Memorial Weekend is fast approaching which means summer is almost here. If you live in New York City that means upcoming weekends of trying to find fun outdoor things to do . Why not try going to a street festival .You will be pleasantly surprised.
Two weekends ago I happened by chance upon the best street festival ever. It was the 9th Avenue International Food Festival, an annual foodies paradise where thousands of people chow into a plethora of international food dishes and drinks.
Minutes into starting my trek up 9th avenue at 42nd street I bump into a man holding a plate filled with the most delicious smelling curry chicken with rice and peas.In the other hand he held a roasted corn dripping in butter with parmigiana cheese and red pepper seeds . Saying sorry, I ask where he got the food and then I was off to get my own.
Finding the roasted corn I jumped on the long line and
wasted no time, sinking my teeth into its sweetness.
As I looked around there are so many food choices it becomes hard to choose ! Can you say Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Colombian BBQ, Asian Pot Stickers, Fried Oreos, Korean Food, Pulled pork, Spanish Paella, Fried Mac n’ Cheese, Zeppoles, Japanese Oyaki, Irish Pub Food, Authentic Greek Food, Louisiana Creole Cooking, Vietnamese Food, Curry Chicken, Italian Sausage, Thai Noodles, Southern Desserts, Indonesian Food, German Sausages and more.
There was a food dish for everyone’s taste palate.My plan then became –try and sample as many dishes as possible .
If you missed this street festival don’t fret. You can see the wonderful pics of the fun day all along the 15-block long smorgasburg avenue filled with food offerings. Spanning from 42nd to 57th streets it was a feast of a festival that would have food connoisseur Chef Ramsey going “#@$%*!.”.
If you didn’t get to be there this year don’t worry There is always next year, plus you can sit back and read my post because I have the perfect recipe for you to feast and salivate through.
Grabbing my first plate of the day I opted for vegetable fried rice andPad Thai which I devoured while walking and enjoying the great weather . With temperatures hitting above 73 degrees walking the full stretch was a great idea and added to my upbeat feeling.Plus the idea burning off the calories of all I was eating and drinking was a win-win in my eyes. Feeling great I headed up to 57th street then turned around walking on the right side to see what merchants were selling, then walking over to the left side, I headed back to 42nd street. I was definitely not trying to miss anything, especially any food and drink options.
In my opinion this street festival literally takes a bite out of the Big Apple—- offering up savory bites, desserts and drinks from practically every country on the planet. Well, maybe not every country, but you catch my drift.
Soon after walking and everyone having so much fun eating, laughing drinking and getting free giveaways it didn’t take me long to dig in to my second plate of the day. This time it was an offering of fried ice cream. When I tell you I died and went to heaven after eating these treats. Guys! These desserts should be outlawed for being so darn good. Oh myyy!
We all know that food and music goes hand in hand. So, of course, as I approached 53rd street a live band was performing the classic Frank Sinatra New York, New York anthem. I immediately joined in and began belting out the song with gusto.
Start spreading the news/I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it/New York, New York
………..If I can make it there/I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you/ New York, New York
There was also a merchant selling old school soul music cds .A huge crowd packed the street outside the stall with people singing and getting down to the the old school jams. It was wonderful to see young and old enjoying the 70’s and 80’s throwbacks.
I too was getting my dance on and enjoying the joy of what music does
Minutes after dancing in place and flexing my singing chops I spotted Alfie’s Bar, Kitchen & Craft Beer. I ordered a sangria and it was DA BOMB!
Other food standouts for me included oysters at Medi . It was also a great idea that they had a chef on hand outside preparing them for customers.
I have to note that whether it was a gyro being freshly made, chicken jerking in a smoke drum or corn-on the-cob roasting —many of the faces behind the merchants represented the city’s vast immigrant population. The array of foods and drinks from various countries made it even more evident that NYC is indeed a melting pot for all.
The 9th Avenue International Food Festival wasn’t just about the food. It is also a place to connect with those you love. For example all around young love was spotted on display. Couples were out in numbers.One such couple was Steve and Meghan . These two I met while standing by watching families and friends jump onto this huge chair to take selfies and pics. They waited rather excitedly to have a picture taken on this big comfy chair.
