How did April 1st Become the Day of Fool’s?: Or The Foolish Origins of April Fool’s Day.

For as long as I can remember April 1st was always “All Fool’s Day”.  And for just as long the first of April was a day to play pranks on other’s (or get pranked). But where did this strange tradition stem from? Why is this unofficial “Holiday” so integrated into our culture, and why do we just blindly play along without much question?

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The answer lies yet again in the (“murky”) past and it may not be just one thing, but elements of many things that shaped this “foolish” day to what it is now.

April Fools pranks for kidsNow turn your watch back, about seven hundred years! Observed by various different cultures many sources are still not quite sure of the true origin of the day of “All Fools” day. Now chief among the legends is that in France back in 1582, when they changed over from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar (which we still use in modern times) people were very slow in getting the news of the change over, and still observed the new year on April 1st instead of January 1st and were the targets of ridicule, hoaxes and jokes.

 

d8ea510e322d86f77a9c0e9658062fa8Many pranks were played on people during this day (and even two days in a row) such as placing handmade fishes made of paper on each-others backs, which was referred to as “Poisson d’avril” or April Fish which signified a person very dumb and easy to fool person.

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As this tradition spread across Scotland and Great Britain on this day, “foolish” people were sent on fake errands and others would attach or pin “kick me” signs on peoples back sides, which is still practiced today. They are other legends, but they are so “foolish” in nature I will not repeat them here because they are very unlikely to have anything to do with the how and why of this day.

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Whatever the origin of April 1st “tom foolery” it’s still a lot of fun (as long as no one gets hurt) and many a clever joke or prank can and has left us on the floor splitting our sides with laughter!

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With all this being said……..Happy Pranking guys!

 

Drips Live Art & Brunch Experience: Featuring Street Artist Zimer.

On March 23rd I attended the Drips live art & Brunch event at Rice & Gold located next (actually attached) to Hotel 50 Bowery on 50 Bowery (of course) in Chinatown for a live (Street art) and brunch event. While the concept is not new, it was a hell of an experience (and good time).

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The show featuring street artist Zimer, with a host of other very talented street artist, painting portraits right before my eyes while I noshed on a delicious brunch of Asian cuisine which consisted of Pork & Shrimp Dumplings , Steak Tartare Tartlets, Rice Cake Skewers w/ Miso Glaze, Lemongrass Pork Skewers, Congee w/ all the fixings for an hour.

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The next hour I was offered Bacon, Egg and Cheese Fried Rice, Veggie Noodle Supreme, Thai Chicken Wings & Waffles at a buffet station, and an hour after that a one hour carving station of: Char Siu, Pickled Daikon, Roasted Kimchi. Now if that was not enough it ended with a Dessert station of: French Toast Bar, Ice cream, with toppings of rainbow sprinkles, vanilla whipped cream, and caramel.

There was also a sangria special for $6.00 as well as complimentary red wine by: by Intrinsic Wine Co, with Zimer’s Art work on the bottle!

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While I ate a host of incredible street artist’s turned blank canvases into full blown works of art!

20190323_155501(Artist: Rayneese Primrose and her portrait of Rihanna)

20190323_151815(Artist: Savior Elmundo who curated the street artists for the event)

 

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20190325_130925(Street Artist: Tommy Re)

20190325_130727(DJ Tahliem kept the beats going the whole time)

(Artist: Evan Campanella)

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20190323_151205(Art by: Ronnie)

In addition to all the excitement was meeting up with good friend Jean Germain  and his boy Rob, and the meeting of new friends.

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Special thanks to Rice & Gold manager Justin Gonzalez (who is also Director of Food & Beverage) for his gracious hospitality, and for showing me around the spacious venues of Hotel 50 Bowery!

20190325_131224(Savior Elmundo & Rice & Gold manager Justin Gonzalez)

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Now that I had my fill of good food, great drinks, fabulous street art, and wonderful company in Chinatown, I must now head back to Harlem (there seems to be trouble brewing) after receiving a covert message that a “Mastermind” is planning to launch an act of CHAOS!

Credits:

Hotel 50 Bowery

Rice & Gold

Intrinsic Wine Co

Justin Gonzalez

Jean Germain

Savior Elmundo

Rayneese Primrose

Ronnie

Evan Campanella

Tommy Re

DJ Tahliem

Zimer

Men’s Charm Bracelets: How lucky are your charms?

