The Cosmopolitan Review: Feb. 15 - Feb 21

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 2/15/2018, 11:38 a.m.
Oh February, what a beautiful month tis thee! Febrero in Spanish, Fevrier in French, Febbraio in Italian, Er yue in ...

Oh February, what a beautiful month tis thee! Febrero in Spanish, Fevrier in French, Febbraio in Italian, Er yue in Mandarin, Februar in German and Februari in Swahili. Although Swahili is spoken by more than 100 million Africans on the continent, did you know that there are 11 other popular African languages that are used when doing business, enjoying tourist destinations and experiencing the diverse cultures? Just a little bit of culture, now don’t you feel a bit more continental?

If you are feeling continental and would like your teen to see what’s beyond the hood, The New York Times Student journey program is offering a London Art, Theater, Food and Fashion Through the Critic’s Lens seminar and is now accepting reservations for its 15-day tour across the pond. The itinerary includes a tour of London’s cultural hub with visits to the most popular galleries, theaters, cinemas, restaurants and runways. Tuition is $6,990 and the program is June 24 to July 8, 2018. To apply now, go to nytimes.com/studentjourneys.

A little closer to home, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, located at 615 W. 129th St., is featuring the “Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer” exhibition, now through March 11. Described as being the first major exhibition devoted to Arthur Mitchell, this project celebrates the life and accomplishments of the New York City Ballet’s first African-American star, and the founder and longtime director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

The Harlem Fine Arts Show 2018 has once again returned to the Riverside Church gallery, 91 Claremont Ave. On display Feb. 15-Feb. 18, the Harlem Fine Arts show celebrates the African Diaspora by bringing together contemporary artists with the growing class of collectors. The goal of facilitating this coming together is to showcase cultural ideas and raise awareness of the extraordinary body of work created by international, national and local artists. Don’t miss it.

The Harlem Chamber Players perform in their 10th annual Black History Month Celebration at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The concert features Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s nonet for piano, winds and strings, with Major Scurlock making his debut with The Harlem Chamber Players. Soprano Andrea Bradford and baritone Kenneth Overton will perform music by H. Leslie Adams and selected spirituals. Admission is or was free, depending on whether you have picked up your copy of the New York Amsterdam News, the minute it hit the stands.

Opening at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (corner of E. 10th Street) is “Josh: The Black Babe Ruth,” and for all of you baseball fans from the days of the Negro leagues, you won’t want to miss this one. “Josh” is the story of a man who loved and lost. He loved his game, loved his women and in the end lost as he died of a broken heart. The play dramatizes the life, loves and ultimately the tragic decline of Josh Gibson, who was perhaps the greatest slugger of the Negro leagues. The play, based on real events, shows Gibson struggling heroically to make it into the Big Leagues with emotional support from his good friend, the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige, and from the two women who are rivals for his heart—his common law wife and his mistress. Despite his majestic on-field performance, there are immovable obstacles, including resistance to Black players by Major League club owners and Gibson’s own personal demons, which suffocate his chances. Run, don’t walk to catch this one.

Gung Hay Fat Choy, wishing you great happiness and prosperity, as the Chinese Lunar New Year is upon us. Or according to the Urban Dictionary, you can say “Kung Hei Fat Choi,” the words you will say on the morning of the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, meaning cheers, good luck and have a wonderful future. This year, the Chinese New Year, which is based on the lunar calendar, is Friday, Feb. 16, and it begins the Year of the Dog. The Chinese zodiac moves in a 12-year cycle, and those born in 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018 are also known as dogs. According to the Asian astrology, your year of birth—and the animal it represents—determines many of your personality traits. Although each of the 12 animals gets an outing every dozen years, there are different varieties, and 2018 will be the first year of the Earth Dog since 1958. Anyone born in an Earth Dog year will be communicative, serious and responsible in the workplace. Aren’t we all?

As the legend has it, back in the ancient days, the Jade Emperor ordered that animals would become part of the calendar, and the 12 that arrived first would be selected. At the time, the cat and the rat were good friends. When they heard the news, the cat said to the rat, “We should arrive early to sign up, but I usually get up late.” The rat promised to wake his pal up so they could go together, but because he was so excited, he forgot and went alone. On the way, the rat bumped into the tiger, ox, horse and other animals that were all much faster than he was. He hatched a plan and convinced the ox to carry him on its back, on the condition that the rat sing throughout the journey. The ox arrived first, but the rat sneaked in front of him and became the first lucky animal. By the time the cat arrived, the selection was over, which is why the cat hates the rat and will always try to chase and kill him.

Getting back to the dog, Madison Avenue is celebrating their third Annual Madison Avenue Lunar New Year event Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. As this year is the Year of the Dog, participating retailers are hosting in-store events, and customers are encouraged to shop with their dogs to benefit the Animal Medical Center. Stores are donating a portion of sales this day to AMC. Beyond the fun of you and your friends “shopping with your dogs,” there is special in-store programming for the dogs, including gourmet dog treats, doggie bowls and toys, dog photoshoots with free prints and more surprises. For a complete list of participating retailers and more information on the in-store activities, visit https://madisonavenuebid.org/lunar-new-year/.

Until next week … kisses.