Upon hearing the designer Edwing D’ Angelo returned to Harlem, I set out to arrange a meeting with him at his brand new “Style Lab” to take a look and meet the fashion week legend himself.
Having made an appointment for the following Friday, I prepared to meet this wonderful fashion creative at his new flagship atelier in Harlem. When I arrived Edwing had stepped out to run some errands (I was unaware it was his birthday) and his assistant fixed me a drink (the style lab has a full functioning bar on site) and made me feel at home in this beautiful space.
As you walk in the door, you are in the spotlight surrounded by his beautiful creations and a real life runway running straight from the front door to the back of the space, with a full length mirror at the end. enough to make any client feel like a fashion model!
While I waited for this Fashion Week superstar to return, I inspected both the women’s and men’s creations of this artistic genius (enough to make your jaw drop) to my delight.
After an hour or so, Edwing had not returned and I had to go and interview another designer. Edwing’s hostess informed me that Edwing had left his phone in the atelier, but invited me to return later as guests were to arrived for a party to celebrate the designers birthday.
A couple of hours later I returned and Edwing was attending to his guests (and clients) and welcomed me to the atelier. I decided to watch Edwing in his natural element, as he moved about with grace and style.
Not wanting to ask interview questions while in the middle of his birthday gathering, I decided to defer the Q&A for another time in the future.
But in the meantime stop by his 2000 square foot Style-lab on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and 131st Street in Harlem and get yourself a designer outfit off the rack (or have him custom make you one) and feel like you are a model in fashion week.
Alison East Harlem, literally on the corner of 104th Street & Lexington Ave is a new restaurant which opened back in September of 2019. I was riding around Central Park North and happened to make a detour (Lazy Summer Days) off of 5th Ave and spotted the place. I stopped in for glass of wine and some clam sliders, and decided to return to a dinner review.
The out door space is very cozy, and of course spacious.
The music playing on the speaker is a mix of chill songs that appeals to everyone. I was offered a choice to dine in or outdoors by my waitress, so I grabbed a seat right on the corner of the block of 104th (I could see everything) and scanned my table for the menu (becoming standard now) to check their petty good selection of wines.
While they did not have a Chardonnay selection, they did in fact have a blend. Santo Toma’s Chenin Blanc, Colombard & Chardonnay 2020– Beja California, Mexico.
To start I ordered the Clam Strips, which was Panko-crispy clams on top of Sambal aioli.
The clam strips are a must have here, fried okra well mixed in the sambal aioli made this a very tasty and appetizing starter.
Not one to pass up some sea food, I ordered a dozen oysters as well. But what really made my eyes widen, was the Roasted Quail laid on top of a shallow pool of Black bean puree, and carrot rice!
Now I love me some Quail! (I have been known to order all the quail in some spots) And this dish did not disappoint. The black bean puree gave an extra level of flavor and texture to the small delicious bird. I was impressed, and more than satisfied with the meal.
This new restaurant pretty much has it all, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Bar, Oyster Bar, Beer. And they seem to do it very well. Alison has something for, and is for everybody! I can’t wait to return for Brunch!
Alison is located at:1651 Lexington Ave East Harlem, New York 10029. 104th Street & Lexington. www.alison.com (646) 876-1054.
Ties are an obligatory as well as inexplicably bound to being a Gentleman. Bow ties are especially so! There is a certain elegance that comes with wearing a bow tie that simply cannot be denied. However when I met the distinguished gentleman (OG) Gregory Bruce he showed me how he took the concept of the Bow Tie with his custom brand Bows Nouveau to a more loftier level!
Mr. Bruce’s unique and unconventional bow ties are not only hand made by ⁸him, but are also named. Wearing bow ties since a boy, it was always part of his core wardrobe. Unhappy with the poor quality (and the high prices) of bow ties in Lord & Taylor (a birthday gift for himself) he decided to make his own.
Gregory takes great care in choosing the fabric and textiles for his custom hand made ties, quality is a must, perfect fit…a must! Self taught to sew by hand, and then teaching himself to operate a sewing machine Gregory launched himself completely into his (late in life master craft) brand (made in Harlem!) to create a whole new vision in men’s fashion neckwear!
