On Our Radar: Things that Caught Our Interest This Week

1. For the forty fourth time, the stretch of Eastern Parkway between Utica Avenue and Grand Army plaza will be transformed into a  three mile carnival as a gyrating multi-cultural crowd will gather to shimmy to the sounds of the Caribbean and eat to their West Indian heart’s content while watching the main parade at the annual West Indian American Labor Day Parade (with the Jamaican contingent always representing like no other) in Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, NYC this September 6th, 2011. For more information on the weekend long events and activities go to the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s official website.
2.  We will definitely be stopping by the news stands to grab a copy of the September 2011 edition of American Elle magazine to for a spread of Kingston beauty, Jeneil Williams.  Since being booked by some of the top couturiers in the industry, the 2005 Pulse Caribbean Model Search third place winner has been making a name for herself on the catwalks as well as behind the cameras and has also been distinguished as “…an important face in modeling” after being photo graped by the revered photographer, Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue in 2008.  (Elle Magazine September issue on sale at news stands now.)

3.  Those of us who are of the firm belief that, “…nothing can beat an idea whose time has come,” sat in humbled wide-eyed fascination as technology entrepreneur, David Mullings, impassioned by his love of technology, his idea to make more people aware of the history of the rail system in Jamaica and his belief that the youth of Jamaica should have a more accessible as well as low cost way to make their ideas and voices heard, decided to not only shoot an entire film about Jamaica’s trains entirely on his iphone to prove that the iphone is a viable means of recording and translating ideas, but also that one can also think of creative ways to fund their ideas by approaching websites such as Indiegogo.com to petition viewers for direct contributions, a method known as “crowd funding”, to finance his project.  Mr. Mullings was able to raise a considerable sum in order to bring his idea to fruition and showed other budding Jamaican contributors to the future that technology in combination with a little ingenuity can go a long way in making what seems like an idea that’s beyond their reach, a reality.

4.     And speaking of reality, we self-confessed reality show viewers/devotees/junkies, were still reacting to the news that Jamaican entrepreneur, Peter Thomas, and his wife model Cynthia Bailey, both of the Bravo Network reality show The Real Housewife’s of Atlanta, were expecting an new addition to their family when alas our hopes were dashed as they released a joint statement that as newlyweds there were “…just having fun…” and there will not be any babies in their near or distant future.

5.  More ‘Reality Bites’ as Patrick City, Kingston native, Olivia Longott announced her  intent to return for a second season of the VH1 runaway hit, ‘Love and Hip Hop’, along with Chrissy Lampkin, rapper Jim Jones’s significant other; Mashonda Tifrere, ex-wife of producer Swiss Beats; and Emily Bustamante, ex-partner of the rapper Fabulous).  The singer and former G-Unit member cited the positive feedback she received as a result of her participation on the show as a reason for her return and is please her fans will be able to see more of the real Olivia.

6.   Among rumors of rock bottom ratings, television mogul in the making, Tyra Banks decided to not only return with another installment of her America’s next Top Model, but has to bring back some past contestants to compete once again. Among the bevy of hopefuls is Jamaican Camille McDonald, the sassy straight-talking participant and favorite from Cycle Two.  Insiders predicting that Camille will be the best cure for poor rating this season. Stay tuned. Lets see if America will be able to handle a dose of reality, Jamaican style.

7.  In commemoration of the 30 anniversary of the passing of the legend, Bob Marley, the One drop Symphony Orchestra will be accompanying Jamaica’s first super group, The Wailers, with special guest performances by reggae artists Lloyd Brown, Soul Queen and Mica Paris, for the Salute to the Wailers tribute in the United Kingdom at the famed ‘Main House’ on September 10,2011.  All interested in  a jaunt down Wailer Memory Lane log on to www.salutetothewailers.com

or purchase tickets at:

Hackney Empire
291 Mare Street
London England E8 1EJ
8.  The Notting Hill Hill Carnival officially begins today, Monday August 29, 2011 Notting Hill, England. Here are the recorded vital statistics why this event is a West Indian must:
1 million recorded attendees
300 hundred Concession Stalls
1 ton of Curry Chicken
1 ton of Jamaican Beef Patties
15,000 Fried Plantains
30,000 Corns on the Cobb
1 ton of Rice and Peas
12,000 Mangoes
16,000 Coconuts
5 million Cold Drinks
25,000 Bottles of Rum
Did you book your ticket yet?
9.  The Leeds West Indian Carnival also kick of in Leeds, England on Sunday,August 29, 2011 with a main parade through Potternewton Park, with a main stage featuring a variety of bands performing Reggae, calypso and Soca music.  If you feel like dancing while enjoying some great food, you can join the the nearly 120,000 revelers expected to attend this year.
10.  Stop by the Half Moon Shopping Village near downtown Montego Bay, Jamaica for your piece of the Bob Marley Experience. Visitors to the 68 Auditorium can view a documentary on the life of the Reggae icon, or visit the gift shop to purchase T-shirt, Cd’s, videos as well as other memorabilia. The ‘village’ is open daily and admission is free. For more information contact:
The Montego Bay Tourist Office
Montego Bay

11.  Mark your calendars as Chip off the Block and icon in the making, Ziggy Marley,takes the stage at the annual Doheny Days Music Festival as it returns to the Doheny State Beach in California this year with appearances by groups like Katchafire, Common Sense and Ben Harper.  For tickets go to www.dohenydays.com


 But that’s not all, just a few weeks later, along with special guest Trevor Hall, Ziggy will be captivating their audience as they take the stage at the Mont Bleu Resort Casino in Lake Tahoe, Sunday, September 25th , 2011.  For information call the Montbleu Casino and Resort at 775-588-3515


About the author

Karen Mitchell