What is Jem?

 After walking by Jem a number of times, I had to satisfy my curiosity. When I walked, I saw aisles and aisles of colorful fabric from the ceiling to the ground. I loved the environment. Jem is not your typical fabric store.  Jem is owned and operated by a brother-sister team, Michelle Zahabian, who is 24 years old, and her brother David. Their father was the owner of Fabric Warehouse across the street. After his passing a year ago, Michelle and her brother opened JEM, continuing their family tradition and a downtown staple. Located at 355 Broadway in NYC.

When I asked Michelle to describe their first year and half in business, she said it has been ” a lot of mini-miracles along the way”. Support NYC small business.

Dinosaur Hill Toy Store: South Dakota, Pre-School, East Village & Butterflies

Pamela Pier founded NYC’s Dinosaur Hill 27 years ago. From South Dakota preschool teacher to a NYC toy store owner, Pamela has got to be one of the kindest people in NYC I have met. Remember, I randomly walk into small businesses in NYC. “We are committed to purveying handmade wonderments, toys and clothes that challenge the mind, please the eye, and stimulate the senses.” Dinosaur Hill

Belinda Becker: Mother, DJ, Dancer & New Yorker

 Before Belinda Becker became Belinda Becker the DJ-dancer-actress, she had noble aspirations of being a journalist. Or rather, thats what her strict Jamaican parents hoped shed become. They wanted me to be something concrete, like a journalist, doctor, lawyer—not something iffy, recalls the 40-year-old triple threat. [Theyd say], Freelance? How are you going to live? What kind of life is that? After graduating from the University of Florida and moving to New York, she knew that the corporate life was not her speed. So she quickly became a staple in the New York Citys club scene, deejaying at legendary clubs including Area and Nells, now at La Esquina and Spur Tree. She has acted in a range of foreign and indie American films, playing a prostitute who falls in love with musician in 1990s Los Angeles and working alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Giancarlo Esposito in 1994s Fresh. And since 2004, shes been dancing with Urban Tap, a respected collective of musicians and performers.

The DETROIT SOIL: “Motown to Grotown”

A conversation with my mom’s friend, Pat, filmed in my mom’s hospital room during the last days of her life. This was “the conversation” when I knew I wanted to share stories from my hometown of Detroit, my current home NYC and other cities and countries across the globe i have visited or lived. Solutions through filmed, edited & shared conversations. 2 months after this filmed conversation, I launched https://mysmallstory.wordpress.com. Thank you for your eyeballs. Pat is a longtime family friend and a certified urban farmer with a goal of converting the 100,000 vacant lots (homes) in Detroit to “urban farms”…”Motown to Grotown”.

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