Check out more of this new renaissance in fashion neckwear at his website: http://www.bowsnouveau.com to purchase. Also see his social media on Facebook and Instagram: @bowsnouveau
On June 30th 1967 the United State Air Force selected Robert H. Lawrence Jr, as a member of the third group of aerospace research pilots on the Manned Orbital Laboratory. The M.O.L. was a joint project of the National Reconnaissance Office and the USAF, with the mission of taking high resolution photo imagery of enemy locations from space during the cold war. The mini-space stations with a 2 man crew would for a month at a time in low earth orbit to spy on hostile enemy sites from modified Gemini Capsules. Lawrence’s selection made him the first African American Astronaut by any national space program.
Born in Chicago 1935 October 2nd, Lawrence finished high school at 16, earned a Bachelor’s of Science in chemistry at age 20, and later became an Air Force Officer and highly accomplished pilot logging 2,500 flying hours, and 2,000 hours in jets, and earned a PhD in physical chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1965, the only selected MOL astronaut with a doctorate.
After Lawrence completed the US Air Force Test pilot School in 1967, he was immediately assigned to the MOL program. While as an instructor for other pilots, he practiced landing techniques that was later used in the Space Shuttle program. At the end of 1967 in December, Maj. Lawrence died in a plane crash after ejecting from a F-104 Starfighter at Edwards Air Force Base, bringing this brilliant pilot-scientist career to an end. In June 1969 the Nixon Administration cancelled the MOL program. Because of his untimely death and the relative secrecy surrounding the MOL program, Lawrence’s name remained largely unknown for many years.
“Former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden recalled that Lawrence was involved in the development of the maneuver that would become a critical part of space shuttle landing techniques called ‘flare.’ KSC Director Bob Cabana said, Maj. Lawrence truly was a hero. He took that first step setting the stage for what was to come.”
We have now moved into the second decade of the 21st century, the 2020s. Are we repeating the same patterns from 100 years ago? Back in the spring of 1918 the world was reeling from the the Spanish Flu, with roughly 500 million infected with the virus globally and about 675,000 died from it in U.S. alone.
All citizens were ordered to wear masks, businesses, schools and theaters were shut down while makeshift morgues piled up the dead. (sound familiar?) Well after the Spanish Flu pandemic was over, guess what happened then? The roaring 1920’s!
We can compare and contrast some of the similarities from 100 years ago going down the line. But what about fashion? In the 1920’s flappers defined the style of the times and men was always well dressed in suits and hats. In the 2020’s I predict there will be a blending of the future and the past, defining an era of freethinking expression in how we dress.
Men will recreate the meaning of modern class with bold new looks that don’t distract, but rather command respect on first sight.
So is history repeating itself? Maybe it is, but fashion will always be moving forward. Let’s all join hands as we embark into the roaring 2020’s! There will be much to celebrate.
Open for about a year Indian Summer Restaurant has been open on Lenox Ave, the only other “Indian” restaurant in Harlem that I know of besides Chaiwali. The restaurant bills itself as “Traditional Indian Cuisine”, so I figured that I would have to visit it as the Solar return from their opening approached.
Taking over the space formally occupied by BLVD restaurant (BLVD Bistro now moved to the former location of “Street Bird”) looks roughly the same inside, save for the Indian inspired decor.
When I arrived there was only one couple outside in the covered patio, and one woman inside (the review was done two days before indoor dining was shut down again) besides myself.
After undergoing the Covid-19 questionnaire and temperature check, I was seated at my table and scanned the menu to to see what dish would be worthy of my review (I didn’t have a clue), so I inquired my waiter on what was their best dish and that I would be reviewing the food.
I marveled at the precautions that they took to keep their patrons safe, such as plate, silverware and napkin plastic wrapped. Once I felt safe I began to relax, and fell into that cozy dinner (restaurant review) mode.
To start I had the Vegetable Samosas (Cauliflower, potatoes and eggplant fried in a batter made from chick pea flour and spices) which had a sort of festive presentation to it.