After attending this fest there is no doubt how much I love NYC! There is no other city like it . I am glad no “walls” will be going up in the Big Apple to keep people out.What makes the Big Apple attractive is its diversity and in a nutshell this is also what brings thousands of people year after year to the 9th Avenue International Food Festival . It is where everyone can come and eat, drink, make friends with people from all over the world, get free stuff , listen to great music and then go home with a full satisfied tummy.There is something to eat for every faith, kosher and non-kosher, vegetarian and meat eaters. I love it!
Here’s to good food, drinks and my satisfied tummy…..by Debra Lewis-Boothman
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.”
Brooklyn residents looking to spice up their menu servings on Superbowl Sunday, need look no more. Problem solved! King of Tandoor Indian restaurant is the answer to finding delicious, affordable bang-for-the-buck Indian cuisine in Brooklyn when you don’t want to take that trek to Manhattan’s Curry Row.
Nestled right in the heart of Brooklyn, King of Tandoor is a cozy spot offering up some of the best Indian food crownheightsmom has sampled . So if you are a curry lover like myself or you are having a hard time finding that curry-in-a-hurry spot that’s easy to get to, then pop over to the Prospect Lefferts Garden section of Brooklyn –just a hop-skip and jump from Prospect Park, along Flatbush Avenue and not far from –Crown Heights, Park Slope, Bed-Sty or Downtown Brooklyn. Not in the mood to come out, no worries, forego the walk, pull out the cell phone and dial them up for delivery.
The family owned 32-seat restaurant has been in the neighborhood just over eight years says Naz who greeted me as I entered to grab takeout on Friday night.
“Most of our revenue comes from deliveries,” he says as the phone rang-off-the-hook while offering me a cool delicious glass of mango juice as I waited on my order.
Located in what was once a predominately Caribbean-American neighborhood where the lively sound of soca and reggae music echoes through speakers of small business ranging from —barber shops, Jamaican bakeries, Korean fruit markets, African hair braiding salons, Dominican bodegas and international fashion shops –the neighborhood is experiencing a boom in new businesses as high-rise buildings go up every few months and gentrification prices out many of the moms-and-pops businesses that once lined the avenue. These changes though says Naz, “is bringing an influx of new families and we are welcoming it.”
The restaurant is looking to expand later this year . “Our kitchen isn’t that big but we have two persons on every station, ” Naz lets me know about keeping up with filling orders for seated customers, takeout and delivery . As customers come in and out of the A-graded restaurant Naz engages them in small talk and a smile.
“We know everyone that comes in or we at least get to know them,” he adds as another customer enters the restaurant after jumping out of one of the many Dollar Vans swooping down the avenue -the sounds of reggae music echoing from the speakers as the door slams shut. “If ever there is an issue that our customers have, they can talk to us, ” adds Naz . “We love the people in the neighborhood . They are are very friendly and we like that.”
Adorning the walls of the restaurant are traditional Indian pictures of palaces in Bombay while the tables are outfitted with red and white tabletop settings. “We are planning on making the restaurant bigger so we will be renovating soon, ” he says.
As the winter season gears up Naz says they are excited. “Winter is one of our best and busiest seasons for deliveries especially Fridays and Saturdays.” In fact when the snow blizzard hit New York City a week ago the restaurant closed just on Friday but by the next day they were open and filling orders around the clock . They experienced one of their busiest days of 2016 thus far . “We were very busy, ” says Naz, adding “the phone rang non-stop with orders and a lot of customers came in.”
basmati rice with lamb Do-Piaz curry
For local residents dining and getting takeout King of Tandoor has become their own little piece of India, especially when they get to chow down on favorites like vegetable samosas and thandoori appetizers or curry specialities like Vindaloo Curry or Do-Piaz Curry with a choice of lamb, chicken, beef or keema cooked with onions and tomatoes in a spice flavored sauce. Washing it down one has the choice of a soft drink or a delicious mango drink.
Mango Juice (crownheightsmom.com)
For one customer who lives in the neighbor the restaurant is definitely King! Says Kate who lives nearby. “I have lived in this neighborhood for two years now and it is just amazing. It is the best Indian food I have found in Brooklyn thus far.” Kate insist that “next to Indian food from restaurants in London, King of Tandoor on Flatbush Ave takes a close second.”
So spice things up with a few servings from King of Tandoor as you celebrate 50 years of the big game on Superbowl Sunday . We certainly will!
