New York City little known points of interest

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter does not means that other lives don’t matter. But saying All Lives Matter ONLY when someone says Black lives matter is a cop out. It’s just a way of deflecting a valid point. Because, you see, all lives are not being shot down just because they are black. Just read where a white suspect resisted arrest by punching the cops trying to arrest him and trying to choke one of the officers. His mugshot did not show any bruising or anything to show he was in an altercation with cops. Looked like a high school yearbook picture. A black man doing the same thing would have been beaten senseless and then shot because the officers would have “feared for their lives and a gun planted on him.” Wow. Not scared of a white man obviously trying to kill you but afraid of a black man not resisting arrest. Yet an unarmed man was placed in an illegal choke hold by NYC police which was videotaped with him saying “I can’t breathe” and he is dead. A naked, obviously disturbed army veteran was shot dead because the officer said he feared for his life. Feared what???? That this naked man was going to shoot bullets out of his penis??? A black man stopped for a traffic violation who told the cop that he had a gun and a license to carry was shot dead in the car with his girlfriend and child IN THE BACK SEAT. WTF????? Could the cop have said, “get out of the car? Where is the gun? Don’t reach for it. I’ll retrieve the gun. I’m going to pat you down to see if there are other weapons. You’re being placed in handcuffs while I retrieve the gun, Your safety and mine. Don’t want to hurt the passenger or the child.” You tell someone to show license and registration and then you shoot him as he tries to retrieve it for you. GET REAL. If I’m going to shoot a cop, I’m not going to tell you first that I have a gun. That cop did not care about the passenger or the child. Even the governor said he wouldn’t be dead if he was white.

So when we see (hope we don’t) white folks subjected to the same treatment WITH THE SAME OUTCOME AS WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS TO BLACKS, then all lives will matter. When we see white men on the ground with a cop over them firing into their bodies, then all lives will matter. When we see white women stopped for a so called traffic violation, placed in a jail cell out of sight of the cameras and find her hanging in her cell, then ALL lives will matter.

And I do not apologize for how I feel. My 46 year old son has been rousted by cops on NYC streets and subways several times. Why? Because he is a black man. Never mind that he is a black man with a college degree. BLACK LIVES MATTER. WHEN MY LIFE MATTERS TO YOU, THEN ALL LIVES WILL MATTER.This is just my opinion based on the history of law enforcement in the United States. I know that the majority of law enforcement do serve and protect. Unfortunately, it’s the racist bad cops who get the attention. So my “all lives do not matter” is for those to whom Black lives or any lives other than white do not matter.



July 10, 2016 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment

Whatz up?

What’s happening to Harlem, South Bronx, Bed-Stuy? Complexion has gotten very, VERY light. Lots of renovations going on but can the natives afford it? Landmarks are being torn down or closed (remember Lenox Lounge and M&G’s Diner?) Stores that avoided Harlem like the plague are now popping up there but the stores that made Harlem what it is (was) are being pushed out. Sad.

January 20, 2015 Posted by | General, Harlem | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Many Changes

Just walked through my old neighborhood in Harlem. So many places I grew up visiting are gone-places to eat, building where I spent my early years, places of entertainment. Some of it is progress. Some of it feels like rape.

August 25, 2014 Posted by | General, Harlem | , , , | Leave a comment

Change has come

Lenox Lounge

Lenox Lounge (Photo credit: joseph a)

Lots of changes in African-American neighborhoods in New York. Restaurants, stores, points of interest are disappearing. So sad. Restaurants/clubs that I grew up with in Harlem have closed. M&G’s Diner on the corner of West 125th Street and Morningside Ave is gone. Lenox Lounge is gone. More mainstream stores like H&M from downtown have moved in. For years, no one was interested in Harlem. It was left to its own resources. No more affordable housing. Condos in Harlem where I grew up are priced in the 7 figures. Stores are being priced out by rents that doubled and tripled when leases were up. And the landlords don’t care that they are shutting the doors on neighborhood icons. All about the Benjamins. Is this progress or genocide?

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Harlem, Harlem restaurants, Lenox Avenue | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

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Here’s to a wonderful holiday season, whatever your faith.

2011 has been a great year but I expect 2012 to be even greater. BTW-for those spiritually attuned, 2012 began some time ago. I’m an a state of expectation for this new year. Hopefully, all the technical issues I had with my computer and Internet have been resolved so I will be posting on a regular basis. I have a lot of good suggestions of things to do in New York for 2012.

Did you at least get to see the wonderful holiday sights in New York? This is such a magical time of year. New York is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds, Christmas trees, Hanukkah menorahs, Santas, nativity scenes. It is a most wonderful time of the year!

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions but what are your plans for the new year? Have you written out your plans? Maybe a year-long plan is too much. Break it down into the first 2 or 3 months. Make it manageable but get started.

I look forward to sharing with you and getting your feedback. In the meantime, having a rip-roaring New Year’s eve celebration.

December 27, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment


Brooklyn Museum

Image via Wikipedia and Neighborhood Concert Series sponsored by Target present Juan-Carlos Formell & Son Radical.

Cuban guitarist Juan-Carlos Formell and his band Son Radical have forged their own brand of smoldering Latin rock. Come join them tonight at 9pm at the Brooklyn Museum located at 200 Eastern Parkway. Call 718-638-5000 for additional info.

The Brooklyn Museum can be reached by the number 2, 3,  and 5 trains.

This is a part of Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays.


