OMG! Where has the month of March gone? While we lament how time flies, at least we know that soon the sweet smell of spring will be in the air. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to.

With my birthday less than a month away, I’m looking forward to a shopping spree at Old Navy (somebody tell Charles). You can imagine my surprise as I entered the 125th Street, Eighth Avenue location to see the store has undergone a total interior make over. Mesmerized, the only thing I could say when I walked through the doors was “Wow!” Even the music is better. Caught up in the rapture, it only took a nanosecond to see approximately five must-haves for spring/summer. Looking at dresses, pants, sweaters and accessories at prices that are just right, I was ready to go bananas. The makeover is branding/marketing genius.

What brought me to the 125th Street, west of the Lenox Avenue corridor, was the need for a new pair of jeans, and I decided to weave in and out of the stores to see who had what. I had my mind made up. I didn’t want designer jeans that are too tight and rip in all the wrong places. I wanted the kind that are made of good denim material and are a little roomy but still look stylish. Sounds impossible, huh? Skipping Old Navy for jeans and saving it for other outfits, I ventured on. Marshals had a pair I thought I might like, and at a price of $14.99, I was ready to jump, but a cooler head prevailed. After trying several sizes on and finding that none of them fit, I passed and just bought a very cool rain jacket in anticipation of the warmer rainy season that is soon to come.

I ventured into Harlem, a store that has a large variety of all things jeans. Although I’ve never been a Levi’s person—I’m more of a Lee Jeans girl— the Levi’s were the look I was searching for and fit perfectly. The only problem was, at $59.99, they were a little out of my budget. Instead, I bought two very cute rain hats, one for me and one for Julia. I will return to the store for a great pair of cargo pants I saw for only $20.

Saddened that I hadn’t found the jeans I was looking for, I raised my head out of my funk as the bright and shiny lights emanating from “U.S. Polo Assn. Since 1890” caught my eye and lured me in—to another well-kept secret. Let me begin by telling you that if you’re looking for a new look for your aged 10 or older boy or girl, this is it. The pants, jean ensembles, dresses, shirts and blouses will make your child look very smart, crisp and together. Although the Polo insignia is indelibly stamped on everything, the items are quality clothing at affordable prices and present a new look for the spring. Anything to get the kids out of jeans and hoodies.

Speaking of hoodies, it was good to see more than a few of our young men with their pants pulled up, walking proud and looking good.

We can all be proud that we have radio personality Jeanne Parnell in our midst. Her radio talk show “City Lights,” which can be heard Wednesday mornings 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on WHCR 90.3 FM, is enlightening, refreshing and entertaining. Most recently, one of her call-in guests was Valerie Graves. Graves is a creative who works in the advertising industry. She and her crew just completed a public service announcement that is soon to be aired, depicting statistics that overwhelmingly show Black male youths between the ages of 17 to 25 are not on drugs, do graduate from high school and college, and are not teenaged fathers, contrary to popular opinion and how they are constantly portrayed in the media.

Another guest on the show was our very own Glenn Hunter, co-founder/co-executive director of the Harlem Cultural Archive nonprofit organization. Hunter made the announcement that April 18, a ceremony renaming the southeast corner of 135th Street and Madison Avenue to Dr. John L.S. Holloman Way will take place at the Harlem Hospital Atrium, located at 136th Street and Lenox Avenue. Dr. Holloman, who had an office at 2160 Madison Ave., was a dedicated physician who spent most of his career here in Harlem and is worthy of praise. Visit www.harlemcultural.org for more information.

In fact, just visit www.harlemcultural.org. The site is filled with visuals, music and narratives portraying the rich history of Harlem. Although my father use to tell me stories about the old Savoy Ballroom, it wasn’t until I went to the site that I actually saw the marquee. Through this venture, Hunter, along with co-founders/co-executive directors Ken Sergeant and Keith Hunter, has created an enriching Harlem experience. According to the site, “To date, we have conducted videotaped interviews with nearly 100 accomplished Harlem residents.” Trust me, check it out, it will make you proud. And check out Parnell.

The first Ethiopian orphans clothing drive was held at Paris Blues, hosted by Robert Jackson and the owner of Paris Blues, Mr. Sam. The booths were filled with clothing, the plates were filled with food and the establishment was filled with lively people who rocked to the sounds of DJ Smitty Rock, Lord OBG, Street Wyatt Radio, 244 Club Members and Afro Soul from Whimpy. Bringing up the rear was Prince and the live jazz band Jah.

While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s talk about the new eatery and lounge in town, located at the corner of 124th Street and Seventh Avenue. Latino Soul is “puro vida,” tastefully decorated on the inside with walls lined with art. The food is a little pricey but good. I, who joined the birthday celebration for LeAnna Wright Wong, with family members Bill Wright, Michelle and Maimai Wong, April and son Gregory Wright, who has just graduated from college, ordered an array of sides. Creating my own dish consisting of jerk chicken, avocado, plantine and black beans left my mouth watering with a taste that will make me venture back. The separate lounge area is sure to become a fav, with its dim lights and plentiful seating. Conversation was non-stop.

Watch for the opening of Babbalucci Restaurant, Lenox Avenue at 127th Street. I can’t tell if it will serve Italian or Indian food, but as long as its fresh and authentic, I’ll take either one.

As the saying goes, when one door shuts, another one opens, as is the case with Spoonbread, which was located on Lenox Avenue at 138th Street and has closed. Sadly, I remember having the fried chicken with waffles and a mimosa on a Sunday after church. The exact name and location of the other new restaurant that has opened escapes me. For some reason the name Hyacinth’s Heaven rings a bell. If anyone knows of the place, please let me know.

Until next week … kisses.