Before I ring in the New Year, I have to give one final hurrah for the old year. If we didn’t party all year long, we definitely did so in the month of December.
The Moles hosted their traditional year-end luncheon at the Davenport Club, located in New Rochelle, N.Y. I didn’t have to be told that it was a fabulous affair, as it was hosted by a fabulous group of ladies. I feel that it is remiss of me to not mention them all by name this year, but due to a scheduling conflict, I couldn’t attend. Members come and go, and I don’t have the correct spelling of everyone’s name, so forgive me for not acknowledging you all right now. However, I will definitely put it on my 2014 to-do list, as the Moles were so kind to present me with an acknowledgment award, of which I was totally surprised and honored. Accepting my award, a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau (which I love, by the way—how did you know?), was my husband, Charles, who escorted my mother, Harriet DeLaney.
It wouldn’t be a party unless the party was being given by the Fellas. Celebrating fifty fabulous years, 1963-2013, were founding and emeritus members Vernon G. Baker and Bennie W. Chiles (who were looking good), along with Rois Bari, David Brown, Bennie Chiles III, President Ivan Friend, Harold Freeman, Rayton Gerald, Albert Granger, new member Noel Hankin, Melvin Jackson, S. Kenneth Jones, Reginald Manning, Neil Foster Phillips, Hobart Price, Mark Price, Eglon Simons, James Skeete Jr., Albert George Thomas and Donald Wilson. Emeritus members include Carnie Bragg Jr., Robert Early, Hector Estepan, Benjamin Hubert, George Jordan, Carl Lewis, R. Chester Redhead (who was in attendance with his wife, Gladys) and E.J. Smith Jr. (who was with his wife, Louisa). The group is dedicated to fellowship, camaraderie and a commitment to the education of young college men and women through scholarships.
The party, which was held at the Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook, N.Y., began early Saturday afternoon as guests arrived early to check in and enjoy all the hotel had to offer—yes, many made a weekend of it.
The evening then began with cocktails, followed by dinner, dancing and an after-party, which one was best—well, it’s hard to say. The Versatiles wouldn’t let the revelers off of the dance floor as they played one good tune after another; there’s nothing like a live band that’s alive. By the time the after-party rolled around, men had thrown off the black ties and the ladies had changed into flats (I had a fancy pair of flip-flops), and we partied until the break of dawn.
Sunday morning began with a quick swim and a trip to the Jacuzzi and sauna, and then it was off to a full buffet breakfast. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day in a deep coma, and a good time was had by all.
Not to be outdone, under the leadership of Lloyd Williams, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce did it up down-home style at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, tucked under the West Side Highway.
We arrived a tad bit late, but still seemed to get there right on time as we greeted outgoing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his wife at the elevator. They were leaving after having received a well-deserved award from the chamber. Other awardees included John “Butch” Purcell, Kim Jasmin and Johann Almeida, who had been this year’s summer intern.
D.J. Tall Guy was spinning the tunes we all know and love, but when he put on “Function at the Junction” as a special tribute to Purcell, the room rocked.
While the chamber is just as much about downtown business, uptown business is its first priority. The latest news is that Macy’s will not—repeat, not—be coming to Harlem. However, groundbreaking has begun on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, and so, the shopping continues. Meanwhile, a retailer is still being sought for the space next to H&M, where Blockbuster once stood. Any suggestions?
P.S.: the ribs and cornbread at Dinosaur are lip-smackingly good, as is their signature drink, the Donkey. One sip, and you’ll know why it’s called the Donkey.
Speaking of uptown, resident and avid New York Amsterdam News reader Jake McGhee wants to know what happened to the lights on the Harlem State Office Building Christmas tree. There were so few lights on the tree that they could hardly be seen. If Rockefeller Center can adorn their tree with a festival of lights, then why can’t we?
Happy birthday to Cyril Poindexter, Dawn Morrow, Judge Cheryl Chambers and Theresa Manning, who also celebrated her 37th wedding.
Get well wishes to Cleveland Kojak Manley. Don’t worry; it’s nothing too serious. He’s back on his feet, but the procedure was enough to make him sit still for a second.
Condolences to the Lovelace family on the loss of their niece and to the Bell-Temple family on the loss of their niece. Condolences to the family of Leslie and Russell Eberhardt, who passed away several months ago, but of whose passing I have just learned about. Condolences to Drexel and Robin Harris Leach on the passing of Robin Leach’s father, Dr. Thomas R. Leach. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Brooklyn Museum and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
As always, the best year-end event takes place at Terrace on the Park, where the Brooklyn Comus Club celebrates with a fantastic (and you thought I was going to say fabulous) ball. Just like Cinderella, the ladies are dressed in beautiful ball gowns, and just like the prince, the men look so dashing, dressed in their tuxedos. It is a great way to give thanks for the past year as we welcome in the new year with over 700 people on the dance floor doing the wobble.
The Phil Young Experience and friends will be performing at Fara, aka Les Ambassades, every Thursday. The first set starts at 7 p.m. Happy hour will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Harlem Jazz Masters will perform at Aaron Davis Hall on Saturday, Jan. 4. Also on the program will be the world-renowned Tocho Swing Beats band from Japan, which will be celebrating its 65th anniversary. Do not miss this great Saturday afternoon of fantastic music. The event is complimentary.
Hold the date! The next “Sounds of Harlem Music Revue” show at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que will feature the Phil Young Experience and the Harlem Jazz Masters on Wednesday, Jan, 22. More details will follow. These are all brought to you by ELC Productions Inc.
Resolutions everyone, resolutions. Next week, I will post a few of the good ones, and until then, happy New Year!
Until next week … kisses