It’s official. You can pack away the bikinis and summer shorts and pull out the long johns. Early reports predict a long, cold winter, so it is not too soon to start squirreling away your nuts.

It’s never too cold, however, to come out and party as warm bodies draw plenty of heat, but you knew that. What you may not know is that Gin Fizz, located on Lenox Avenue between 125th and 126th streets above Chef Lucienne, and one of Harlem’s favorite places for live music, is now under new management by Etienne DeYans of Tapis Rouge Hospitality. The night spot has always been cozy and a fun place to hear good jazz and dance, for folks of all ages. DeYans brings more than 20 years of expertise to Gin Fizz, and with him has come a full calendar of events.

Thursdays are an amazing night of sultry sounds with the talented Celia of the Grammy-nominated duo Les Nubians here at Gin Fizz. It can only be described as an intimate French cabaret with an after-party with DJ Flavien. Cover is free. Froback Fridays rocks every Friday with the sounds of DJ Finesse. Doors open at 11 p.m., the kitchen is serving until 1:30 a.m. and hookah is available all night long. Saturdays are set aside for international sounds, including Afrobeat, Ethiopian, reggae, zouk, hip-hop, salsa and more with DJ Pitch One. I like that. The party starts at 10 p.m., and guess what? Admission is free at the door. Dress to impress. For VIP contact and reservations, email Also check out Gin Fizz on Facebook and Instagram.

Still promoting mental health awareness, the Center for Comprehensive Health Practice celebrated their 65th anniversary with a gala held at Indeed, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, Ninth floor. Proud to be of service to families in need, CCHP boasts, “For over five decades, we have worked hard to be ‘your family’s home, for a lifetime of care’ by providing quality, comprehensive, caring and affordable health care.” The Pregnant Addicts and Addicted Mothers Program, started in 1975, was among the first in the nation to offer comprehensive family care and treatment to opioid-addicted women and their families.

Aware of the many mental and health care issues that people face, CCHP provides an individual total health care plan to address all of the patient’s needs. The Center is an interdisciplinary, family focused health center, located in East Harlem, offering quality primary care, behavioral health, substance use treatment and supportive services all under one roof. CCHP uses the community health, team-based approach to provide individuals and families with an array of specialty services, including internal medicine, pediatrics, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis prevention and treatment, behavioral health, substance use treatment, health education and the Early Childhood Development Center. This year’s Thursday Night Fever was a special event that took it back to the 1970s, when CCHP first started their Early Childhood Development Center. The mission then was to create a program targeting vulnerable pregnant women and provide integrated primary and behavioral health services. Today, they have flourished into so much more. As always, donations are appreciated.

Remember, mental health issues come in many forms and affect approximately 85 percent of the population. Statistics show that bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults every year. Of the U.S. population ages 18 and older, 2.6 percent are affected every year. More than half of all people diagnosed with bipolar disorder are between the ages 15 and 25. Ninety percent recover after receiving treatment. Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. These statistics were provided compliments of actress Tasha Smith, director, writer and producer of the short film “Boxed In.”

Best-selling author and mental health expert Terrie M. Williams has worked with many individuals who struggle with depression, another form of mental illness. Most recently, she commended the courageous Grammy-award winning recording artist Kid Cudi for publicly exposing his struggles with depression and seeking professional help for having suicidal urges. As Williams has stated, “Kid Cudi was candid about his depression and shared it publicly on social media … he’s taking a break from his career to care for his personal health. In a courageous post on Facebook, he admitted he had been living a lie with anxiety and depression ruling his life.” Williams continued, stating, “The greatest gift he could give our brotherhood is to courageously peel off the mask and let other Black men know that they are not alone. He is saving lives.”

Terrie Williams has been speaking about her own mental health issues and how they consumed her life. In her best-selling book “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting,” published in 2008, Williams recounted her personal struggles with depression and the impact the stigma of mental illness has, particularly in the African-American community. Let’s all join hands and help one another.

God’s Love We Deliver, the New York metropolitan area’s leading provider of life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling for people living with severe illnesses, launched the publication of their very first cookbook entitled, what else, “God’s Love We Deliver Cookbook: Nourishing Stories and Recipes from Notable Friends.” The nonprofit organization was originally created to provide services to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Today, God’s Love cooks more than 6,200 meals each weekday and home-delivers the specific, nutritious meals that clients with severe illness and treatment so urgently require. Meals are individually tailored for each client by one of their registered dietitian nutritionists, and all clients have access to unlimited nutrition counseling. God’s Love supports families by providing meals for the children and senior caregivers of its clients. All of the agency’s services are provided free of charge, and in its history of more than 30 years, God’s Love We Deliver has never had a waiting list.

The cookbook, from which all proceeds will go to the organization, features stories and recipes from 75 supporters of God’s Love, including Michael Kors, Meryl Streep, Michael Anthony, Marcus Samuelsson, Katie Couric and many others too busy cooking to mention. For more information, visit On that note, I think I’ll get a snack and say a midday prayer.

Until next week … kisses.