On Memorial Day – To Love, Honor and Cherish

single-red-roseDear Readers,

I recently came across two photographs that many military and veteran’s wives share with each other as Memorial Day comes near.

Captured by photographer Todd Heisler for his 2005 award-winning series “Jim Comes Home” for The Rocky Mountain News, these photos show the return of Second Lieutenant Jim Cathey, a Marine who lost his life in Iraq, as his young widow Katherine Cathey, prepares for his burial.

In the first photo Mrs. Cathey, who is pregnant, spends the night before his burial in front of his casket. She has a laptop so she can listen to songs that remind her of her husband. A Marine stands guard over both of them.

In the second photo we see Lieutenant Cathey’s casket being unloaded from the cargo hold of an airplane. We also see the faces of the passengers as they peer through the window.

No words could ever take away this painful moment in Mrs. Cathey’s life. How many women (and men) have experienced this devastating loss? How many more will there be?

Brooklyn Legends salutes the women and men who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credit
As Memorial Day Nears, a Single Image That Continues to Haunt, Lily Burana, The New York Times, May 25, 2012

As I Embrace My Second Act

IMG_1879Dear Readers,

It is truly a pleasure to be able to connect with you again. It has been a while since my last post, and I have missed connecting with you. April proved to be busier than I could have ever imagined as I embraced the winds of change and started a new career. It gives me great joy to embark upon my new position with the Central Park Conservancy. This was truly one of those times in my life where I can say, I was ready for change. My previous career served me well, and prepared me for what is to come.

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it is to walk out and experience Central Park, which is truly one of America’s most beautiful urban parks. It is an even greater honor to be a member of the hardworking team of professionals dedicated to ensuring the Park is around for future generations.

As I make the transition from planning events for donors — to working more closely with donors — I view this as one of my long-awaited second acts. I will admit that it has taken me a minute to catch my breath, but this is a good time in my life.  Here are some photos from one of my recent visits to the Park.

Thank you for your patience. While the photos featured here are from Manhattan, you can rest assured that Brooklyn Legends has so much more to share with you. I am excited about the future.

Fondly,

Monique

Celebrating Easter – A Time of Hope and Renewal

Dear Readers,

Aeroflora2india.com

As I write this, Christians around the world are celebrating Easter Sunday.  However, I pause to remember our sisters and brothers who, in many countries, are still persecuted for their beliefs.  How fortunate are we, in America, to have such great freedoms.

I was raised in a Christian home by maternal grandparents who were Catholic. As a rule, I was never allowed to be intolerant of my friends whose religious beliefs were different from mine.  That all important “rule” guides my behavior to this day.

images-2 - coronadoumc.orgYes, I celebrate Easter with a glad heart and have come to view it as a personal time of hope, renewal and new life.

Yes, I have friends who do not celebrate Easter and I love them just the same.  Why would I do anything else?  At the end of the day, isn’t this what life is all about?

I came across a quote about Easter from Henry Knox Sherrill that I would like to share with you.

The joyful news that He is risen, does not change the contemporary world.  Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice.  But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline and make the sacrifice.

Let’s continue to encourage each other on our journey through life.

Peace and Blessings,

Monique

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Credits:
Quote – Henry Knox Sherrill
Floral arrangement #1 – Aeroflora2india.com
Floral arrangement #2 – Coronadoumc.org

Saluting Women’s History Month & Dr. Josephine English

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to join the world in celebrating Women’s History Month. Sharing the important contributions of Brooklyn women from the African diaspora, and the accomplishments of women throughout the world, has motivated me to look for ways to make an impact on young ladies in my community.  What will be my legacy for the future?  How can I engage others?

Dr. Josephine English - NY Dailynews.com

Dr. Josephine English – NY Dailynews.com

Today I am pleased to tell you about the historical achievements of Dr. Josephine English – one of the first African-American women to have an OB/GYN practice in New York and one of Brooklyn’s earliest medical pioneers.

Dr. English was a tireless community leader, patron of the arts and philanthropist.  Most important of all, she was a wonderful mother to her children, and earned a reputation as a highly coveted OB/GYN to Brooklyn residents and notables, including Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X.

Dr.English's home - via www.ohny.org

Dr.English’s home – via http://www.ohny.org

Dr. English was born on December 17, 1920, in Virginia, and she died on December 18, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, one day after her 91st birthday.  Although she lived in Bedford Stuyvesant for many years, she would spend her last days at the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she was recovering after undergoing a surgical procedure.

Dr. Susan McKinney via Blackpast.org

Dr. Susan McKinney via Blackpast.org

As I was preparing this post, I wondered wouldn’t it be great if Dr. English had an opportunity to meet Dr. McKinney? Picture a room where Dr. English, a recent graduate from Meharry Medical College who was now living in Brooklyn, could sit and talk with Dr. McKinney, the esteemed Brooklyn native who was the first African-American woman to earn an MD degree in New York State and the third woman to earn an MD degree in the United States.  Can you just imagine the stories they would share?  As medical pioneers with their own series of “firsts,” in addition to their personal and professional triumphs and challenges, I envision a conversation filled with many “aha” moments.

Dr. English spent her childhood years in New Jersey.  Her parents were among the first African-American families to settle in Englewood.  She received a B.A. from Hunter College in 1939 and continued her education at New York University where she received a M.A. in Psychology.  After NYU, she attended Meharry Medical College and received her M.D. in 1949.  Dr. English was ready to make her mark on the world.  Her first stop was Harlem Hospital, where she worked for many years until she moved to Brooklyn in 1956.

Dr. English was a trailblazer who reached back to help others who were in need.  She was among our borough’s earliest women philanthropists who championed the importance of health care for women, men and children.  Shortly after moving to Brooklyn, she founded a Women’s Community Health Clinic in Bushwick.  In 1979, she founded the Adelphi Medical Center which provided services for women and men.

On stage at the Paul Robeson Theater via - www.northjersey.com

On stage at the Paul Robeson Theater via – http://www.northjersey.com

Dr. English loved the theater and she was determined to share her passion for the arts with the community.  In 1980, decades after opening many medical clinics, she purchased an abandoned church and converted it to the Paul Robeson Theater for the Performing Arts.

One year later, in 1981, Dr. English turned her sights to services for children and opened Up The Ladder Day Care and After-School Program which included a summer day camp.  In 1986, she became the first minority, and the first woman, to be awarded a license from the New York State Department of Health to develop a free-standing ambulatory surgical center in Brooklyn.

Dr. English worked well beyond what was considered to be retirement age.  She focused intently on her goals and did not let anything stand in her way.  She changed the health-care landscape for women, men and families, in Brooklyn by providing access to health education and empowering her patients to make healthy life-style choices.  She was a guiding force in Brooklyn and one of our brightest stars.  Her achievements are legendary and it is an honor to salute her.

Dr. English will be truly missed.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
Josephine English, one of the first back, female OB/GYNs not stopping at 89 – nydailynews.com
Dr. Josephine English, 91 via Northjersey.com
Dr. Josephine English, Medical Trailblazer dies at 91 – via www1.cuny.edu
Dr. Josephine English, The HistoryMakers via http://www.thehistorymakers.com

Happy Valentine’s Day – Brooklyn Style

Dear Readers,

Happy Valentine’s Day!  For me, Valentine’s Day is not complete until I have the “perfect” slice of chocolate cake and a glass of champagne.  Brooklyn has several wonderful bakeries to make your day special.

Today I am pleased to share a few special shops that are among my favorites.  To complete the list, I have included some champagne suggestions as well.  Whether you spend the day with a loved one or solo, at home or in one of the City’s many trendy restaurants, remember to take celebrate the most important person of all – you!

Baked
359 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, New York – Red Hook
Hours: Weekdays 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, Weekends 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Website: Please click here.

Brooklyn Cupcake
335 Union Street, Brooklyn, New York – Williamsburg
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Website: Please click here.

The Chocolate Room
269 Court Street, Brooklyn, New York – Cobble Hill
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 12:00 noon – 9:00 pm, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm
Pop Up Store  82 Fifth Avenue
Website: Please click here.

Heavenly Crumbs Boutique Bakery
335 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Friday – Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
Website: Please click here.

Jacques Torres Chocolates
66 Water Street, Brooklyn, New York – DUMBO
Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Website: Please click here.

Nunu Chocolates
529 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Website: Please click here.

Have a great weekend.

Monique

Welcome to Kings Theatre – A New Jewel in Brooklyn’s Crown

Max Touhey - ny.curbed.com

Max Touhey – ny.curbed.com

Dear Readers,

Wishing everyone a very happy Sunday as we usher in the month of February.  As you all know, today is Superbowl Sunday, and many Americans are anxiously watching their television sets, waiting for the festivities to begin.  For our sports enthusiasts, I know that this is the moment that you have been waiting for.  I hope your team wins!

NY Daily News.com

NY Daily News.com

This Tuesday, February 3rd, which is just 48 hours away, the residents of Brooklyn will once again celebrate a grand moment in its architectural history – the reopening of the Loews Kings Theater Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue.

After more than 2 years of painstaking renovations, this former jewel in the heart of Brooklyn’s crown, will open its doors to much fanfare.  Excitement abounds as Brooklyn residents, and Manhattanites too, prepare to welcome legendary entertainer Diana Ross.  Tuesday’s “Supreme” concert is just the beginning.

The management team of this newly renovated theater has an exciting year of concerts in store. To learn more about the Loews Kings Theatre Brooklyn, please visit this link.

As New York Times writer David W. Dunlap eloquently wrote,

The Kings Theater was built for a more opulent time.  What audiences will see is a painstaking re-creation of one of five Loew’s Wonder Theaters in New York and New Jersey.

I look forward to visiting the Loews Kings Theatre Brooklyn as often as I can.  I hope to see you there.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits
Kings Theatre official website – http://www.kingstheatre.com
The New York Times – Nov. 6, 2013 – Giving Old Loew’s Theater in Brooklyn a Second Chance
Kings Theatre (Brooklyn) – Wikipedia

 

 

The Wonder of It All – Welcome Christmas 2014

Dear Readers,

Happy Holidays!  It is hard to believe that in a couple of weeks, it will be Christmas.  I absolutely love this time of the year.  This is also the time of the year when sparkling lights, and other decorations, seem to rule the night!  I am amazed to see how easily some of New York City’s iconic buildings are transformed.  For me, simply walking and listening to all of the compliments is priceless.

With this in mind, I thought, why not do something different for today’s post?  So, I have assembled some of my favorite holiday photos from my Pinterest account to share with you.  For full disclosure some of the photos that you will see are from past years.  Other photos come from some of my favorite places outside of New York City, but the sentiment is still the same – Joy!

In case you missed the reference, Brooklyn Legends is also on Pinterest.  When you have a moment, please visit us at Brooklyn Legends on Pinterest.  Once there, please look for the board Happy Holidays 2014 – Here Are A Few of My Favorite Things. 

Have a great day and remember to enjoy the splendor of the season.

Fondly,
Monique