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.
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.
The outdoor street festival saw locals, families and visiting tourists coming out to rejoice in the arts, foods and culture along Eastern Parkway .
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.
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.
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
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.
With smiles on our faces we left the festival eagerly looking forward to next year’s celebration .
If you also attended this event please share your thoughts about the weekend in our comments section below.
For two weekends in a row ‘Kung Fu Panda 3‘s slay at the box office continued. Crushing its competition the film threw down like the Broncos but by weekend 3, and now this past weekend, its fourth week out, competition got tougher for our cuddly hero Po as he went up against the super hottie-hero, Ryan Reynolds in ‘Deadpool‘.
Coming in second for two weekends since Deadpool’s arrival our Kung Fu fighting Panda bear fought hard to retain a top spot even beating out newcomers ” How To Be Single’ and ‘Zoolander.’
Pat on the back to me for taking the kids over the weekend, thuds counting ourselves amongst those helping Po to stay on top at the box office-
I have a confession and will admit that seeing the movie on Saturday was my second helping of KFP3 . Need I say more! It was so nice, I saw it twice!!
For families who haven’t seen this latest installment of the Kung Fu Panda franchise, a trip to the cinema is definitely in order. In this version our dumpling popping Kung Fu hero’s long-lost poppa-Panda materializes. Reunited, he takes Po to a secret Panda village to meet scores of other cute Panda characters. Looming though, to wreck the happy family reunion is the appearance of Kai (J.K. Simmons), an evil villain who has returned from the spirit world to steal the powers of all living Kung Fu Masters. Po’s mission? He must master his chi thus find the secret to his own powers within,in order to stop Kai.
Raking in over $294 mil worldwide thus far, it is obvious to all that this third installment of the cuddly warrior-hero Panda and his posse of kick-butt pals including Tigress (voiced by Angelina Jolie), Viper (Lucy Liu) and newcomer Mei Mei ( Kate Hudson) is destined like its sister installments —Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2 to be a family favorite. A breakdown of the franchise and its box office numbers can be seen here at Box Office Mojo.
Crownheightsmom aloing with a number of other mom bloggers caught up with stars Lucy Liu and Kate Hudson during the stars’ press stop in New York to promote KFP3 earlier this month . The actors, both parents popped in together to chat with Melissa Gerstein of the MOMS after a screening of the movie at the Regal Union Square theater. Liu, dressed in an elegant knee high black dress and Hudson in a baby pink pantsuit paired with a grey cashmere sweater were all smiles and excited to be chatting it up about the movie and their involvement.
Hudson sitting crossed legged shared with the audience, “when I saw the character she was so fun and funny.” Hudson voices the girl diva Panda,, Mei Mei.
“I got a call from Jeffrey Katzenberg who said ‘we would you like you to come play the part of Mei Mei.’ It all kinda happened last minute and having known Jeffrey forever I said yeah sure, why not! “
“To get one [character] that is so funny, I got really excited because she is so adorable.”
The conversations with the two mom stars ventured from the movie and onto parenting. When Gerstein touched upon mom regrets in parenting, Hudson shared about the time she took her now 11 year old son Ryder–he was 5 or 6 at the time —along with her to see American Idiot, the Green Day play on Broadway.
“When Ryder was younger he loved Green Day .So I took him to the play.” Recalls Hudson , “as I enter the theater everyone is looking at me like, ‘why does Kate Hudson have her young child at this play? ”
“So a few minutes into the play and here I am with my sweatshirt over his [Ryder’s] head and I am like ‘I am out! ” she tells us laughing.
Lui didn’t share any parenting faux pas but she did dish on why she loves doing animation flicks. KFP3 is Liu’s third ride alongside Jack Black and Angelina Jolie .
For Liu, she shared , there is comfort in doing animation. “You get to show up in your sweatpants.”
“You are also in a room by yourself and I was in NYC so I would do skype and facetime session with the director, [Jennifer Yu Nelson] and that is how she directed me. ” Adds Liu, “you really have a limited idea of what they want in terms of the visual aspect because the film isn’t done at that point .so they were very flexible.
Liu also talked a bit about her ethnicity telling the audience. “Everybody is always asking me how is it to be an Asian American actress. I am like, I really don’t know! I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. I can talk about being an actress .I can talk about being an artist. About being someone in the industry but I do not want to talk about the fact that I am Asian American and an actress because it is the same thing .”In the end it is about talent and that is what really stands out.”
That was quick! Yup, the lazy days of summer has begun and with it comes the task of choosing books that will get you through lots of hot days by the pool and at the lake. I’ve already planned a weekend trip to the legendary family-owned bookstore the Strand. If I am lucky I might even bump into Nancy who runs the store with her dad Fred. I haven’t seen Nancy since our kids attended nursery school together.
I put my summer reading list together weeks ago . It’s an eclectic list ranging from Chick Lit to memoirs, poetry books to a few DIY-ers – learning how to Code and even one on how to build a doghouse .
In just a few days the family and I will head to Pennsylvania to officially start our summer vacation. I’ve made the necessary stops at the library to pick up the kids’ books for their required summer reading, With reading materials put on reserve for pickup our evenings for reading are squared away and will be filled with adventures, laughs and visits to far off lands thanks in part to our books.
One title I am looking forward to curling up with is the Melissa Rivers bestselling memoir, ‘The Book of Joan.’
I’ve had this book a few weeks now but have held off reading saving it for my summer reading. Having only skimmed over the first chapter I am besides myself to just dig in and read it all in one non-stop go.
After meeting and and hearing Melissa speak about her mom at a luncheon during her NYC press tour I grew to like her even more than before. I was even lucky enough to have my copy of her memoir personally signed by her. So this book is a define keepsake.
Since its release, the book has been climbing the bestseller charts and is currently sitting on the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times’ and USA Todays’ Bestsellers books lists.
A quick sneak peek in Chapter One already has me in stitches. I can already tell this is going to be lots of laughs-out-loud. I am literally rolling on the floor as Melissa retells events from her life with her mum. Joan truly shines through each pages and at every mention .
I am pleased that Melissa was able to take readers into the world she shared with her mother, giving readers a first class, front row seats into their wacky, funny and loving family life. I can’t wait to read even more.
When Melissa arrived at the MOMS event held at Juniper Bar in Midtown Manhattan, I half expected to see Joan following directly behind her.Smiling, she greeted everyone with a wide smile and an excited “Hello everybody.” Dressed in a fun floral swing dress to the knees and copper pumps she quickly took her seat next to hosts Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein the co-creators of The MOMS . The trio chatted about everything Joan and family life.
I left the event feeling that Melissa Rivers is funny as hell. It was clearly visible how alike in personalities she and mom Joan really are.
Writing the book gave me permission to laugh.-—Melissa Rivers
Melissa looked happy and everyone present noticed it. It was good to see that 8 months after her mother’s passing the single mom was looking healthy and happy.
“I don’t come from a family where you sit in a puddle and fall apart,” Rivers said off the bat in dealing with the loss of her mum, Joan’s death in 2014 she says plainly, ” You get up and you go forward.”
Readers will come away knowing how kind my mother was and how real she was.” – Melissa Rivers
Melissa Rivers poses with The MOMS, CrownHeightsMom and other mom bloggers at Juniper Bar in NYC
After Joan was buried Melissa jumped head first into writing her memoir. Thanks to her editor whom she she recalled meeting the day of the funeral when, as Melissa tells the story “this lady walked up to me extended her condolences and proceeded to kindly place a business card into my hands.” The rest is history – the result a well written and oh so funny memoir that will make Joan proud.
This book gives you a moment to laugh.”–Melissa Rivers
Writing the book say Melissa brought comfort as well as a flurry of emotions– joy and tears. “I sat for a few hours every day and a couple of times every week with my writing partner and I remembered funny stories and it allowed me to laugh. It gave me permission where nobody can judge me. It’s a funny book.Writing the book gave me permission to laugh. Melissa adds that these feelings and memories spawned a bigger mission for her—preserving her mother’s legacy.
On June 8 the GRAMMY Museum debuted its latest exhibit, Joan Rivers: Can We Talk? to commemorate the comedian’s life . Joan won a posthumous Grammy in February for Best Spoken Word for her Diary of a Mad Diva. The current Grammy exhibit showcases various stage costumes worn by Joan during her career. It also features family photos, her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star award, her hardcover book collection- including several of her New York Times bestsellers, the 1984 Harvard Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Award, her 1990 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk/Service Show Host and one of her Louis Vuitton travel trunks. The exhibit runs through September 20th.
Going it alone without both parents, Melissa says she misses them (her dad passed away when she was almost 18) but, she has kept going for her only child, Cooper 14. “Having kids changes the dynamics of how you get through grief” says Melissa . “You get up and you move forward,” she says, adding, “That is how we have lived our whole live. There are days that are angry days, some that are painful days and that’s fine. ” Adds the proud mom, “My son needs to see that there is light at the end of every tunnel. Yes, there are days that are horrible and it sucks, but we are going through it. The example has to be that life continues and it does. That is what your parents would want you to show your children.”
“There was such a realness to our relationship [ it ] that everyone could see a little bit of themselves.”-Melissa Rivers on the relationship she shared with mum Joan.
On working with her mum for so long. Melissa says, ” In creating a career with my mom, it was hard and it was difficult and it was frustrating. It was coming to peace and terms with a lot of certain things and understanding that there are preconceived notions,” she notes, adding,” For me it was having to work harder than everybody else to prove that I am my own person.”
Coming from a showbiz family she says of going into the biz.”If you are going where your parents went and your parents were successful, you are going to have to work harder. You might get the interview but you are not going to get the job because of it.” If you get the job everybody will say you only got it because of your parents, so you have to work ten times harder just to be considered to be as good as everybody else and you know that and it doesn’t make it fair and it doesn’t make it less frustrating.
