Brooklyn Legends Brunch With the Arts – The Wiz is Coming!

Dear Readers,

Happy Saturday and welcome to Brooklyn Legends Brunch With the Arts.  If you haven’t heard the news, The Wiz is coming to NBC on Thursday, December 3rd and I am so excited.  I have fond memories of my mother taking me to see The Wiz twice during its Broadway run. Each time we sat close to the front and I was ecstatic to hear Stephanie Mills sing her heart out (as my younger self-described it). She was awesome. After my second visit, I knew that I wanted to be just like her. There was one huge challenge – I could not sing; but I could dream. Stephanie’s performance in The Wiz catapulted her onto the world stage. Today she is an accomplished award-winning singer, actress and songwriter. I am also pleased to add that she is from Brooklyn, New York.

The Wiz Logo- NBC.com

The Wiz Logo- NBC.com

This week I have seen brief clips of The Wiz and what I’ve heard is pure magic. Stephanie Mills stars as Auntie Em and beautiful rising star Shanice Williams stars as Dorothy. I was so impressed to see Stephanie serve as a powerful mentor to Shanice throughout this production.

This newly created version is filled with star power. I know that we can count on Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Uzo Aduba, Amber Riley, Common, and Cirque du Soleil to shine brightly in their roles. What a wonderful way to usher in the holiday season.

For today’s post, I am pleased to share clips from The Wiz for you to enjoyThank you for spending part of your day with us.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
NBC – The Wiz

 

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday

Image

©Shutterstock

©Shutterstock

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday. As we begin another week, please accept my very best wishes for a peaceful day and a productive week. As I have journeyed through 2015, one thing that I have learned is I must have serenity in order to survive.

These peaceful moments often include: sitting by the water and writing in my journal, reading magazines that focus on home decorating ideas and trends, taking walks so that I can enjoy Brooklyn’s beautiful homes, updating my playlist to include songs that encourage me to slow down and buying fresh flowers for my apartment and dessert from Magnolia’s Cupcakes in Manhattan and Juniors Bakery in downtown Brooklyn. While this may sound cliché, what I want most of all is to be happy and at peace. Of course my life is not this simple, but I enjoy creating periods of solitude every chance I get.

So today I will embrace those things that lift my spirit, provide moments of joy and peace. I hope that you are able to do the same. Thank you for sharing your day with me.

Happy Serenity Sunday.

Fondly,
Monique

Brooklyn Legends Week in Review & Serenity Sunday – Oct. 25, 2015

Wooden Bridge at Brooklyn Botanic Garden - ©Shutterstock

Wooden Bridge at Brooklyn Botanic Garden – ©Shutterstock

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday and the Week In Review. I hope last week lived up to, or exceeded, your highest expectations. I was able to connect with a few friends who are well into their fall work agendas.  Indeed being happily employed is always a reason for celebration, but there was a common observation throughout our conversations – time is passing so quickly and our to-do lists are growing exponentially. I truly hope this is temporary as I look forward to my moments of peace and serenity so that I can renew my mind and spirit.

If you live on the East Coast, the weather is simply glorious and the fall foliage is breathtaking. I hope you will find time to enjoy the scenery before winter arrives. For ideas on places to see and activities with your family, I encourage you to visit Time Out New York’s website.  You will find a treasure trove of information carefully curated by their editorial team.  Here are photos of places in New York City where you can enjoy fall’s scenic beauty.

Brooklyn Legends Week In Review

©Shutterstock

©Shutterstock

Last Sunday thousands of beautiful ladies gathered in Prospect Park for this year’s Making Strides Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.  I was so proud of my Brooklyn Metropolis Lions Club members who supported this worthy cause. Regrettably I was not up to the Walk, but I plan to be there next year.

However, the weekend was not totally lost. I participated in a timely discussion about the challenges women face on their journey with Breast and Ovarian Cancer.  Our intimate group of 12, also known as the “Brooklyn Metropolis Circle of Sisters” allowed for a candid exchange of information.  In this safe space we discussed the importance of: early detection, a caring team of healthcare professionals, a firm grasp of treatment options and committed supporters who celebrate your victories and encourage you when challenges arise. The conversation was led by an amazing woman who has overcome Breast Cancer twice in her life. She provided a wealth of information and our discussion lasted well after the meeting ended. I would love to share her story with you in the coming months.

Via Pinterest

Via Pinterest

Last week’s Brooklyn Legends Motivational Monday Facebook posts were a reminder for me to persevere. We started the day with inspirational quotes to encourage our readers and ended with a video featuring Paulo Coelho with Oprah Winfrey on How the Universe Conspires to Help Us as we pursue our dreams. You can view it on the Brooklyn Legends Facebook page, simply by following this link.

On Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday we celebrated the phenomenal women featured in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ PBS film, American Masters: The Women’s List which aired last month. Greenfield-Sanders invited the world to “meet some amazing women who have created and defined contemporary American culture.” These trailblazers are: former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, attorney Gloria Alfred, entrepreneur Sara Blakely, comedian Margaret Cho, actress Edie Falco, scientist and entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, athlete and fashion model Aimee Mullins, politician Nancy Pelosi, actress Rosie Perez, writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, talk show host Wendy Williams and pilot Nia Wordlaw. We have included the trailer from the film below. To view last week’s Brooklyn Legends blog post, please click here.

We celebrated Brooklyn Legends Working It Wednesday, with help from the fashion editors at Glamour.com. 2015 must be the year for accessories for every new concept is so interesting and fresh. Here are three really cool accessories we feel will make your wardrobe pop. For more ideas, remember to visit the Glamour website.

On Brooklyn Legends Thankful Thursday, we embraced gratitude and expressed our thanks to you – our readers and fans – for supporting our work. Your encouragement is very important and we are grateful for your feedback here on the Brooklyn Legends blog, the Brooklyn Legends Facebook page and Brooklyn Legends on Pinterest. Here is the link to our Facebook page once again for your reference

To visit Brooklyn Legends on Pinterest, simply click on the icon below.

Thankful Thursday ended on a fun note when I also shared 3 things that made me smile. Everyone who knows me will tell you that I love flowers. For me they are one of the easiest ways to brighten your day and your environment. Here are some magical designs by Preston Bailey to spark your creativity.

Friday and Saturday were low-key days for me but I yesterday I shared one item I found to be simply sensational – a New York Times recipe for Peaches in Muscat.  I am working on my “list of things that make me smile” and the very idea of this got my attention. I did not get around to this today, but I will certainly let you know how it turns out.

Peaches in Muscat – Enjoy!

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

As always, thank you for allowing us to share your Serenity Sunday. Have a wonderful day and a great week.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
The New York Time
American Masters: The Women’s List via PBS.org
Preston Bailey designs – Prestonbailey.com
Glamour.com
Pinterest
Time Out New York

 

Brooklyn Legends Honors ‘American Masters: The Women’s List’

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day. The days are moving at such a fast pace, in less than 2 weeks November will arrive. Actually, I am very excited as Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

September was a busy month and I am just moving through the list of topics I prepared to share with you, among them Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ much-heralded film, American Masters: The Women’s List which aired on PBS last month. Greenfield-Sanders invited us to “meet 15 women who have created and defined contemporary American culture.” This amazing list of trailblazers consists of:

Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001, Gloria Allred, lawyer, Laurie Anderson, artist, Sara Blakely, entrepreneur, Margaret Cho, comedian, Edie Falco, actor, Elizabeth Holmes, scientist and entrepreneur, Betsey Johnson, fashion designer, Alicia Keys, singer-songwriter, Aimee Mullins, athlete and fashion model, Nancy Pelosi, politician, Rosie Perez, actor, Shonda Rhimes, writer-producer, Wendy Williams, talk show host and Nia Wordlaw, pilot.

Owing to time, I can’t show the full film, but I have included the trailer at the beginning of today’s post. To learn more about this masterpiece, and how to purchase the DVD, please follow this link. Here is a quote from PBS’s website prior to the film’s release:

American Masters Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

American Masters Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

American Masters: The Women’s List focuses on these individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles and identities. All trailblazers in their respective fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard and their influence felt.

Toni Morrison opens the film with a reading of an introduction she wrote specifically for The Women’s List.

Brooklyn Legends is pleased to salute these phenomenal trailblazers and we celebrate each woman’s tenacity. Thank you for joining us for Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday.  Have a wonderful day and week.

Fondly,
Monique

Credit:
PBS American Masters: The Women’s List – pbs.org

Meet FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson – ‘The Hero of My Own Story’

FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson - NYDailynews.com

FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson – NYDailynews.com

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends Tenacious Tuesday and thank you for spending time with us. We invite you to visit our Facebook page for today’s words of encouragement. Connecting with us is as simple as clicking on this link.  We want this to be an interactive process and we encourage you to let us know if a particular post inspires you along your journey.

Today we are excited to introduce FDNY Firefighter Regina Wilson, one of our newest generation of trailblazers.

Firefighter Wilson is a Brooklyn native and graduate of Samuel J. Tilden High School where she joins a list of distinguished alumni including: Nelson George, featured in our recent post Brooklyn Legends Brunch with the Arts – A Ballerina’s Tale, Lucille Roberts, the businesswoman and founder of health club chain bearing her name and the Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s weekly talk show PoliticsNation. When she joined the FDNY in 1999, she was only the 12th African-American woman to achieve this distinction. During the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, she was among the first responders at the scene. Tragically, seven members of her firehouse – Engine 219, Ladder 105 in Brooklyn, New York – died that day.

This is a career that Firefighter Wilson never imagined that she would have. After attending a job fair at New York City’s Javitz Convention Center members of the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of African-American firefighters with an exemplary 75-year history, spoke with her and presented the FDNY as an option. That was 16 years ago. Since that time she has created a distinguished career with a very promising future. In addition to serving with Engine 219, Ladder 105, she is also an instructor at the Fire Academy on Randalls Island. A high-point of her career occurred earlier this year when she was the 1st woman elected President of the Vulcan Society.

Recently Firefighter Wilson was featured as a part of Makers – Be The Hero Series. During the opening you will hear Firefighter Wilson’s strong voice clearly articulate why she is a hero. To view the video, please follow this link.

I became the hero of my own story when I graduated from the Academy.  No one could ever tell me that I couldn’t do something again.
Regina Wilson

Brooklyn Legends is proud to salute Firefighter Wilson’s tenacity, strength and commitment to the people of New York City.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
Makers – Be the Hero Series – Meet Regina Wilson – Aug. 24, 2015 Makers.com
First Woman Picked to Lead Vulcan Society – New York Daily News – Jan. 16, 2015

 

 

Brooklyn Legends Week in Review & Serenity Sunday – Sept. 27, 2015

Dear Readers,

As a child I often felt as if time moved much too slowly. In my mind, a day lasted for a week, a week lasted a month and a month lasted FOREVER.  Now that I am an adult, the days seem to whiz by as I obsess over the remaining items on my to-do list. Each Saturday when I review my accomplishments and make plans for the week ahead, I look forward to Sunday as it provides me with another opportunity to welcome you to Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday and share our Week in Review.

Welcome to Serenity SundayLast week was filled with historic firsts. Viola Davis won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series and Pope Francis made his first trip to America for an unprecedented three-day visit to Washington, DC, New York City and Philadelphia, PA.

As we celebrate Serenity Sunday, Brooklyn Legends is proud to join the world in honoring Pope Francis and we salute his vision for the future. Please be assured that we will pay tribute to Ms. Davis’ historic achievement in a future post.

We have created a collage on our Pinterest board appropriately titled “Character, not circumstances, makes the person” in Pope Francis’ honor. We hope these photos, and Booker T. Washington’s powerful quote, will encourage you as you go about your day.

Everywhere I went, people were excited and looked forward to the festivities. I never felt this enthusiasm was misplaced worship or adoration but a wonderful reminder to me of the compassion and respect that our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, other relatives and friends consistently give to the needy.

Welcome to Serenity Sunday-7Within my circle, this generosity is driven by many things, including an innate ability to empathize with the challenges of people they do not know and a willingness to meet them at their point of need.

Watching Pope Francis graciously spend time with those who stood for hours to greet him, despite their own unique challenges, and his visit with inmates in prison, amplified the generosity of spirit that I have seen in my circle finally come to life in a big way.

Thank you for allowing us to share your Serenity Sunday. We hope that you have a peaceful week.

Fondly,
Monique

Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday & Week in Review

shutterstock_156238763Dear Readers,

Welcome to Serenity Sunday and Brooklyn Legends Week in Review. This has been a busy for me at work as we transition from a fairly quiet summer to a busy fall. My colleagues and I are focused intently on a packed fundraising agenda that will guide our activity until the end of the year.

Things are moving at a fast pace on the volunteer and social fronts as well. For the past 7 years, I have worked alongside dedicated volunteers of the Brooklyn Metropolis Lions Club and the Crown Heights Service Center. When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy spending time with my husband Stan or my brilliant Go On Girl Book club sisters.

Since summer was filled with apartment repairs and upgrades, Stan and I didn’t have time for a long vacation. However, we plan to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage of the Adirondacks and the serenity Lake Placid in the coming weeks. With the much-too-soon passing of my two dear sister-friends, Janna Robinson and Brenda Ray who both died over a 3-week period, I am looking forward to a few days away.

Motivational Monday-1

Last week’s Brooklyn Legends Facebook posts were a reminder for me to persevere. On Motivational Monday, Alice Walker’s timeless quote “whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul,” brought a smile to my face as I looked at the enhancements we made to our apartment.

On Tenacious Tuesday, Angela Lee Duckworth’s dynamic Ted Talk, The key to success? Grit, reminded me of my resilience and strength and how both of these qualities would propel me forward. This video was very popular and many Brooklyn Legends Facebook followers shared it with their friends and family. I am posting it below for you to enjoy. Tenacious Tuesday will also be our day to salute our Brooklyn Legend or a young trailblazer.

 

On Working It Wednesday, we highlighted the style and grace of Alek Wek, a world-famous fashion model and Brooklyn resident. We also shared fashion trends for you to consider as you add to your fall wardrobe.

We also introduced Maya Penn, a young entrepreneur and philanthropist, animator, blogger, writer and illustrator and eco-friendly fashion designer. Did I mention that she is 14 years old? We ended Working It Wednesday with Cameron Russell, another world-renown fashion model who invited the world to take a hard look at the industry that had her looking “highly seductive” at the age of 16.  You can access Maya’s and Cameron’s videos by following this link to Brooklyn Legends Facebook page.

We expressed our gratitude on Thankful Thursday by sharing words of encouragement throughout the day. Please know that I appreciate reading your thank you notes too.

On Finally its Friday, we ended the week with Time Out New York’s fall foliage guide and their recent listing of New York City’s most stunning buildings. Here are a few highlights for you to enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you spending part of your Sunday with us. We wish you a peaceful day and a great week.

Serenity Sunday Week 4 #1

Fondly,
Monique

 

 

 

 

 

Come and Meet Our New Trailblazers

Dear Readers,

Have you ever met a girl who aspired to be a model when she was ‘all grown up?’ Can you remember seeing her eyes and face light up as she sashayed across the living room floor; which had the distinction of serving as her runway. If you answered yes, then you are not alone. If asked, I believe many parents and guardians have a similar story to tell.

Many of these young ladies are among today’s leading models. However there are others who would not realize their dream owing to many roadblocks, including: financial constraints, height and weight challenges, mobility issues and age.

I am pleased to report the landscaping is shifting. Today I have the pleasure of presenting The Incredible Women Changing Fashion Week Forever whose stories were beautifully presented by Lauren Valenti for Marie Claire magazine. Each brave woman has her own unique set of challenges: Winne Harlow is a model who also has vitiligo, Karen Crispo is a model and a quadruple-amputee, Jillian Mercado is an aspiring model who has spastic muscular dystrophy, Madeline Stuart and Jamie Brewer are popular models who also have Down syndrome. We are proud to feature these beautiful Legends as a part of our Tenacious Tuesday series. To read the full story, please follow this link.

Come and meet our new trailblazers.

After reading this article I am so proud of these ladies for following their paths, and Ms. Valenti for bringing their story to life. Hopefully we will be seeing more beautiful women, whom we can relate to on a more personal level, grace the runway during New York Fashion Week.

Have a great day!

Fondly,

Monique

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Credits: Marie Claire Magazine

On This Labor Day, I’m Grateful

Happy Labor Day 2015-1

Dear Readers,

As we commemorate Labor Day, I find myself thinking about everything my grandparents instilled in me about the importance of hard work. They consistently reminded that job excellence was the highest form of gratitude that I could demonstrate.

There was a time when an African-American woman like me could only dream of having a full-time position with benefits and paid holidays. My ability to make meaningful contributions to some impressive organizations has been a highlight of my career.  I have been able to work alongside dedicated women and men, and our combined efforts have created positive change for many Americans. For this, I am truly grateful.

We wish you and your family a wonderful Labor Day. Thank you for your important contributions to society.

Fondly,
Monique