The appetizer was quite enjoyable indeed (not just looked pretty) and is an item on the menu that I will most certainly have again. The side sauces really put this dish over the top….and began to get me in a festive mood.
For the main course I ordered the: Chicken Jalfrezi (chicken in a spicy tomato sauce with stir fired peppers and onions). it sounded “traditional” but it definitely looked traditional….and delicious.
I ordered a side of pita bread (on instinct) in order to balance out my meal. I remember asking for low spicy, but it was more like medium spicy, however that didn’t compromise the integrity of the dish itself.
I would rate the food 3 1/2 stars (which means that I would eat here again soon). The service 3 stars, decor 3 stars, outside patio 4 stars. As I said, the food alone lulled me into a festive mood. The experience was more than I expected.
Only once a year we are all reminded of that obligatory ritual of kissing under the mistletoe during the yuletide (Christmas) season. However very few question (or at all) why we are obliged to kiss when we find ourselves directly under that poisonous hanging parasitic shrub. Mistletoe is a flowering parasitic plant (angiosperms) that live off of other plants and trees, in addition to their photosynthesis capabilities.
The ancient Romans and Greeks are said to have started the tradition during the festival of Saturnalia during yuletide, which was the pagan feast that Christmas was superimposed upon. The plant was used by them in marriage ceremonies due to it’s association with fertility. The ancient Romans settled their feuds under the plant as it symbolized peace. The Romans in midwinter would adorn their houses and temples with mistletoe to please their gods.
In Norse mythology mistletoe was sacred to the goddess Frigga (the Norse goddess of love). Loki the god of mischief launched an arrow or spear (take your pick) made of mistletoe and killed her and Odin’s son Baldur. Having foreknowledge of Baldor’s death, Frigga made all the animals and plants promise not to harm her son in an effort to advert the prophecy. However she overlooked the mistletoe! In one version of this myth, Frigga (along with the help of the other Norse gods) was able to restore Baldor back to life under the mistletoe. Frigga declared that anyone who stands under the plant would be protected from death…..and deserving of a kiss!
In Victorian England the rite of kissing under the mistletoe was taken rather seriously.
If a girl was under the mistletoe and refused a kiss, she was not to get any marriage proposals for the next year! A gentleman should pick one berry while kissing a lady on the cheek, one berry must be picked for each kiss.
So the next time you find yourself under the threshold of this beautiful, and poisonous plant, remember that the Norse goddess of love is protecting you from death….and promises you a kiss!
2020 has so far been a real life nightmare globally. Why not embrace the strangeness? Haunted Houses and Halloween has always fascinated me since childhood, and even more so now. So for this Halloween (and everyone after) I created the ELEGANT CLASSY GENTLEMAN PARANORMAL DIVISION.
The mission is to locate, research and investigate reputed haunted sites in Harlem to gather and record real paranormal activity in Harlem. For the five days leading up to October 31st 2020 I identified six locations right in the heart of Harlem, and systematically attempted to gather proof of the sites haunted history. These are the paranormal investigations.
Haunted Site: #1/ 32 5th Avenue Harlem New York.
Following a lead (and a poltergeist story) from an acquaintance of mine Will Roberson while having a chardonnay at Barawine. Will shared with me an account 25 years ago, when he was renting a room on the 2nd floor of this mysterious brownstone, which is right next to Red Rooster owner Markus Samuelson’s house. he recounted to me how he woke up one morning and witnessed “pots & pans floating in the air“. He departed the premises immediately….and never returned. I asked him to take me to the actual house, as it was only 2 1/2 blocks from our table at Barawine on 120th street and Lenox Ave. a short walk later we arrived at in front of the brownstone, and I asked him to point out the window that was his room at the time. Will pointed to the 2nd floor window which was the third to the right. The house is the only house on the block that was not occupied, and sealed up like a fortress, as if keeping something out….or In.
