Samuel Ware aka Tops, Ben Trotter, Calvin Peace, Big Head Brian, Randy Jett, Lenard, William Lyons and the whole Charm City South and West Sides. To the entire Park Heights entourage for allowing me to do the photography at all their concerts and parties and for helping to put all the Belvedere Avenue Rastafari in the limelight. And one helluva special shoutout and recognition shall go out to this one lady : She's an activist and publisher of magazines and newspapers. She's regained her status an announcer in a recently re-operable radio staion, AM 1590 in Baltimore and DC. She's an activist, staging protests along the East Coast, anti-war and otherwise. She's an homeless advocate just like the recently deceased City Councilwoman Beatrice "Bea" Gaddy. Highly cultural, wise in her decisions, and she has all of the characteristics which earned her the moniker of "The Believe Lady" . . . her name is ARAFA SPEAKS ! Look her up on your internet searches and if you ever come across a site based on her, post up a shoutout in her behalf !

Finally, special shouts go out to all the individuals from NYC, DC, The Great Midwest, Philadelphia, Down South, and all of the other regions for brightening their limelights specifically, for you all know how to work wonders. To all the out-of-state heads, from IRC, AOL, Yahoo, and real life : Tamisha from Connecticut, my lady from Kansas City Dria Durham, John Wilson and Freddie Balthazar from South Carolina, Chetta Moore from Georgia, and a few other people I couldn't name off my head, for just being there and representing on the chat lines.

If you guys want to keep in contact with me, do it with these e-mail accounts . . . .

jeantavon excite.com or conquistador_x hotmail.com


A Journal Based On The Monthly Adventures and Escapades Of The Author Of This Website . . . Well Equipped With Unleashing Multitudes Of Positivity And Venting Out Inbred Rage When The Going Gets Rough And The Right Time Comes To Do So!

Greetings, my fellow compatriots ! During the period that existed since this website was initially in 1996, what I have tried my darndest to do was to take all of the geographic detail, scientific technicalities, the artistic impressions as described by its creators, and most of all, my personal feelings, and make it close to a near-perfect combination as possible. You know, times have changed, and with that knowledge that I have decided after all that this time, this website should be brought to what I now see as a new level. I have spent year after year learning from the best while in college, meeting new people, taking part in scenic photography at some of the nation's largest cultural festivals, not to mention showcasing myself at these venues while simultaneously staying low key. I now begin to realize that no matter what a person does during his/her life's tenure, there are going to be admirers, inquirers, and desirers and there will also be haters, alleviaters, and denigraters. That latter group themselves more likely have no idea on THEIR minds what makes them as such, but ultimately, they're the ones we all have to be on the lookout for.

The Three Year Ordeal Who Are Your True Friends ?
** Personal accident ** My existing family
** Ordeal at the local hospitals ** To all the business folks keeping it real
** Even greater ordeals outside the hospitals ** Shanubia . . a true to life cultural icon ?
** My Personal Rehabilitation Full O' Speed Bumps ** The Pax Urbana and Pigsty Seals Of Approval
** Hey Folks, I Finally Made It ! ** That supreme being up above . . . the most high

The Three Year Ordeal

Here it is, a chapter in the personal life which spans a number of years. What I have done at that time was spend time at a collegiate apartment with an my acquaintance, Kiana Summer White. She lived on the campus a few blocks away from where I resided. That didn't stop her from being tired of the drama going on at the campus and decide to make a trip to my place of residence. That's how it's been during my final period at the University Of Maryland's Eastern Shore campus in Princes Anne. Hanging out with a host of internationals: many from Africa, some from the Caribbean, two from the Phillipines, a few from Puerto Rico, even one from Brazil ! Going to get trays full of chicken tenders and fries as well as the lunches and dinners of the day. Working at the Kiah Hall computer labs as a computer technical assistant. Have Kiana come to my place to spend time during the weekdays. On weekends, what else do I do but take bus trips and personal rides back to Baltimore for the photo sessions and attend concerts going on there and in DC. I lived alongside a dream that there will be a day in which I could be back home cruising around in my old Oldsmobile Cutlass.
May 20, 2000 was the Day Of Vindication not only for me but also for my one and only soulmate at the time Kiana : we both graduated with Bachelor Of Science degrees that morning. Mine was in Computer Science Directed Toward Business, while Kiana's was in for Physical Therapy. Once it was all over we both had destinies to fulfill: I had went full-scale on the photo sessions PLUS The US Census called for me to take part in their will to count out every last American who lived on this Planet technologically. Kiana, meanwhile, had it all set for her new position at a Washington, DC rehabilitation medical center, plus she wanted to come up to my area for occupational therapy at Towson University. She took the trip to Baltimore for a tour of the college, and also she was looking for a place to stay within the university's immediate zone. This is one of the academic institutions where I represented with authority on the photo circuit whenever Towson's October homecoming approaches. Early summer was when Kiana made her touring attempts, and with me accompanying her in the houses and apartments which interested her, she was checking out the monthly rates. She later would come back from her home in Silver Spring with her mother to repeat what we originally did. Finally, in the end, it came to be that the rates were too high - suitable only for them New York/New Jersey peeps - and Kiana and her mother made a final decision that she would attend grad school at Howard University in Washington DC, with Occupational Therapy as the major. What else to say other than we both performed our versions of vindication !

