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New Ish

22 Jan

new ish2So Issa Rae has a new web series, The Legend of Human Black Guy. I like the spirit of it which I assume is to humanize the black man. I’ll have to keep watching. And if you’re in the DMV, Issa Rae will be at Sixth & I on February 24th to discuss her collection of essays The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. I’ve got my ticket.

And here’s the first episode of The Legend of Human Black Guy.

Your thoughts?

Also Lupe Fiasco’s latest CD Tetsuo & Youth dropped on Tuesday. I plan to pick up my copy tomorrow from Target. Yes the actual hard copy CD (people still do that). What can I say, I just love Lu and his artwork on the cover! Talk about a Renaissance man….

And if you’re in the Atlanta area, please check out my cousin’s new spot Dream Cafe.  Thus far they have hosted a Vision Board event as well as the venue’s kickoff opening celebration this past Sunday. There are more events sure to come. Shout out to my talented cousin (Nevaina Rhodes) and her generous sponsor! Please support if you can and spread the word down in the dirty.

 

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Meandering Thru Memphis

30 May

blues city cafe

I took a trip to Memphis, Tennessee last week. I’ve always wanted to go to the city and I finally got my chance. I stayed at the popular Peabody hotel in downtown Memphis — very swanky. I visited the Rock N’ Soul Museum and learned of the deep musical history of Memphis – soul, blues, and rock and roll. I went to the National Civil Rights Museum the actual site where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated — The Lorraine Hotel, but unfortunately the museum was closed. What establishment is closed on a Tuesday? #disappointed

But I was able to take a few pics.

 

lorraine hotel

 

lorraine hotel 3

lorraine hotel 2

 

The food was delicious and insanely unhealthy but one must indulge while on vacay. I dined at the Blues City Cafe, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, and Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous. Yummy. And I toured the famous Beale street — the once black dominated business and music district. Present day Beale Street is Memphis’s answer to Bourbon Street (never been there). It was a new experience seeing folks roam about drinking freely in the streets. It was liberating but slightly off-putting. What if something pops off?

I was surprised to learn that the city of Memphis is actually more populated than Atlanta. It was ranked the largest poor city in America in 2011. And it’s the fourth most dangerous city in the America. I knew that the TV show, The First 48, was filmed there but I didn’t know it was like.

I definitely enjoyed my time but I can’t imagine living there permanently. The city’s infrastructure desperately needs improvement. The downtown area was rather deserted and underdeveloped.  One block would be populated and the next abandoned. Also Memphis felt like the true south.  And although I love southern charm, I don’t care for the racist undertones and the stark economic disparity between blacks and whites. I know it’s reality but it’s unnerving nonetheless. And I suppose that’s how it should be — unsettling. I also learned that African-American women in Memphis die from breast cancer at a rate twice that of white women. Black women have all the luck don’t we?

Take a trip and judge for yourself. It’s sure to be an experience.

Here’s a pic of a mural that I stumbled across. Famous soul singer Otis Redding recorded many of his hits at Stax Records in Memphis. I attempted to check out the Stax Museum but it required a trek through a sketchy part of town so I aborted that mission.

 

otis

 

Why not close with some Otis? Here’s one of my favorites. Happy Weekend!

 

Say It Isn’t So Mama Cocoa!

28 Mar
Tamarra Thomas aka Mama Cocoa

Tamarra Thomas aka Mama Cocoa

My favorite local bakery/chocolate shop, Mama Cocoa’s Delights is closing its doors this Sunday. I’m heartbroken. Mama Cocoa’s Delights was founded by Tamarra Thomas three years ago in historic Old Bowie Maryland.

Thomas is a trained pastry chef and winner of the Food Network show Sweet Genius. Unfortunately Thomas hasn’t been able to recover from a slow season and has decided to end her entrepreneurial venture. Tragic. A reminder to us all to support quality local businesses.  If you’re in the DMV area, you should definitely check her out before she’s gone. I recommend the Fig Kelly’s and the peach pie. Deelish!  Thomas is hosting a farewell party on Sunday from 12:30 – 5:00PM.

