Celebrating the New Year with Time-honored Traditions

HappyNewYear2016images.com

HappyNewYear2016images.com

Dear Readers,

In a few days, we will say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016, and I am so excited.  2015 has been filled with moments of great challenge and promise.   At several points this year — due in large measure to extreme doses of grace and mercy — I have been able to “review, revamp and relaunch” many of the projects I have been working on.  I cannot wait to share them with you in 2016.

I would also like to take this time to say “thank you” for supporting me and Brooklyn Legends.  This has been a wonderful journey and this blog is only the beginning.  I value your commitment and encouragement.

Last year, USA Today published an article on the origins of some of the world’s most cherished New Year‘s traditions;  from the familiar to customs that may be unfamiliar.  In the spirit of the season, I am pleased to share this list with you again this year.

Celebrating in New York City’s Times Square

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before the ball, there were fireworks. The first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City was held in 1904, culminating in a fireworks show. When the city banned fireworks two years later, event organizers arranged to have a 700-pound iron and wood ball lowered down a pole, according to the Times Square website. In the years since, it’s become a tradition for Americans to watch the ball start dropping at 11:59 p.m. and to count down the final seconds before the new year begins.

 Auld Lang Syne

The song literally means “old long ago.” The work by 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns has endured the ages and spread beyond Scotland and throughout the English-speaking world. The song is about “the love and kindness of days gone by, but … it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future,” according to Scotland.org, a website of the Scottish government.

Kissing at Midnight

Perhaps you’ll have a New Year’s Eve kiss that was the defining moment in a sweeping love story – similar to the kiss Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shared in the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally. Or maybe you’ll pucker up with the person who happens to be standing next to you because, well, that’s just what people do. But why? Not doing so will ensure a year of loneliness, according to tradition. The custom may date to ancient European times as a way to ward off evil spirits, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Black-eyed Peas

It’s a tradition to eat Hoppin’ John, a stew made of black-eyed peas, in the American South. “Many Southerners believed that the black-eyed peas symbolized coins and eating them insured economic prosperity for the coming year,” wrote Frederick Douglass Opie, a food historian, in his blog Food As A Lens.

Colorful Lingerie

In some Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, it’s believed the color of your undergarments will influence what kind of year you’ll have. Tradition holds that yellow underwear will bring prosperity and success, red will bring love and romance, white will lead to peace and harmony and green will ensure health and well-being, according to Michael Kleinmann, editor of The Underwear Expert website.

12 Grapes

In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries, one New Year’s custom is to eat 12 grapes for 12 months of good luck. But here’s the catch: to bring about a year’s worth of good fortune, you must start eating the grapes when the clock strikes midnight, then eat one for each toll of the clock. The best strategy? “Just take a solid bite and then swallow, pips and all,” writes cookbook author Jeff Koehler on NPR’s blog.

Molten Lead

Instead of reading tea leaves to tell the future, some in Germany and Austria read the molten lead. Here’s how: Heat up some lead in a spoon. When it’s melted, pour the molten lead into cold water. The shape of the lead will tell you what’s ahead of you in the coming year (although the shapes are open to interpretation). If you don’t want to actually melt metal, there’s an app to do it for you.

Fireworks

It’s not surprising that China, the country that invented fireworks, also makes setting them off a central part of New Year’s celebrations. It’s believed the noise scares off evil spirits and misfortune. The Chinese observe the lunar New Year on February 19, 2015.

Polka dots

Many in the Philippines wear polka dots because the circle represents prosperity. Coins are kept in pockets and “are jangled to attract wealth,” according to Tagalog Lang, a website about Filipino language and culture.

On behalf of everyone at Brooklyn Legends, have a wonderful New Year!

Monique

___________________________________________

Credits:
This article was published by Jolie Lee, Dec. 26, 2013 – news10.net.
Time Square Images: Timessquarenyc.org, wikipedia.org, madamtussauds.com, babble.com
Auld Lang Syne: chivalry.com, en.wikibooks.org, grumpyvisualartist.blogspot.com, squirrelqueen2.blogspot.com
Black-eye Peas: New York Time, blog.appliancefactory.com, foodandspice.blogspot.com
Grapes: commons.wikimedia.org
Fireworks: blog.livingonhudson.com, nyhabitat.com, retenna.com

Happy New Year 2015 – A Few Time-honored Celebrations

Dear Readers,

In a few days, we will say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015, and I am so excited.  2014 has been filled with moments of great challenge and promise.   At several points this year — due in large measure to extreme doses of grace and mercy — I have been able to “review, revamp and relaunch” many of the projects I have been working on.  I cannot wait to share them with you in 2015.

I would also like to take this time to say “thank you” for supporting me and Brooklyn Legends.  This has been a wonderful journey and this blog is only the beginning.  I value your commitment and encouragement.

Last year, USA Today published an article on the origins of some of the world’s most cherished New Year‘s traditions;  from the familiar to customs that may be unfamiliar.  In the spirit of the season, I am pleased to share this list with you again this year.

