LIVING FOR THE WEEKEND

by: Valerie Fraling Special to the AFRO
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“Oh, hmm where are you summer why can’t I feel you why have you gone away where is the hot sun that used to warm me why can’t I feel it today? My world is freezing, the wind is breezing, can’t get warm no matter what I do. Where are you summer you left September now just a cold wind blows. When will this be done I need the hot sun the cold weather has to go.”  Chyna Allen 

During our recent cold spell my friend, fashion model Chyna Allen wrote the above song to the tune of Faith Hill’s, “Where are you Christmas?” I thought the song expressed the feelings of many.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”      Neil Gaiman

How did you spend New Year’s Eve? I was unable to attend Gordon Ramsey’s grand opening in November due to a total knee replacement. Since this was my first opportunity to check Baltimore’s newest high-end restaurant, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to dine at this 5 star restaurant and I was not disillusioned.

I invited my friend Marsha Jews, as we almost always get together on New Year’s Eve, to join me at Gordon Ramsay Steak, for the most delightful end to 2017. Gordon Ramsay Steak, located in the Horseshoe Casino had a pre fixed five course menu, which included filet mignon, Chilean sea bass and his signature beef wellington. The beef wellington melted in my mouth, the jumbo shrimp cocktail was divine with the shrimp steamed fresh and not frozen, the salad was huge and we had a choice of side dishes to select from. Our server recommended the toffee pudding with butter ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce to compliment a superb meal. Don’t judge me, but I cannot wait to go back.

“Tradition means taking account of a wonderful history but remembering that everybody today looks to the future.”  Michael Kadoorie

The tradition has passed to the next generation; for years, I hosted open house on New Year’s Day at my home now, my play son George Ray has picked up the torch. People flowed throughout George and Keisha’s beautifully appointed Kings Park Estate home throughout the day sipping eggnog, and specially prepared drinks, while nibbling on snacks and black-eyed peas courtesy of Debbie Parker. What is New Year’s Day without you guessed it, chitterlings, which I happily brought to the delight of the New Year revelers.

“And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.”    Rainer Maria Rilke

Finally, got the opportunity to dine at Ida B’s Table at 235 Holliday Street. I ordered the French toast and Sadie Smalley had the frog legs as an appetizer and the shrimp and grits. The food was delicious and the service was exceptional. The manager Cass came over to introduce herself and make certain our needs were taken care of in a timely manner. our server Tirahz was extremely attentive and knowledgeable concerning the menu. A special attraction was the Phillip family’s black and white photo exhibit on display in the restaurant until the end of January. The photos are three generations of the Phillip family photography starting with the father I Henry Phillips.

“Guess who’s coming to dinner”

Melody, a local café located in Mount Vernon at 800 St. Paul St., launched Dec. 17. However, the grand opening was Jan. 6, with a huge fanfare of local residents and friends. Melody was a vision inspired by 17 year old Juwan Davis, son of Darlene Johnson-Strange and Darryl Strange. It has established relations with vendors and other business owners including Jamaria Crump founder of Lemon Topia. For more information about the services and products offered contact Juwan Davis or Darlene Johnson-Strange at 443-421-2700 or www.themelodycafe.com.

Sending our prayers to Jerry and Adrienne Pittman on the sudden death of their son Evan Pittman. To Angela Matthew and family on the death of her brother Freddie Tillman, and to Guy Bosworth on the death of her cousin Patrick Bouvier Bosworth.

“Older and wiser voices can help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.”  Jimmy Buffett

Entering into 2018 an election year I’m remembering the late Del. Joan Neverdon Parker one of the first African American women elected in Baltimore County. Joan’s commitment to the communities is legendary in Baltimore County both socially and economically.

“Celebrate good times, come on let’s celebrate. There’s a party goin’ on right here a celebration to last throughout the years. So bring your good times, and your laughter too we gonna celebrate your party with you.”  Kool and the Gang

Happy birthday Pat Matthews, Yvonne Cook, Ann Branch, Murnell Cooper, 85 year old Robert Whittington ,Thomas Richardson, Jill Carrington turned 50, Jannette Witmyer, Ted Laster, Harvey Harris, Dwight Taylor, twins Corey and Craig Bogans, Kimberleigh De Laine, Antoinette Ford, Judge Paul Smith John Shaft and my sister Cheryl Johnson.

“If life gives you limes, make margaritas.” Jimmy Buffett

What’s happening!

Jan. 13 book release party for Threefold Cord Broken at Akoya Room at the Pearl Day Spa 8171 Maple Lawn Blvd., 4:30pm-7pm. Three women discuss their experiences in life and the impact the changes in their life including divorce reshaped their outlook. The authors will share transparent decisive moments, healing and deliverance. Proud to say my sister Karen Johnson Chase is one of the authors outlining her life after divorce through counseling and her faith in God.

Jan. 15 Join the Mayor Catherine Pugh at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade.

Mar. 30 Jimmy Buffet concert at Royal Farm Arena tickets are on sale now.

I’ll be seeing you… Valerie and the Friday Night Bunch

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