Crownheightsmom give Brooklyn’s King of Tandoor restaurant opened daily noon -11pm 7 days a week a rating of 5 out of 5 Serving Spoons for delicious food and great customer service.
Disclousure : No monies were exchanged for this review.—CrownHeightsMom ordered her food, picked it up and paid for it. This review is a result of the food being so darn good! Loved it!
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.
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 .
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.”
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
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.”
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.
While sitting inside the Dolby Screening Room at a recent MOMS screening of Disney Pixar’s animated movie ‘Inside Out‘ three pairs of eyes looked over at me to see if I was crying. I had taken my 9-year old daughter, Kameko, my 7-year old son Kai and his friend Lexi Anne also 7, along to the screening.
At a particular point in the movie Kai and Lexi Anne began whispering to each .I then noticed that they were staring intently at me to see if I had tears streaming down. I quickly said before they could say anything, “Hey, guys are those tears I see in YOUR eyes? ” They each quickly replied “No”, with Kai admitting soon after with, “Oh just a little. That was a sad part.” I in turn replied, “Yes that was a sad part and I did cry just a little.” My daughter Kameko hearing our whispers chose then to announce matter-of-factly, with Kai in the background nodding, “Mommy cries a lot at movies. She likes to let her feelings out. She also cried during [Rihanna’s movie] Home, and at [ Michael Rapaport’s] Little Boy.
” Shhh, don’t tell anyone, I say to Kameko as Lexi Anne looks on and a mom sitting in earshot turns around and smiles at me.
I learned then that kids are always paying full attention and especially taking in our emotions. Yup, my kids are definitely paying attention to mine.Which gets me back to Inside Out.
I truly enjoyed this film and so did the kids. They have already asked to see it again and I have promised a movie night over the summer break. I definitely see it becoming one of our Pixar family faves the same way, Toy Story and Wall-E has become. I also already know that this movie including all its merchandising products will be on their Xmas lists this year.
About the movie if you haven’t seen it yet. The movie centers around pre-teen Riley, an 11-year-old girl who is uprooted from her Midwest home and life as she knows it -to now reside in the urban city landscape of San Francisco when her dad takes a new job transplanting the family almost 2,000 miles away.
For Riley this couldn’t come at a worst life stage- the pre-teen years – a ball of emotions . Her feelings of being taken away from life-long friends, from ice-hockey games on the lake — to now being the new kid having to make new friends and at a new school .Overwhelming? To her , it’s the end of the world.
But this is where it gets interesting – Yes , Inside Out is about 11-year-old Riley, but behind the scenes the real stars that take center stage are her emotions that are wrecking havoc in her brain — enter the five brightly colored characters that represent joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust . Riley’s emotions.
These five conflicting emotions literally take over the pre-teen’s life as she attempts to try to fit in to her new surroundings but her emotional “headquarters ” where these five characters reside is full of non stop activity. Joy ( voice of Poehler ) the mother hen, leader and voice of reason tries to keep Riley happy and positive while the other emotions each vying to be the “top-dog emotion ” to dominate Riley’s inner life, they just seem to complicate matters sending everything into a tailspin and lending to a movie that is laugh-out-loud, funny, exciting, colorful and splashed with traces of sadness mixed in.
It will definitely be a walk down childhood’s memory lane and filled with nostalgia for most adults .
Seeming to be at the forefront though is the message that sadness and joy can work hand in hand for an outcome of happiness and good. In reality, we do go through sadness or loss in order to encounter happiness at the end of the rainbow. This message though, might go over kids’ heads as they are watching the movie with it brightly colored and cute as ever characters. So the take-away lesson of, “it may take sadness before you get happy” may be a bit too much for them to take in –older ones will get it – but this is one of the messages I found to be recurring.
Stopping by just before the start of the screening for a quick Q&A with the MOMS’ co-creators, Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein was actor Bill Hader. The actor plays the voice of Fear in the movie.
Speaking to the kids Hader says , “When you see Fear come in , thats my voice, ” adding “Do you know that this ( movie) is from the same guys that made “Toy Story ” and “Monsters Inc” and “Up?”
On how he snagged his role Hader recently told PEOPLE he “stalked” Pixar execs . He did say at the screening, “I was such a fan of Pixar [their] movies that I went to where they worked and I asked, ‘Can you please put me in one if your movies’. I wouldn’t leave and now because of my persistence, I play Fear in the movie.”
The actor also told the kids that he’s done some other well known kid movies. ” I have been in “Cloudy and a Chance of Meatballs,” I played Lachlan,” he says.
On his favorite character in the movie and no, it is not his character! Hader declares, “My favorite character is a character by the name of Bing Bong.” Adds the former SNL star, “When Bing Bong shows up just brace yourselves. He’s the best character in the movie!”
The movie took a few years to make . ” It took five years . I’m not kidding, says Hader of the making of Inside Out. Adds Hader, “Back in 2011, I went to Pixar and I started recording with Amy Poehler who plays Joy and Mindy Palin who play Disgust and others. So five years of recording. That’s how long it takes to make one of these movies.”
To finally see it Hader says, “It is a beautiful, beautiful film and we are so happy.” Say the father of three, “The cast and film-makers all got to see the finished product three months ago. We all went to Skywalker Ranch, that’s George Lucas’ ranch where all the Star Wars stuff is. We got to watch the movie in a room(screening room) like this and we were laughing and crying.”
Yes the movie will make you laugh and cry.
I recommend that families go together to see Inside Out. I loved that the movie in a special way lets both children and adults know feelings of joy, sadness, anger disgust, or even fear do work harmoniously together inside of us .
The kids gives their ratings. Inside Out gets 5 out of 5 POPCORN STARS! .
The kids summed up their feelings in this pic below:
Also read what they had to say about the movie below:
I loved that sadness and joy worked as a team even though they are opposites— KAMEKO, 9
Anger always made me laugh…KAI, 7
I loved that Joy was alway happy and never gave up on Riley and holding on to her happy memories.–KAMEKO, 9
Joy is always happy. I like when people are happy. LEXI ANNE, 7
Even though Sadness is always sad, she has courage.–KAI, 7
It was a very emotional movie and it was about emotions. It actually made me feel sad at some places.—-KAI, 7
My favorite part of the movie was when Riley was a little girl and she had an imaginary friend named Bing Bong. I liked how Riley made up a song about her imaginary friend.—LEXI ANNE, 7
The Lyrics to Riley’s and Bing Bong’s song….
Who’s your friend who likes to play?
Bing Bong, Bing Bong
His rocket makes you want to yell hooray
Bing Bong, Bing Bong
Who’s the best at every way, and wants to sing this song to say
Bing Bong, Bing BONG!
Check out the trailer below and go see ‘Inside Out’ at your nearest movie theater in your city ,See Fandango for listings
INSIDE OUT is now playing WITH THE VOICES OF: Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Richard Kind (Bing Bong), Bill Hader (Fear), Lewis Black (Anger), Mindy Kaling (Disgust), Kaitlyn Dias (Riley), Diane Lane (Mom), Kyle MacLachlan (Dad).
“Krissi awakened about two weeks ago,” says the source close to her family. Could Bobby Brown have hinted at this news in a March 3 press release his lawyer sent out saying, “We thank everyone that supports Bobbi Kristina and God is hearing our prayers.”
One can imagine how thankful Bobby Brown must be feeling. The singer has continuously asked for prayers for his daughter Bobbi Kristina and as the weeks have gone by and we have seen the pictures of his daily trips to and from the hospital to be at her bedside. He has been a dad who is enduring what happened to his daughter publicly while asking for privacy from the press as he continues trying to hold it all together for himself and his family while the criminal investigation continues into how his daughter ended up in the condition she’s in . Most parents would prefer to never go through a situation like this, but if they had to be in a situation like this they would prefer to go through it privately. It is good to see that the R&B star has held firm to his faith to pull him through and to see that in some ways these prayers are being answered. Crownheightsmom reached out to Bobby Brown’s camp for a response and was told to refer to what Bobby has said in his press releases, saying, “We continue to request privacy in regards to my daughter’s medical condition. We thank everyone that supports Bobbi Kristina and God is hearing our prayers.”
Not out of the woods though progressing slowly . “She is not recognizing people’s faces but she has eye movement and is responsive to voices and touch,” the source tells crownheightsmom exclusively. This progress, says the source, is what prompted the family to move her from Emory Hospital to a specialized facility, still in Georgia, that can better treat her.
Visitors to see Bobbi Kristina since her improvement have included her grandmother Cissy Houston, 81 who arrived about a week ago to visit her granddaughter says the source. Cissy last visited in early February. As of this writing Cissy is reported to have returned to her home in New Jersey .
It definitely feels great to hear promising news about Bobbi Kristina’s condition and as she progresses we hope to keep well wishers up to date.
As Bobbi Kristina’s condition continues to improve the source close to the family adds, ” I would like to ask people to keep praying for Bobbi Kristina. She still has a long way to go.”
I like the Cinderella movie because it was romantic—–Kameko, 8
Jumping on that iron horse aka a NYC subway train oftentimes can be a hit or miss most days, thus the case last Tuesday when the kids and I headed from Brooklyn into the city to catch a screening of the beauty of all fairy tales, Cinderella.
Getting to the screening took great effort, for we almost didn’t make it on time to Times Square’s Regal E-Walk Theater due to an MTA power outage on our subway line. In addition there was a thundering rainstorm happening but hail, nor rain, could hinder crownheightsmom from getting her kids to the scheduled 5:15pm MOMS and Oral-B and Crest sponsored special Disney Studios screening of Cinderella which was preceded by the Frozen movie short Frozen Fever . The sneak peek, a prime teaser to the sequel of the 2012 worldwide hit.
Stuck underground on an F train at York Street I had to make a decision what to do. Should we stay or should we go . When the conductor finally announced that all A, C and F trains were going to be at a standstill and backed up due to a power outage at the World Trade Center stop in Manhattan.that was it for me.
Trying not to panic as the time slipped closer and closer to the movie start hour we are still in Brooklyn trying to get to Manhattan. The kids, especially my 8-year-old daughter starts to get worried we will miss the screening entirely. I ask ‘should we just go home, forego the trip to the city. I automatically get a resounding “NO” from them both.”
Putting on my supermom hat I took their hands and we join the mass exodus of straphangers exiting the subway station to the street in search of the nearest subway line.. Finding the R train we jump on with what seems like hundreds of people .
We would take this R to Canal Street where we transferred to the Q Express to 42nd Street Times Square where the theater is located.
.Reaching the Regal E-walk theater after 6:30pm we are overjoyed and happy to hear that we didn’t miss the screening and that it was going to start at 7pm. With some free time before the screening I headed to security to give my cellphone in as no mobiles phones, or tablets or ipads of any sort were allowed into the screening room. . We also picked up our free popcorn and water from the concession stand and were just in time to see the presentation of the new Disney Magic Timer app by co-sponsors Oral-B and Crest as seen below in this new ad with actress Kristen Bell.
Pics below from event courtesy of the MOMS
If new live-action remakes of classic fairy tales are the future for family movies then I want more of them, especially if they are anything like the new Cinderella movie.
-I liked the movie because it”s about a girl who was once happy, then her life became sad when her mommy and daddy died, then her life got better and she was happy again.. My favorite part was when she married the prince because it was a happy ending —-Kai, 7.
A whopping $70.05 mil at the box office is what was raked in by the new Cinderella movie this weekend says Box Office Mojo. The count comes after receipts were tallied at 3, 845 movie theater locations nationwide playing the newly revamped children’s classic. See the US trailer below.
I am really happy I decided to defeat the odds and go to this wonderful remake on March 10 with my two small children. For those parents reading this believe me, you are in for a great treat. This release promises a great update to the Disney classic most are familiar with replacing the cartoon characters for live action ones who are not only beautiful but have great screen presence.
Even the wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her spoiled daughters hold presence on screen.
My 8 year old daughter and my 7 year old son reviewed the movie. Dressed up for the occasion Kai donning a bow tie while Kameko who has outgrown her two Cinderella dresses chose an old Hollywoodesque style dress for the occasion topped with her 30’s style netted pillbox hat.
Out of 5 Popcorn Stars……….. Kameko and Kai gives Cinderella 5 STARS for being romantic and being about love, kindness and forgiveness.
Says 8-year old Kameko .”I thought the Cinderella movie was very romantic . It was sad to see her parents die though and compared to the other Cinderella’s like the cartoon an in the book I have read they have never said how her mum and dad died so it was kinda ok to know how that happened in this movie.
Kameko, 8- I felt that the Prince and Cinderella were a perfect match!
Still dancing in the aisles and singing the catchphrase song from the movie “Lavender’s Blue” (Dilly, Dilly) my two little ones and I head out for home content and happy after retrieving our cell phones from security. It is now 9:30pm and as we head to the subway we are hoping that the MTA ha,s by this tim,e gotten the train service in order.
If you too enjoyed Cinderella’s beautiful song “Lavender’s Blue (Dilly Dilly)” here it is for you.
Valentines Day came twice for me this year. Well it felt like it did. Can you imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from Cottonelle to join them alongside the MOMS to participate in their #Go Cottonelle Go Commando launch concert with the New Kids On The Block Feb 15 at New York City’s Gramercy Theater. Yes, you heard correctly NKOTB are back!
I can go into my garage today and pull out stored magazine clippings, posters and memorabilia of my boy band love-fest through the years including those of NKOTB, NEW EDITION, NSYNC‘ BACKSTREET BOYS,BOYS II MEN and 98 Degrees . These boys all shared a special place in my heart during my youth, helping to define, with their music, who I am today.
I can remember conversations in high school like ‘ Oh my Gawd Jordan’s hair and ‘Oh my gawd….Joey’s voice.’ So to be invited to meet the KIDS-Donnie, Jordan, Joey, Jonathan, and Danny- shaking hands, exchanging plesantries, getting hugs and even a compliment from Joe on my metal spiked dress was mind blowing. Actually, just seeing them as grown-ups was surreal enough to make me feel like I’d never grown up and was literally thrown back into the vortex of the late 80s fawning over hot boy band cuties .
The boys didn’t disappoint singing many fan favorites that had the ladies swooning.
The boys all still have the right moves . Yes, they can still bust a move. They each exude charisma and their voices still make the girls swoon. The now matured “Kids” are also very good at they self described “soft talk.” . Yup, you heard right the boys took time to talk to their fans to explain why some of their favorite songs didnt make it onto albums and to even listen to a fan share how their music helped saved a friendship . Soft talk with the boys feels so good.
It was great seeing so many Blockheads fans in the house holding it down for the boys. Fans whom have stood behinds the Kids since the 80’s. Coming out in droves to Gramercy Theater defying the negative degree temperatures showed the boys that this was true love, and just for them .
There is nothing like taking a ride down memory lane . NKOTB’s performed “The Right Stuff,” “My Favorite Girl,” “I’ll Be Loving You Forever,” and “Over Girl.” Yes the boys reached into the vault performing crowd favorites.
Though now older mature studs the “boys” still exude adorable boyish qualities. Hello Joe!
Cottonelle’s #GoCommando photo booth was crazy fun. My sister Sandra and I could not get in enough selfie poses. Posing in the booth with Melissa Musen Gerstein, Brianne Manz and others was crazy fun. .
Charlie’s Angels have nothing on us moms
Overall the NKOTB knocked it out of the ballpark with their concert. I am going to continue to #GoCommando with Cottonelle . In fact you can head over to the website if you would like to take the GoCommando challenge. Grab Cottonelle at your local supermarket it has Clean Ripple texture to get you clean, giving you all the confidence you need to Go Commando. Dare a friend to Go Commando and Cottonelle will send you and your friend a personalized commando kit with a free sample.
Keep up with NKOTB on their website and on their new reality show Rock This Boat on the TV Guide Channel Network.
I love Indian food especially in the wintertime. It is my comfort food of choice . Choosing a healthier eating lifestyle was one of my new year resolutions and since Jan 1 I have been eating more fruits, salads and chick peas. Yes, I did say CHICK PEAS!
After threading through yesterday’s high winds and freezing snow and gaining frozen toes and fingers while heading to pick my kids up from school I decided when we arrived home that I needed to spice up some chick peas and make the hubs and I a spicy Indian style curried chick pea delight to chow down on . I needed a comfort food.
I found a curried potato chick pea recipe on foodnetwork.com added a few of my own caribbean spices and got down to my culinary skills in the kitchen.
I would eat chick peas every day if I had my way. They are delicious and not too heavy on the stomach, plus they are rich in fiber. Thinking back, I remember as a kid how I hated the weird distinct taste especially when my grandma would serve them with dinner. Many times unbeknownst to her, or so I thought, I would rake them off my plate and hide them in a napkin on my lap so I wouldn’t have to eat them. In retrospect, I think grandma knew what I was doing but never said a word. So I am not too upset that my now 8 and 7-year olds are not turned on by eating the small bean preferring instead to eat it as chickpea hummus. At least they are still getting its valuable nutrients.
Making a curried chick pea meal is one of the quickest to prepare- with cooking times of 15 minutes and prep time of 20 minutes . I set forth to prepare this recipe which is one of the easiest and can be a favorite on any vegetarian, vegan or meat lovers plate.
The Chick Pea or Garbanzos Beans as my South American peeps call them is one of the healthiest beans available. For those who love their food spicy I say bring on the curry and the scotch bonnet pepper and make this baby indian style.
Quick and Easy way to make. Get it in the can.Goya is a great brand but you can choose most others as well. You can use dry chick peas but you will have to soak them for hours or overnight or boil them.
Known for its rich fiber benefits it is no wonder there is always some choice of chick pea or Chana as my Indian friends call it being offered on the menu of restaurants in India . In fact chickpeas has long been a staple of the daily diet in India.
Some of my favorite cities with Indian restaurants that make the best curried chick pea meals can be found in Covent Garden or amongst London’s Brick Lane curry houses as well as in New York City and Chicago.
RECIPE FOR CURRIED POTATOES AND CHICK PEAS courtesy of The Food Network Magazine and updated to include ingredients added by crownheightsmom.
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15 -ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups fried onions (one 2.8-ounce can)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for topping
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (remove seeds for less heat)...–NOTE: I used Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers instead of Jalapenos and I added fresh garlic, scallions, thyme and a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger. I also ncluded 1 teaspoon of Cumin.
Put the potatoes, 2 teaspoons salt and enough cold water to cover in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the potatoes.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
Add the chickpeas, 1 cup fried onions, garlic, thyme, scallions and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water; cook, mashing the potatoes with a spoon( I did not mash my potatoes), until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add more cooking water, if needed. Season with salt.
Mix the yogurt, chopped cilantro, lime juice and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl. Divide the potato-chickpea mixture among bowls. Top with the yogurt sauce, the remaining 1 cup fried onions, the sliced jalapeno and cilantro leaves.
Almost ready to eat and a dish I am sure renowned chef and Hell’s Kitchen mentor Gordon Ramsay would love.
You can choose to eat your curried chick peas alone, with flat bread, a salad or on top of rice -basmati or parboiled, or a pasta of your choice. I paired mine on top of Penne and it was delicious! The spicy kick from the scotch bonnet peppers hit the spot. I was warmed all over.
FRIDAY’ S CUTE PIC OF THE DAY on crownheightsmom goes to Magnolia, the heart-stopping, cute-as-ever little 20-month old happy tyke who along with her BABY stopped me in my tracks on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon.
Meet MAGNOLIA . She literally brought the sun out today. In fact I think her cuteness is the reason the expected snow storm for Thursday went bye-bye!
I spotted the lil darling taking her baby out for a walk on Eastern Parkway. Along for the stroll was mum Natalie and dad Matthew. The 9-year Brooklyn residents have been residing in Crown Heightsfor the past three years. Before Magnolia came along the gorgeous couple were living in Do-or-die Bed-Sty!…
Brooklyn is fast becoming that borough young families are flocking to. Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush are the new favorite areas for new renters and buyers. Don’t get me wrong there is still interest in Fort Green, Bedford Stuyvesant, Ditmas Park, Sunset Park, Park Slope and Boroum Hill areas .
Let’s not even begin to talk culture. Brooklyn is a gumbo pot of cultures. It is the epitome of what New York stands for. For young families moving to Crown Heights you can walk down the street and bump into someone from every caribbean island known to man, meet young hip fashionable Hasidics, or a Korean grocer selling the freshest fruits and vegetables this side of Chinatown, or even talk politics with the Yemen corner store owner . The cultures my friend in Brooklyn are infinite .
So as our little cutie pie Magnolia continues on her walk here’s to wishing her a wonderful year and hoping when she hits her 2 year mark on May 19 that she stays as sweet as ever for mummy and daddy .
Enjoy your walk little Magnolia and take in all that your wonderful neighborhood has to offer. Soak it up!