I fell in love with pastrami as a young girl. Pop would on occasion treat us to pastrami from Katz Delicatessen. Arriving home with it deliciously sliced and wrapped in the white butcher type paper. Since Pop’s Katz trips were on occasion, I would get my in between fixes with the neighborhood bodega’s pastrami hero sandwiches, warmed of course.
Fast forward, here is my version of a Pastrami Reuben. Previously, when out, I would always substitute the rye bread for something like sourdough. This also occurred with Patty Melts. The rye was just too much for my palate. Now look at me? In 2020, marble rye has become my new culinary BFF, as a result of a recent visit to The Bagelry in Silver Spring where the marble rye bagel was recommended for the reuben.
My version of a Pastrami Reuben has pastrami (over corned beef), guyere cheese (instead of Swiss), cole slaw (prefer over sauerkraut), thousand island dressing, and caramelized onions (added touch) on pan toasted buttered marble rye bread. I happened upon the Capital Baking Company marble rye bread (Giant’s deli counter) which is so good with great texture, thickness, and flavor. Hmm… Hmm… Good… with lots of yummy drippings (what slides down your hand). 😋😍 PS: Pop approved. Bon Appetit. Enjoy! Love! #BeDoLove #91YearsYoung #CareGiversMatter #FindYourZen #LivingOutLoud #BeDoLoveSAVOR #BonAppetit #IChefToWriteAboutIt #Yummylicious #Yummyliciousness #Foodie #FoodieLife #ExpandYourPalate #Pastrami #PastramiReuben
This was me and my cool a$$ Pop exactly 50 years ago today in 1970 at the annual Labor Day West Indian Day Parade on Eastern Parkway in my beloved Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I was almost three months shy of my fourth birthday. I am posting it today on Labor Day in honor of my family and friends, and especially my father and mother (both Trinidadians). After carnival in Trinidad (the crème de la crème of Caribbean carnivals), Brooklyn’s is next in line across the world. This parade has grown to now play host to at least 1.0 million revelers. Of course due to COVID it’s not taking place in its normal format. However, the New Yorker’s West Indian spirit is not to be stopped from celebrating/liming in their own way.
I noticed something interesting, when I went off to Howard University and in my later years. It became the one time of year my dad ALWAYS wanted me to come home. Not Christmas. Not Thanksgiving. Not his birthday. But, for the weekend of the Labor Day West Indian Parade. So much so, he’d attempt to entice me with, “I’m cooking cod fish and coco this weekend.” And/or he’d ask “You coming up?” “You here?” And, when I didn’t travel, I could feel the energy of his pout as this event has been steeped in family tradition for many, many years.
In the 1940s-1950s, both sides of my family (grandparents, aunts, uncles) migrated to Harlem from Trinidad. The first Caribbean carnivals in NYC took place in Harlem and then moved to Brooklyn. Pop said the parades could have been larger back then, but many did not claim their Caribbean roots as a result of stigma and/or unhealed wounds. But, not my family as they would participate and play mas from Harlem to Brooklyn with Trini pride.
While growing up in Brooklyn, me and my immediate family lived four blocks down the hill from the parade (Crown Street bet. Troy & Albany). My grandmother lived one block up from us on Carroll Street. My great aunt’s Helen and Sybil lived down the hill. And, my Aunt Vilma still lives down the hill on Brooklyn Avenue. Growing up I would attend the parade with family and family friends. That is until I got grown enough to attend with my friends. Lol But regardless of how family branched out, it was always our tradition to connect at the same spot on de parkway. This is on Eastern Parkway & Brooklyn Avenue, which is right at the corner of our family church, Church of St. Mark. This always preceded and proceeded with a stop at my Aunt Vilma’s house, which is considered Labor Day liming headquarters. And, even up until last year, the tradition was still intact. It is such a lovely time.
Three people who I loved to watch their flow through the years were Pop, Aunt Vilma, and their first cousin Joan (would come up from DC). Even into their 70s-80s years of age, from visiting the Pan Yards, to the Steel Band Panorama, to Kiddie Carnival, to J’ouvert, to the parade, they would go. I loved experiencing their enthusiastic, energetic, and loving connection. Now fast forward to the 2000s and my nieces and nephews are carrying the torch. Last year, while Pop was in the hospital I attended the parade. It warmed my heart that my nephew Clive was upholding the family tradition of jumping up and enjoying the parade at our family spot at Eastern Parkway & Brooklyn Avenue. It truly is in our DNA and threw example to embrace our Trinidadian Roots. To include my pilgrimages to Trinidad for Carnival, participating in the DC and Baltimore carnivals to play mas or mud band, and feting from sun up to sundown. To even corny rituals with friends, such as Lisa and I never letting the day go by without a 🎶Mondaaaay on de Parkwaaaayyyyy!🎶 shout out. 😍🤣 And, because of my pride I loved the opportunity to introduce friends such as Margo (RIP) to the experience.
I thank God for blessing me with these roots for it has enriched my life in profound and joyful ways. As you can see this has been in me and of me before birth. Who knows what the future holds for the parade in Brooklyn and even in Trinidad. But, one thing is for sure is that Caribbean folk will always lime and fete like none other. And, I hope you will find time to exhale and have fun in your own traditional and new ways. Enjoy your day, however, you intend to celebrate. Be safe. Love! #BeDoLove #CaregiversMatter #91YearsYoung #CrownHeightsBrooklyn #WestIndianDayParade #wiadca #wiadca2020 #TrinidadAndTobago #JumpAndWave #SweetTAndT #SocaIsInMyBloodItsInMyVeins #PuffBallsDontCare
“Lime” is a word used in Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Caribbean as a synonym for “a gathering” or “to hang out.” To lime (liming)is to simply pass time and enjoy yourself, with your tribe, in whatever way you like!
Last year, shortly after celebrating Pop’s 90th on what was also Father’s Day, he became extremely ill. This followed with him spending pretty much the entire summer of 2019 in Kingsbrook Hospital in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His long stay resulting in Ostomy surgery and being diagnosed with stage four cancer, which started in the colon and spread to the lungs and liver. Upon his release one year ago today, he immediately (We left the hospital, he grabbed a few things and we were off.) came to Maryland to live with me.
Well Pop turned 91 on June 16. Praise God! Because also almost a year ago, he was given 6 months to a year to live. And, HERE.WE.ARE! The video (https://youtu.be/uT07rfCW-3o) was shot on Pop’s 91st and his message was “Let Them Be.” Which speaks to who he is with his displays of unconditional love, which has always allowed me and many others to “BE!” It’s a message to us all about allowing others to “BE” who they are meant to be and not who you think they should be. And, remembering we all have our own unique personalities and purposes, that should be nurtured to flourish, bloom, and BE!
From the hospital to now being roommates for a year, Pop has been an amazing example. Even in the face of great pain, uncertainty, discomfort, upsets, loss of a great deal of his independence, and a major unexpected move in the past year, Pop has and continues to be an example of what grace, perseverance, kindness (displayed to the nurses and other hospital staff), fun, and not a care in the world looks like. And, he remains the coolest man on the planet.
Pop, whose been a father figure to many through the years, we continue to be so grateful for your sound intellectual mind to include teachable moments in all things related to integrity and worldly in news, sports, and music (especially jazz and classical), good health, great spirit, get up and go (still plays games, plays along with Jeopardy, and does his crossword puzzles, reads like crazy), Trinidadian roots/birth, Brooklyn swag, intact fashion sense, spiritual essence, a sense of humor, mastery of witticism, hearty laughter, and sweet giggles. And, our “Morning Pop Talk” are always what the doctor has ordered to lighten my spirit and keep me moving through the day. And, I’m sure for others as you typically end the conversation with your loving and inspirational words.
I‘m so blessed and grateful for the unconditional love you consistently shower on me and others. It’s a beautiful way of being you that continues to be an example for us all. You’re an awesome man Pop. You are #BeDoLove. You are the man, the myth, the legend. 😍
Thank you God for gifting us Pop. We are ever so grateful for Pop to be here to continue experiencing the fruits of his labor as I and my family get to provide more and more proud and fun moments for him to witness and brag about. And, as we get to brag about how awesome he is. Pop, I pray for your continued good health, peace and an abundance of love and sweet giggles. We love YOOOUUUU Pop! Cheers!!!
In the words of Pop “Have a good day. Be safe. Don’t work too hard. Love!” #MorningPopTalk #BeDoLove #91YearsYoung #CareGiversMatter #FindYourZen #LivingOutLoud #BirthAndLiveYourSoulFullPurpose
Please join me and my guests Lorine Pendleton and Danielle Ricks, for what we hope is a thoughtful, informative, and inspiring conversation of how they are being of contribution to a diverse community of entrepreneurs and how you can birth and grow your entrepreneurial spirit.
Thank you for the love and support. Send us good vibes. Make it a safe and beautiful day. Be great. Be courageous. Be Bold. BeDoLove!#WPFW #InsideOutLGBTRadioShow #Portfolia #DCSBDCcovid19 #SmallBusiness #BeDoLove #FindYourZen #BirthAndLiveYourSoulFULLPurpose #JuicySweetSpot #LivingOutLoud #Howarding #HowardUniversity #InTruthAndService #BleedBlue #HUYouKnow
Pop: Nevermind, don’t tell me. 😆 (Because, he knows I’m up to something.)
