Jamaican Me Feel Diverse

Profiling and drinking a Jamaican Green or Kale Juice at Miss Lily's, 132 West Houston Street, Soho

AB: It was quite the spectrum of a celebrity filled afternoon. Not only did I run into Fran Lebowitz, the sharp witted and masculinely well dressed writer and cultural critic, I also ran into Joe Jonas! I was sipping on my Kale juice at the new West Indian venture in Soho, Miss Lily’s: Melvin’s  Juice Bar & Bake Shop and who should come sitting down next to me in his tight pink t-shirt but little Joe. Now there were two body guards or trainers of some sort sitting between us but I could almost see the sheen of sweat on his brow. I was also shocked at his colloquial manner as he referred to some young woman as a, “homegirl”, in conversation.

The curry chicken roti is mild albeit tasty bite.

At Melvin’s Juice Bar and Bake Shop, which is apart of and around the corner from Miss Lily’s proper, you can ogle the passers by who come ambling into the charming, vibrant environs of the establishment. Bright welcoming colors and Rastafarianized staff greet the likes of model types, skate boarding types, and general fashionables to the tunes of Jimmy Cliff or The Ethiopians. Even Anna Wintour lives down the street so its possible to see a supermodel or two or an eager stylist. You can get a variety of fresh pressed juices at the juice bar with thematically appropriate names like, “The Lighting Bolt” (after the sprinter), and “Jamaican Green”, (after reggae gold?). I’m all about the digestive health and I love me a juice so I was all about that. The bake shop also serves up some items from the restaurant like rotis and patties. I had a curry chicken roti that was wrapped up like a burrito. The flavors were good although mild, a good introduction to anyone who may be unfamiliar with the tastes of the West Indies. I doused it with pick-a-peppa sauce and bogled my way through the meal. But the price was all too Soho. One of Joe Jonas’ entourage was outraged at the slow service. We in Soho, boo and all kinds of service, even being serviced badly comes at a high price. Brrrrrraaaappp!

The benches outside are great for profiling...

I Want To Be In South America

What I'm wearing: Madewel floral print 50's dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs Sandals, Uniqlo Cardigan

TB: Its summer dress season in New York. And like birds of paradise or like flowers in a hot house, people come out in full bloom. Subtlety and thinking out of the box can add a little flavor to your look. Moody colors and patterns like the Madewell dress I’m wearing can have you pop out in a crowd of summer whites. That and maybe going topless.

Social Studying

AB: It’s been a busy week of event going and I’m looking forward to the holiday weekend. But socializing is a totem of New York high and low society. And i’m all too eager to oblige.

Music appreciation at the Wooly, 11 Barclay Street, The Financial District

At the Wooly, the bar lounge event space in the Woolworth Building, Music Dealers was holding an event as apart of their Downtown Series showcasing emerging musical talent including the bands Tiger Love and The Canon Logic. Free drinks were being tibbled in a dark and brooding atmosphere filled with antique accents like we were in some old fashioned speakeasy. Truth be told, i walked right by the entrance of the Wooly where a bouncer stood with a clipboard, not realizing it was there. And the music, the new New Wave kind of music was ethereal as was the light shows that accompanied the performances.

Few things get New Yorkers like me out like mood lighting, music, comp drinks, and Mili Marcetic of Music Dealers. Heeeeeyyyy!

From top left: THe Q&A, after party revelrs including Will Johnson doing calistthenics, a scene from, Triptych, Mos Def conversating and looking like an imam, Terrance Nance is a brightly colored jacket. Art appreciation at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Flatbush, Brooklyn.

At the Brooklyn Museum, Afropunk productions and The Tribeca Film Institute presented, Triptych; a film by emerging director Terrance Nance highlighting the work and voices of  3 prominent artists, Sandford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu, and Barron Claiborne. The film was colored by the different personalities of the artists and itself was a little gem of a film. I’m not sure if it was the southern Baptist convention or a film screening but everyone came out dressed to impress. Mos Def was looking almost religiously formal and didn’t seem to mind all the attention. And now with the weekend upon us, the social activities take a backseat for a bit. I think I’m just gonna decompress and de-socialize and listen to some Maxwell and let that take me over. Woo0000!


