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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Flyer of the 2-day event celebrating Central Brooklyn

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Brooklyn residents check out the vendors along Eastern Parkway

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

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

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It was all about the sweet kernels at Kettle Korn

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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A band performs on the main stage at Grand Army Plaza

 

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

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

 

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

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Enjoying the day with my son

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

 

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

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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