Now that November has come to an end and we have given thanks, paid tribute and voted, December is here and it’s time to make merry. Doing just that were the Judicial Friends, who brought out judges, lawyers and laymen alike to a very festive gathering. Meanwhile, showing them who knows how to party-we know how to party-was the Pan African Society of the Columbia University School of Business. Held in the very trendy loft at 200 Hudson St. the girls were dressed so sharp I didn’t know who was dressed the best. I was taken by them all, so much so that I wanted to inquire, where do you shop?
The event was catered by the Zizi Experience, who can prepare fish, chicken and shrimp shish kebab and fried rice like you have never tasted before-and she provides hors d’oeuvres, too. The DJ was slamming, African style, and the fellers could dance, oh yes they could.
I overheard one reveler say, “The DJ was great; he played all of the good records,” and I had to laugh as I had never heard any of the songs. I guess that’s what you would call a cultural difference. I still had fun; it was the best party of the year (OK, among the best).
Speaking of cultural differences, it seems as though the gentrified members of our community prefer the specialty wine shops over the longstanding liquor stores. Does this mean that the old adage, a liquor store on every corner, will soon disappear along with old Harlem? I think so.
Those without much of a cultural difference are the people around the world who responded to a tweet posted by the New York Times. The question was: “How do you spend your Sundays?” Close to 1 million people worldwide responded, many of whom all do the exact same thing. In the United States, it was watching football, while overseas it was watching soccer. It’s amazing how many people spend the day with a hangover from the previous Saturday night. Ugh! The one I could relate to, which I thought was the funniest, was from a mom who said she spends her Sundays listening to her husband and daughter fight over the remote. I can definitely relate to that one.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation hosted the Program for Hidden Heroes at the Schomburg Center, where they recognized the hidden achievements and commitments to society made by some of our hidden heroes. Honored were Deborah Bial, president and founder, Posse Foundation; Yusuf Burgess, family intervention specialist, Green Tech High Charter School; Susan Retik, co-founder and president, Beyond the 11th Grade; and the Rev. Nicholas S. Richards, president, The Abyssinian Fund.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Harry Belafonte to former Mayor David Dinkins. In addition to the awardees, attending the event were Bill Thompson; Billie Jean King; Joyce Dinkins and granddaughter Sheila; Harry Belafonte’s wife, Pam, and son, David; former Gov. David Paterson and his father, Basil Paterson; Cicely Tyson; judge Bernie Jackson and son, Bernie; Khalil Gibran Muhammed, director of the Schomburg Center, and wife; City Councilwoman Christine Quinn; Bunnie Ledford; and a list of other notables too long to list. A reception followed the event.
All those who watched the Christmas Tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on television raise your hand. If you did, then you know what I’m talking about when I say, how about the Justin Bieber and Busta Rhythms performance? Was that off the hook or what? I thought this year’s show was especially entertaining and I enjoyed every moment of it. (what can I tell you, I’m a dancer and big fan of the Rockettes!)
However, I was sadly and greatly disappointed in the Mariah Carey video featuring, again, our boy Bieber singing her hit song, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” In my opinion that was the most distasteful, disgraceful act I have ever seen Carey perform. I am surprised that the network even aired that segment, as it was totally X-rated. I was embarrassed to let my 6-year-old daughter watch it and was equally embarrassed for all of the other little children who were watching. Someone’s head should really roll for allowing that to air.
Bieber was cool, but Carey was, well, disgusting; way too lewd, and it wasn’t even necessary. Carey is beautiful; all she had to do was stand there and sing. Instead, she or someone else decided she should be a hoochy mama. It was totally out of place. Totally.
While President Barack Obama was in town fundraising, his wife Michelle, along with supermodel Iman, was honorary chair of the after-performance dinner for the opening night gala benefit for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, held in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton.
Get well soon, Mercedes Murphy, who suffered a mild stroke. Rest in peace, Rodger Moore, brother of Leslie Moore and grandson of the famous artist Tanner Moore. Condolences to the family of Canaan Baptist Church disciple Mary F. Hill, who passed away at 99 years old.
Funeral services were recently held for Herman (“Lil’ Herman”) Timmons, where well over 1,000 people showed up to say their goodbyes. He lived the life of a king and still gave all his love to those less and more fortunate than him.
Also passed was Rodney L. Carroll, who had his funeral at Benta’s, where it was standing room only. Among those in attendance were Bill Perkins and Keith Wright, with condolences sent by Charles Rangel. Rodney ran for City Council, worked for ACS and coached the Harlem Little League, where he was known as “Coach Rod.”
Happy birthday to Rebecca Johnson and William Amos.
Until next week…kisses.