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

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

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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.

GRAMMY NOMINATED SOUL SINGER LEON BRIDGES TALKS ABOUT LOVING YOURSELF, HAVING PATIENCE AND HIS MOM’S YUMMY GUMBO -by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Want to know who inspires newest singing sensation Leon Bridges? CrownHeightsMom did so I sat down to listen to   Coming Home  the debut album from the newcomer who’s nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best R&B Album category  alongside  acts like  D’Angelo, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day and  legend Charlie Wilson.

Pumping through my beatsbydre pill was that  deep 50s and 60s’ soul  sound harkening back  to  the height of the civil rights era when R&B  music had a major significance on the movement and integration across the country. Bridges’  throwback singing style puts one in mind  of   Otis Redding and  Sam Cooke . I pumped the volume up on high and noted to myself that a chat  with this young  star was in order . I   wanted to meet  him to  find out more  about his Grammy nod  and his inspiration for this album.

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A throwback in time. Bridges is this and more and what a year he had in 2015 — releasing  his debut album  Coming Home, to performing on Saturday Night Live,  touring across the UK and contributing music to  the  Concussion Movie sound track –these are just a few of the highlights that  kept him busy.

I met the 26-year old  when he  made a stop in New York   just before the Christmas holiday. The newcomer was in town  attending  the Concussion Movie  premiere along with  lead star, Will Smith.   Spotting Bridges  ahead of Smith as they  walked the red carpet  outside  AMC Lincoln Center movie theater I snagged  the opportunity  to get a few questions answered .

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So whom does the humble Bridges look up to musically? “I like a lot of 1950’s and 1960’s gospel and country,” the 26-year old  tells CrownHeightsMom exclusively  as Will Smith, Liam Neeson, Kevin Lyles, Elew  and others  descend the red carpet to the screams and flashes of photographers begging them to “turn this way”. Adds the newcomer  who is quickly  becoming a household. “I love Bobby Womack, Townes Van Zandt, Jesse Belvin, and Johnnie Taylor. “All that different type of stuff.” 

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The late soul legend Bobby Womack

 

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R&B singer Jesse Belvin died at 27 in a car crash

 

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Taylor was known as the “Philosopher of Soul”

 

I did not think that my album would be worthy enough to be nominated in the R&B category—-Leon Bridges

 

The singer counts  his mother Lisa Sawyer  as his biggest cheerleader. “Even when I was  playing at open mics with five people in the crowd, she was  supportive,” he tells me . The soul and gospel crooner even dedicates the  track  “Lisa Sawyer ” on the album to his dear mom.

I wonder what  mom thinks of his current success. “Says the former dishwasher from Fort Worth Texas, “She said to me, ‘ It is all God ‘ and she  is just  totally blown away by the Grammy nomination and  with everything that has been happening,” he adds.

Not just his music reminds one  of the 50s and 60’s. So does his fashion style. He’s a  sharp dresser who loves   1950’s  style suits and putting together a look that is smart and GQ-ed out to the max.

 

With the  new success  and the new gear  Bridges says he does not forget from  whence he came. As he says   to me  he knows a thing or two of living the “struggling artist” life.  Before success hit he  made ends meet being a dishwasher but he never gave up on his music and making it. “You have to be in love with yourself and in love with your art,” Bridges tells  tell   CrownHeightsMom is one of the messages he wants  to share with struggling artists out there.

If you always think about making it, then you are going to get disappointed…………—-Leon Bridges

 

 

 

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Leon Bridges and actor Will Smith at the Concussion Movie NYC premiere.

The main thing, Bridges says artist should remember is,  “If you always think about making it, then you are going to get disappointed and you are going to get impatient .” He says, “It is all about patience,  being in love with yourself and using that time and the small platform for the better.”

 

With  the holidays now over the young artist is preparing for  a busy 2016. He was looking forward seeing  him mom over the Christmas holiday  exclaiming,  “I am going home! I am going to see my momma and to eat her gumbo for sure. My momma is from New Orleans.”

 

 

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Leon Bridges performs at SXSW

So how does the  future look  for Leon Bridges ? The blueprint so far looks great for this young recording artist and   Crownheightsmom  plans on following his progress . He hits the road in March, heading overseas  on a  tour that will last  through mid-June . This may seem quite a busy schedule so soon for a newcomer, but  Bridges says, he loves performing and this  is a “life long dream.”

 

Dreams do become reality  and Bridges says that he isn’t quite  finished yet on achieving his. One  dream  he has  his heart set on achieving  he says is a life  goal of helping others. “I want to provide ways for kids to go to college, ”  he shares,  adding “and  I  also want to provide ways to help out single mothers.”

Way to go Leon Bridges!……Way to go! We  here at Crownheightsmom.com have no doubts  that you will achieve these dreams and more.