Two years after all of the trips to our destinations of interest, the clubs where I attended and worked photo sessons, meeting new people, venturing in new cultural festivals, and landing jobs witht the US Census AND the City's Public Works Department, I can do no more than to say that I was on that cycle of levitation. Then this matter happened, and more likely you'll hear more of it in detail.

*****Accidents happen, even the ones which can lead to a person's end or could render a person as one who's much different from the original. At first I was running after an oncoming transit bus so I could catch it on the way to my City position, next thing I knew I realized a white haze formed around me, which later turned gray and then the colors reformed. I never realized it, but I was practically blanked out and unconscious. I was rendered to be in a coma hours later, discovered to be an individual with broken bones, fractured skull, filled with stitches, tubed up, and can barely walk if at all. Operations were pushed forth at a local hospital during all this time I was out of focus : Damaged tissue along the midsection and throat were patched with bandages and Band-Aid. Later I was stitched, immunized, and quite medicated. After that I was shifted to a rehabilitation hospital, Kernan, where I had to stay for a month and a half so that whatever maladies I had to deal with will eventually go away. The nursing assistants there ? If you ask me, they acted like either the wicked zombies from the movie "The People Under The Stairs" or like the corrections officers at the local state correctional facilities in Jessup or at Hagerstown. With the exception of C.O.s which were once city guides or which once lived around the way or which actually took an admiration to the courage and charm I presented at Kernan, they acquired the despisement from not only me but also my parents and friends as well. Cards and photos were later issued to me and posted on the rooming boards, courtesy of not only my former co-workers but my family, my old fiancee Kiana White, my close friend Yahne and her family the Terrells, my fellow vendors whom I worked with over a 10-year period, my old college and high schoolmates.

Well what do ya know . . . finally I made it! After 4 months of the trouble I had to go through - the operations, the pain, the refusal to eat certain foods that make a person sick, the verbal diagreements, the greetings, the cards, the outside demonstrations for me to remain a survivor and successor, the inside plans for me to come back to the job I was ripped away from by force, and the new plans for a comeback in the making - I'm back out in the open again, ready to prepare for the future and hope that Thanksgiving 2001 never repeats itself again ! It had to take awhile though before I could fully recover, having post-traumatic seizures, aftereffects of the injuries I sufferred from the near-fatal accident, court cases I had to fight, and funerals I had to attend. Former compatriots whom I had severed ties with for expressing their "Brand New Ugly Streaks", e-mails being sent to me from those who to this day still wonder what went down, hospital appointments, prescriptions by the dozen, and a renewed will to comeback as "The One On The Move", ready to survive and succeed, and to walk the Earth 'till Judgment Day. My life and my dignity depends on that fully, and I'm quite sure yours do too, reader of this section of the website. In this next phase in my personal status over these past few years, there will be a multitude of stories which I will be describing - one that'll jog your memory and have you come up with an reason why I'm putting into perspective the events that I've recorded over this past season and the future ones which I'll continue to highlight for future seasons. Now, I bet by now that you all will notice the reason why I came up with a title based on reality . . . this phenomenon known as a "seasonal analysis", or to simply put it together, a SEASONALYSIS for all of us to live by.

Who Are Your True Friends ?

As I do what I must do to stay afloat - mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally - one thing I have to wonder during the remainder of my life expectancy and longevity is whether I'm surrounded by those who are true to life or those who are bound to engage in personal strife. To put it in the shortest terms, who are my true friends ? Are they the ones who are down with the current status from Day One, or are they the ones engaged in the art of faking friendships just for the sole purpose of a financial gain or a personal boost in status. Those who made Choice #2 were the ones which I HAD to sever all ties with, and assassinate them emotionally or physically. Ever since my most recent major overcomings, there were many of these types of people all around me, and a sizeable amount of them were people who smile and your face and provide assistance by the dozen, then when the time is right, that weapon'll be in their thoughts or in their hands - ready to strike ! Once that happens, I take action, and the move to make would be the motives of Choice #2. It's powerful as can be : even the ones from Choice #1 nearly became victims of my character-assassin motives. Those were the ones who turned out to be real, and those were the ones who remain true friends till Judgment Day !

Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures !

Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures !

What I have here is some of the coolest people that I have known. Some of them I have known from my old high school days. Some from my old Inner Harbor, and my Charm City South and West stomping grounds, from the Universities of Maryland and South Carolina, from my nationwide and worldwide travels, and most of all, from the Internet-based chat channels worldwide.

What I also have are pictures of a lot of the places where I have been. Some with me on them. Some with friends. Some with family members. Just to let people know that I have been there. Plus, there are also some cool pics of the most popular acts in R&B, hip-hop, dancehall, and Latin culture.

This page will be constantly updated with pictures as they are found, scanned, and posted accordingly.

For all the pictures of those who hail from around the way, at school, or otherwise, check out the view of those on my other sites. Click on their links . . or better yet, do a Google search of the place you're looking for!

Pictures Of Some Of The Coolest Attractions

Pictures Of Some Of Our Very Popular Figures

The Places To Be In Charm City(http://www.baltimore.org)