Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tavern on the Green to close on Dec. 31st...

Tavern on the Green, a restaurant located in Central Park on the Upper West Side of New York City, is counting its last days of operation as the 1934 restaurant will serve its last meals on the 31st of December....(Uh..yeah...that would be TOMORROW!)

click here to get the rest of the dirt!

Not for anything....when I was a kid growing up in East Harlem...EVERYBODY in the hood dreamed of having their "fairy tale" wedding (complete with horse drawn carriage) at Tavern on the Green!!! I mean we saw enough about it in the movies and of course if you had your wedding reception definitely made the NY Times social pages!! Of course back in it's heyday, their admittance policy was VERY you KNOW that dream wasn't HARDLY happening for too many folks that looked like

Quiet as it's kept "we" did manage to infiltrate the red ropes on many occasions after the sun went down...(Encore Models to the floor in the early 90's for some kick azz parties...and because it WAS Tavern on the HAD to be dressed your absolute best! It was a marvelous time to be young, black & vibrant in New York City and I will miss the institution itself dearly....For my generation it was THE epicenter of high society (white or black) and if you hadn't been there, you hadn't arrived.

I recently attended a party at Tavern on the Green over the summer and the evidence of it's decline was everywhere including the caliber of guests and the obvious lack of any real dress code. I knew it was over for them the minute I walked through the doors, gone were the days of high glamour and elegance; the sheer excitement of pulling up to the brightly lit up driveway was no longer there. The once familiar scent of money being in the air was non existent. The hallways that held memories of beautiful delicately colored ball gowns, tuxedos & dinner jackets were now cluttered with scantily clad women, young (and not-so-young), young men dressed like pimps with no sense of decorum on the dance floor. The dark, hot and sweaty party rooms reminded me of house parties from back in the day. The staff was polite but generally bristled if they actually had to talk to you. The garden area was still beautiful that summer evening and the chairs and tables were filled with couples who had come outside to get some air. From the outside it reminded me of a great big black people greenhouse with the windows all steamed

Like I said...I knew it was the end of an era that night.

The Pink Teacup Restaurant to close on Jan 3, 2010

Word on the street is that famed The Pink Tea Cup Restaurant in Greenwich Village will serve it's last soul food meals on January 3, 2010. Dang! You won't be able to get a decent plate of Soul Food anywhere in NYC if we keep this ish up......

Check out the full story here

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Tyra Show to end?

Tyra Banks Ending Talk Show

Another one bites the dust.

Just one month after Oprah Winfrey announced she would be ending her 25-year reign as the most influential talk show host of all time, Tyra Banks said she plans to throw in the towel as well.

The 36-year-old model-turned-media-mogul tells People magazine, '"This will be the last season of 'The Tyra Show.'"....

To continue reading click here

Is this THE END for The Boys Choir of Harlem?

I simply can't believe this is happening....Oooohh...HELLO? Jay-Z & P. Diddy y'all know you need to step in and correct this situation asap!! This institution has saved the lives of thousands of young black men by taking them off the streets by allowing them to see the world OUTSIDE of their neighborhoods, educating and nurturing their dreams & talents through music. We desperately need outlets like these to continue to nurture, mentor and educate our young men.

My love of music (and English) certainly kept me from dropping out of high school cuz for a long minute I found the streets much more appealing than
Your thoughts fam?

For the audiences that marveled at the Boys Choir of Harlem, it was an additional wonder that the young performers with world-class voices had emerged from some of the most difficult neighborhoods of New York. December was always a busy month, as the choir toured the country’s premier concert halls and appeared on television Christmas specials.

But this year, the boys are nowhere to be found. Last week, Terrance Wright, a 39-year-old choir alumnus, picked up a microphone in front of the altar of Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church in Harlem, the choir’s last home, and delivered news that surprised few people but saddened many.

“Tell the people. Let it be known,” Mr. Wright said, glistening and exhausted after leading a Christmas concert by former singers in the choir. “There is no Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem.”

The choir’s last official performance was in 2007, around the time of the death of its founder, Walter J. Turnbull. But no one ever announced that it was gone. Board members and alumni had hoped to revive it, but they acknowledged last week that they had not had any success.