The word “Charm” according to the Oxford Dictionaries  means: The power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others. While the Camridge English Dictionary says: an object or saying  that is thought to have magical powers, such as the ability to bring good luck.

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And according to The History of Charms and Charm Bracelets: A Short Introduction by David Clark: “Although it is almost impossible to determine when charm bracelets appeared in their modern form, charms, miniature figurines and decorative pendants used to be worn as an amulet to deter evil spirits and bad luck. Indeed the carrying of charms to ward off evil dates back to the Neolithic era in which hunters would carry interesting stones and trinkets for good luck. It wasn’t until the Egyptian Age that we have evidence of Pharaohs being buried with elaborate gold and silver jewelery and jewellery embedded with precious and rare stones. It is in many of such tombs that archaeologists rescued the first recognisable examples of charms and charm bracelets.”
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In the History of Charm Bracelets by Sierra Bailey, she says: “

“During the Roman Empire, Christians would use tiny fish charms hidden in their clothing to identify themselves to other Christians. Jewish scholars of the same period would write tiny passages of Jewish law and put them in amulets round their necks to keep the law close to their heart at all times. Medieval knights wore charms for protection in battle. Charms also were worn in the Dark Ages to denote family origin and religious and political convictions.

The first trend of charm bracelets were worn by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians and Hittites in the form of bracelets to which they attached small objects they believed had special powers around 500 bce.”

“The modern charm bracelet originated with Queen Victoria during the late 1800’s in England when she started wearing a gold bracelet chain with lockets containing family portraits.  Women in the European noble classes began to copy the Queen and wore bracelets adorned with hanging lockets and glass beads. Queen Victoria not only enjoyed wearing charm bracelets, but she would give them as gifts as well. When her beloved Prince Albert died, she even made “mourning” charms popular; lockets of hair from the deceased, miniature portraits of the deceased and charms carved in jet.

In 1889, Tiffany and Co. introduced their first charm bracelet: a silver link bracelet with a single heart dangling from it, a bracelet which is still an iconic symbol for Tiffany today.”

So how lucky are your charms???

 

Spring Equinox Closet Cleaning: Start a Fresh Wardrobe for the New Season.

Winter time winds are starting to blow away, giving rise to the budding flowers. Yes the seasonal changing of the guard is here shifting us into a warmer climate (well here on the east coast at least).

So if your like me you want to get organized for the spring by doing equinox spring closet cleaning for the season, which will make an easy transition from spring to summer wardrobe.  Yes, It’s a lot of work but someone has to do it, and if you want it done right it has to be you!

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So let’s get started shall we???

The first thing on the list (which shouldn’t be first) is looking for some of the  hot new items to add to your closet from the ideas you got from Fashion Week! Like I said this shouldn’t be the first thing (but if your like me it is!) you need to do, but it can give you an incentive to actually do the first real thing…..Take everything out of your closet and toss it on the floor. (Yes. All Of It!)

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Doing this will not only force you to sort through all of your clothes and take a good hard look at what you do not wear anymore, what you wear often, and what you don’t want to wear again, and what you should be wearing more of. (This is going to take a while indeed) What’s important is that you got this far and there is no turning back now (unless your that Oscar Madison sort of fellow).

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What next you ask? Piles, piles and more piles! Make piles of shirts, piles of jackets, piles of coats, shirts, waistcoats, pants, etc. Once you have finished making these God awful piles, you will now proceed to sort through these piles.

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Why do you ask? So we can look for (in each respective pile of course) items that are damaged or worn out beyond repair, items that can be repaired (for this one you must make a whole new pile for items that are worth being repaired , and one for not worth being repaired).

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Yes you can call that one a trash pile, but the “Green New Deal” me will recycle, donate, sell, and repurpose these items to reduce my carbon footprint! (I’m feeling really special right about now!)

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Ok now back to the situation at hand. Now we begin to sort the resorted piles into what we can wear for the next few weeks until it gets too warm to wear the winter weight items. Now there is only one final sort, we sort the clothes from the pile that will be stored away till next winter (yes we already decided to keep them from the previous sorts) to make room for the early spring line up!

