Happy belated birthday to the Hon. Tanya Kennedy, who hosted an old fashioned b-day party for herself on a beautiful summer afternoon. It was wall-to-wall people, consisting of family members, supporters, new friends and those from 30 years ago. The bartender poured wine, DJ Gregg pumped the music, the party people danced and a good time was had by all. Some of those seen were Edith Matthews, Sylvia Sandrich, Victoria Horsford, Shirley Scott, William Allen and Earnestine Bell Temple.
Councilwoman Inez Dickens celebrated her birthday at MIST with politicos, and then some, from near and far, who came to wish her well. The only party missed this year was the one hosted by Jackie Rowe-Adams, community activist, singer extraordinaire and wife of Dollar Bill. People are still talking about her last party, held at Harlem School of the Arts, so maybe she is just catching her breath until next year. Happy birthday anyway, Jackie.
The latest on Lenox Avenue is Yuzu Sushi Restaurant, located at 350 Lenox Ave. and 128th Street, has petitioned the Department of Consumer Affairs to have unenclosed outdoor seating. The hearing, open to the public, will be held July 29, 2 p.m., at 42 Broadway. All those with any objections, speak now or hold your peace. Somehow the block doesn’t seem conducive to outdoor seating, in addition to which, every time I pass by, the sushi chefs are looking out of the window, in search of customers. Obviously though, they must have some sort of clientele.
Vy Higginson’s “Alive: 55+ and Kickin’,” the new musical from the creators of “Mama I Want to Sing,” is currently playing at the Dempsey Theatre. In support, and in conjunction, Sylvia’s Restaurant is offering 10 percent off meals to all customers who present their ticket stub after seeing the play. Dinner and a show anyone?
A little further down the avenue, on the other side of 125th Street, Atlah Church is at it again with some very derogatory, inflammatory, inappropriate and vulgar remarks, posted on their sign. Now, I know all about the constitutional right to free speech, but there are better, healthier, cleaner ways to get your point across rather than to be disgusting. If you want respect, you have to give respect. It is better to teach than berate. If you want intelligence, then you can’t act ignorant. If you want peace, then you can’t create a war. Peace, my brother.
Speaking of peace, if President Barack Obama says peace with Iran is the way to go, then I for one support his decision. What if Iran really does want to be a peaceful nation and is sincere about making the commitment not to build nuclear weapons? How do we go about achieving world peace? The latest school of thought is although ISIS will never win the war if their motives are purely evil, they just might win the war if their true intention is to build a peaceful nation. Shocking, isn’t it?
As reported in an earlier edition, the people living in the city of Raqqa in Syria are cautiously optimistic about the future. They claim they feel safer because there is no corruption, because if anyone (and I do mean anyone) is caught taking a bribe, that person will be dismembered. This threat, they say, creates a level playing field. If someone murders another citizen, that person is killed. Adulterers are stoned and thieves have their hands cut off. Business in the area is thriving, communities are being built, children are safe and slowly but surely ISIS is building a nation. This contention still seems like an oxymoron to me, as the threat of terrorism is my biggest fear. Academics who are studying the situation closely say they may loose the battle but just may win the war.
While we are on the topic of terrorism and war, New York City senior police officials have released information based on studies, research and their conclusion that the city’s gang population is between 10,000 and 15,000. Of these loosely knit groups with ties to streets or housing complexes, approximately 200 to 300 young people are responsible for the gun violence that plagues our neighborhoods. The NYPD Intelligence Division has compiled the profiles of these individuals in the “Intelligence Violence Assessment Reduction Plan.” The book, which was distributed to precincts throughout the city, is being used to locate, prosecute and convict those responsible for the onslaught of gun violence.
Sorry, kiddies, but thinking that this is the Wild, Wild West, and you can randomly pull out your pistol and shoot whenever and whomever you want has got to come to an end, even if it means, your end.
Condolences to Karen and Dawn Young for the recent loss of their father, Arthur “Pickles” Edward Young, who died at age 96. Born Jan. 10, 1921, Arthur was the only child of Lula, a domestic, and Arthur Young, a Pullman porter. Born in New York City, he was raised in the Dunbar Apartments. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School, where he lettered in track. His letter remains on display in the school museum.
Continuing his education at Virginia State College for Negroes, he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha. After completing a tour of duty in the Army Reserve Corps, he attended New York Law School. Upon passing the New York bar exam, Arthur worked for the Department of Welfare as a senior court officer for the New York Supreme Court, as a law secretary to Judge Fred Hammer at Queens County Municipal Court and as an attorney at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, from which he retired.
In 1954, he married Wanda Worrell. The couple resided in St. Albans, Queens, and had three children, Karen, David and Dawn. David predeceased his father. Much later in life, after his divorce from Wanda, Arthur reconnected with his old friends Bernie and Gene Sims, from Orange, N.J. After Gene’s passing, Arthur and Bernie became companions, until her death in 2007. Together, they traveled the world on many adventures, including celebrating their 80th birthday in Antarctica.
Arthur was a member of the Century Club, an organization for people who have traveled to 100 different countries. Of his many accomplishments, Arthur was most proud of his support for his beloved Camp Atwater, where he, too, was once a camper. Affectionately known as “Pickles,” he touched the heart of everyone he met. Among those attending the funeral services was Father Daryl James, pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in Jamaica, Queens. None of those is attendance who know Daryl, as he is familiarly called, were surprised when he grabbed the mic from the podium on the stage, had all of the Atwater attendees stand and sing a chorus of “Shout” for Camp Atwater. Long may she live.
Until next week … kisses.