My EMF meter was going crazy as I approached the house (the readings was off the charts) and later noted the fluctuations, and did the math. There is definitely something spooky about (and going on inside) this place. It just so happens that someone from the neighborhood that I know lives next door on the other side in the basement apartment “Carol”. I asked her how long since she moved in, and she replied “about three years”. I also asked her if she has experienced “anything strange” since she moved in. Carol told me that she never goes down to the basement alone, and when she does she turns on every light down there, and takes her dog with her. What’s was the reason for that I inquired. She told me that she feels like “something is down there”, something that she could not explain. So I gave her my EMF meter and asked her if she would go down as far as she felt comfortable with and note the readings. The readings was off the charts again.
Unable to contact the owner of the house to request entry, I returned at night to set up a laser grid which is designed to capture the shape or form of ethereal or spectral bodies that pass through the grid.
Unable to obtain entry inside, instead of marking the investigation inconclusive, I have filed it as: to be continued. It’s a paranormal hot spot I believe. Perhaps that’s why the house is locked down like it’s harboring a wild animal inside, or poltergeists.
Haunted Site #2/ The Harlem Gatehouse (130 Convent Ave)
The Harlem Gatehouse (a now defund water pumping station for the city build in the late 19th century) on 135th Street and Convent Avenue is now a city landmark. There is no one main story of hauntings for this cite, as it’s reputation of being haunted stretches back over two centuries, mostly among the local residents.
The Gatehouse is a very interesting area (and beautiful) on Convent Avenue. I was drawn to this site earlier this summer, maybe it wanted to tell me something. I rode up and began to scan for readings all along the outside perimeter of the building (unable again to secure entry inside this site due to Covid-19) and came up with nothing even as the sun began to set.
I spend a large amount of time at this haunted site, but I could not obtain any paranormal readings outside of the Gatehouse (if only I could get inside) walls. I scanned the windows, doors, walls, and pipes.
As sunset fell upon me, and I still had not found anything spooky, I decided it was time to pack it up. as I was getting ready to leave, a homeless man sitting at the top of the steps of the main entrance (he was there watching me the whole time) said to me “are you alright”, yes I replied. I asked him if he lived in the area, and he said “Yeah, right here”. In passing I asked him if he seen or heard anything “Strange” or out of the ordinary. The man replied: “Yes, around 3:30 am every night, I hear voices (disembodied) coming from behind the door under the stairs. I immediately ran over in the semi-darkness to the door (under the massive stairs) with my EMF meter to try and get a reading. I scanned every inch of the door, the floor under it, heck I scanned the grids on the ground. I got nothing.
From above the top of the stairs, I heard the man say: “Only at 3:30am. That’s when it happens, there and the doors in the back of the house”. So I guess this investigation will have to be filed as “to be continued”.
I simply must gain access when the pandemic allows and investigate inside. Or swing by around 3:30am with a EMF recorder and eavesdrop on spectral conversations.
Haunted Site #3/ The James Bailey House (10 St. Nicholas Place 150th Street)
This castle like house was built in 1888 for James Bailey (the other half of Barnum & Bailey Circus) with nine bedrooms. The mansion is claimed to be haunted due to it being a funeral home in 1951, and that is was “overrun by a pack of wild dogs” which I don’t get. But the funeral home I do.
If any house in Harlem looks haunted, this historical landmark tops the list. The mansion seems to be beautiful and daunting at the same time, and fits the bill of the classical haunted house at night. I was not able to gain access to the mansion at the time of the investigation.
I tried to get some EMF readings on the front porch and around the house, but obtained only very low signals.
This is another reputed paranormal site in Harlem that I will have to return at a later date after securing entry inside.
This place certainly looks haunted…..at night!
Haunted Site #4/ Harry Houdini House/ 278 West 113th Street
The Famed escape artist Harry Houdini passed away on Halloween (a very good candidate for a haunting) in 1926. However before Houdini died, him and his wife made a pact that for the span of ten years after his death, Bess his wife would hold a seance on Halloween to attempt to contact her from the other side. Houdini stood his wife up for ten years straight, never making an appearance. The last seance was held in 1936.