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I know this was daunting and it took a few hours at least, but there is  just one last pile, and what piles is that you sigh? The ever-present (and annoying) Maybe pile! Yes the pile of clothes that you just couldn’t (no matter how hard you tried) decide if you are going to give them up or keep them.

Foldable Clothes Bag Storage - Grey 4-1700x1700But there is good news, you do not have to decide now, you just simply fold all the items in the “Maybe Pile” put them in a bag and place them next to the bags of the new spring clothes you invested in before you began this monumental endeavor. (you know, you placed them against the wall on the other side of the room because you had no space in the closet!). The Opening Ceremony, Zara, Uniglo, Joseph & Lyman, etc. Items are now ready to be removed from their bags, and inserted into your newly cleaned out (hopefully with enough space) closet to accommodate the new spring arrivals!

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Now you will (I will, we will) add a few wardrobe updates along the way between spring and summer which will take us back to where we started as we progress through the seasons again. And faithfully waiting for us in the right hand corner of our closet when we again say to ourselves “I have nothing to wear”, is the maybe pile bag to give us new inspiration!

The Real Story Behind St. Patrick’s Day: Or the True History of a Fake Saint.

Top of the morning to yea Matey’s!!!! It’s March again and we all know what that means. As we slowly creep towards the 17th of March everything seems to be going a bit green, and I don’t mean the environmental kind!

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Yes……..you guessed it……people start turning green (not with envy) but rather to gear up for that one day during the year when everyone wants to be Irish, (Well not really, but more of an excuse to get knackered off their head and blame it on little green men just yeah high!) for one day!

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So how did all of this hoopla come about to be celebrated on the 17th of March? Well it was made up of course, in part to give the early Irish immigrants in the U.S. a day of national pride to call their own (as they were treated quite poorly back then). and second part to separate you from the green in your purse or wallet! (Yes capitalism).  So how did so many people end up every year celebrating a fake Feast for a fake Saint on a fake Holiday? (Yes it was all manufactured).

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Well it all started  somewhere around 375-415 AD  in the 5th century (yet again as with these BS tales, it’s murky! No one is quite sure of the exact date), a couple by the name of Calpurnius and Conchessa in Scotland (some say Wales!) had a son which they named Maewyn Succat, (another account says “Palladius”) born into privilege and wealth in the Roman British colonies (Yes, he was not even Irish, he was English!) who would later change his name to Patricius upon becoming a priest.

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So the only so-called truth we have is from Maewyn Succat/Patricius himself in the form of two letters written in Latin by him towards the end of his life which somehow survived. As a teenager he was kidnapped by pirates (they were Irish) and was sold into slavery in Ireland.  Forced to work as a shepherd under horrible conditions by his master for six years, this atheist teen (believe it or not) had a dream in which God spoke to him urging him to escape to the coast where he would find a ship to take him back to Britain. Doing so he found another group of (you guessed it) pirates who very reluctantly gave him passage back to Britain.

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Reuniting with his parents in Wales, instead of reverting back to a life of leisure he traveled to France and joined the Roman Catholic Church and became a priest, and later a Bishop. Upon having yet another dream in which the people of Ireland called out to him, he returned to Ireland to convert the people of the island to Christianity.

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The Bishop Patricius (the name he now assumed) was successful in building many churches and converting thousands of the Irish to Christianity for about 40 years. It is said that he died on March 17th 460 AD, while others say he was born March 17th. Both are heavily disputed!

 

While he was never canonized by the church as a Saint (which means he is not really one) he is considered the patron Saint of Ireland. In order for the Vatican to consider a priest or Bishop to be canonized as a Saint there is a five step process: 

1) wait five years after one’s death. (okay he has more than that under his robe. And this step can be waived by the Pope).  2) Become a servant of God. (check, he’s got that. God spoke to him after all!).  3) Show proof of a life of heroic virtue. (He did risk life and limb returning to the country of his enslavement to overthrow Paganism there, that’s sort of heroic!)  4) Verified miracles. (None at all, unless you count how he did not get killed upon his return to Ireland!) 5) Canonisation. (Never happened to date).

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Well three out of five ain’t bad, but the last two steps are crucial to becoming a bona-fide Saint.  However St. Patrick’s fans did try to fabricate the “Miracles” of step #4. Let’s take a look at the bull shit they came up with and debunk them with the“Known Facts”!

