Have you ever noticed that the calendar year is just chocked full of holidays? No sooner do we recover from all of the New Year’s gaiety and Dr. King solemnity, it’s time to jump into gear for February. February is one of my favorite months of the year. I look forward to Groundhog Day and Candle Day, when all of the candles are blessed, both on Feb. 2. Then there is Valentine’s Day, a good opportunity for us to be loving, sweet and kind. The next week will be President’s Day, when most of us will, or some of us will, get a three-day weekend. All of these celebrations are covered, surrounded and embraced by the glory of Black History Month. Let’s make the very best of it; there is so much to be thankful for.
Did you know the latest thing in the quest for better health, fewer colds and flu and general well-being is salt therapy? A little skeptical, I tried it for myself, and the results are in. Yes, the effects are miraculous, as it is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Envision it if you can. Salt therapy takes place in what is called a breathe room. The floor of the dimly lit room is layered in pink salt, which offers its own therapeutic benefits for those walking shoeless on it. Unlike a sauna, the room temperature is set at a very comfortable level—not too cold, not too hot. In fact, blankets are available, offering a little warmth if you are chilly as you stretch out on a lounge chair.
The soft hissing of salt being infused into the room is melodically mesmerizing. While the mind, body, and soul drift off into unknown places, the inhaled salt is busy doing its thing: cleansing the body, ridding it of toxins and opening passageways you didn’t even know you had. At the end of the session, which is approximately 30 minutes, you walk out feeling renewed, refreshed and invigorated. I actually felt the rejuvenating presence for several days, after which it became subliminal. Reasonably priced at approximately $40 per session, the Breathe Salt Room is located at the Oasis Spa on Park Avenue. The effects are long lasting, so this therapy isn’t an indulgence you have to partake of on a weekly basis. However, if you go once, you will definitely want to go again.
Attended by notable New Yorkers and several of the city’s elected officials, the Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee Luncheon was held at Current at Pier 59. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the completion, care, enhancement and ongoing sustainability of Hudson River Park, which receives no public funding for its operations, maintenance and programming. Jenny Mollen Biggs and longtime park supporter Martha Stewart were guest speakers at the event, and Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet received the first-ever Playground Committee Champion Award. The Playground Committee comprises a group of parents working to promote and support everything Hudson River Park has to offer, especially as it relates to children.
The National CARES Mentoring Movement presented its third annual For the Love of Our Children Gala hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Tamron Hall and Georgetown University distinguished professor and best-selling author, Michael Eric Dyson. This year’s gala, held at Ziegfeld Ballroom on West 54th Street, celebrated three honorees who continue to inspire communities and activate change through art, ministry and advocacy work on behalf of people who have been harmed and marginalized. Honorees were Emmy-winning actress Cicely Tyson; North Carolina-based minister and NAACP leader, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II; and Tarana Burke, activist and art curator who created the “Me Too” campaign in 2007 to support and heal girls and women who have experienced sexual violence. Each year, the For the Love of Our Children Gala helps to raise the critical funding needed to support the programmatic efforts that support and advance the nation’s most unprotected, harmed and impoverished Black children. Funds are also used to support and facilitate the continued expansion of the organization’s University for Parents, which provides holistic life-management and work development training for impoverished parents. For more information, visit www.caresmentoring.org or follow #CARESGala18 on social media.
Does anyone remember Dorothy Malone who played Constance McKenzie on “Peyton Place?” Well, she died last week at age 93. I’d never heard of her, mainly because I’ve only heard about “Peyton Place” but never watched the show. However, I do remember people speaking of the nighttime soap opera. At one time it was all the rage. Seems as though Malone starred in a lot of the old black and white movies, playing opposite actors such as Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Kirk Douglas. Rock Hudson! Now there’s a name you don’t hear anymore, and I don’t recall any movies starring him either.
What I am waiting for—make that longing for—are a month-long series of Black movies starring Black actors and even those with Black directors, and dare I say Black producers. After all, it is Black History month. From the first Black movie ever made, through the Blaxploitation, to Jackie Brown, bring it on. Surprisingly, while channel surfing I came across the movie “Anna Lucasta,” starring Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis Jr. I don’t even know what channel it was on. All I know is, I was glued to the movie from beginning to end.
They just don’t make movies like that anymore. You never knew whether the character played by Kitt actually had relations of the nefarious kind or was just a flirt; the intrigue was captivating. No, Sammy Davis Jr. didn’t take his clothes off, but he did have one of his fantastic dance scenes in the movie during a hallucination sequence, and that was a real treat. In those days, the most X-rated a film could get was that the characters drank too much and they smoked cigarettes. Call me rather reserved, but that’s X-rated enough for me, especially with a 12-year-old in the house with a TV in her room, which she watches long after mommy has fallen asleep. Sweet dreams.
Until next week … kisses.