The house is now full of rented apartments, and I was unable to contact one (or a couple) of the current tenants to inquire if they are any resident ghost’s in brownstone. I don’t think it would be worth to investigate further. I mean in life Houdini wanted nothing more than to speak to the living from the land of the dead, and couldn’t even haunt his own house
Haunted Site #5/ Trinity Cemetery (550 West 155th Street)
This cemetery Washington Heights which dates back to 1776 (The site of the battle of Fort Washington) was built 1842 by the Trinity Church parish when burials were forbidden in downtown Manhattan due to outbreaks of disease. This site has a very long history of being rife with ghosts. I wonder if my grandparents are roaming around the cemetery? (yes, they are buried there) I stopped by to see them (of course), and tried to get a message from them on the “spirit box” first before moving on to random sprits that might want to communicate with me.
I couldn’t get any readings at my grandparents grave site, but I did get some readings in other areas in this massive cemetery. There are few things more creepy than being alone in a very large cemetery. I decided to use the spirit box to see if anyone (non living) would speak and say something that I could record and document.
The spirit box for some reason malfunctioned/power went dead, and like on another investigation newly charged equipment/batteries just goes dead, so I didn’t get any spirit voices.
Feeling like this was not a good time to capture paranormal activity at Trinity, I decided to pack up and move on to the next haunted site. We will return here at another time.
Haunted Site #6/ Morris Jumel Mansion (65 Jumel Terrace)
Referred to as Manhattan’s oldest house, this mansion in Harlem is said to haunted by at least five spirits, however the main one is the ghost of Eliza Jumel. Her husband died in 1832, and she married Arron Burr (Alexander Hamilton’s Assassin), and after they divorced Jumel’s appearance became frightening and she died alone. She is said to appear demented and delusional the way she suffered right before she passed.
The grounds surrounding the Jumel Mansion is peaceful and quite beautiful. People during the day come to the grounds to read, sit on the grass or benches looking down on Edgecombe Ave. I however took the opportunity to scan for EMF readings around the outside of the house and the immediate grounds. The three people who was just hanging out on the grounds of the mansion eyed me with casual curiosity as I went about my investigation on the outside.
Getting slight readings from the outside of the house, it was now time to enter this Haunted Historical House and try to capture video/audio evidence of paranormal activity.
After clearing the preliminary paperwork for entry, I was welcomed into the house by the gift shop clerk “Nicole” (and was the only other person in the house, with the exception of her supervisor) who informed me that I was the only visitor that day, and would tour the house alone (Oh yes!).
I ventured into the Octagon room and marveled at it’s colonial beauty, that reminded me of a Mason’s Temple (George Washington was a master mason) and lingered in that room for a bit more than was necessary.
This room was too bright and sunny for an apparition to appear, so stealing myself I ventured upstairs to the rooms above.
The vibe upstairs was quite a bit different than the lower floors, and had the “Strange” feeling that something was “lurking about” unseen. The accent upstairs was scary, as the old original wood floors felt like that they would give way at any moment (and the creaking) and I would come crashing to the 1st floor.
As I wandered from room to room….alone, I just could not shake the feeling that something (or someone) was following me around.
While investigating the upstairs bedrooms, I pretty much got the same low readings that I recorded outside the house. But I still had this uneasy feeling that I could not explain. So I headed downstairs to the basement to see if I would have better luck there.
Upon reaching the basement, I pulled out my equipment only to find that every battery was drained empty (always the basement!) so I was unable to record any data to report. While a chill ran up my spine, I remembered how the paranormal investigators on the Tele, often have this same problem (citing that spirits drain the power from electric devices to manifest). This marks the second time during my paranormal investigations that the equipment just mysteriously died (no pun intended) on me!
I returned upstairs to the gift shop, to have a look and Nicole (the gift shop girl) began to tell me stories about her co-workers run in’s with the resident ghosts. There is no doubt that this house is haunted (I felt it!) but the collecting of evidence will have to wait for another time.
Towards the end of the Covid-19 quarantine in late May, my younger brother and I was pondering on how (while watching Netflicks) we would entertain ourselves for the coming Summer of 2020. While going over various ideas, my brother pulled out his phone and showed me a mini e-bike called the Jetson Bolt,I than pulled out my phone and showed him the same bike in my shopping cart on Amazon.
