“I’ve been an artist since I was 2” Yusef Sirius El is a a man of many talents. Painter, musician but he is known for his success as a footwear designer. Name the brand..Adidas, Nike, ENYCE, he has designed for them. Millions have worn his designs. Our conversation covers the story of Yusef, footwear designer.
“When I first became homeless, I use to pray that I die for 6 months…that was back in ’87” Jerry,52, may be homeless but his mind isnt. I met Jerry in Tribeca. Our conversation is inspiring to say the least. The street lights are on a timer. They come on and off every 2 minutes. Jerry’s face begins to appear at the :35 second mark. He shares his story, a new year’s resolution, tips if you become homelsss, this favorite Bible passage and strongly suggests that everyone “diversify their finances”.
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.
Spur Tree was selected by MACY’s Culinary Council as one of NYC’s hottest restaurants and Owner/Chef Sean John was asked to prepare a dish for Black History Month @ MACY’s department store’s kitchen studio. He is preparing a Jamaican national dish with coco bread: Ackee and Cod Bruschetta. I included the recipe for us all to try at home. Visit Sean at 76 Orchard Street (btwn Broome & Grand Streets) http://www.spurtreelounge.com/
1 lb (500g) of salted cod
2 dozen fresh ackee pods or 3 cups (12 oz/350g) canned ackee
1 scotch bonnet or jalapeno chili, deseeded and sliced
2 spring onions
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 loaves of coco bread
4 cherry tomatoes (for garnish)
1.Soak the salted cod in cold water for 3o minutes, then drain and place in a pan with 4 cups (1 liter) of water. Bring to a boil, drain, then break the fish into flakes with a fork. Set aside.
2. If using fresh ackee, romove them from the pods. Discard the seeds and gently remove the pink membranes with a sharp knife. Parboil the pegs of ackee by covering them with salted water in a medium saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, drain and set aside.
3. Set up a large skillet over medium heat and heat oil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the chili, sring onions, and onion and sute until tender. Add the salted cod, ackee, tomato and black pepper and cover low heat for minutes.
4. Open coco bread loaves and cut into 4 triangles. Warm in the oven for 1-2 minutes and plate.
5. Spoon the ackee and cod onto bread triangles and top with a halved cherry tomato.
Serves 4. Preparation time: 45 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes.
I stop by NYC’s STILL LIFE hats to film the owner Frenel’s story and he is busy with customers as usual. But he says you 2 should meet “you’re both into the same thing”. Dusty Wright is the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince’s New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, fiction, and music. He’s also a singer/songwriter who has released 3 solo CDs, and a member of the folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. And before all of this he was an agent at the William Morris Agency! And while I film conversations with small businesses, entrepreneurs & everyday people, Dusty has been doing similar interviews but with celebrites as the founder and host of The Culture Catch. The Culture Catch is a smart pop culture website with hundreds of webcast celebrity interviews and thousands of written reviews in all areas of the arts. Dusty Wright’s in-depth interviews with A-list artists discussing music, film, television, theater, comedy, and art will have you craving for more. Leave the high gloss spin doctors at home while the artists wax poetic and passionately about their craft, not their next project. Guests include: mega-screenwriter/director David Keopp, actor/musician Kevin Bacon, actress/comedienne Susie Essman (Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), theater actor/writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Lackawanna Blues), and many others
Joan Morgan. Entrepreneur. Writer. Mother and loved and admired by many including yours truly. Joan was one the first people I met in NYC back in June 1992. This story was filmed at Joan’s Spur Tree Birthday soiree with 3 of her girlfriends sharing stories and qualities about Joan. Joan Morgan is an award-winning journalist and author and a provocative cultural critic. A pioneering hip-hop journalist and entertainent writer, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice before having her work published by Vibe, Interview, MS, More, Spin, Giant and numerous other publications. Formerly the Executive Editor of Essence and one of the original staff writers at VIBE, Joan Morgan is the author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost — a fresh, witty, and irreverent book that marks the literary debut of one of the most original, perceptive, and engaging young social commentators in America today. Her work appears in numerous college texts, as well as books on feminism, music and African-American culture. She is currently teaches “The History of Hip-Hop Journalism” at Duke University.” So that’s what I do. Here’s a bit about who I am. I’m a Jamerican girl, born in hills of Westmoreland Jamaica and raised in the South Bronx whose been lucky enough to carve out a career writing about the things I care about most: among them hip-hop culture and the lives of black women. I have an amazing kid whose wit, courage, kindness and heart inspire and humble me everyday. I’m a New Yorker, a city girl through and through. I love great restaurants, stilettos, a good mojito and fine wine but I live in the country so I can hear myself think. I write from my office overlooking the river with my dog at my feet. All things considered its a pretty good life.