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Fall 2007

A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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Family Fashion Technology Money Home Lifestyle Food

Best quarterly magazine for 2007 in the region as voted by the Maryland, Delaware, DC Press Associaion

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e l y t S n i g n i n i a t r e t En Trends 1

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Imagine 166 square miles of amusement park.

A vacation that is anything but cookie cutter. Where the beaches are perfect, endless and open to all. And the people are as dynamic and warm as the island itself. Barbados. A unique corner of the Caribbean that’s a little harder to get to, and a whole lot harder to leave. Packages from $699 for 6 nights.* For more information, please call 1.866.827.4012 or visit *Prices are per person, based on double occupancy accommodations and include roundtrip midweek airfare and do not include meals. Rates are subject to change without notice, availability, holiday blackouts, peak period surcharges, cancellation charges, and other restrictions may apply. September 11th security fee of up to $10, U.S. departure taxes up to $87 and PFC’s of up to $16 are additional and payable prior to departure.

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Measuring excellence by degrees‌


Celebrating Excellence Since 1867 Visit us at

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A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers The Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper 2519 N. Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218 (410) 554-8200 The Washington Afro-American Newspaper 1917 Benning Road NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 332-0080 John J. Oliver Jr. Chairman/Publisher Director of Marketing Ammanuel Moore Director of Advertising Susan Warshaw Sales Robert Blount Michaela Blanchard Tarsha Fitzgerald Marquise Goodwin Annie Latsu Jessie Murphy Editor Rev. Dorothy Boulware Contributing Writers Ernest Alexander Valencia Mohammed Ammanuel Moore Zenitha Prince Tyra Williams Graphic Designer Perry Sweeper Photographer John Moore

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ll summer long you’ve basked in the sun’s warming rays; frolicked in the ocean surf; challenged death on the twisted metal tracks of a rollercoaster ride and eaten at enough backyard barbecues to satisfy you for the year. But already the winds of change are blowing its chilly breath across the land, a harbinger of the winter ahead. The day hides its face more quickly now as the night swallows its light in darkness. Little kids trudge to school in sparkling new uniforms, their nut brown faces the only reminder of their three-month rendezvous with the sun. Soon the leaves will fall, carpeting backyard patios by then bereft of the tinkling mingled laughter of neighbors, family, friends. So bring them inside. In this edition of Trends, which is appropriately themed, “Entertaining in Style,” we will explore the smart ways people are continuing with their social lives as the weather turns cooler, and the days shorter. Ammanuel Moore makes some suggestions about entertaining at home—dos and don’ts— and talks with a few folks who have grabbed onto the popularity of carving out living space for a home theater. He shares the latest trends and solutions for just about any budget. Ernest Alexander explores specific brands of home theaters to help with

your selection. And while you’re entertaining at home, don’t forget to go “green.” Zenitha Prince reminds us of ways to be kind to the environment while still being extravagant in hospitality. Fashion guru Tyra Williams fills us in on the hottest shopping places in Baltimore, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia. It’s always the right time to get a few great pieces to complement an already hot wardrobe. For entertaining at home, Trends offers easy to prepare recipes and objects to die for to complete table settings that make the food taste even better. And Valencia Muhammad reminds us that entertaining in style demands not only the right food, the right décor and the proper attire, it demands energetic, healthy bodies and she finds a few folks who are exercising at home. As we say good bye to the season of lounging, strolling, and sun bathing, I hope you will find time to explore the pages of this edition of Trends and soak up brilliance inside.

John J. Oliver Jr. Chairman/Publisher

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Meet the editorial team

From left: Staff writers Zenitha Prince, Tyra Williams and Ernest Alexander, and Rev. Dorothy Boulware (seated), editor. Writers Ammanuel Moore and Valencia Mohammed are not pictured. A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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9 Exercise 550 with Valencia Mohummed 24 Fashion Compass 11 Entertaining at Home

26 Coming To A Home Theater Near You

13 Green entertaining

28 Getting Started Smarter: Choosing an Entertainment Center That Fits

16 Home Decor 18 New Recipes for a New Season 6 Trends

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Deloris Aldridge, 74, (left) certified fitness trainer, gives a personal touch to hairdresser Betty James, 68, in her home-based fitness business. Aldridge says many people do not enjoy training in large settings. She believes more and more people are leaning towards smaller settings to workout to avoid ridicule and dress codes at big gyms.

Exercise 550 with Valencia Mohammed Home-based fitness businesses inspire clients


ver 30 years ago, 74-year-old Deloris Aldridge became interested in fitness and health after she retired from the federal government as a social worker. “I was gaining weight and wanted to do something about it,” said Aldridge with her 5’1” frame. “I weighed 130 pounds and that was far too much weight for me.” Now Aldridge weighs 100 pounds, works out every day, eats healthy and encourages others to do the same in her at-home fitness center called the Aldridge Fitness ConnXtion, which she’s operated since 1990. In 1992, Aldridge partnered an exercise studio in northeast Washington where she taught body sculpting classes. She also developed a seven-day lifestyle eating plan that she encourages clients to use in her fitness program. “I never stopped my home business. People like the small setting, the encouraging nature that I bring and the focused programs,” said Aldridge. Aldridge offers a plethora of equipment ranging from a Total Gym machine, leg press, squatter, hack squatter, bench press with multi-attachments, cross over cable machine, tread climber, calf

Betty James, 68, hairdresser said she machine, weights, belts and dumb bells. remembered Aldridge from an article she “Many people don’t like to exercise in saved in a magazine 10 years ago. “The public. They are very ashamed of their gyms have too many people in there and figures and feel they need more personal not enough machines. Some people get attention in a home setting,” said upset if you ask them to stop hogging the Aldridge. “One-on-one you don’t have to machines,” said James. worry about how they dress or looking James said Aldridge’s approach gives cute. We are working out to get to the the personal touch she always wanted. “I point to wear cute outfits.” don’t feel intimidated by other people. It Aldridge won numerous awards in the U.S. Power Lifting Federation competing is me and the trainer in a relaxed setting.” Aldridge is very selective when it comes in the open, novice and master categories. to working with other seniors. “Many She has been selected as a body building seniors are in bad shape,” said Aldridge. judge in amateur and professional She suggests slow walks and chair competitions. exercises for them. “I have never seen as many women “Don’t forget how old I am. You can be so overweight and obese in my life, healthy while you are living your senior especially Black women. It’s on the years. When I look around many times, news. It’s in magazines. Everyone wants I’m living a healthier life at my age than the results but they don’t want to do some of the young people. Everyone must the work. There is no magic cure. One take time out for exercise,” said Aldridge. of the hardest things is to get people to Aldridge also has a year-round adult recognize they have a problem and be willing to fix it. If you want to be healthy, runner and cycling club that meets five days a week and hikes on the weekends. you must work at it every day,” said For more information, call Deloris Aldridge. Aldridge at 202-529-6867 or visit 2219 Aldridge holds a degree in fitness and nutrition. She is also a certified personal 14th St N.E. ■ trainer, weight trainer and sports nutritionist.

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Entertaining at Home By Ammanuel Moore


kay, so cookouts and other outdoor activities are no longer in season. But cooler temperatures and less daylight don’t have to put the kibosh on having fun with family and friends. Some of the best times and pocket-friendly experiences can be had right at the home.

MOVIE NIGHT From the latest releases to the wellknown classics, everyone loves a good movie; and I don’t care what anyone says, movies are more fun to watch with friends. Want to make your movie night a truly block buster evening? Try a few of these ideas: • Play off a theme. Is the movie a romance, a gangster film? Does it come out of a particular decade or era? Send invitations with the theme in mind. Decorate your setting based on your theme. The host or hosting couple can dress as the main characters. Can you imagine Shaft or Foxy Brown answering the door? • Think beyond popcorn. Finger foods are nice. Spice up the evening with a dish from the film. • Seating, ambiance and lighting. Don’t invite 12 people if you can only comfortably seat six. By comfortable I mean everyone can have enough space that they're not touching (cuddling is different). 8 Trends

