Hush Manhattan is the Private Oasis Every New York Man Needs

You know I LOVE my spas and my spa treatments. Normally, I travel to other locations to experience the best spas and find the latest treatments like in Ft Lauderdale at the Grand Resort and Spa (which I need to do again this spring!) and I’ve been to Grail Springs in Canada but I really wanted to find a space here in NYC where I could escape, relax, and recharge. I actually searched for a while in between my trips to the others but never found a good one here until last year. I finally had the good fortune of finding Hush Men’s Spa in Manhattan!

I’ve been there countless times for massages and body scrubs and I recently added eyebrows, hair removal, and glorious facials. Let me tell you a little about the space and the services.

First of all, Hush Men’s Spa is located near Times Square on 47th Street but don’t let that scare you. Once inside the first floor apartment, you are in a total zen, peaceful, and quite space. I know, you don’t believe it’s possible.. but, it’s true! You don’t hear any of the outside noises, you are greeted with friendly faces, relaxing music, and aroma therapy. They got everything right from the lighting to the ambiance, and customer service. You are always offered water, a chance to use the bathroom in case you have traveled there, and I have rarely had to wait for my appointment. Actually, thanks to NYC subway schedules, I think I have been a few minutes late here and there. The best part is, just like the Grand Resort and Spa, Hush is for men only so you don’t have to feel like you are using a female spa and you can be free to relax comfortably.

There are three spa rooms where massages, body scrubs, hair removal (sugaring and waxing), and facials are done and there is one bathroom with a full shower so you can leave all fresh and clean.

The staff is completely professional, friendly, knowledgable, and amazing at what they do. I tend to ask lots of questions when I’m trying new places but they have been more than accommodating in answering and teaching me a few things.

I’ve had massages, eyebrow shaping, and facials from Julio who seems to always know what I need before I ask. I tend to carry my stress in my neck and shoulders but when I leave there, I’m good until I go to work again haha. During my facials, I always ask about what is being used, what I should use, and how I should use the products suggested. Julio is always willing to answer, offer advice, and discuss. He even suggested coloring my eyebrows and lashes since they tend to get so lightened from the sun. I’m totally taking him up on that very soon before one of my upcoming events. Guys, when was the last time you spent a full hour cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your face? When was the last time you used steam on your skin? Trust me, do it!

I’ve also received massages and body scrubs from Louis, who really takes massages to another level because he has definitely mastered the art of energy work. If you are aware of energy, you will feel it for sure. I’m telling you, there are times where he just puts his hands over a spot that is troubling you and without physical contact, you FEEL the pulse of energy working through your muscles. If you’ve never experienced it, it may be hard to imagine but trust me, it is powerful. He also has this habit of infusing good energy into you all through the massage so you leave feeling extra good and ready to tackle anything. And of course, the body scrubs are so soothing, plus so good for your skin. We don’t usually pay enough attention to the skin on our body like we do to our face and hands. It feels good to let someone else do that for you. He’s also so good at answering any questions you have and since he’s a wiz with the energy, he tends to know what’s up even when you don’t remember to tell him.

No matter what service you get, you always leave feeling better. It’s so important to take that time for yourself and so often, we don’t even realize how long it’s been since we allowed ourselves to just chill. You don’t have to book a big trip to do that if you live in NYC, just head to their website and book a treatment or call! If you’re planning a trip to NYC, make sure to make this spa a part of your itinerary. You will thank me for it!

 

The 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show

The 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show was designed to showcase the talents of active-duty Soldiers who are selected by an audition held throughout the Army. These men and women are amateur artists who have a passion for music, dance and performing. They come from all areas of the service such as information technology, human resources, food services, signal systems support, petroleum supply, combat medicine, aircraft structural repair, and other tactical units. The show is put together in five weeks, and then they tour for six months.

There are new cast members selected each year as aspiring Soldiers worldwide submit applications that include videotapes, biographies, photographs, and letters of recommendation from their commanders. Soldiers must have an outstanding record in their units as well as demonstrate musicality, movement, stage presence, and versatility.  Their applications are screened by an audition panel made up of  Soldier Show artistic staff, Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program directors, Soldier peers, and selected senior Army leaders. They are also scored by a panel of judges on showmanship, talent, and poise, the finalists must pass physical training and drug tests, uniform inspection and even a dance audition. Then audio and lighting technicians are selected based on their military and civilian theater experience and training, recommendations, and military record.

The new cast and technical crew spend six weeks at Joint Base San Antonio rehearsing under the direction of an artistic staff led by producer/production manager Tim Higdon, artistic director Victor Hurtado, music director Joey Beebe, and choreographer Amy Lynn Miles.
The performers days are usually 12- to 16-hours and begin with military formation that includes aerobic workouts, vocal coaching, dance
training, and learning how to assemble and dismantle the stage trusses. The technical crew learns computer-based lighting and audio and video functions while designing the lighting, sound and special effects.

In addition to learning choreography, performers memorize as many as 40 songs, ranging from country, R&B, gospel, rock, oldies, soul, and patriotic songs combined in solos, duets, group and high-energy, fast-paced production numbers that make up the 90-minute show. Once on the road, Soldiers work an average 14-hour day, seven days a week for seven months. In addtion, the cast and crew offload, load, assemble, and dismantle 18 tons of equipment at each stop on the tour, including four miles of cable and 100 theatrical lights. During the tour, they will handle more than a million pounds of electrical, sound, stage and lighting gear. Some Soldiers have described it as their toughest duty outside of combat. Military drivers rotate shifts driving a 44-passenger bus, two 18-wheel tractor trailers, and a 15-passenger van to transport personnel, staff, costumes, and stage equipment to their stateside destinations.

The 2012 U.S. Army Soldier Show is sponsored by Army G-1’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program. Five motivational “I. A.M. Strong” commercials appear during each performance, featuring songs written and performed by Soldier/rap artist SGT Daniel “Danny Bee” Bullock and the commercials made by the SHARP Program Office. I. A.M. STRONG is the Army’s campaign to combat sexual assaults by engaging all Soldiers in preventing sexual assaults before they occur.

For complete info and photos you can visit the official media release and be sure to check out the list of Tour Dates to find out when they will be performing near you. If you are in NYC, the soldiers perform at noon and 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 14 at the Military Recruiting Station in Times Square.

 

DIEGO VALDEZ: True Renaissance Artist

Diego Valdez is truly a multi-talented artist.  If you know his drawings, you know there is something haunting about them.  In every piece, the eyes are drawn in such a way that you feel the subject could actually come to life right in front of you.  I have been truly honored to be on the receiving end of many tweets with new work from Diego and extremely privileged to have had the chance to interview him for this article.

During the process of our interview, I learned so much about a man that I mostly saw as an graphic artist.  The creative talent runs so deeply that one outlet is not enough for Diego to express himself.  He has as many facets as his palet has colors, and has been honored in every field he has blessed with his participation.

If you are not familiar with his work, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.  If you are familiar with his work, you know how lucky we are to be a part of his sharing circle.

Diego’s work has been chosen to appear in Times Square in NYC this summer as part of the Artists Wanted exhibit and that is no small achievement.  If you are in the area, I suggest you stop by and be amazed.

 Q: Is there anything you can’t do? Model, Actor, Author, Painter, Graphic Artist, Designer, Poet… Did I miss any? Which is your favorite?

A: I am screenwriter too, its actually one of the things I can do better. I got a degree in creating scenario grammatical, character description and storyline for TV and film.

Yes, there are lots of things I can’t do. My mind, it’s always in other world. For example I can’t find the focus when I am driving a car.  By far I am the worst driver ever ;)

Q:  I have been very lucky to see so much of your artwork.  Where does your inspiration come from? How do make your work so unique? Each piece has a haunting quality, like it could come to life. 

A: I am very lucky to find people like you.  Really I am so thankful about it .