June 4, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


McGraw-Hill's 1990s logo

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The McGraw-Hill Companies CarnegieKids presents Hot Peas’ N Butter, elements of traditional Latin and Afro-Caribbean music with jazz, folk and rock styles. They make kids and adults both jump up and dance!!! (Ages 3-6)

Today, June 4, 1pm. Free workshop with band members. (Maximum 25 participants; first come, first served).

Concert 2pm

Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Queens. #7 train. Call 718-463-7700, ext. 222 for additional info.

No tickets or RSVP required; first come, first served.



June 4, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Black Music Month

Macy's Department Store in New York City.

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There is always something exciting happening in New York.

Today, June 4 at noon at Macy’s Herald Square, Kid’s Department on 7, Macy’s welcomes Javaka Steptoe, illustrator of the New York Times bestseller, Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, a Story of Young Jimi Hendrix. Javaka will share his vivid illustrations of Jimi’s story-a boy who always stood out from his surroundings but went on to become one of the most influential figures in music history. Special guest, guitarist Keith “The Captain” Gamble, will play some of Jimi’s greatest hits.

After the reading, kids can create their very own musical instrument. And with any $25.00 purchase from the Kids’ Department, they will receive a FREE signed copy of the book. (Limit one book per customer, while supplies last.)

Grab the kids and go listen to a little music and get some history on a great African American musician. If you grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix, you will definitely enjoy this.

June is BLACK MUSIC MONTH, a time to commemorate the contributions of African American musicians, past, present and future.


Have fun.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Supper Club in Harlem

Marcus Garvey Memorial Park, Harlem, New York City

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After a year of rapid-fire changes, the owners of Harlem’s new 5 and Diamond restaurant believe they finally have the ingredients for success.

The stylish eatery, at 2072 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, near 113th Street, is debuting a monthly supper club on Sundays featuring a special menu from new Executive Chef and partner David Martinez.

“We literally wanted to do something different and fun,” said Lia Sanfilippo who co-owns the restaurant with Selene Martinez. “We wanted to show David off a bit,” Martinez chimed in.

This Sunday’s supper club – a $90 four-course tasting menu with live music – is part of a fresh start for the uptown restaurant, which has transformed its menu to feature new American cuisine, with Spanish and Mediterranean flairs. New dishes to be unveiled this summer include seared scallops with red quinoa risotto and bacon-wrapped Berkshire pork tenderloin. “The dishes are more simple, the flavors are more bold,” said Sanfilippo. “You don’t want to see 12 different ingredients go into one dish because it’s confusing. You’ll see pretty food but you’ll know what you are getting. “A new “5 @ 5” happy hour menu on weekdays features dishes such as Maine Lobster Mac and Cheese and either buffalo-style or mango chipotle wings. The restaurant will soon open for lunch. The owners are in the process of applying for license to operate a sidewalk cafe. “We want everybody to feel comfortable coming here,” Sanfilippo said. “Everyone does not want to spend $40 on a meal.”

The idea for the restaurant was originally born when the two women talked about opening their own spot after bemoaning the limited dining choices near their church in Harlem. A friend offered to back them if they were serious, even though neither has a restaurant background. Sanfilippo was a teacher and Selene Martinez set up new Equinox Fitness Clubs.

They spent a full year fleshing out the project. The location was an old hardware store which reminded them of an old five-and-dime store. A friend said that the restaurant was going to be new and shiny like a diamond — hence the name 5 and Diamond.Other restaurateurs tried to discourage them from opeing up shop in Harlem, both women said. “But the only place that seemed to fit and make sense was up here,” said Selene Martinez.

The new place has had some growing pains. Two chefs have come and gone, and the owners admit some of their menu choices didn’t always click with the clientele. A little over a year later, the restaurant still could use more customers. The women think the area would benefit from more shops that would lure outsiders to the neighborhood.

Still, the location on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in an area some have described as a developing restaurant row, is convenient for some diners  from below 110th Street. It is close to the subway and street parking is relatively convenient.

Inside the restaurant, there are original exposed brick walls and the fabric on the wall was hand-sewn by Martinez’ aunt. The wood floors were salvaged from the now shuttered Claremont Stables on the Upper West Side. “The idea was to truly mix the old and new,” Sanfilippo said.

At Sunday’s supper club, which is almost sold out, Chef Martinez’ menu includes “deconstructed seafood paella” and “vanilla and Valencia orange flan.”

Vocalist Gail Blache-Gill, who has toured with the Houston Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess, has promised to sing at least one gospel tune.

With the fresh start, the owners remain optimistic about the future of the restaurant. “This is not about bringing downtown to Harlem, but giving Harlem what it deserves,” said Sanfilippo.

By Jeff Mays


OK my Nuggets friends. Check out this new supper club and let us know what you think. Happy eating.

June 3, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine Tasting

The clarification process can bring out the cl...

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Looking for something different to do on a  Saturday afternoon?

Olivino Bed-Stuy invites you to their weekend wine tastings. Olivino’s has an incredible selection of wines to experience. Every Saturday, the friendly staff selects a wine for their customers to taste. They are happy to help you select the right wine for whatever occasion you are planning, from appetizers to desserts. Stop by for a taste and some wine history. You may even meet the owners: Tony Walker and Katrine Pollari.

Olivino Bed-Stuy is located at 426 Marcus Garvey Blvd at the corner of Macon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216. Hours are Monday through Saturday, noon to 10pm. Sunday noon through 7pm. Please check on the hours for the weekend wine tastings before going. You can reach this store at 718-249-0721.

There is another store, Olivino Wines located at 905 Fulton Street, between Clinton and Vanderbilt, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Same hours at both stores. You can reach this store at 718-857-7952.

Contact for more information.

Remember please drink responsibly.

May 29, 2011 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment