Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fat Girl Flea Market 2007

This morning I got up early and put on a pot of coffee to get myself all amped up for the annual Fat Girl Flea Market at the GLBT Center in the village. The money raised at The Fat Girl Flea Market is donated to a group named NOLOSE for conference-related expenses, particularly the scholarship fund.

NOLOSE describes itself as a vibrant community of: fat dykes, bisexual women, transgendered folks and our allies, seeking to end the oppression of fat people!

You GO Girls!!!! The movement continues....

I attended the flea market last year and made out like a bandit!!!! There are clothes there for plus sized women of all sizes and I even picked up a bunch of stuff for my mom last year! So I was all amped up to shop today...I was gonna bring my mom with me but my step dad has been ill of late and I know the two of them together would have drove me absolutely crazy!!! Once again the weather was awesome and my monster & I rode the train downtown together and I arrived at the center at promptly 11am...when it first began...but I didn't go inside until like...11:20 or so...trying to get a free palm reading at the yoga center across the street...BIG MISTAKE!!!! lol..after paying very reasonable 8 bucks entrance fee and found out quickly where I made my was REALLY crowded when I got there and after about an hour...all of the wind went quickly out of my sails...the flea market was held over 2 days last I actually went on the last day when the crowd was thinner...but this year it's one day only and I just didn't feel like fighting through all those folks and piles of clothing 3 and 4 times like I did last year!

However, don't get a sister wrong...I really wanted to get some jeans from Abby Z and SVOBODA but the Abby Z jeans were too short and the SVOBODA'S were too't get to hear THAT too often! BUT I did pick up a few AbbyZ tops for 3 bucks each..all with beading and embroidery which I love and a beautiful velvet beaded top which I will be wearing shortly with some black velvet pants that I already own! I ran into a few folks that I knew and quite a few of the volunteers remembered me from last year! I had a great time as always and will most definitely be returning next year if I am in town! On my way out I ran into Plus Sized Artist Nigel Morgan ( and made a new friend...her name is Laura Rice and she's the chief muse/design director for a clothing company called Olivia's Boudoir...I look forward to working with her in 2008.

I ended my afternoon by stopping off at one of my favorite fish places...A Salt & Battery on Greenwich Ave for a codfish & Shrimp combo w/chips and some er...rather bland and nasty ass cole, then I checked out a few street fairs (wishing I had saved my appetite AND my money for Thai, stopped in Strand Books, walked over to 14th street checked out the shoe selection in DSW on 14th st (Nothing for the size 12's..GET REAL!!!!), stopped at Commerce Bank and hopped (well...not literally!) the train home...

My knee was aching and I was actually tired ya'll....I must really be getting!

For more info on the Fat Girl Flea Market,check them out at

"A break is not taken in life but earned."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

African American Literary Awards Show 2007

Hola Family!

Last night I had the great honor of being a presenter at the 2007 African American Literary Awards. The event was held at the Alhambra Ballroom on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (7th Avenue for those of you who are and 126th St. I attended the event with publicist Mary Moore (So Much Moore Communications) and I was literally in awe because until a few days prior to the event...I didn't even know these awards existed. The Alhambra Ballroom is not far from where I live, so I decided to walk over to the event...the weather was absolutely BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL!!! was an amazing 80 degrees and I don't know about anyone else but weather like that always inspires me to dress up because I KNOW I don't have to throw a coat over my beautiful outfit...what can I say? Ever the diva ya'

Anyway, as I walked past the stage door of the Apollo...I noticed 4 sista's elegantly dressed in both black and red satin evening gowns walking ahead of me...I just smiled and complimented them as I walked past them because I love to see my sista's when we get all done up...strutting like proud peacocks! It's how we should ALWAYS carry ourselves...regardless of what we are wearing...ya know? I met Mary out front and we took the elevator to the ballroom. We were actually a little early and the ballroom wasn't finished being set up, so we checked in and took a seat in the vestibule and watched as folks began to arrive.

As we were waiting I had the pleasure of meeting and taking photographs with Yvette Hayward (founder of the show), Abiola Abrams, the evening's host (we go waaaayyy back to 1995 when we met on photo shoot for Today's Black Woman Magazine), Tracy Humphrey (The Weather Authority on FOX-5 News..and a funny sister to boot!), Sony/Columbia/Twist recording artist Jesse O (the evening's featured musical guest), Recording artist Freddie Jackson, Melba Wilson (Owner of Melba's Restaurant..a fave of mine!), Kwame Jackson (The Apprentice), Stacy J. (The Apprentice), Victoria Rowell (Young & the Restless), Crystal McCrary Anthony (Host of BETJ's "My Two Cents")...I was SERIOUSLY coveting the beautiful yellow blouse that Miss Crystal was wearing ya'll!!! After a brief wait and MANY photo ops...we got our table assignments and headed to the ballroom. I have never been inside the Alhambra Ballroom and it is actually quite beautiful (and really expensive from what I hear) but more on THEM As we entered the ballroom to search for our table a sister approached me who recognized me from MFC and she gave me quite a few beautiful compliments. She introduced herself as comedienne Pat G'Orge-Walker and she told me that she was nominated for an award as well. I wished her the best of luck and promised to take a photo with her before I left...She had me smiling the whole evening! Mary and I were sitting at table #3 along with, Tracy, Stacy J and to my surprise....Hill Harper currently of CSI-NY fame! I am a really big fan of Hill's and I was trying really hard NOT to stare because although he's a little short for me he is SERIOUSLY foine ya'll!!!

After a quick sampling of appetizers and cocktails we quickly took our seats and the show began. Abiola Abrams was the host for the evening and she introduced Hill Harper to present the first couple of awards...He (Hill) spoke wonderfully before he told us he had to depart because CSI-NY's premiere party was also that night. I was impressed that he took the time to show up to this event! After several more awards we were treated to a music selection from Sony/Columbia/Twist recording artist Jesse O..he sang Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and he performed it beautifully...the brother has a wonderful voice....I look forward to seeing big things from him! Dinner service brother who started distributing the salad..DEFINITELY had an looked angry as hell to have to be doing salad was a mushy mess and was clearly hanging out in the kitchen area for a VERY LONG TIME!!! It was really was. Soon after my salad arrived I presented the award in the Comedy/Humor Category and as I read the winner's name...I had a big smile on my face...the winner was Pat G'Orge Walker, the sister who had come over and introduced herself to me earlier! She told the crowd it was a wonderful honor to receive the award AND to receive it from me! I noticed that most of the "celebrity presenters" all had to depart shortly after presenting their During the second half Jesse O performed a second song...this one and original tune about HIV/AIDS awareness..(It was a nice tune..but hard to hear over the clanking of plates and food trays!) Mary and I stuck around for don't know if that was a mistake or not. The dinner choice was chicken or fish...No one ever asked me what I you know..I nearly lost it as the waiter placed that fish in front of me! Considering my ordeal with fish LAST WEEK (See the Gentrification of Harlem pt 3 blog)...there was NO WAY I was trying it I asked him to please take it a way and to PLEASE (I always say please ya'll) bring me a chicken dinner...well I must have pissed him off...because..I NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN! The staff made so much noise serving that it was hard to pay attention to the awards. I sat there for a while as my ENTIRE TABLE began to eat their dinners...after oh..about 10 was evident to me that he had no intention of coming back and bringing me anything. If it hadn't been for the brother sitting with Stacy J looking up and noticing that I didn't have any food...I probably wouldn't have gotten a plate at all! (Thanks Jaron!). My chicken arrived with a vegetable mix with no flavor (I know they just took those frozen veggies out of the bag and steamed it with nothing on it!), a baked potato and what had to be the hardest roll I have ever had in my life (I swear...I was banging my knife against it, it was so damn hard...I couldn't even tear it with my fingers...CLEARLY IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER LEFT THE DAMN KITCHEN!!!).