For a famous organization that politicians had vowed would outlive its founder, it had a quiet end. Many of the choir’s materials, like copies of handwritten scores and its trademark burgundy blazers, now sit in black garbage bags and open boxes in the church’s damp dirt-floor basement, amid overturned tables and sacks of plaster of Paris.

Led by Dr. Turnbull, who started the group in 1968, the choir sang at the White House for nearly every president since Lyndon B. Johnson, and it was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Bill Clinton. But it did not survive long enough to perform for the country’s first black president.

The choir’s demise as a functional organization was a result of many factors, but everyone agrees it was set in motion by a single episode: an accusation by a 14-year-old boy in 2001 that a counselor on the choir’s staff had sexually abused him. The counselor eventually was sentenced to two years in prison.

To read the full NY Times article click HERE

Additional sources

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Civil rights pioneer Percy Sutton dead at 89

Percy Sutton, the pioneering civil rights attorney who represented Malcolm X before launching successful careers as a political power broker and media mogul, died Saturday at age 89.

Marissa Shorenstein, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Paterson, confirmed Sutton's death. She did not know the cause. His daughter, Cheryl Sutton, declined to comment when reached by phone at her New York City home on Saturday before midnight. (See pictures of the civil rights movement.)

The son of a slave, Percy Sutton became a fixture on 125th Street in Harlem after moving to New York City following his service with the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. His Harlem law office, founded in 1953, represented Malcolm X and the slain activist's family for decades.

The consummate politician, Sutton served in the New York State Assembly before taking over as Manhattan borough president in 1966, becoming the highest-ranking black elected official in the state.

Sutton also mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate and mayor of New York, and served as political mentor for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's two presidential races.

"The godfather," Jackson once called him.

In 1971, with his brother Oliver, Sutton purchased WLIB-AM, making it the first black-owned radio station in New York City. His Inner City Broadcasting Corp. eventually picked up WBLS-FM, which reigned for years as New York's top-rated radio station, before buying stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit and San Antonio between 1978-85.

The Texas purchase marked a homecoming for the suave and sophisticated Sutton, born in San Antonio on Nov. 24, 1920, the youngest of 15 children.

Among Sutton's other endeavors was his purchase and renovation of the famed Apollo Theater when the Harlem landmark's demise appeared imminent.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Kwanzaa!!

December 26 -- January 1

Happy Kwanzaa Family!

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba—the seven principles of blackness), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy," consisting of what Karenga called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.


50% After Christmas Sale at The Curvy Fashionista!!

Still looking to purchase that fabulous dress or that special outfit for the big New Year's eve party? Well look no further......

You still have a little time left to check out the 50% off After Christmas sale at The Curvy Fashionista!! Click HERE to begin your shopping experience!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!

Seasons Greetings
From The ORIGINAL Runway Diva & my family to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Word on the street is....

Jennifer Hudson is pregnant again. Don't know how true it is but it's what folks are saying.


Update: Jennifer’s rep Lisa Kasteler says that Jennifer will be leaving for South Africa in April to begin filming the feature film, Winnie. She says that it is a commitment Jennifer is excited about and takes very seriously. Along with acting, her rep also says that Jennifer is currently in the studio recording her second album and this is the only delivery she is looking forward to in 2010.

Harlem Hospital HIV Nightmare...

A city hospital nearly destroyed a New Jersey woman's life and wrecked her marriage after misdiagnosing her with terminal HIV, hepatitis and herpes, according to a bombshell lawsuit.

Maria Osorio, 54, of Passaic, said she saw an ad on TV offering a $15 mammogram at Harlem Hospital over Valentine's Day last February and decided to take advantage of the screening.

When a nurse offered her a free instant cheek swab and blood test, too, she accepted. That's when she was told she had HIV.

"It was horrible. I wanted to throw myself on the subway tracks," she said. The story goes on to say that Marie contemplated murdering him, and also committing suicide. But three weeks later, while Marie was plotting her next move, the hospital called and told her that they had made a mistake. And that Marie's blood was 100% clean.

Marie and her husband are now suing Harlem Hospital for an unspecified amount of money.


To continue reading this story in it's entirety click HERE

Fantasia For Real Debuts January 11th!!

Fantasia's new reality series "Fantasia For Real" debuts on VH1 on January 11th, 2010 at 10:00pm EST...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sinbad Bankrupt?

Popular 90s comedian Sinbad is reportedly broke, and has filed bankruptcy after being hit with some hefty paid due tax bills from the government.

According to The Detroit News, the 53-year-old comedian (real name: Sinbad Adkins) owes more than $8.15 million in delinquent federal taxes, court filings indicated.

Now, the U.S. Attorney General's office wants his house sold to help pay down his debt.

Go HERE to read the rest....


Monday, December 21, 2009

"Clueless" actress Brittany Murphy dead at the age of 32

Brittany Murphy, the actress who got her start in the sleeper hit "Clueless" and rose to stardom in "8 Mile" before her movie roles declined in recent years, died Sunday in Los Angeles of what appeared to be natural causes, a Los Angeles County coroner's official said. She was 32.

Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart said.

To read the rest click HERE

TV Actress Alaina Reed Hall (227) dies at 63

Actress Alaina Reed Hall, probably best remembered for playing Rose on the sitcom 227 and Olivia on Sesame Street from the late 70s to the late 80s, passed away last week after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 63

Rest In Peace Sister....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Excerpts from The Kindred Webisode Series Launch Party ...

I received this clip with excerpts from The Kindred Webisode Series Launch last month at Slate NYC.....I thought it was cool enough to share....Enjoy fam!

KINDRED | Launch Event 11.21.09 from SistaPAC Productions on Vimeo.

And while you're at it you can also check out my slideshow of photos from the event as well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy 50th Birthday Chef Syncere!!

I had the pleasure of co-hosting the 50th birthday celebration for Chef Syncere Zakee, who is the hubby of my publicist Mary Moore.

The event was held last Saturday at Harlem's Alhambra Ballroom...WRKS-FM Quiet Storm DJ Lenny Green was also on hand to open up the show, which began with a couple of rounds of "Name That Tune" and some CD giveaways....

In addition to the sit down dinner and open bar (which featured my newest fixation...Hennessy Black) there was also a talent show that included music from the 5 decades of Chef Syncere's life and featured roller skaters, hustle dancers, singers and a couple of brother who's appeared on "Who's Got Jokes" and goes by the name of Foster was pretty funny!

Full Force's Bowlegged Lou, recited a poem that he penned for the birthday boy and sang "The Greatest Love of All" (Who knew he could sing? I certainly didn't!)....also on hand for the

celebration was former Right On! Magazine editor in chief, Cynthia Horner & Theresa Randolph of JT Productions.

Although I had a really good time I was struggling desperately to keep my cold at bay until the event was over and by the very last act my throat was on fire and my voice was totally gone!!! The birthday boy led of the first dance....The Electric Slide of course and the party took off from there!

I said my goodbyes, gave Mary a hug, took a big ol hit of Theraflu (which I had purchased BEFORE I arrived at the event) and walked quickly home, crawled under the covers and went straight to sleep!

Happy Birthday Chef! I hope you had a good time!

Party With A Purpose......

is happening THIS Friday, December 18th 2009.....See you all there!!!

Don't forget your unwrapped toy!!!!

Jennifer Hudson's "I'll Be Home For Christmas" Special...

Recently Jennifer Hudson packed up her fiance, new baby boy (who is absolutely gorgeous) and her big sister Julia and headed back home to Chicago to shoot her Christmas special "I'll Be Home for Christmas"....

I thoroughly enjoyed it!! She was in great voice, she looked beautiful and she just appears to be in a really good place right now....I am very happy for her!

Jennifer Hudson

I think my most favorite part of the special came at the end of the show when she decided to close with The J5's version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" know:

"The JACKSON 5 wanna wish everybody...a mellow Merry Christmas and a Groovy New Year!!"

What??? I can't remember the last time I heard someone use this version of the song.....all that was missing for me was hearing her riff over the track....

Here's to hoping that they will release a live version of this was really awesome! If you missed it take a look at the clip of her duet with Michael Buble to get a taste of what you missed!

Congratulations to Mo'Nique & Gabourey Sidibe....

on their Golden Globe nominations in the Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress categories for their performances in "Precious".....

Continued Success ladies!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Jade Banks & Charlie Bye!!!

Special birthday shout outs today for my neighbor and bud Jade Banks

Who took this most AMAZING photo of me a few weeks ago

And my good girlfriend (and FAT Chance roomie) Danielle "Charlie" Bye....

Have a most AWESOME birthday ladies! MUAH!!

A-MUSE...The New Book By Douglas Says....

This post is LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG overdue fam...but better late than never I say!

One of my favorite designers and good friend designer Douglas Says has a new book. It's called "A Muse" and it's a personal trip down memory lane for the New Jersey based designer, showcasing some of his early works and some of his favorite muses. Below is the legendary Lu Cierra looking stunningly beautiful on one of three alternate covers.

Douglas gave me the honor of being the only plus sized model to grace the pages of his first book!

Wanna take a sneak peek? Go HERE

A-Muse retails for $40 click here to purchase your copy now!

Below are some the alternate shots that didn't make the book but I am proud of them anyway...So I thought I'd share with my fam!!

Derrick Rutledge BEATS THE HELL out of Glamour Magazine's Dec Cover Girl!!

Cover by Glamour Mag

FACE (beating) by Derrick Rutledge!!!!

YOU GO BOY!!!! Continued success to you!!

The December 2009 issue of Plus Model Magazine is LIVE!!!

The December issue of Plus Model Magazine is up and my article is ready for your review, I was pleased to see the very beautiful (and a nice chickie to boot!) Ivana Fields gracing this month's cover.

This month's "Model Behavior" column covers all of the "Curvy Accomplishments (and boy were there a whole lot) for 2009 and a "Call of Arms for 2010" to my fellow curvy sisters to take back our power and to continue to break down barriers and pave new roads for others to follow in 2010!

Click HERE to check out my article this month!

Dance Your Ass Off Season Two Casting is coming to NYC!!

Word on the street is that Oxygen's hugely successful reality/weight loss show "Dance Your Ass Off" is casting for season 2 in New York City:

If you love to dance and want to show America that even with a little junk in the trunk you can still bust a move, we want to hear from you!

Together the contestants from season 1 lost nearly 500 pounds and we're ready to help a new group shake the weight off again! With the help of our nutritionists and top-notch dance professionals, you may finally fit into those skinny jeans!

If you are at least 18 year old, apply now! The winner will receive a huge cash prize.


DALLAS - Sat, Dec 5. 10am-4pm. Dallas Power House of Dance

CHICAGO - Sat, Dec. 12. 10am-4pm. 218 South Wabash - 3rd Floor

NEW YORK - Fri, Dec 18. 1pm-8pm. Paul Pellicoro's Dance Sport

* For open call details and more info on how to apply, please click here to visit our website:

Email if you have questions.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday To "Mah Boo"!!

Today is "Mah Boo's" birthday.....I won't be posting a pic cuz I know he values his privacy but I did wanna shout him out and let him know that he's very much loved.....

LOL...Btw...he LOVES carrot cake hence the pic (in case you're confused)

Happy Birthday My Love....The best is yet to come....I promise you that!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Lee Ann & Darren!!!

Today is my mom's 65th birthday and yesterday was my baby bro's 43rd....The family all gathered together yesterday in "da Boogie Down" to celebrate them both!!

We had plenty of this:

Courtesy of my Baby Sis....For the Record....My girl can THROWDOWN in the kitchen!!! Her honey BBQ Wings are ridiculously good!!! If you make a late arrival to ANY of our are definitely gonna miss out on the wings....they are ALWAYS the first thing to go!!!

And some of this to wash it all down.....

A glorious time was had by love my family....I really do!

Happy Birthday Mama & B!!! I hope you enjoyed your birthdays!