It is with deep sadness that Joey “J-Harris” Fleming and Maschil Entertainment Inc. announces the passing of Fleming’s grandmother Mary Fleming. Mary Fleming, who was also the mother of the late Joe Fleming, Esq., attorney and friend to many, passed away almost one year ago to the day her son passed.

Many of you know that Grandma Mary was Joey Fleming’s biggest fan and supporter. She attended almost every performance from the beginning of his musical career. Her beautiful smile, sweet disposition and armloads of blessings and encouragement will be tremendously missed.

Last week’s Indian summer wrecked havoc on my feet, as the oppressive humidity made wearing shoes without stockings unbearable. Luckily, as I hobbled along West 72nd Street, there, like an oasis, was Tip Top Shoes, where I was able to run in and find the buy of my life: a pair of flip-flops with a thick sole and arch support. I’m in heaven. As the rain poured down, it felt so good to walk amid the puddles and golf-sized rain drops, cooling my feet. 

This year’s kiddie birthday party calls for extreme measures, because it takes more to be creative on a shoe-string budget. We opted for Uno Chicago Grill at Columbus Avenue and 81st Street, where the children make their own pizzas. The staff puts the pizzas in the oven to bake, and 10 minutes later, viola! Additionally, a fruit platter, which you will be glad to know that the children helped themselves to, was provided for the adults, along with coffee, tea, rolls and sangria.

For dessert, we provided a Hello Kitty birthday cake from the 116th Street bakery, located between Park and Lexington avenues, while Uno provided the vanilla ice cream topped off with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Then it was off to the planetarium to gaze at the stars and get a glimpse of what life may be like in the year 2050. It’s one of my favorite haunts; I was more excited than the children to see the show.

Still celebrating September birthdays are Tiara Palmer and Edith Matthews.

The Harlem International Film Festival is underway with showings at the Maysles Cinema, located at Lenox Avenue between 127th and 128th streets. And wasn’t it wonderful to have an exciting African-American Day Parade sans any violence? Just like the good old days.

While I was browsing through various periodicals to catch up on who was doing what during Fashion Week in New York, photos of many familiar names caught me by surprise. Former bad boy of tennis John McEnroe was beyond recognition at first because, well, let’s just say he doesn’t look as youthful as he used to. Conversely, Martha Stewart looks great. I hardly recognized either one of them. Naomi Campbell’s body hasn’t changed a bit.

I had the pleasure of seeing N’Kenge, who stars as Mary Wells in “Motown: The Musical,” when she performed at the dedication ceremony for the renaming of Harlem School of the Arts. N’Kenge was a student of the school, and it just goes to show you what talent a community-based performance center can turn out.

This time, N’Kenge was spotted at Ed’s Chowder House, located in the Empire Hotel, at a Fashion Week luncheon that was hosted by Cygalle Healing Spa and producer-director Jennifer Howard Kessler from the Robert Evans Company. All part of Fashion Week festivities.

Also very much a part of the festivities was Audrey Smaltz, who personally oversaw the dressing of models at the Academy of Art fashion show. That Smaltz, she never lets you down.

Brenda Simmons enjoyed herself immensely and looked smashing in aqua, which seems to be the color of the season, at the Southampton Historical Museum’s annual Late Summer Cocktail Party, held at the restored former home of Capt. Albert Rogers on Meeting House Lane in Southampton, N.Y. Guests mingled on the sprawling lawns before viewing the museum’s current exhibition, “Fabulous Fish: Sculptures by John Rist Jr. Rist,” Rist, who was born and raised in Southampton, is an owner of Herbert & Rist Liquor Store on Jobs Lane.

Not to be outdone or undone, Harlem in the Hamptons continues to take the East End by storm. If you don’t believe me, just ask Glenn Hunter, Harry Banks, Beryl Banks, Jackie Vaughn, honoree Helen Marshall, Suzan Johnson Cook and Gladys Barnes, all of whom were there to represent in all of their glory.

Word just came in that Black Street will host their second annual Black Tie Awards Ceremony on Sept. 21. The invite reads, “Black Street, for its second year, will conduct an awards ceremony like none other in the Black community. Black Street will choose two finalists from 25 categories to go on the awards ceremony. The award recipients with the highest amount of votes within each category will be named at the ceremony. We will also honor prominent and renowned individuals who have utilized their platforms to cater to our community! The evening will consist of an elaborate cocktail hour, entertainment, our awards ceremony and a VIP dinner for our elite and celebrity guests!” 

The chosen honorees are the Rev. Al Sharpton; Grammy Award-winning producer Bryan Michael Cox; Michael Skolnik, political director for Russell Simmons and co-president of; BET commentator and celebrity image activist Michaela Angela Davis; and Arva Rice, CEO and president of New York Urban League. There will also be a Trayvon Martin tribute by actor Omari Hardwick. The host for the evening will be MTV host, relationship expert and plus-size fashion designer Shanda Freeman. For more information, contact Lexine Emille at If you ever wondered what is hip, now is your chance to find out.

Until next week … kisses