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Quote: Norm Lewis (Broadway’s 1st Black Phantom)

norm lewis

“Just show up

Just have a presence

And just make a loud noise

because we all want to be heard”

~~~

“Phantom of the Opera” featuring Norm Lewis begins on Monday, May 12, at the Majestic Theater.  “Phantom of the Opera” is the longest running show in Broadway history. It’s a turn-of-the-century tale of a deformed composer haunting the Paris Opera House, where he lures in a young singer.  Thirteen men have played the role of Phantom on Broadway, but the one making headlines is Norm Lewis.  Norm Lewis plays Sen. Edison Davis on ABC’s “Scandal,” but the role as Phantom is his biggest yet.

via Person of the Week: Norm Lewis Becomes Broadway’s 1st Black Phantom – ABC News.

Seasoned Vegan – Harlem’s First Full Service Vegan Restaurant Now Open

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With the recent trend of vegan restaurants opening coast to coast from New York to LA, it was only a matter of time before Harlem was next on the list.  Seasoned Vegan Harlem’s first full service vegan restaurant is now opened for business.  Seasoned Vegan is a family business owned by mother and son, Brenda and Aaron Beener specializing in gourmet vegan food.  They give typical Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and American dishes a vegan, home cooked, soulful twist.

Vegan cooking has become sort of an art form for certain chefs.  If the largely successful “Blossom” located on the Upper West Side is any indication of things to come, we will be seeing more and more vegan restaurants.  When I first dined at Blossom with my sister who has been a vegan for 10  years, I was skeptical.  After trying it I was blown away at how surprisingly flavorful and good it was.

Harlem’s Seasoned Vegan write on their website “The food you love, veganized”.  Great slogan!  I am anxious to try this new place out to see for myself.  For those who may not be aware of what vegan food is, check out this brief write up about it: What is VEGAN.  As I mentioned earlier one of my sisters is a vegan and before that was a vegetarian so I have been privileged to some pretty good homemade meals over the years.  Along with plenty of gentle lecturing on why I should not eat bacon or steak, dairy etc., or any animal products for that matter.  Even though I haven’t changed my ways yet, I understand and admire the vegan way and applaud it.  You do not have to be a vegan to eat and enjoy vegan food.  It is for everyone and I will say that you feel so healthy after having a good vegan dinner.

By the looks of Seasoned Vegans dishes and desserts I imagine they will draw a nice crowd of loyal customers as well as curious new ones.  I am looking forward to visiting them for dinner very soon.  We are so fortunate to have such a diverse and specialized selection of restaurants and businesses here in Harlem.

Welcome to the neighborhood Seasoned Vegan!

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Seasoned Vegan MENU
55 St. Nicholas Avenue
Harlem, NY 10026
(212)222-0092

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (Google Doodles)

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Saint Patrick’s Day: Google Doodle marks patron saint of Ireland, as they continue to provide creative and artistic designs for their “search window.”

Wishing a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day today to all of our Irish friends in New York and around the country.  Enjoy the celebration and be safe!

Here is a list of 10 things you may not know about Saint Patrick.

      CLICK ON PHOTO
happy-saint-patricks-day4

Sunday Jazz Corner with Jimmie Lunceford

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James Melvin “Jimmie” Lunceford (June 6, 1902 – July 12, 1947) was an American Jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era.

Jimmie Lunceford is the odd man out in jazz history. This bandleader made no waves with his musicianship – his preferred instrument was the conductor’s baton – and he possessed neither the elegance of Ellington nor the hipster hauteur of Calloway. But Lunceford knew how to entertain an audience, and he led one of the finest jazz bands of the 1930s. When Lunceford’s ensemble took a booking at the Cotton Club, following in the footsteps of Cab and the Duke, dancers would hardly have missed a beat. “Harlem Shout” demonstrates the core virtues of this orchestra: its swinging riff-based charts, its hot and polished section work, and (another calling card of Lunceford’s bands) high-note trumpet theatrics, provided here by Paul Webster. Like a hearty band of soldiers, this ensemble always maintained discipline under fire, and there was inevitably plenty of hot stuff around when folks like Sy Oliver and Eddie Durham were handing out the parts. Perhaps if Lunceford had lived longer – he died, reportedly of a heart attack (although under suspicious circumstances), at age 45 – he might have been fêted as elder statesman of jazz. But, as it stands, he is little more than a half-remembered name for most younger jazz fans. Tis pity, ’cause this band was sublime.  Reviewer Credit: Ted Gioia

Read Wikipedia on Jimmie Lunceford stating rumors about his death (suspicious circumstances) that he was actually poisoned in Seaside, Oregon by a restaurant owner.

Tain’t What You Do – Jimmie Lunceford

Jimmie Lunceford and His Dance Orchestra 1936 (LIVE)

Harlem Shout – Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra