Come Take A Bite Out Of The 9th Avenue International Food Festival

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.
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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.
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Finding  the  roasted corn  I jumped on  the long line and
wasted no time, sinking my teeth into its sweetness.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Mediterranean food loves flocked in droves to Medi to feast on fresh delicious oysters and more

 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!
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Waiting for fried ice-cream was so worth it. These ice-cream filled mini dough ball is a girl’s bestie on the best and worst days.

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.
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The crowd was grooving to the soullll music

 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!
It was all about the sangria at Alfie's which was a very well spent $6 dollars

It was all about the sangria at Alfie’s which was a very well spent $6 dollars

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.
Oysters being prepared at MEDI

Oysters being prepared at MEDI

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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.
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 Some well known merchants  like  the New York Daily News,  Real Time Pain Relief,  The Big Bite Tour which included Snyders of Hanover pretzels ,  Gold Bond Men’s Essentials  , Turkey Hill Dairy promoting their new  Haymakers line of drinks,were at tables  along the  street . Also spotted  Rolaids,  Mentos and In The Raw products  with  their  first ever  drink beverages to hit store shelves . Haagen Dazs Ice Cream was a big  hit on the avenue as well with volunteers handing  out free mini tubs of its vanilla  flavor to lines of people at times  snaking  two blocks long to get the  cold delicious delight.
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Haagen Dazs was a must. I grabbed two samples.

Haagen Daz was a must. I grabbed two samples.

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.
Megan and Steve werer having a blast at the food festival . Even taking pics iin the oversized chair

Megan and Steve were having a blast at the food festival.

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

Digging in on another offering of delicious food

So many wonderful food choices to choose from
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KUNG FU PANDA 3: SO NICE I SAW IT TWICE!

 

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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-

Our hero Po must find his Chi to save the  Masters

Our hero Po must find his Chi to save the Masters

 

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.

 

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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 and Liu talking all about KFP3

Hudson and Liu talking all about KFP3

 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.”

Kate Hudson plays the adorable ribbon dancing panda diva Mei Mei

Kate Hudson plays the adorable ribbon dancing panda diva, Mei Mei.

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The adorable Mei Mei voiced by Kate hudson

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.

 

This is Lucy Liu's third time around playing Viper in the the KFP franchise

This is Lucy Liu’s third time around playing Viper in the the KFP franchise

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.”

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So  run, don’t walk and go see  Kung Fu Panda 3. My  kids really enjoyed the movie  with my son Kai getting a kick out of the bad guy being named Kai but making sure to point out that he’s a good boy…..

By Debra Lewis-Boothman

Warrior Kai from the Spirit World

Warrior Kai from the Spirit World wants Po’s Chi

 

 

Out of 5 Popcorn Stars the kids give Kung Fu Panda 3 – 5  –

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SPICE UP THAT SUPERBOWL MENU WITH CURRY SERVINGS FROM BROOKLYN’S KING OF TANDOOR

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.

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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.

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A busy evening as Naz takes  yet another phone 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.”

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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.

King of Tandoor manager Naz

Naz, the manager of King of Tandoor

“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.”

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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.”

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Deliveries and takeout orders come out of the busy kitchen

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.

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.

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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!

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.

Joan and Melissa Rivers

WHY ‘THE BOOK OF JOAN’ FROM MELISSA RIVERS MADE ME CRAZY ABOUT HER MOM JOAN ALL OVER AGAIN……By Debra Lewis-Boothman

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.

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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.’

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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.

Skimming through the bestseller,

Skimming through the bestseller, “The Book Of Joan” by Melissa Rivers.

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.

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Melissa Rivers signed this copy of crownheightsmom’s ‘ Book of Joan’.

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.

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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.”

The MOMS discuss

Denise Albert [L],Melissa Rivers and Melissa Musen Gerstein [R] chat about Joan Rivers.

Readers  will come away knowing  how kind  my mother was and how real she was.”  – Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers poses with mom bloggers  in NYC

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.

CrownHeigthsMom posing with Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and Debra Lewis-Boothman

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.

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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.”

Joan and Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers and her mom Joan Rivers

 “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. ”

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I want  people to know that even though our lives were crazy we took  moments to laugh.- Melissa Rivers

Moms are  big fans of Melissa Rivers' new  memoir

Mom bloggers Nichol[L] and Nilsa[R] deciding on who will get this copy.

“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.

EMOTIONS GONE WILD? NOT REALLY! JOY AND SADNESS GET TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY TO SAVE THE DAY IN PIXAR’S ‘INSIDE OUT’…….by Debra Lewis-Boothman

The emotional character  from Pixar's "Inside Out"

Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

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.

Three cute NYC kids attending Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Lexi Anne 7, Kai 7 and Kameko 9 are over-the-moon happy after seeing the MOMS’ screening of “Inside Out”at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

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.

Screeing Pixar's 'Inside Out" at  NYC's Dolby Screening Room

Kameko, LexiAnne and Kai catching up on kids stuff before watching Inside Out at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

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 interestingYes , 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.

Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness and Anger are 'Inside Out' star 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.

Actor Bill Hader talks to The MOMS about  loving 'Bing Bong"

Bill Hader (Fear) popped in for a super fast chat with the MOMS.

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.

Bill Hader is that Guy! He is Fear--some

Bill Hader tell PEOPLE Magazine he “kinda stalked” Pixar execs to play the role of FEAR

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!”

Actor Richard Kind plays Bing Bong who cries candy tears.

Actor Bill Hader says he is a huge fan of Bing Bong played by actor Richard Kind.

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!  imgres. imgresimgresimgresimgres

The kids summed up their feelings in this  pic below:

'LOVE it" -How kids feel about 'Inside Out.'

The kids say this pic represents their feeling about ‘Inside Out.’ They “LOVED” it!

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

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Anger always made me laugh…KAI, 7

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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

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Even though Sadness is always sad, she has courage.–KAI, 7

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It was a very emotional movie and it was about emotions.  It actually made me feel sad at some places.—-KAI, 7

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 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

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Bing Bong is Riley’s imaginary friend from her early childhood. He’s a mix of an elephant, a cat, cotton candy and can squeal like a dolphin.

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

EXCLUSIVE: BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN AWAKENS FROM HER COMA, RESPONSIVE TO VOICES BUT STILL UNABLE TO SPEAK, SOURCE SAYS

Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.—-Mahalia Jackson

The power of prayer has a way of granting miracles.  Thus the case of Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown has  awakened  from the coma  she’s  been in for over a month and a half a source close to her family tells crownheightsmom.com exclusively.

“Bobbi Kristina  is out of the coma” says a source close to the 22-year old’s  family . “She  is opening  her eyes but isn’t talking yet,”  adds the source.

For  family and friends  of the aspiring singer and especially for her father R&B singer  Bobby Brown this  must come as  the best news  since that fateful Jan. 31, 2015  day when Bobbi Kristina  was found unresponsive  in the Roswell, Georgia home she shared with boyfriend Nick Gordon. She was found  unconscious and in a bathtub – eerily similar to how  her mother Whitney Houston had died in 2012.

R&B singer Bobby Brown

R&B singer Bobby Brown

“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.”

 

Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother Whitney Houston

Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother Whitney Houston

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 .

Bobbi Kristina and her grandmother Cissy Houston

Bobbi Kristina and her grandmother Cissy Houston

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.”

by Debra Lewis-Boothman