As the final award for the evening was presented...we began to exit the ballroom and got some great goodie bags on the way out...LOTS of books! Ya know I love that!!! Reading IS Fundamental people! On the way outside I met a brother named Randy Kearse who had just gotten out of prison after serving a 15 year sentence and had penned a book on how it all comes down to making the right choices and taking responsibility for the choices we DO make! His book is called "Changin' Your Game Plan!" (How to use incarceration as a stepping stone to SUCCESS) and is available at Ya'll really need to check him out family!

Yvette Hayward...I had a lovely time, thank you so much for inviting was an honor to be in the presence of such esteemed guests. I hope that I can attend next year!

As far as the Alhambra Ballroom goes...I don't know what you all do for your weddings and other special events because your site looks fab...but I do know that the food and the service were just not good...even for the smallest of budgets the service should be top notch and in this case it just wasn't. The waitstaff was not enough for the amount of people in that room and it annoyed me that they (the waitstaff) were dressed like they worked at Footlocker! That basket of bread that was put on our table should have been thrown out...the rolls were like hockey pucks!...I wouldn't have served them to ANYONE. I felt like I was having dinner in the basement of my church rather than in a beautiful ballroom and I also feel like this would have NEVER happened south of 96th street. If I had paid for that event...I would have asked for some of my catering monies to be returned.

Alhambra....You all have to step it up a bit!

"Faith allows you to tell a story (no story, no victory)"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mustard Seed Communities Annual Benefit Luncheon

On Sunday, I spent the better part of my day down at the Hilton Hotel in NY preparing for The Mustard Seed Communities Annual Benefit Luncheon and Fashion show (formerly known as The Heartbeats of Jamaica).

The Mustard Seed Communities Int'l, is a Not-for-Profit organization that began in 1978 as a home for children with disabilities who had been abandoned or orphaned to the streets of Jamaica. More than 28 years later and under the direction of Father Gregory Ramkissoon, Mustard Seed Communities continues to provide caring, sharing and training to children, youth and adults in 14 communities throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Africa, with over 20 outreach programs. At the forefront of Mustard Seed's expansion is the creation of village communities for orphaned babies, children with disabilities, families living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant teens and battered women.

I have volunteered my time for this luncheon every year since it's inception in 1995 (lol..I think?) and I always have a good time hanging out with Walter Greene and all of the models, makeup artist Ewan Walker (who I worked with on FAT Chance), hairstylist, Marcy Walker (She used to hook me up when I had hair ya' and even the wait staff!! (Thanks for the Rum Punch hookup ya'll!!). Anyway, as I said...I have been doing this show for years and the lineup is always ever changing...but this year I did get to see a few familiar faces on the runway as well...Including my home girl (and budding restaurateur...when she makes up her damn mind to the always beautiful Lene Hall. I also reconnected with some of the models who walked in Guyana Fashion Week 2007...Naeon, Angel, India and Kathleen (of ATNM fame) as well as some of the designers that came down too: Cleon Cummings of Debonaire Boutique in Brooklyn and Donna Dove and her Sugar Cane Collection (Thanks for the outfit Donna...I will wear it well!)....also presenting in the show were Sonny Puryear (swimwear), Duane Fish (menswear...with a twist!), Abiola Davis, Glenroy March (D'Marsh Collection), The Couture Collection from stylist Ty'ron Mayes and my absolute FAVORITE presentation of the evening....the new "Dana O." line from Queen Latifah and Susan Moses!

Usually, I am the only plus sized model at this show and the pickings as far as clothing goes are usually slim...but I was amped up because I have worked with Susan for YEARS...(see my Happy Bday Susan Moses Blog for a history lesson!) and I knew she was gonna do the plus sized gals right!!! And I was DEAD ON with my prediction...that collection was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!!! Susan brought along her design partner, Sunil, Miss Nicole Brewer and a wonderful sister named Shaneen AND she brought some of the baddest plus sized models in the business to help her present the collection. Besides my own fabulous was Miss Mia Amber (I don't think I have to keep saying how much love I have for should all know by now!!!), Miss Angellika Morton (Always beautiful and funny to boot!), Miss Winnetka (those green eyes do me in every time!) and 1st timer Ena Escallier (hope to see a lot more of Miss Ena...she's beautiful!).

After hair and makeup there is always a lot of "down time" as we wait for the show to begin and this year was no different...they always provide us with lunch, so after we all got fitted and got our makeup done...we headed to the buffet and sat down and enjoyed escovitch fish with pickled veggies, jerk chicken, rice & peas, curried chickpeas and fried plantains and the ever popular rum punch!!! Then it was time to get down to business. I walked for Cleon Cummings first and then I opened the Dana O segment in a winter white, double breasted maxi coat, with matching slacks and a gold & cream paisley blouse...complete with shades and a cream bag! Baby!!! I felt so good in that outfit...I had to walk the runway twice!!! I don't know about anyone else but after YEARS of walking in er...questionable? clothing....when you feel good in the clothing you are have no choice but to just "GIVE IT TO THEM!!!" on the runway (and I swear to you....I tried to kill them!! There were only five of us in the segment so Walter brought out Susan and did a brief interview with her about the work that she's doing on the line and then it was time for our second outfits. I closed our segment with a to-die-for black and silver body hugging floor length skirt and a black satin (?) high collared shirt with a patent belt...I don't usually wear belts..but I kid you not! Miss Susan knows her stuff...I couldn't have felt more beautiful if I had dressed I walked one more time for Donna Dove in a black & white handpainted fitted outfit..(that she presented to me as a gift from Guyana!!) and then I was headed out the door...I had a dinner meeting across town so I said my goodbyes, did my hugs and kisses and literally flew out the door!

Btw...Miss Mia told me she has gotten a new gig and has returned to daytime television (when I met Mia she was a producer for The Ricki Lake Show)...she's now a producer for the new Star Jones Show...You GO GIRL!!!! (Actually...Miss Star was instrumental in keeping the big girls at the forefront of fashion on The View....I am SO hoping that she does the same on her new show!). Congrats on the new gig mama! I KNOW you will do well!

Walter Greene....I don't have to say already know.

"There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Art Of Curves at The West Side Loft

Last night I had the pleasure of attending an event called "The Art of Curves", which was a plus sized fashion event held at a beautiful space called The West Side Loft. I arrived at about 8:40pm (er...actually late for the VIP Cocktail Hour...which started at My cab pulled up and there was a long line outside to get inside...but thank the Lord Security let me go right up. I got upstairs and ran right into Mike from Bigger & Better Thangs, Inc. and he got me a VIP wristband and I hurriedly went to grab a the room was filling up quickly. As I headed to my seat I ran into my homegirl Gwen "Diva" DeVoe, CEO of DeVoe Signature Events and my girl Tonya "T-Boogie" Giddens. I wound up sitting directly across from them and after chatting and taking a few pics, courtesy of Luke Jones...Photographer extraordinaire!!! (Thanks Luke!) I headed to the bar for cocktail. At the bar I ran into Luke's other half...Maddy Figueroa-Jones, Creative Director for Plus Model Magazine. I was feeling pretty fabulous in my "Mad Couture" original outfit from back in the day and added a yellow belt, bag & mules...(It's a shame Mad doesn't design anymore...EVERYBODY wanted to know where I got my outfit from!...(Hint-Hint Mad!!! it's time to dust off the sewing machine again!!!). While I was at the bar getting my cocktail I ran into Alicia Mitchell (MFC Top 5 finalist 2005) who told me she was doing make up for the event....and let me tell you...she did her thing! The ladies looked wonderful. I also chatted with Tasha from BGU (Big Girls United) and Monif C.'s beautiful mama! Then I heard an announcement that the show was beginning and I had to practically run back to my seat!!! But I didn't miss catching a glimpse of Miss Tanisha Malone (Miss F.A.T. 2006) with her pretty chocolate self doing some mannequin modeling alongside the runway....she looks awesome ya'll and mama is headed out to L.A. to test the waters out there as I write this blog entry...You GO Girl!!!! I wish you all the best! Also in attendance was the always fabulous Theresa Randolph of JT Productions....Word on the street is this year's Miss Full Figured NJ pageant (Usually held in December) will be her all you big gals with "Pageant Dreams" swirling in your heads should give Miss Theresa a shout out!

The lights went down and the show began...I saw a myriad of beautiful plus sized women in ALL SHAPES and SIZES!!! It was really a wonderful thing to watch. The ladies modeled designs by BA Walker for Streetwalker, BGU, Bweela Steptoe's, Designs by Sakina, The Fat Girl Flea Market, Lee Lee's Valise, MEWV, Style & Pride Suerock Originals, Svoboda, The House of Sir Charles & Trentacosta.

Gracing the runway I saw a lot of familiar faces, My girl Jeannie Ferguson (the other half of BGU), Veronica Calhoun (we go WAAAAY back ya'll), The beautiful Kalyea Moss, Troy Safi, Tonya Jeter, Melina & quite a few other sisters who's names I can't remember...please forgive me ya'll!!!

I really did enjoy myself but I have two things to note: coming in at over 2 hours the show was a tad bit long for me and most of that was because the models took way too long to walk (Runway Diva tip #1 - when you see a model at the end of the's time for you to WALK...if she's headed back when you come out...YOU ARE ALREADY LATE!!!..) In the future...have someone posted backstage to call the show. And it would have been nice if someone had mentioned who each designer was in the first half..(I saw a lot of clothing that I liked...but since it all flowed with no stops...I had no idea of who's clothing I was looking at). Other than that...I thought it was a great first effort!

Kudos to you Blacque Sutherland...And thanks for the invite...I am looking forward to seeing more productions from you!

Personal Shoutouts to: The sisters from SKORCH Magazine (Jeez!!! I am soooo very bad with names ya'll for real!!!) I enjoyed the convo...stay in touch

Mike from BBT - Your Mom is AWESOME!!! Thanks for making me feel special!


"Well done is better than well said."

The Gentrification of Harlem - Part 3

Alrighty I walked up Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Blvd) a few weeks ago...I noticed that The Bayou restaurant (located between 126th & 125th sts, above Charles Southern Kitchen and the pizza parlour) was gone and something new is in it's place. I had eaten at The Bayou many times...they had a sauteed chicken liver appetizer that I used to absolutely LOVE!!! (I always had it with a glass of champagne...the only way to do it!). I know it probably sounds like an acquired taste...but I thought it was really good. I also had their turtle soup with my friend Chet a long time ago...(hmmm...I remember not being too fond of that!) but I think my greatest memory of The Bayou was when my girl Yvette rented out the place to throw my OTHER home girl "Q" a "Pimp and Ho'" themed birthday party!!! (I will find those pics and post them here later). Needless to say...I was sad to see it go.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

But on the bright side....M&G's on Morningside and 125th...has reopened. The folks are trickling back in and their hours are limited (they aren't open on Mondays and Tuesdays any more) but when I have free moment...I will definitely try to get back in there for a good ol' country breakfast!

On another note....Not sure if it's good or bad...I had dinner the other night with my old friend Michel and a friend of hers. We met at Melba's on 114th street (I blogged about Melba's a few years ago...I have loved the place since it opened). I ran into MORE friends having dinner, Fred Jackson (formerly of Vibe and now with Essence Mag and his partner Tyrus and the fabulous Beverly Smith. They were finishing up as we were coming in and was kind enough to loan us one of their the place was extremely crowded. It was filled with folks and extremely loud...anyway, we were all hungry so we quickly ordered...Both Michel and I had the pan seared Chilean sea bass...sauteed spinach and garlic mashed for me and mac & cheese and collared greens for Michel. Her companion had the BBQ Meatloaf (which I's always good) and a double order of mac & cheese AND potato salad (You KNOW I was tempted to bop him on the head like the V8 a single vegetable on his plate!). We ate and tried our best to have a decent conversation over all that noise...after dinner I gave them a walking tour of Harlem as we walked back to 125th St.

Now I know this sounds like I am gonna wrap this up by telling you how great the food was but unfortunately, the fish made BOTH of us sick as hell (and that's NEVER happened to me before at Melba's), I won't say I will never eat there again...but I most CERTAINLY will NOT have the fish...EVER AGAIN!

"It's far better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."