My art, it’s a message – an inviting message with the goal to inspire others. To get everything, and believe In the power of the passion, the dedication and the hard work – never give up. My first inspiration to draw is the goal to make a drawing able to talk or tell an story just with the glance.  I work hard on the eyes of my drawings. It’s the point of connection with the soul *The Eyes*. I have created my own technique.

I do not work over pictures I develop Original drawings. My drawings come from my imagination. I am colorblind, in fact I don’t know all the colors. I have problems finding the difference between yellow and green and maybe that’s where the cool colors  in the background and in my

Madonna

artwork come from.

I am an animal lover, and for example, I have finished more than 17 eagle drawings this year just with the intention to inspire everybody to believe and fly – the message, it’s more powerful than the drawing ;)

Q: Tell me a little about Bella B n’ the 17 nights.  How did you get involved in telling stories for kids?

A: Bella B, well, it’s in fact a tale dedicated to my daughter Isabella and that is why I am writing for kids now – because of My 2 year old baby girl, Isabella Valdez.

And to find connection with the human being its necessary to touch the little inner kid inside all of us. We are all still kids and that’s why I really love to write, to draw and to create for kids !!! Because of the kids we are.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into any of the fields you have been successful in?  Are there any secrets?

A: The secret is to believe, Respect everybody as a human being, follow your feelings, and an artist can’t stop to develop and create things every single day – don’t think about money. Don’t think about fame. These things are the consequence of passion and love for what you do in life.

Q: You are obviously very accomplished in the arts.  Were you always interested in the artistic side of life?

A: Yes because my father was a general of the army but at the same time a writer, painter, and sculptor. I have been around the arts all my life ;)

Q: What is a typical day at home with you like?

A: It’s pretty normal. Every day I develop part of a drawing and I write some idea – or part of a project. I spend 3 hours per day in my art, every single day. I go to the gym 2 hours and 30 minutes per day, every day. I manage my networking and promote my art and projects 1 hour and 30 minutes per day.

I have discipline – that is the secret !!!

And the rest of my time I am dedicated to my family. That means 6 hours in my things, and 6 hours with my family.

Q: What are you currently working on?

A:  I am working on a very interesting, huge project but I can’t disclose anything yet. And in my art studio I am working on an interactive book of fashion. Poetry beside pictures of models, araw concept of art – a project where I am writer and model one more time.

Q: Tell me about Artists Wanted. THAT must be such an honor for you.

A: It’s a huge honor to have the chance to see my art showcased in Times Square I am really thankful with all the support of my friends and lots of people I am really touched about it .

Q: Do you have a personal favorite piece among your own work?

A: Always the drawing I am going to do tomorrow will be better than the last drawing I did – my favorite drawing

It’s going to be my next drawing ;)

Q: Who are some of your inspirations? Artists/actors/models you look up to? 

A:

Artists: I love Rembrandt

actors: Heath Ledger

Directors: Woody Allen
Actress: Kate Blanchett
Designers: Stefano Gabanna and Tom Ford
Models: Kate Moss

Photographers: Mario Testino, Sante D’ Orazio, David Lachapelle, and I love what Raphael is doing right now

Makeup artists: Mario Dedivanovic

3D animators: I have to do a mention my mentor and friend Mike Herzog. I love his talent.

Music:  its true I love AURADRONE’s music and it’s not because it’s my friend – its because of Jon Mack – AURADRONE is a powerful artist, I love the electronic sounds of AURADRONE’s music and the message of freedom of her work.

Finally I have to mention a person I really Admire, Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter. He created a huge change in the communication of this world.
Twitter is the most powerful social media ever, I love Twitter !!!!

Q: Who are some people you would like to work with?

A: I think Christopher Nolan is by far a visionary in the film industry. Would be great work with him.

Q: What’s up next for Diego Valdez?

A: I have lot of surprises and projects

So close, the book I mentioned before and beside it a powerful project where I have the chance to be a writer but I can’t disclose yet !!!