FLOWERS IN AN ARRAY OF COLORS ARE POPPIN’ VIVIDLY ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN LANDSCAPE

With Cherry Blossom season now over, the peonies and pansies are taking charge and are now on full glorious display across the landscape of Brooklyn’s renowned Botanic Garden. Bold and matte colors of pinks, whites, reds, yellows and purples bloom with pride across the Garden beckoning bees, birds, lizards and humans to take in its array of beauty.

PANSIES : Hamlet Act 4. SCENE 5 …..and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.
A beautiful pink Peony in full bloom

Taking in the wondrous display of mother nature’s beauty amidst the afternoon air laden with sweet scents of petals and blossoms .

I am not one to get lost in a flowerbed, but I will gladly stay hours-on-end at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden walking amongst its blooming spring flowers.

There is no mistaking that Spring 2019 has sprung for Brooklynites like myself . It has also sprung within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The official kick-off party occurred a few weeks ago with thousands enjoying the annual two-day Cherry Blossom Festival and viewing thousands of blooming flowers . With summer beckoning just over the horizon look forward for many more flowers to take bloom and more groovy events occurring throughout the Garden for members and the paying public. One event I will be taking full advantage of will be the late nights offered on Twilight Tuesdays . The Garden will closes at 8pm on Tuesdays through the end of May and at 8:30pm on Tuesdays during the summer months. Also don’t forget that Fridays are always FREE from 8am -Noon.

VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS SURE TO MAKE COUPLES LAUGH OUT LOUD OR BE CUDDLED UP 2GETHER IN BED

Valentine’s Day is a few days away and I am in a frenzy trying to find the perfect card for my hubs. Last year found me, at my wits end the day of frantically trying to find a card. It was literally impossible finding a good one remaining on the barren shelves. This year, I promised to hit the greeting card sections early. Cupid is on my side and I intend to be a winner. Take a look at some of the wonders I found and let me know if you can guess which one the hubby will end up with.

So many card choices to choose from at the local Rite Aid in my Brooklyn neighborhood

So luckily, I have about three go-to greeting card stores I frequent for all my year-round cards. From birthdays to baby showers, births, anniversaries Christmas and of course Valentine’s Day; these are my stores. In my neighborhood, is the 24-Hour Rite Aid. If the choices there are slim I make my way to Walgreens Super Store located in Manhattan’s Times Square and if the variations there aren’t great, then I head to Target located at either City Point or Atlantic Terminal in Downtown Brooklyn. Without a doubt, I am guaranteed to come out satisfied at any of these stores.

4-story Walgreens Super Store located in the heart of Manhattan’s Times Square

This year as I look around trying to find the perfect card for my husband I see that the variety has definitely changed up a bit. Added to the mix of romantic, heartfelt and funny cards are the newest cards aimed at Millennials. Personally, I am more on the lookout for the romantic cards- you know, the ones that speak to you. The one that as you read them you say to yourself, “This is so us!” I am also one who likes a good funny card. Like the laugh out loud ones that have you screaming OMG!

Cake Pops and Chocolate Covered Strawberries go well with Valentine’s Cards

Here are just a few of the many different Valentine’s Day card offerings I saw out there aimed at the significant others and the love-eers in our lives. I got a kick out of some of these. And as I mentioned earlier, this year the aim seems very Millennials target market heavy. But don’t let that stop my older or younger folks from finding that perfect Valentine’s card that suits the right guy or gal in your life. Heck, grab hold of one of these below. Forever Young I always say. LOL And don’t forget in the comments please let me know which one of these cards you think I grabbed up for my boo………….HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY LUVVIES

and even more below

Also then his one for the Bacon Lovers. Get this and present it paired with a box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne and some crispy bacon…..delishhh …haha

Bacon lovers will sing over this dancing bacon awesomeness

Above all, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Let’s all try to do as Lenny advised and, ‘Let Love Rule!

Love Above All Else
Lenny Kravitz Let Love Rule

Bruh, what Super Bowl? It was all about Marshmello killin’ it with that Epic Fortnite mini concert

Reader, raise your hand if you’re a parent with children from age three through seventeen years. You own a video game console. Your kids are avid video game players and Fortnite is the video game most obsessed over in your home. Raise your hand if, in addition, the gaming consoles you have an accompanying Spotify account so your kids can jam to their playlist of lit tunes during their gaming activities. Me? I plead guilty to all of this. But, I will say that thanks to my children, I have discovered new music, as well as new recording artists like Marshmello and even sick dance moves and it is thanks in part to their love of video gaming.

My 11-year old son is a FIFA19, Rocket League, and Fortnite player. PS4 is his console of choice but he also has an XBox. My living room is a gaming haven. It is where he partakes in Fortnite Battle Royales, letting loose with flossing dance moves, partaking in the occasional trash talk through his After Glow AG6 Wired Headset while sitting comfortably in his X Rocker Audio Gaming Chair playing with friends across the globe in Battle Royales

11-year old Kai kicks back in his X-Rocker Audio Gaming Chair with his AG6 PS4 headset

Over the weekend Epic Games, the makers of the Fortnite treated its more than 78 million players to a free concert which had them, literally shedding their skins. For kids, it was like watching their own Halftime Super Bowl show a day early, but instead of football in Atlanta with touchdowns this epic music mash-up occurred in the virtual world of Fortnite and included wicked tunes unleashed by celebrated EDM DJ, Marshmello.

EDM DJ Marshmello

The Philippino DJ is known for hits like “Alone”, “Silence”, “Twinbow” , “Moving On” and more “His music has fast become a favorite of the pre-teens and adolescents.

Marshmello ‘Alone ‘ music video

The DJ’s virtual collaboration with Epic Games was historic. The performance set inside of Fortnite’s Pleasant Park, definitely had everyone moving, flossin’ and flying. Without a doubt, diehard Mellogang fans were there for it and represented alongside Fortnite gamers. Seeing by the numbers who tuned into the virtual performance there is no doubt that Marshmello’s cred with the youth sector was upped. I wonder if even he imagined how crazy good it going to get when he sent out a tweet on Thursday directing all to head to the virtual location on Saturday night.

Talk of Marshmello coming to Fortnight was the top chatter online and with my son and his gaming pals . They were excited. One can definitely say that Epic Games scored a touchdown with the DJ because 78.3 million players logged onto their various video consoles to tune in.

Dance music DJ, Marshmello invaded Fortnite with a mini-concert that rocked the skins.

Marshmello has definitely upped his kiddie fan cred thanks to the virtual mini-concert in Fortnite.

Marshmello gets jiggy with his first ever virtual Fortnite concert and it was EPIC!

I give the DJ and his team props for the collab with Epic Games. They have definitely recognized the marketing importance of tapping into a younger audience whose spending power and purchasing influence makes them the top global consumers. With that being said, Fortnite players can now purchase Marshmello Skins, posters and cosmetics in the Fortnite’s shop.

Want to learn a few Flossin dance moves then check these out below and above all keep on flossin!

EVERYTHING to KNOW ABOUT how HEME MAKES the IMPOSSIBLE BURGER QUITE FRANKLY, POSSIBLE!

Meet the Impossible Burger 2.0. It is the only known burger that can be enjoyed by meat-lovers, vegans and vegetarians. There is no guilt, whatsoever involved.

@debrafrombrooklyn is all smiles as she snags a much in demand Impossible Burger
@debrafrombrooklyn shows off her Impossible Burger at the Paley Dialogues event
The Impossible Burger

I recently got to taste this meatless burger just days after it picked up a coveted award as one of the Best of CES 2019. It tastes like meat, looks like meat, but gosh darn, it isn’t meat! And you know, the best thing especially for non-meat eaters is that there is no guilt attached to eating it because it is made entirely from plants.

There’s no guilt thanks to HEME, the magic ingredient that makes up the Impossible Burger, which by the way paired with a glass of red wine is delicious.

Impossible Burger 2.0 was revealed at CES earlier this month. It debuted to raves reviews, thanks in part to an improved recipe of its original Impossible Burger, by burger company Impossible Foods, a Khosia , Horizons and Bill Gates-backed company that develops a new generation of delicious and sustainable meats and cheeses made entirely from plants. Reaching heights at CES 2019 the burger beat many smartphones, television, laptops, and even tablet brands to be named amongst the Best of CES at the 2019 Las Vegas trade show. The little burger won the hearts and taste buds of editors and writers attending the annual event. Even walking away with a “Most Unexpected Product” award from Endgadget .

So what exactly is Heme? Let’s hear from the pros at Impossible Foods.

Heme is an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every single plant and animal. It’s an essential molecular building block of life. Heme gives your blood its ability to carry oxygen. It’s found in all living organisms, and it’s been consumed every day—heck, every second—for hundreds of thousands of years..

Heme is superabundant in animal muscle, and that’s what makes a burger so flavorful. It’s also why meat is a particularly good source of iron. The heme found in animal muscle is carried by a protein called myoglobin.

KNOW THIS: Plants, particularly nitrogen-fixing plants and legumes, also have heme. The heme found in these plants is carried by leghemoglobin, which is closely related to myoglobin. Leghemoglobin in the soy plant is called soy leghemoglobin. The heme molecule in plant-based heme is atom-for-atom identical to the heme molecule found in meat. It’s what makes the Impossible Burger so rich and decadent.

Getting to taste an Impossible Burger at a recent Paley Media Council’s Paley Dialogues, Best of CES 2019 panel discussion was a great experience especially after hearing COO & CFO of Impossible Foods, David Lee talk with CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, David Pogue about the burger, the use of Heme and Impossible Foods.

CBS Sunday Morning’s David Pogue chatss with Impossible Foods COO & CFO David Lee

Without a doubt, all attendees, myself included were excited to see if the much-talked-about Impossible Burger 2.0 lived up to all its meatless hype.

Just a small bite of debrafrombrooklyn’s Impossible Burgers remains. Yummy!
debrafrombrooklyn enjoys a second Impossible Burger while attending the Paley Dialogues

Attendees to the Paley Dialogues panel discussion of the Best of CES, were treated to tasty Impossible Burgers cooked up by the Technical Sales and Culinary Manager, J. Michael Melton

The Impossible Burger is delicious. Presently it is only available in restaurants only. You can find THE nearest restaurant serving them at impossiblefoods.com.

KNOW THIS—–“Animal agriculture occupies almost half the land on earth, consumes a quarter of our freshwater and destroys our ecosystems. So we’re doing something about it: We found a way to make meat using plants, so that we never have to use animals again. That way, we can eat all the meat we want, for as long as we want. And save the best planet in the known universe.”—Impossible Burger

The voice of Aretha Franklin shines in full operatic aria in ‘The Upside’ movie with star Kevin Hart

Music travels with us throughout our lives. It makes the world go round. For many, it is a lifesaver, gateway to the soul and makes up the soundtrack of our lives. Like the great reggae artist,  Bob Marley so eloquently says, “When the  beat hits, you feel no pain.”

photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

NYC based Influencer @debrafrombrooklyn rocks stripped pants and purple booties at a screening of ‘The Upside’ movie in Manhattan

 

This brings me to the recent release of ‘The Upside‘ a comedy-drama starring funny guy Kevin Hart taking a spin at a serious role opposite thespian Bryan Cranston and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. The movie which features the music of late music icon, Aretha Franklin is a remake of the 2011 French movie, ‘The Intouchables’  which starred  Omar Sy and  Francois Cluzet.  In this American remake, the concept is kept pretty much the same but lacks the full-on heartwarming charm and inspiration that the  French version exuded thanks in parts to Sy.  The movie, based on a true story, tells the story of two men from different backgrounds culturally and financially, who change each other lives for the better. Hart plays Dell, an ex-con out on parole hired as the caretaker of Phillip (Cranston), a billionaire and quadriplegic, the result of a paragliding accident. Kidman plays Phillip’s assistant.

The movie is the first comedy-drama released for  2019. That it includes a soundtrack featuring the music of the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin   who passed away in August of 2018 will definitely lend to getting lots of music fans talking and filling theater seats. I had the opportunity to attend a recent screening in New York City, given by the  MOMS .

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert  and Melissa Gerstein

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert, and Melissa Gerstein …..photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Aretha’s musical chords are woven perfectly into scenes. Hart himself even gives it a go, with a comedic spin, of course, singing on the much beloved  “Think”.  Four of Franklin’s songs appear on the movie’s soundtrack, each song adding flair to the storyline, like when  Dell is overcome with his appreciation of classical music while attending the opera alongside  Phillip and hearing  Nessun Dorma sung superbly by the Queen of Soul.

Surprisingly, taking the #1 Weekend Box Office opening position away from front runner  ‘Aquaman‘ which is holding high with billion dollar sales worldwide, ‘The Upside’ on its Jan 11-13 opening weekend cemented itself to the list of movies featuring  Aretha’s music that went on to become memorable.

 

Like I said music makes everything better.  I felt that the music saved the ‘Upside.’  The movie could definitely have been better. If I had to watch the movie again I would probably opt for the French version as Hart and Cranston didn’t fully click like Sy and Cluzet. The movie did showcase that if given more opportunities  Kevin Hart should really try dipping into more dramatic roles but without the funny.  Finally,  I would also ask Hollywood to stop going back to that old drawing board script that depicts black male characters as ex-cons, dead beat dads or not privy to a socially elite lifestyle.

 

With that being said out of 10  popcorn bowls The Upside  gets 5

Want to check out ‘The Upside’ movie  soundtrack take a listen here at the website Lyric Soundtrack.

Want to see the 2012 French version  ‘The Intouchables’  which starred  Omar Sy as the lovable  Driss a down and outer from the projects of Paris and Francois Cluzet playing the role of Phillipe. Watch here

download

 

by Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

I froze my bum off to see the House of Louis Vuitton’s exhibition “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez and it was worth it!

Taking the solo trip in single digit temps to the former New York City location of the American Stock Exchange to see  “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition, one day before its closing on Jan 7th, was in two words- worth it!

Debra at the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra at the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Yes, I went solo and yup, it was a frigid  6 degrees outside in the Big Apple, but your girl survived. I was happy to see that I was amongst hundreds vying to get into the exhibit before it shuttered the next day. The exhibit which opened on October 27 drew a slew of celebs and fashion industry who’s who. With my fingers freezing and my feet going numb I jumped in place to keep warm and gawked at a group of fashionably dressed fashionistas standing in front of me passing out hand warmers amongst themselves. What I would have given for just one of those warmers to place in the bottom of my silver sneakers. I didn’t have to wait much longer for an answer.

Debra at  the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition  photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

The lines kept getting longer and longer as  Debra waited her turn to finally  get inside  of the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Thankfully my hour long wait ended. My line finally reached its way to the front door of the former American Stock Exchange and we entered inside.Major thanks go to curator, Oliver Saillard who brought to life the installation taking attendees on a journey of the Vuitton legacy starting in 1954 to present day. The exhibition was free to the public and stands in my opinion, in a class all by itself.

 

Louis Vuitton subway pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Louis Vuitton NYC subway from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic taken by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

With my family out of town for the holidays going solo turned out surprisingly to be lots of fun. Meeting new friends to take my pictures and chat about the installation added to the excitement.

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Some of my favorite and memorable pieces from the House of Louis Vuitton includ collaborations with other designers and brands like  Marc Jacobs, Supreme, Steven Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama

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Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

 

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It was wonderful to see many people from all over

 

Humble beginnings indeed. Louis Vuitton who in 1835 at 14 years old, left the Jura Mountains in eastern France by foot, reaching Paris two years later and working as an apprentice to a box, crates and wardrobe maker to go on nineteen years later to start his own company attracting the likes of socialites and dignitaries including Empress Eugenie is in of itself impressive.

Photo of a young Louis Vuitton taken at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC by @debrafrombrookly

Photo of a young Louis Vuitton taken at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

More wonderful images from the exhibition that wowed.

 

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Fashion rules everything and the House of  Louis Vuitton have always been a top choice of starlets and socialites through the years.

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Early Louis Vuitton fashions -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Early Louis Vuitton fashions -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Louis Vuitton fashions are red carpet faves of Hollywood starlets -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrookly

Louis Vuitton fashions are red carpet faves of Hollywood starlets -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

If you missed this exhibition you definitely missed out. It was an installation definitely worth attending. For more on the House that Louis Vuitton built, please visit the site here for US  residents and  International here for more.