We’ll miss you Mama Cocoa!

Mama Cocoa’s Delights
13015 9th Street 
Bowie, MD 20720
Wednesday – Sunday 
11:00AM to 5:00PM
301-366-9395

 

Furlough = Back to the Blog

2 Oct

I know it’s been awhile; let’s just say it’s been an active summer. So active I’ve lost 28 lbs. Woo hoo! I still have a few more to lose (per the doctor’s orders) but apparently I’ll run the risk of looking “too thin” if I shed any more weight according to some. I do carry my weight well, kinda always have which can be a blessing and a curse. So I’m sure to most onlookers I already appear to be at my goal weight (150 lbs). Last Sunday at church someone asked me to turn around so she could check out my rear end because she just couldn’t believe that I weighed as much as I currently do.  Funny right? Ass check in the house of the Lord.

Another “odd” thing — the discrepancies between black standards of female beauty and mainstream female beauty. Generally speaking, white culture seems to value rail thin women (a la Kate Moss) while black culture values thickness/curves. As rapper Wale said in his song Pretty Girls (Remix), “I’m try’na find a sister with the measurements of Nicki” (however grossly manufactured).  Sadly all women are  caught in the crossfire of what a primarily male-driven society deems attractive.  

I object.

And Wale can suck it!

4 Sep

The last time I was in NYC I went to Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster restaurant for brunch. I wish this spot was around when I lived in Harlem. I absolutely love the decor and the food was pretty good. The white wine sangria was yummy (and it should be for $15 a glass). I’ve had a better brunch but the vibe is just awesome — very artsy, diverse, hip. Its walls are adorned with artwork from local artists and the bar pictured below is exquisite. You should check it out when you’re in town.

photo from BlackBook magazine

Local Find: Mrs. K’s Tollhouse Restaurant

1 Aug
Image

(courtesy of Bellzatk fllickr)

Last Sunday a friend and I had brunch at Mrs. K’s Tollhouse Restaurant in Silver Spring, MD. I have driven by this place countless times, thinking I’m going to eat there one day. And I finally made it happen.

The food was quite tasty and there was a smorgasbord of everything from crab legs, bread pudding, freshly-made omelettes and waffles, to grits, bacon, steamed shrimp, smoked salmon, and cheesecake. It was layed out. And the garden right behind the restaurant is absolutely beautiful. Great photo-ops if you’re into that sorta thing.

If you decide to brunch-it, I suggest you make reservations cause it was plenty crowded. The cost is $30 with a bottomless non-alcoholic beverage included.

The Local Beat

1 Dec

Here are a few highlights of the happenings of the DMV.

1. Food for Life Supreme

This carryout has great desserts, a banging fish sandwich (East of the Mississippi), and great freshly brewed tea. It also carries Natural Brew Draft Root Beer. Delish.

2.  Fruit Bat

Located on the newly “revitalized” H Street strip, Fruit Bat offers a cozy vibe with tasty food and strong drinks (if you’re into that sorta thing).  My friend and I ate tacos and sipped cocktails while singing along to the tunes of Lauryn Hill, The Roots, and Jazmine Sullivan. I must say the bathroom needed some work but other than that it was a pleasant experience. I might go back to check out the DJ that spins on Friday nights at 10:00. It kinda reminded me of the spots in Adams Morgan circa 2002. I’m not sure if that’s the vibe every night though.

3. The Black List

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders displays his photographs of 50 accomplished African Americans at the National Portrait Gallery. Environmental activist Majora Carter, artist Kara Walker, and author Toni Morrison are some of  those featured in the exhibition. It’s free! And you can check out the The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard. It’s so pretty at night.

Here are a couple of my pics as well as a pic of the courtyard.

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