All posts by Herve Jean-Baptiste

HarlemEatUp at Harlem’s The Five and Diamond

As you may or may not know the Harlem EatUp! Festival was last weekend’s invitation to try one of the many Harlem restaurants.  Dinners were sponsored by many organizations and often in conjunction with guest chefs from around the country.  The event was organized by Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster fame and the first annual Harlem EatUp! Festival took place May 14-17.

As I’ve previously written, I’ll be writing more about the event and my reflections thereon in the following weeks.  However the first thing I need to mention is my Friday night experience at The Five and Diamond.

Now five years old, The 5 and Diamond serves New American food in Lower Harlem.   It is located at2072 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.  Some people call the area South Harlem (SOHA).  HarlemCondoLife.com coined the strip on which is is located HarlemRestaurantRow (there are now many distinct Restaurant Rows in Harlem).   The May 15 evening features Chef Joseph Hayes III and Guest Chef Marvin Woods.  6pm and 8:30pm seatings were available for $85.

I arrived for the second seating.  The place was packed and buzzing. I was greeted warmly by owners who were kind enough to seat me at their table.   I was immediately offered a glass of satisfying red wine and then the food started flowing.   The featured chefs Joseph Hayes III and Guest Chef Marvin Woods did an amazing job.  Sadly I missed out on the Citrus Salad but I really enjoyed the Duck Duck Dua, the Caribbean Seafood Sancocho, the Mahogany Lacquered Rack of Lamb, and the Fig & Tart Cherry Bread Pudding.  Each course was better than the last,.  And as I am a sucker for duck, lamb and bread pudding, all my favorites were covered, and covered well.

Entertainment was provided on an ongoing basis by Kersten Stevens and Gail Blanche-Gill.  Local musicians and their band who serenaded us with uplifting sounds throughout the eventing.

All in all it was a magical experience.

We have always been big fans of The Five and Diamond.  They are pioneers, survivors and innovators,  in so many senses of these words.

We wish them nothing but continued success and all the best.

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Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street

Bobby Womack Photo: 159512

We continue to be fascinated by “where Harlem begins and ends”. Not just in terms of Harlem’s physical boundaries.  But in terms of the many changes happening in and around Harlem which alter day to day life within Harlem, as well as people’s perceptions of what Harlem has been, is and can/will be.

Which is why it’s important to stay connected to artifacts connecting us to Harlem’s past.

To that end, a reader from Central Harlem and attending Columbia  University reintroduced us to Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street.  Thank you!

The video and lyrics are presented below.  Please take a moment to listen, enjoy, reflect and perhaps most importantly – share.

VIDEO

LYRICS

I was the third brother of five
Doing whatever I had to do to survive
I’m not saying what I did was alright
Trying to break out of the ghetto was a day to day fight

Been down so long, getting up didn’t cross my mind
I knew there was a better way of life and I was just trying to find
You don’t know what you’ll do until you’re put under pressure
Across 110th Street is a hell of a tester

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that’s weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won’t let the junkie go free

Across 110th Street
Woman trying to catch a trick on the street, ooh baby
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street, oh

I got one more thing I’d like to yell about right now
Hey brother, there’s a better way out
Snorting that coke, shooting that dope man, you’re copping out
Take my advice, it’s either live or die
You’ve got to be strong, if you want to survive

The family on the other side of town
Would catch hell without a ghetto around
In every city you find the same thing going down
Harlem is the capital of every ghetto town
Help me sing it

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that’s weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won’t let the junkie go free

Oh, across 110th Street
A woman trying to catch a trick on the street, ooh baby
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street
Yes, he can

Oh, look around you, look around you
Look around you, look around you, yeah

Songwriters
WOMACK, BOBBY

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Read more: Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street Lyrics | MetroLyrics

-Herve Jean-Baptiste

Introducing Miss Harlem Shake 2014 Ijeoma Eboh

Ms HarlemShake 2014

Photo credit Will Vaultz Photography

After launching the Miss Harlem Shake contest in May and meeting over 50 wonderful worthy contenders, a winner was crowned on Saturday, September 13!

One hundred guests, 8 Harlem-based judges and five semi-finalists witnessed Ijeoma Eboh receive the Golden Milkshake Cup and title of Miss Harlem Shake 2014.

Ijeoma’s story is inspiring and represents the unique spirit and culture of Harlem’s residents. Ijeoma, 23 years old, is a graduate of Harvard University and is now pursuing a doctoral degree in History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia. She’s also a blogger and founder of KlassyKinks.com, which aims to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world and encourage people to get back to their roots. She is a member of the Healthy Harlem team at Harlem Children’s Zone and encourages Harlem’s youth to be happier and healthier.

In addition to winning fame, $500 cash, and free burgers for a year, Ijeoma’s charity of choice Harlem Children’s Zone also received a $1,000 donation.

The eight judges and event host: Patrick Riley (host), Farrah Burns, Brenda Braxton, Vy Higginsen, Ken Hanson, Kevin McQueen, Manwe, Cynde Watson, Patrick Riley, Byl Thompson.

The five Miss Harlem Shake finalists: Casandra Rosario, Amara Korley, Ijeoma Eboh, Elan Ferguson Danielle Summons!.

HarlemCondoLife has been a huge fan of Harlem Shake from day one.  We were there when it was emerging from concept to reality.  Through press-only pre-opening through grand opening.  We’ve remained supporters directly or indirectly through our sister businesses as it has grown into an example of the success that can and is Harlem.  We are also customers who love their food, their atmosphere, and their home delivery service via Seamless, which operates flawlessly even on the latest of nights.

Kudos Harlem Shake.

Congratulations and welcome Ijeoma!

 

Sundae Sermon This Sunday St. Nicholas Park

sundae sermon

Sundae Sermon is back this Sunday in Harlem!

Hosted by Bevy Smith (Bravo Fashion Queens).

Featuring a special performance by the cast of Mighty Real showcasing the life of dance music’s one and only Sylvester.  And of course music by our favorite DJ Stormin’ Norman and his friends.

For those of you not familiar with Sylvester, know this.  On September 20, 2004, Sylvester’s anthem record, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. A year later, on September 19, 2005, Sylvester himself was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his achievement as an artist.  An activist who campaigned against the spread of HIV/AIDS, Sylvester died from complications arising from the virus in 1988.  HOWEVER – his trailblazing style and his love of life and music lives on in events like Sundae Sermon.  Which is one of the many reasons why Sundae Sermon matters.

We hope the community’s love for this event  – recently featured in a leading NYC publication thanks to Michael Feeney,  helped in some small way to tip the scales in the event’s favor.

AMEN!

 



Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits


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