Celebrating in New York City’s Times Square

Before the ball, there were fireworks. The first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City was held in 1904, culminating in a fireworks show. When the city banned fireworks two years later, event organizers arranged to have a 700-pound iron and wood ball lowered down a pole, according to the Times Square website. In the years since, it’s become a tradition for Americans to watch the ball start dropping at 11:59 p.m. and to count down the final seconds before the new year begins.

 Auld Lang Syne

The song literally means “old long ago.” The work by 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns has endured the ages and spread beyond Scotland and throughout the English-speaking world. The song is about “the love and kindness of days gone by, but … it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future,” according to Scotland.org, a website of the Scottish government.

Kissing at Midnight

Perhaps you’ll have a New Year’s Eve kiss that was the defining moment in a sweeping love story – like the one Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shared in the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally. Or maybe you’ll pucker up with the person who happens to be standing next to you because, well, that’s just what people do. But why? Not doing so will ensure a year of loneliness, according to tradition. The custom may date to ancient European times as a way to ward off evil spirits, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Black-eyed Peas

It’s a tradition to eat Hoppin’ John, a stew made of black-eyed peas, in the American South. “Many Southerners believed that the black-eyed peas symbolized coins and eating them insured economic prosperity for the coming year,” wrote Frederick Douglass Opie, a food historian, in his blog Food As A Lens.

Colorful Lingerie

In some Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, it’s believed the color of your undergarments will influence what kind of year you’ll have. Tradition holds that yellow underwear will bring prosperity and success, red will bring love and romance, white will lead to peace and harmony and green will ensure health and well-being, according to Michael Kleinmann, editor of The Underwear Expert website.

12 Grapes

In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries, one New Year’s custom is to eat 12 grapes for 12 months of good luck. But here’s the catch: to bring about a year’s worth of good fortune, you must start eating the grapes when the clock strikes midnight, then eat one for each toll of the clock. The best strategy? “Just take a solid bite and then swallow, pips and all,” writes cookbook author Jeff Koehler on NPR’s blog.

Molten Lead

Instead of reading tea leaves to tell the future, some in Germany and Austria read the molten lead. Here’s how: Heat up some lead in a spoon. When it’s melted, pour the molten lead into cold water. The shape of the lead will tell you what’s ahead of you in the coming year (although the shapes are open to interpretation). If you don’t want to actually melt metal, there’s an app to do it for you.

Fireworks

It’s not surprising that China, the country that invented fireworks, also makes setting them off a central part of New Year’s celebrations. It’s believed the noise scares off evil spirits and misfortune. The Chinese observe the lunar New Year on February 19, 2015.

Polka dots

Many in the Philippines wear polka dots because the circle represents prosperity. Coins are kept in pockets and “are jangled to attract wealth,” according to Tagalog Lang, a website about Filipino language and culture.

On behalf of everyone at Brooklyn Legends, have a wonderful New Year!

Monique

___________________________________________

Credits:
This article was published by Jolie Lee, Dec. 26, 2013 – news10.net.
Time Square Images: Timessquarenyc.org, wikipedia.org, madamtussauds.com, babble.com
Auld Lang Syne: chivalry.com, en.wikibooks.org, grumpyvisualartist.blogspot.com, squirrelqueen2.blogspot.com
Black-eye Peas: New York Time, blog.appliancefactory.com, foodandspice.blogspot.com
Grapes: commons.wikimedia.org
Fireworks: blog.livingonhudson.com, nyhabitat.com, retenna.com

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

 

On This Labor Day – I’m Grateful

Monique Brizz-Walker

Monique Brizz-Walker at work – NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Dear Readers:

As we prepare to commemorate another Labor Day, I find myself thinking about everything my grandparents instilled in me about the importance of hard work. They went to great lengths to remind me 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. Of course there are days when I am ready to leave the building and retreat to the comfort of my home, but it does not take me long to realize just how fortunate I am. For me, this quote sums it up.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance,
and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Happy Labor Day to all. Thank you for the important contributions you make to our great society.

Fondly,

Monique

Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Civil Rights Icon

Dear Readers,

Today marks the 46th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader and icon, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The year was 1968, and the struggle for racial and social justice was woven in the fabric of American life. The entire world watched as people of African and Caribbean descent fought to end injustice and discrimination throughout the country. Hundreds of supporters would gather and march for equal access to education, housing, employment and voting rights.  We have made phenomenal progress but, as we also know, there is still much work to do.

As we pay respect to Dr. King, we would be remiss if we did not salute his widow Mrs. Coretta Scott-King.  A devoted mother and community activist, Mrs. King carried on her husband’s legacy, with unmistakable style and grace, until she passed on January 30, 2006.

Brooklyn Legends joins the world in commemorating Dr. King’s legacy and the great changes he was able to bring about.  We thought you might enjoy watching this segment from his last speech – I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.

Have a great weekend.

Monique
_________________________________________

Credits:
Information about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – http://www.nobelprize.org

 

New Year’s Traditions & Time-honored celebrations

Dear Readers,

In a few days, we will say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014.  I am so excited.  I have spent this year working on many exciting projects that I cannot wait to share with you.  This year has truly been a season of rebirth and great expectation.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, once again, for your support.  I hope that you will continue this journey with me.