“We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car!'”-Melissa Rivers on mom Joan’s driving.
Melissa admits that growing up as the daughter of Joan Rivers wasn’t easy. “I wrestled control over certain things by the time I was 17.” In facts she says, “We never let her drive! The worst words to hear at home from my mom was, ‘Melissa get in the car'”. Other things say Melissa included Joan hiding money around the house. ” She was also not good with her Blackberry and she could not deal with the iPhone, at all,”adds Melissa.
Writing the book made it ok to laugh and ok to say we are all a little crazy.”—Melissa Rivers
Melissa says she hopes that the take away from reading “The Book of Joan” will be that, “readers will come away knowing how kind my mother was and how real she was.” She adds that she hopes that it gives readers a moment to stop and laugh. ” About that special thing her and mom Joan shared she says, “What resonated with us is that people related to us. Everyone could see a little bit of themselves with us and admitted it was ok to laugh.My mother’s personality was so big and she was so well known and was such a character you are hearing about it in her voice but from my point of view, which is different from her point of view. ”
I want people to know that even though our lives were crazy we took moments to laugh.- Melissa Rivers
“I want people to know how kind my mother was and how real she was and that even though our lives were crazy we took moments to laugh.
“One of the things that always resonated with my business partnership with my mother and our performing together and her being her and me being me is that people related to us because of the mother daughter relationship. There was such a realness to it that everyone could see a little bit of themselves. It made it ok to laugh and say ok, we are all a little crazy,” says the Fashion Police co-host.
If you would like your own copy of Melissa River’s memoir “The Book Of Joan” you can grab it at the Strand Bookstore in NYC or at their website here.
American actress, model and former child star Brooke Shields get “REAL” in her new memoir Brooke Shields There Was a Little Girl . Yup, I said it. Brookie baby is the real deal. She’s a mom who’s not into flooding her children’s heads with too much adult centered family chit-chat their little ears don’t need to hear just yet. And I agree with her. Why does a 6 year-old need to know all the family business anyways? As Brooke states once you don’t lie to your kids why does it concern them to know every little detail of family affairs that are beyond their years.
So do they know what she wrote about in this memoir? “My kids were only interested to know if they were in the book or not,” she states. “It is funny, my youngest was like ‘you know mom, I’ve got to read it but I don’t think I want to read it now.'” Adds the actress, “They would be bored out of their minds. They don’t want to read this!” Plus she states, “I feel that we give our kids all this information. I am like, just don’t lie.” As Brooke sees it, “Kids, they can’t handle it.” And boy does she knows whats she’s talking about. “My oldest is eleven and I will talk to her about things and what she wants to talk about but it’s not as if she can handle all the information,” says the mom of two girls.
Shields admits that she was dependent on her late mom Teri who died in 2012 as much as Teri was dependent on her. “I had such an enmeshed relationship with my mother that it was really hard for me to spend nights away at someone’s house and it is not because she didn’t want me to. It was because I didn’t want to,” the actress shared with mom bloggers on Nov 17 at a luncheon co-hosted by Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein co-creators of the MOMS brand and Mamarazzi events. Adds Shields, “I wanted to be with her and attached to her constantly.”
But letting go has allowed her to be a different parent from mom Teri, a Newark, NJ native whose hard parenting and tough love has had a direct effect on her experiences as a mom .Experiences, shaped and influenced predominantly by an alcoholic mum she adored. “I am making them[my daughters] feel as safe as they possibly can to not need me 24/7,” she says . “That hurts me much more than it hurts them because a part of me wants them to look at me exactly the way that I looked at my mother .” Adds the 49 year old mom, “I have spent all of these years trying for that not to happen, just so that they can feel safe in their own skin.”
With her eldest daughter Shields says she finds herself battling feelings of competitevness . “She has my husband wrapped around her fingers,” says Shields of her 11-year old daddy’s little girl. “I find myself jealous of my 11 year-old because she gets his attention and there is an interesting way she can get him to get her anything she wants.” Adds Shields laughingly, “I have been through enough therapy to not be threatened by this but it is really interesting when you watch how this little person does her thing. I don’t know what it is but I watched her work it and she got a [cell] phone out of it.” Says the actress, “I wanted to castrate him [ husband]. I was so over it.”
Through it all Shields says finding the courage to write the book was easy . “I have written diaries all my life so I went back to my diaries from 1974 . ” Plus she adds, “It’s very familiar for me to have my life be known for so many decades, so you get to know how to navigate it. I didn’t feel vulnerable because I felt it is my life and I have a right to tell it in my own words. “
At the end of the day says Shields she was ” able to be honest about everything and be less self absorbed and more open.
What the future holds for her now. “I want to go back and be in another television series. ” The actress was last seen in the cancelled Michael J Fox comedy series . “I think it is the place I realize I am happiest.