Summer madness has finally arrived, in all of its various forms. There’s summer madness relaxing at the beach, playing in the parks, grilling, riding bikes, wearing shorts and tank tops, eating an ice cream cone, stretching out in a lawn chair (that is, if you have a lawn), dining at an outdoor restaurant and strolling down the street. Then there’s the summer madness that comes with senseless, violent shootings and the usual white-collar crimes and corruption.
To top it all off, this summer, drivers have to deal with the Central Park Drive closure from 72nd Street heading north. As it stands, the Drive was only open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., but what a welcome reprise after a long, hard day in the downtown summer madness of tourists, pedestrians, buses, taxis and out-of-town drivers to be able to cruise through the park to 110th Street. Doesn’t the mayor care anything about the weary driver who also appreciates the welcoming sight of trees, grass and the leisurely life in the park, even if only for a quick drive by?
This decision is almost as bad as trying to ban the horses and carriages, the only semblance of a quieter, peaceful time that’s left in the city. The funny thing about this ban is that above 96th Street, the Central Park Drive is mostly clear of people, who really only inhabit the interior of the park. So the road is virtually free of bikers, runners and others with whom drivers must share the road. Closing the Drive is a bad idea, especially in the summer. Drivers need a little consideration, too. Or does anybody ever think about that?
Now that we are uptown, Babbalucci’s has officially opened, featuring oven-baked pizza and atmosphere. It’s open 5-11 p.m., so check it out.
The 125th Street Business Improvement District, artfully kept together by its president, Barbara Askins, recently held its 22nd annual meeting and only had good things to report, among which is the re-election of board members Drew Greenwald and Scott Auster (Grid Properties), Dr. Joseph Tait (Harlem Commonwealth Council) and Bernard Warren (Webb and Brooker), all to a three-year term beginning July 1. Elected new members, also to a three-year term beginning July 1, are Class B commercial tenants Clinton Squires (Cohen Optical) and Indhira Santana (My Wellness Solutions) and Class E government and community tenant Kenneth Knuckles (Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone).
I had a chance to tune in to radio station WPPB, where one of the hosts is Ed German, who is one of the funniest radio personalities. Not funny like “ha ha” funny, but with a dry wit, outrageous stories and just plain old good humor. His show, “The Urban Jazz Experience,” is broadcast Monday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., during which he plays an eclectic mix of jazz, and Fridays he plays soul music on his show, “Friday Night Soul.”
On this particular evening of July 6, he played nothing but recordings by Della Reese, whose birthday was July 6, 1931, announcing to the world, or to anyone who was listening, that she was born in Blackbottom, Mich. Of course, he had a funny story to go along with how Blackbottom got its name, but it’s just a tad bit too racy to repeat in this column. I will just tell you, it was funny.
Ed also told of his moment of synchronicity that day. Weeks earlier, he ordered an album from Amazon, which only gave an uncertain delivery date. Well, as only the world of synchronicity would have it, the album was unexpectedly delivered to Ed on July 6. Knowing what was in the package, he didn’t open it at home, but brought it to the radio station with him to play a track or two on the air. Much to his surprise, upon opening the package and reading the liner notes on the back of the album cover, he learned that the album was recorded on … you guessed it, July 6! He received the album on the same day that the album was recorded, albeit a few decades later.
How about Serena Williams? How about the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team? Amazing sportsmanship, phenomenal women.
Assemblymember Diana C. Richardson, who represents the 43rd Assembly District, which covers Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Wingate and East Flatbush, wrote in to announce the passing of the Rev. Clarence Norman Sr. Richardson currently serves on the Committee on Banking; the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; the Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry; the Committee on Mental Health; and the Committee on Small Business. She was first elected to office in 2015.
One Hundred Black Men of New York will host their eighth annual Benefit Golf Outing Aug. 3, which will raise funds to support their mentoring and STEM programs. The outing will be held at the Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield, N.J., featuring a day of golf for those who do, and sunbathing, swimming and spa facilities for those who don’t. The cocktail reception, dinner, awards and auction that follow will honor Jeannie Maddox, manager, Supplier Diversity Global Procurement Strategies, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Lavon Chamber, assistant director, Market Share Development, Employers Cooperation and Education Trust. To register for the day’s events, call Jasmine De La Rosa at 212-777-7070.
I never knew there was so much going on in the world of golf, but if you want to learn more, and who doesn’t, check out the African-American Golfers Digest on Facebook. There’s a whole other world out there.
Until next week … kisses.