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Road Tripping to Philly with the GMC Canyon Denali
Happy 2018, beauties! I hope this post finds you rejuvenated, recharged, and owning the new year like a boss. I’m ready to snatch up ALL the blessings 2018 has to offer, largely due to the incredible amount of rest I indulged in on over the holidays and a beyond inspiring road trip to Philly! With help from my friends over at GMC, I drove from Brooklyn to Philly in comfort, warmth (which really matters in single digit temps), and style in the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali.
I must admit, I was a bit concerned about how cute I’d look in a truck with a bed in the back, but I was pleasantly surprised at how this vehicle truly matched my fly! It was cherry apple red, with all of the tech bells and whistles a girl could ask for, and a ride so smooth I almost forgot we were in a pick up. The fuel economy is what really sold me on the Canyon Denali, though. I had the vehicle for several days and in the first 12 hours we drove from NYC to Philly, back to Manhattan for the LIT Brooklyn two year anniversary party, then back home to Brooklyn.
The next day, I drove from Brooklyn to Harlem and back to Brooklyn. The following day, I drove from Brooklyn to Harlem again, over to Long Island and back to Brooklyn. In between, I ran plenty of errands, explored the city staycation style, and still had over 80 miles left to burn when it was time to return the vehicle. I’ve never had such a fuel efficient driving experience in my entire life. And that heated steering wheel? It was just what we needed to navigate the city during a record-breaking arctic blast.
Now back to that day trip to Philly I didn’t know I needed. Even though Philadelphia is just a stone’s throw away from NYC and one of the coolest cities in the country, I don’t get around to visiting enough. I knew I wanted to change that over the holidays and I’m so happy I did. This road trip to Philly was one of the best I’ve ever had because in addition to enjoying an amazing cheese steak, I got to check out a couple of dope, Black women-owned businesses. You know this wouldn’t be In Her Shoes if I didn’t tell you all about them and why you should support, right?
Renae Bluitt and Arielle R. Johnson, Amalgam Comics & Coffee House Owner
First up, we have Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse. Owned by Ariell R. Johnson, this isn’t your average comic book store. It’s the first and only Black woman owned comic book store on the East Coast and one of the coziest coffee shops in the city. As a Baltimore native and Temple alum, Ariell has been featured on the cover of Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1,” and was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the Knight Foundation for an expansion.
Ariell was in the store during my visit so I got to chat her up a bit, learning about all the cool things she has in store for her customers this year (Black Panther screening, anyone?). Amalgam opened its doors in 2015, and seems to be a cute and cozy community staple. If you’re ever in the Philly area, I suggest you stop in for a visit, grab a latte & comic book of your choice, and catch a vibe.
Next up on our Philly Black woman-owned tour is The Sable Collective. Nestled in the heart of North Philly, The Sable Collective was founded by Shanti Mayers and Syreeta Scott, and is a boutique you shouldn’t bother walking into if you’re pressed for time. Trust me when I tell you, there’s way too much goodness to take in.
The Sable Collective is the most carefully and thoughtfully curated boutique. Every item on every shelf is covet-worthy, so it took all the willpower I could muster up not to just hand over all my coins. From Professional Black Girl mugs, to 80’s inspired gold earrings and natural beauty products, this store is a must-visit when you’re searching for special gifts or want to treat yourself to something unique and incredibly dope!
The afternoon flew by quickly, but this road trip to Philly was just what the doctor ordered. I enjoyed our journey in the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali, satisfied my cheesesteak craving, and made connections with women who were the perfect mix of beauty, brains, and #blackgirlbrilliance. I’ll definitely be visiting the City of Brotherly (and sisterly) love again soon. Many thanks to GMC for the awesome wheels!