All Things American

Celebrating America and its dream: The Fish Taco!

AB: Here is a recipe that is as American as the holiday weekend. Celebrate with your friends and family and make a simple fish taco! With pico de gallo!

Dredge fish in seasoned rice flour.

Fish Taco – Makes 15-18 Tacos

1 lb Tilapia

Package of Corn Tortillas

Sour Cream

2 cups rice flour for dredging

1 tbs salt plus more for seasoning

3/4 tsp pepper

vegetable oil

Mix chopped and diced ingredients with lime juice, salt and pepper until well incorporated.

Pico De Gallo      

2 medium vine Tomatoes diced

1 large red onion diced

3 or 4 Serrano or Jalapeno peppers veined and diced

handful of fresh cilantro coarsely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

Lightly fry fish until its golden and crisp on the outside.

You can prepare the pico de gallo ahead of time or as you make the fish. Add all the chopped and diced ingredients into a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. I like using red onion because it has a sharper more robust flavor but if you want a milder, mellower pico, you can use a white or yellow onion. Adding the peppers, you increase or decrease the amount and the seeds based on your desire for heat. I would call this recipe medium high heat level. Stir all the ingredients together until everything is well incorporated. Its okay to let the pico sit and marinate in the fridge as it will meld flavor wise together. Once you’ve made the pico de gallo, take the tilapia, clean thoroughly and pat dry . You can use catfish, snapper, tuna even But tilapia has a nice buttery flavor and doesn’t easily dry out. Season the fish with salt and cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal of the fish. Each filet of tilapia should give you 3 pieces of fish. Make some seasoned flour with rice flour and salt and pepper. You can use regular flour but rice flour makes for a light and crispy coating on the fish that I prefer. Dredge the fish and put into a pan on medium high heat with about enough oil to generously coat the surface of the pan. Lightly fry the fish, about a minute on each side or until gold, or crisp on the outside of fish. Meanwhile, to make the tortillas, get your store bought tortillas and turn on another burner on medium low and place the tortillas one at a time over the fire until they begin to lightly blister on each side. Once you’re done heating up the tortilla, wrap them up in a damp warm paper towel. You can warm up a toaster oven even, turn it off and put your damp paper towel full of tortillas in there to keep warm. Once all the components are made you can start assembling with a schmear of sour cream on your tortilla, one or two pieces of fish, and a dollop of pico de gallo. Wrap it up and enjoy!

Beautifully assemble your taco and devour for America!

And for another type of American pleasure to consider over the holiday weekend, an amusing video from Vfiles about the casting of a Hollister door model. Enjoy, America!

A Piece Of Cake

A morsel of pumkpin cupcake at Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery, 126 Rivington Street, Lower East Side

AB: April pollen brings in May showers? These past couple of days have been rather dreary. And you’re wanting is a little bit of sunshine. Well you can always get a sweet treat at, Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery where they make a variety of memorable cupcakes and other confectionery delights. You can always go for the classics like Red Velvet and Vanilla cupcakes but I prefer their pumpkin cupcake, a moist, flavorful cupcake that is not overly sweet or overly frosted with butter cream but that is light and warm at the same time and sings with pumpkin taste. In the fall, they use a similar cake in their Pumpkin trifle which is fatteningly delicious. The owners of Sugar Sweet Sunshine famously defected from, Magnolia Bakery like Cubans in the middle of the night. It was a good decision.

The pumpkin cupcakes are in the lower right corner of the display.

Now there so many cupcake bakeries in the city, especially ones that are “famous” for some reason or other and people flock to them because its whats in or the bakery was on a TV show. One thing that, Sugar Sweet Sunshine has going for it though is that its never been shut down by the health department for rat infestation.