By Debra Lewis-Boothman

Multi-Platinum Artist Fabolous Is All About The Stepping Stones in his hometown of Brooklyn

Ask any Brooklynite what’s the best thing about their borough and they’ll likely say, “EVERYTHING!”

We at  crownheightsmom will have to agree. In fact, no matter the season something fun is always  happening across the borough of Brooklyn.

Annual events from the  Cherry Blossom Sakura Matsuri Festival  at  the Brooklyn Botanic Garden  to the highly in demand monthly Target  First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum of Art   are the most talked about but on any given day there is always  something happening here. In fact, when it comes to putting its culture on display  Brooklyn hands down seems to be doing it best.

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 Japanese Culture at Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival  at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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A Traditional Geisha at the Sakura Matsuri Festival at BBG in 2016

That’s why  when we found out about  the  second annual  Central Brooklyn Arts  & Culture Weekend  which took place June 10th and 11th along the famed Eastern Parkway we had to go. It was a  fun weekend spent out with the kids and was celebrated with a movie night  happening on Saturday  and an outdoors street festival showcasing the best of the borough’s foods, arts,  crafts,  culture and contributors occurring on Sunday.

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A Flyer of the 2-day event celebrating Central Brooklyn

At the outdoor street festival  on June 11 the festivities kicked off with Borough President, Eric Adams   honoring   two outstanding talents from Brooklyn — multi platinum MC and Hip-Hop artist, John “Fabolous” Jackson and the late, world renowned abstract artist and Neo-Expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat, (whose  family represented for him).

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Rapper Fabolous receives the Key to Brooklyn from Borough President Eric Adams

Both Fab and Basquiat(posthumously) were  awarded   with the “Keys to Brooklyn” and  bestowed with individual stepping  stones inscribed with their names  and placed within the  Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s famed Celebrity Path.  The two sons of Brooklyn are now counted along the celebrity walkway amongst 160 others famous Brooklynites  past and present including  poets, performers,  artists, and athletes who lived or were born in the borough and  all made outstanding contributions to  the borough.

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Fabolous strikes a pose with Borough President Eric Adams next to his inscribed stepping stone in the Celebrity Path at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

 

The outdoor street festival  saw  locals, families  and visiting tourists  coming out to  rejoice in the arts, foods and culture along Eastern Parkway .

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Brooklyn residents check out the vendors along Eastern Parkway

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Seafood lovers were all about getting their  boxed food at Catch It

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The Brooklyn Museum brought its arts outdoors while a balloon vendor brings smiles to faces

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It was all about the sweet kernels at Kettle Korn

My 9-year old son had a blast checking out the vendors and the performances as well as  tasting some of the delicious food options on sale. He definitely liked the roasted corn which he eagerly covered in butter and a hefty shaking of parmesan cheese. So delicious.

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There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a sweet roasted corn on the cob

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Brooklynites grabbed  Smooth smoothies as they walked the path along Eastern Parkway

The high 80’s temperature definitely led to a beautiful day outdoors with attendees  enjoying and basking in the  music, dance and theatrical plays  happening on the main stage set up at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch at Grand Army Plaza. The breeze and water spraying from the fountain made for a refreshing feel.

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Those  walking  along the Eastern Parkway corridor beginning at Flatbush Avenue and heading towards  Washington Avenue got to choose from an array of vendors offering food, drink as well as the purchase crafts and fashionable items from jewelry to kids clothing.

 

Lots of activities were  available and  included fun games, bouncy houses  and  arts and crafts for the kids, a  dance party and theatrical performances  courtesy of  the Prospect Park Zoo, the Jewish Children’s Museum, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the New York Aquarium

photo by crownheightsmom

A band performs on the main stage at Grand Army Plaza

 

The 2-day cultural arts inspired events were brought together and presented by Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams in partnership with One Brooklyn Fund, Inc.,  All in all it was fun for the entire family.

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The office of Brooklyn’s Borough President, Eric Adams out  on the Parkway

 

With smiles on our faces we left  the festival  eagerly looking forward to next year’s celebration .

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Enjoying the day with my son

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Crownheightsmom Media CEO, Debra Lewis-Boothman’s outdoor street festival fashion included an african head-wrap and  a blush silk romper paired with hightop Converse sneakers.

 

If you also attended  this event please share your thoughts about the  weekend in our comments section below.