If it is February, then it must be Black History Month.  Lest we ever forget, we have so many who fought so hard for the cause, and the cause was freedom, respect, and to be recognized as human beings. Be sure to tune into programs and events at various venues to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices that have been made on behalf of Black culture. Take time to reflect.

If it is February, then it must be the time for inductions as we continue to make strides in both the judicial and political arenas. Congratulations to the Hon. Asia Tingling, daughter of Milton Tingling Jr., and granddaughter of Milton Tingling Sr., both of whom served on the bench, on her recent appointment to the judicial system.  Although Milton Jr. most recently traded in his New York County Supreme Court robes to become New York County Clerk, his daughter has now become the first African-American in the country to become the third generation of justices. Now that is Black history.

The auditorium at Harlem Hospital was filled to the rafters with voices declaring how much we love and respect Inez Dickens as she officially stepped into her role as New York Assemblywoman for the 70th Congressional District. The belief that she will make decisions that will benefit not only Harlem but also all of NYC, especially the boogie down Bronx, was expressed by colleagues throughout the boroughs.

Among those giving congratulatory remarks was New York County leader Keith Wright, who stated, “A man that loves what he does never has to work a day in his life. We represent this community with style, distinction and grace. Inez is ready to carry on the traditions of our neighborhood with the same. She doesn’t have to be taught to love her community. Thank you for your service.” Also among those making remarks were NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, stating, “Decisions in Albany impact the city.” Elected as Manhattan Borough president the same time Dickens was elected to the City Council, Stringer further stated, “We believed we could change the world. Inez is not going to Albany as a freshman. She’s a negotiator.”  

Councilwoman Annabel Palmer reflected, “Inez speaks and is the voice for all the people.”

Former Congressman Charles B. Rangel concluded, “I can’t help but sing the praises of Inez.”

If you happen to be in midtown and find yourself on 50th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues and are absolutely famished, and you spot Bobby Vann’s Restaurant, a classy looking place, and want to treat yourself to lunch, don’t order the lasagna. Although there are some other tasty items on the menu, there is only one way to describe the lasagna: Yuck!  Their version of lasagna is more like meat mush in brown gravy sauce. Writing from experience, my dish had one tiny whimpy looking noodle and to make it worst, it was sprinkled with cheddar cheese.  So I said to the waiter, “Where’s the ricotta, the mozzarella, the layered noodles? And what, no Marinara sauce?  And you call this lasagna?” To be fair, the bread was good, the wine exceptional and the service above adequate.  As for the lasagna, I am still trying to forget it.

It’s just an illusion, or is it?  The new exhibit being held at the Liberty Science Center entitled “ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems” will help you question and explore all that is behind the mind’s eye.  According to Paul Hoffman, president and CEO of Liberty Science Center, “Magic and science are intertwined, and LSC is the first museum with a Magician-in-Residence, David Blaine. The Illusion exhibit proves how easily the human mind can be fooled by combining magic with psychology, optical illusions with scientific reasoning, and confusion with clarity.”  Sounds mysterious, I’m curious.  The Liberty Science Center (LSC.org) is a 300,000-square-foot, not-for-profit learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to bringing the power, promise and pure fun of science and technology to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, the world’s largest IMAX Dome Theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs.  Are you ready to step into the world of Houdini? Check it out.

If it is February, then it must be Fashion Week. And yes, so it is. Next week is Fashion Week in New York. For those of you in the know, and for those of you who want to know, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi not only designs, he sings.  From what I hear, he puts on quite a show at the Café Carlyle. I had the pleasure of going to the Café Carlyle for my fifth wedding anniversary to see Eartha Kitt. What a treat, what an experience. There was a time when we could only enter clubs such as these through the back door and that was only if we were in the band. We’ve come a long way, baby.  Ms. Kitt was unbelievable. I will never, ever, never, ever, never forget the performance or being in an intimate little club, with dim lights, sitting right on top of the stage, with waiters dashing around and appearing at your beck and call, anticipating your every whim. Ahhh Black history.

Ayanna Haskin and David Alexander Jenkins were the epitome of regal elegance at its best and most dashing at the 160th Anniversary Philadelphia Academy of Music’s Concert and Ball, Philadelphia’s premier annual white-tie gala. Celebrating the Academy of Music’s iconic building’s 160th birthday, it was a spectacular evening of music, dining and dancing through the night, to the sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra, along with six other bands. Proceeds contribute to the restoration and preservation of The Academy of Music, a national historic landmark. And the beat goes on.

Until next week … kisses.