A few days ago, USA Today published an article on the origins of some of the world’s most cherished New Year‘s traditions;  from the familiar to customs that may be unfamiliar.  In the spirit of the season, I am pleased to share this list with you.

Celebrating in New York City’s Times Square

Before the ball, there were fireworks. The first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City was held in 1904, culminating in a fireworks show. When the city banned fireworks two years later, event organizers arranged to have a 700-pound iron and wood ball lowered down a pole, according to the Times Square website. In the years since, it’s become a tradition for Americans to watch the ball start dropping at 11:59 p.m. and to count down the final seconds before the new year begins.

 Auld Lang Syne

The song literally means “old long ago.” The work by 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns has endured the ages and spread beyond Scotland and throughout the English-speaking world. The song is about “the love and kindness of days gone by, but … it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future,” according to Scotland.org, a website of the Scottish government.

Kissing at Midnight

Perhaps you’ll have a New Year’s Eve kiss that was the defining moment in a sweeping love story – like the one Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shared in the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally. Or maybe you’ll pucker up with the person who happens to be standing next to you because, well, that’s just what people do. But why? Not doing so will ensure a year of loneliness, according to tradition. The custom may date to ancient European times as a way to ward off evil spirits, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Black-eyed Peas

It’s a tradition to eat Hoppin’ John, a stew made of black-eyed peas, in the American South. “Many Southerners believed that the black-eyed peas symbolized coins and eating them insured economic prosperity for the coming year,” wrote Frederick Douglass Opie, a food historian, in his blog Food As A Lens.

Colorful Lingerie

In some Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, it’s believed the color of your undergarments will influence what kind of year you’ll have. Tradition holds that yellow underwear will bring prosperity and success, red will bring love and romance, white will lead to peace and harmony and green will ensure health and well-being, according to Michael Kleinmann, editor of The Underwear Expert website.

12 Grapes

In Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries, one New Year’s custom is to eat 12 grapes for 12 months of good luck. But here’s the catch: to bring about a year’s worth of good fortune, you must start eating the grapes when the clock strikes midnight, then eat one for each toll of the clock. The best strategy? “Just take a solid bite and then swallow, pips and all,” writes cookbook author Jeff Koehler on NPR’s blog.

Molten Lead

Instead of reading tea leaves to tell the future, some in Germany and Austria read the molten lead. Here’s how: Heat up some lead in a spoon. When it’s melted, pour the molten lead into cold water. The shape of the lead will tell you what’s ahead of you in the coming year (although the shapes are open to interpretation). If you don’t want to actually melt metal, there’s an app to do it for you.

Fireworks

It’s not surprising that China, the country that invented fireworks, also makes setting them off a central part of New Year’s celebrations. It’s believed the noise scares off evil spirits and misfortune. The Chinese observe the lunar new year, which this time falls on Jan. 31, 2014.

Polka dots

Many in the Philippines wear polka dots because the circle represents prosperity. Coins are kept in pockets and “are jangled to attract wealth,” according to Tagalog Lang, a website about Filipino language and culture.

On behalf of everyone at Brooklyn Legends, have a wonderful New Year!

___________________________________________

Credits:
This article was published by Jolie Lee, Dec. 26, 2013 – news10.net.
Time Square Images: Timessquarenyc.org, wikipedia.org, madamtussauds.com, babble.com
Auld Lang Syne: chivalry.com, en.wikibooks.org, grumpyvisualartist.blogspot.com, squirrelqueen2.blogspot.com
Black-eye Peas: New York Time, blog.appliancefactory.com, foodandspice.blogspot.com
Grapes: commons.wikimedia.org
Fireworks: blog.livingonhudson.com, nyhabitat.com, retenna.com

The Wonder of It All – Welcome Christmas

Dear Readers,

Happy Holidays!  It is hard to believe that in a few more weeks, it will be Christmas.  I absolutely love this time of the year.  Perhaps it is my imagination but most of the people I encounter appear to be happier, kinder and gentler.

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, walking along 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.

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

_____________________________________________
Photo Credits:
Central Park – Linda Stopa-Jansen via Pinterest
Godiva – etralalondon.blogspot.co.uk
New York Public Library Tree – Gary Burke via Flickr
New York Public Library Lion with wreath – Patrick Terhune
Bryant Park – theholidayshopsatbryantpark.com
Grand Central Light Show – English.people.com.cn
Grand Central – exterior – Angela via Pinterest
Bloomingdales – Jane Bert via Pinterest
The United States Capitol – ipreferparis.net
Van Cleef & Arpels – Christina Stouffer via Pinterest
Macys – Fineartamerica.com
Radio City – imgfave.com
Rockefeller Center (day) – Emily Nolan via Pinterest
Rockefeller Center (night) – indulgy.com
Tiffany & Co – Theresa Pisano Gogliormella via Pinterest
Empire State Building Lobby – media-cache-ed0.pinimg.com
A Likeness of Bo – helloonline.com
The Obama Ladies – Huffingtonpost.com
The White House Christmas Tree – Huffingtonpost.com
Dyker Heights – gonyc.about.com