Fake Myth/Miracle: Saint Patrick was attacked by snakes during a 40 day fast, so he delivered a sermon that drove them all into the sea, ridding the country of snakes for all time!

“Known Facts”: Ireland never had any snakes on the island ever! The last Ice Age left the island surrounded by water and making the geography too cold for the reptilian ectotherm’s to survive anyway.

Fake Myth/Miracle: Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

“Known Facts”: The shamrock already had a centuries old Pagan symbolic tradition  in Ireland and the number three was a staple of paganism as many pagan religions have three primary gods. He may have refit it for his own needs, but he didn’t bring anything unique to it.

Fake Myth/Miracle: He was the first to preach Christianity in Ireland.

“Known Facts”: There were Christians in Ireland way before St. Patrick’s time. The pope sent him on a missionary to preach to the Christians of Ireland. He was not the first or only one to do so.

Fake Myth/Miracle: Green is the color of St. Patrick.

“Known Facts”: Members of the Order of St. Patrick actually used blue as their symbolic color. The shade: St. Patrick’s blue.

Fake Myth/Miracle:  Leprechauns are related to St. Patrick’s day.

“Known Facts”:  Leprechauns don’t have a damn bloody thing to do with St. Patricks Day! It was a later invention to make the day more interesting and to capatilze on the holiday.

Fake Myth/Miracle: Saint Patrick’s Day Traditions began in Ireland.

“Known Facts”: “Saint Patrick’s Day traditions we may think of as traditionally Irish actually originated in the USA. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred in New York City in 1782, and it became an annual event in 1848. Meanwhile, it wasn’t until 1931 that Ireland held an official St. Patrick’s Day parade. And as for alcohol consumption, it was not a staple of the holiday in Ireland by any means. In fact, until the 1960s, pubs in Ireland were closed on March 17, in observance of the religious holiday.”

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“In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday and has been since the beginning of the 20th century, but the first parade wasn’t held in its honour until the 1930s.

In the mid-1990s Ireland began to use St. Patrick’s Day to promote tourism and cultural identity, some say to reclaim the holiday from the United States where it has become a bit tacky. Others in Ireland and even in the US are concerned that the holiday has become too secular.

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Today St. Patrick isn’t much of a thought at all in our celebrations of the famous holiday. Mostly we drink Guinness beer and enjoy dressing like Leprechauns. Sure there is the traditional Celtic music, dancing and dress to provide some touches of authenticity, but those touches are largely absent in Ireland’s own celebrations. What St. Patrick’s Day has become now is largely symbolic.”

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Okay there you have it. The Patron Saint of Ireland is actually British, he became a Bishop but never a true Saint, the color of his order was actually Blue, not Green, he was attributed the “Miracle” of ridding Ireland of snakes it never had; and nobody really knows if he was born or died on March 17th.

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But one thing we do know for sure, is that U.S. Consumers spent roughly 5.9 Billion on St Patrick’s Day last year! Who says it’s not easy being “Green”!!!

Fashion Week Spotlight: Diva Bigg, Doing Big Things.

Diva Bigg returns to Fashion Week 2019! Doing Fashion Show after fashion show much to the delight of us here at the Elegant Classy Gentleman Magazine. The Large and in Charge Designer returned to fashion week this year with a bang!

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At the FTM Fashion Week Show, Diva Bigg Designs one again positioned toward the end of runway lineup to steal the show! This independent Designer is creating designs not only for Plus Size Women, but for All Types of Women. Needless to say this designer is making a BIGG Statement across the Fashion World!

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Two days later at the SBFW Fashion Week Show, Diva Bigg’s designs took over the runway as she was once again positioned at the end of the show to maximize the exposure of her larger than life designs!

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(BOLD STATEMENT/BIGG MESSAGE)

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Diva Bigg’s Designs, Style, and message to the fashion world is as profound as it is stylish! Fashion For All! Diva Bigg will be holding a show in Paris and across the United States all this year! We get the feeling that this independent designer is going to blow up….BIGG!!! And I mean DIVA BIGG!!!

 

CREDITS:

Mike Strange: Editor-in-Chief

Natasha Swartz: Principal Photographer

Cyntihia Vargas: Special Assistant to the Elegant Classy Magazine

Photo Credit: Photoshootsavage/Natasha Swartz (Natasha-Photo-Studio)/Mike Strange.