There was a time Bourbon was too heavy on my palate and chest. As the 2000s mixology craze began, I was reintroduced to gin, which I love. However, at some point I desired to mix it up. And, as I saw many delicious looking cocktails prepared with bourbon, I went for it. Forcing my palate to expand, in the past few years I’ve become a Bourbon fan.
Yesterday, I realized I’ve gifted bottles of bourbon’s to others’ households, but not mine. So, I stopped at a liquor store where all of the spirits were behind glass (except beer and wine) and got the last bottle of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Hey, if I’m going to do it, DO IT.
Join us and dance and twirl the hour away as our ally, friend to the show, and fellow Howard Bison, DJ Paul Howard of WPFW’s “House After Dark” energizes and moves us with ole school R&B and a sprinkling of house music vibes.
Tune in from the DMV at WPFW 89.3 FM or stream live ANYWHERE from your computer, phone or tablet at http://www.wpfwfm.org. Please share and spread the word.
Thank you for the love and support. Send us good vibes. Make it a safe and beautiful day. Be great. Be courageous. Be Bold. BeDoLove!#WPFW #InsideOutLGBTRadioShow #BeDoLove #FindYourZen #BirthAndLiveYourSoulFULLPurpose #JuicySweetSpot #LivingOutLoud #SocialDistancing #Howarding #HowardUniversity #InTruthAndService #BleedBlue #HUYouKnow
Honestly, I’ve been shielding Pop I’m sure more than I should. Knowing he too needs fresh air and to stretch his legs. Well, because Pop’s hearing matters, this morning we made a visit to Miracle Ear for much needed adjustments to Pop’s hearing aids. Tony at Miracle Ear in Silver Spring (off New Hampshire Ave.) was nice enough to do curbside pick up. And, he tended to the aids while we waited in the car. Really professional and nice guy.
For some scenic driving, on the way home I detoured to Sligo Creek Parkway. It was so beautiful and calming that it was worth a stop and walk. A pretty short walk for Pop, but a nice one nonetheless.
Pop: This is beautiful. So many trees. They have to make sure to preserve places like this.
Remember to take moments to get some sun, fresh air, and nature love. Our body and spirit requires it. And, that goes for me with more walking/hiking. Make it a great day. And, as Pop says, “Have a good day. Be safe. Don’t work too hard. Love!” #BeDoLove #CaregiversMatter
PS: The Bagelry was right next door to Miracle Ear. The Reuben on a Marble Rye bagel was everything. I can’t wait to try their Lox Spread on an Everything Bagel. Had a nice chat with Steve who gave perfect recommendations.
Me: Pop I’m going to check out the bagel shop. (Because, I know Pop loves a good bagel.)
Please tune into INSIDE OUT LGBT RADIO Show today, Tuesday, May 19, 2pm-3pm EST as we discuss the topic of “Navigating a Pandemic with Fun & Purpose.” Tune in from the DMV at WPFW 89.3 FM or stream live ANYWHERE from your computer, phone or tablet at http://www.wpfwfm.org. Join the conversation with questions and to share your thoughts at 202-588-0893. Please share and spread the word.
Please join me and my guests Sonia Pruitt and Charlie Lewis, as we have a thoughtful and fun conversation about the current state of affairs and how they are navigating this time personally and in their perspective careers. HUUUUUU…
•Charlie Lewis – Associate Broker, Corcoran Group; Host, “Love the Way You Live” Podcast
•Sonia Pruitt – Captain, Montgomery County Police Department; National Chairwoman, The National Black Police Association (NBPA); Educator, Montgomery College
Thank you for the love and support. Send us good vibes. Make it a safe and beautiful day. Be great. Be courageous. Be Bold. BeDoLove!#WPFW #InsideOutLGBTRadioShow #BeDoLove #FindYourZen #BirthAndLiveYourSoulFULLPurpose #JuicySweetSpot #LivingOutLoud #SocialDistancing
Someone needs this blessing today. Someone needs to see what I‘m not phased looks like during a terminal illness and pandemic. This 90-years young man blesses me on a daily in some form or fashion, whether whistling, giggling, humming, calling me darling (I love when he calls me that.), saying thank you, giving me an exploding fist bump (😆It took him a while to get it.),dropping knowledge, or talking back to/cussing while watching CNN.
Pop: (At 7 something Saturday on the way to the kitchen for his daily coffee/pastry.) 🎶Did I wake you?🎶 (More so sung than spoken.)
Me: No. (😳 Because, he’s never asked me that.)
Pop: Oh, because I’ve been going since early. (😆Like he knows he was on.)
And, he had. I could hear him since early doing almost all of the above. This video was about two hours later from when he first asked if he woke me. It’s during his 2nd morning ritual of the day, warming his oatmeal (He prepares a batch for the week.).
In less than a year, Pop unexpectedly came to live with me to us now isolating together. Life is something else. And, I’ll be the better for it. As he’s such an example of calm, grace, fun, and just not sweating the small or the big stuff for that matter.
Be blessed out there. Be light. Be love. Be expressive. Be fun. Be grace. As Pop say’s, “Have a good day. Be safe. Don’t work too hard. Love!” #MorningPopTalk #CaregiversMatter #SocialDistancing #StayHome
Double Backstory – In the 1980s or early 1990s, Pop gave up smoking. oatmeal intentionally replaced smoking and became his new norm. Now I can hear when he’s on the phone saying, “I’m eating oatmeal so I can gain weight.” 😁 Bless his oatmeal loving heart. Although one day recently, he said he was over oatmeal. 😆 NOT!
Recently I thought, if this was the 1990s and a big snowstorm was brewing, the landline phone chain would have begun. I’d rush to pack a bag, zoom off in my Ford Probe, pick up a few things along the way to share, and head to Jon, Ginger, Margaret, and Dilcia’s spot in SE, DC to shelter down amongst my nurturing and Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs friends. And, in the midst of it all, I’d patiently wait for Jon to prepare his heavily induced ricotta cheese lasagna. Mmmmm…
Fast forward to smartphones and video conferencing apps. Our Thirsty/Therapy Thursday crew is made up of long time Howard friends (HUUUU…) and our extended family. We’ve gathered on and off on Thursdays for many many years. The off times is usually because life happens, we found a restaurant/lounge not suitable to effectively accommodate us or due to closings.
During this social distancing time, we had a virtual happy hour (Or as Pop would call it, a “sit and sip.”) this past Thursday utilizing Zoom with all the ingredients of a fun happy hour. It was perfect timing as that day I was experiencing intense anxiety. Between work which is moving at a fast pace and our state of affairs, it was a bit much.
Well, we started at 5:45pm (shout out to techie Harlem Knight for getting us set up) and I don’t even remember when we ended, but I laughed belly laughs the entire time as my people are comical.
We came and went freely. And, even us caregivers (me and April) got our parents in on the fun. Although Pop exited the room at some point because we were too loud and he wanted to hear CNN and freely call “him” a punk one more time. And, April banished her mom because every time someone new entered they asked “who is that coughing.” 🤣 Too cute and funny having them both on.
The evening had all of the makings of happy hour:
-It was loud with lots of laughter to include the normal teasing of each other.
-The adult beverages flowed (I made margaritas.)
-I broke the first rule, and didn’t eat beforehand or during, so by the first drink and tequila shot I was quite tipsy. And, funny. At least I thought. And, at the end, I was craving some good a$$ Stan’s or HoChi fried chicken wings with mambo sauce.
-Then the bathroom runs started. I knew not to mistakenly take the crew with me to the bathroom. I would have never lived that down.
-I broke out with intense and persistent hot flashes.
-I laughed. And, laughed. And, laughed. Which is how at some point over the years “Thirsty Thursday” became “Therapy Thursday.” I guess that would suggest we matured and evolved. Some. 😆
-“Ardella don’t jump!”
-“Dayum Jon. You still…”
-“Turn the volume on…”
-Because we were talking and laughing over each other, someone had the nerve to want to invoke rules of when to talk. I was like “HELLO! This is happy hour.”
My crew may not know it, but, on those Thursdays I was in attendance, they often got me through some tough times. Often coming because my spirit required it more than anything. And, hoping in a moment I extended the same to someone requiring a spirit lift. So with much love and abundance, I love and thank YOU all for being YOU and for being present.
And, to all, during this time, remember you don’t have to be alone or feel alone. Command moments to exhale and relax. Dance parties are in abundance. If you’re waiting for someone to lead, you lead. Summon your tribe. Schedule or do an impromptu virtual group or one-on-one meet up via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger (yes you can do video calls from there), WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, etc. the bonus is they are all FREE!!! Just stay connected in healthy and meaningful ways. And, be mindful that you and yours are partaking responsibly during this time. To you and yours, be well. Enjoy! Peace! Love! Cheers! #BeDoLove #SocialDistancing #VirtualHappyHours