Realizing that we both had the same idea independently, we immediately began to plan for reducing our carbon footprint (I made a commitment to protect the environment along with sustainability) utilizingclean energy for urban transport. Sounds exciting…..doesn’t it?
So before dipping our feet into the whole thing, we did our due diligence (watching review videos, and reading customer reviews who had purchased it) and decided that the best course of action was to purchase used/refurbished bikes to test the speed, performance, battery life, distance and kinks.
We ordered two refurbished bikes for about $130 less than brand new bikes from a company called Hypermicro Systems. In about two weeks the bikes were delivered and we excited to start testing the bikes. Opening and setting up his e-bike first, my brother’s e-bike did not work out of the box. I on the other hand unpacked my bike (which almost flew out the window, as my hand was on the throttle) and found it in working order.
So with only one working e-bike I took if out for a run, while my brother repacked the non working one to be shipped back for replacement (we purchased a two year warranty on both bikes) and contact the insurer foursquare. We purchased the bikes on E-Bay.
I was able to reach a speed of about 17 mph, with a hydraulic rear disk brake I was having the time of my life! I found myself taking it out almost everyday (yes I did share the bike with my brother) when my brother wasn’t riding it. When the warranty company got back to us, they said something about contacting Jetson for replacement (but we purchased it from them, not Jetson), so we returned it through E-Bay and purchased another from Hypermicro Systems, once we received the refund from E-Bay.
When my brother received his 2nd bike (about 2 1/2 weeks later) we have already been riding around the Bronx and Harlem like crazy (but now we can ride together) which lasted for about three weeks, when my bike suddenly stopped working, and getting the same non service from Foursqaure I returned it through E-Bay got my refund and decided to Purchase a “Brand New” Jetson Bolt from Jetson itself.
I purchased a rear basket and affixed a bottle/cup holder on my new “Bolt” and my morning commute was never the same. The Jetson Bolt is easy store (handle bar folds down) and has a built in carrying handle, with the bike weighing only 35lbs. You get about 2 1/2-3 hours on a full charge and with the app I was able to increase the speed to about 19 mph.
However with a maximum distance of only 15 miles (more like 13) on a full charge I got some front bike bags to carry the charger, to charge on the go if we found ourselves riding longer and not wanting to carry it on train when we ran out of power. But to satisfy the craving for longer distance riding, we discovered Wheels!
We had Wheels deliver our E-Bike Rentals and haven’t looked back. Wheels can go over 22 mph and a distance of 30 miles on a full charge, and comes with built in LED lights on the side, Bluetooth speaker to play music and GPS anti-theft tracking system and the best feature is that only you can turn on the bike with your phone via a QR code.
Whenever we were out riding (everyday) people would flag us down to ask about, take a picture (gather info) about the bikes, and as the weeks rolled along we noticed other people in the Bronx and Harlem with the bikes that we had first, and are still riding.
Now we have upgraded and are riding the Wheels 2.0 which has move safety/anti-theft features and comes in all Black. So far I have seen only one maybe two 2.0’s riding in Harlem. I myself will most likely be riding till mid November.
On Wednesday LVMH backed out of the $16 billion buyout deal to acquire Tiffany & Co that was announced last November as the biggest luxury purchase in history. Citing tariff issues and the Covid-19 pandemic luxury downturn. Tiffany filed a lawsuit against LVMH to force the buyout contract. The deal may still go thru, but at a much discounted price or Tiffany & Co may search for another buyer in a hostile economic climate.
A Statement by LVMH on Wednesday said: “it could not complete the deal with Tiffany as it stands”. LVMH only excuse was a request from the French government via a letter to delay the deal till Jan 6th 2021 to avoid U.S. tariffs on French products.
Tiffany cites in it’s lawsuit that LVMH has not produced an original copy of the letter from the French Government. Second quarter sales for LVMH fell 38% while Tiffany’s net sales fell 29%. On Thursday LVMH countersued Tiffany’s with mismanagement and violating terms of the deal.