•No bootleg or pirated films please. They’re illegal and no one wants to see Pookie stand up in the middle of the film and make his way to the concession counter. If you want to see a new release so badly, spend the $20, go to the theater and see it like it was meant to be seen. GAMES BRING OUT THE KID IN ALL OF US Could you get a group of your friends to say Slam Dunk or Rocky Balboa without talking, writing or using any hand gestures? Could you do it in two minutes? Charade-style games still bring about a lot of fun and laughter as groups try to guess random yet commonly used phrases without the use of normal communication. Trivia games are also a blast. In the popular ‘80s sitcom “Different Strokes,” what was the never-seen bully’s name that always threatened Arnold? A) Clyde B) Spike C) The Gooch D) The Shank. Games also come in the electronic format, ala DVD/board game combinations and video game systems, which,

by the way, are not tied to just violent and sports-based choices. Video game systems now provide just about every board and card game that exists–but in a digital environment. Instead of rolling the dice or spinning the wheel, you can click a button and move around the board as if there were a game in front of you. Nintendo Wii, has a fun system of games that requires real life motion. Up to four players at a time can bowl, play baseball, golf or tennis and other activities–all in front of the television. Wine Tasting – Red. Whites. Blushes. Way too many choices. Explore with friends some of the most unique wines from around the world. Make it competitive. Have each one bring in a wine and a favorite complementary dish. Best combination wins. Book Clubs–Assign a book or several chapters from a book. Discuss the story, plot or characters. Make sure the book is something everyone can enjoy. Monday Night Football, self explanatory.

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reen. It’s the new “it” word in the world of entertaining. Planning a successful party, nowadays, requires not only a sense of style but also a “green thumb”—not to cultivate flowers but to arrange an event that is both entertaining and eco-friendly. Danielle Venokur, owner of dvGreen, a sustainable event planning company launched earlier this year, said most traditional “green” event plan-

Tuna tartar in wonton cups by Steven Brown Caterers served on grass weave trays.

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We wanted to be able to create gorgeous events that happen to be green to show that you don’t have to compromise your aesthetic to plan a party that leaves a small carbon imprint. ning has focused on “back-of-the-house” waste management and not so much on the artistry. She started dvGreen, she said, to show that beauty and an event’s success does not have to be sacrificed to environmental stewardship. “We wanted to be able to create gorgeous events that happen to be green to show that you don’t have to compromise your aesthetic to plan a party that leaves a small carbon imprint,” she said. “We don’t have to wear burlap sacks and sit around a fire [to have a party that has the least negative impact on the environment.]” But while the shift towards “green” parties and more generally, the sustainable lifestyle is growing, the going is very slow. Allegra Bennett, owner of Renovating Woman: Do-It-Herself magazine and energy efficiency spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., said that’s because this society has been trained to be over consumers. “We have been conditioned to be wasteful so that’s how we buy, that’s how we use, that’s how we think,” she said. “It’s very slow because it’s not easy.” Bennett and Venokur have made it easy for us, however, providing a basic guide to environment-friendly party planning.

(check out or www. TABLEWARE and engrave with soy ink, For tablecloths, Venokur suggests which, compared to petroleum-based ink, investing in cloth coverings made from is better for the environment in addition organic or recycled material. While they to other benefits. may be more expensive than disposable tablecloths, these can be reused which FOOD AND FLOWERS saves money over time. For organic table Go organic and local. Organic crops coverings, she suggests the Fiber Active are cultivated without the use of chemiQuilt Company for custom made pieces. cals, which is a benefit to the land. Don’t Find them at be afraid to communicate with vendors, Vintage stores are great sources for other even though they may not be a “green” items like napkins and vases, Venokur party planner or organic produce vendor, added. Using old fabrics to create custhey may be willing to help. “I’ve found tom-made napkins is a great way of addthat vendors are generally excited about ing a unique element to your decorations, the challenge,” Venokur said. Bennett while having a positive impact on the also suggests avoiding the use of single environment. “The greatest thing you can bottles of water and using a large disdo is to not purchase new things, like penser instead. going into a vintage store and recreating

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THE GREEN GUIDE: INVITATIONS Allegra Bennet suggests taking advantage of the Internet and sending invitations by e-mail. Web sites like www.evite. com allow you to choose tailored designs and send out mass invitations for your event and even make rsvps easier. However, if you like the more formal use of paper invitations, try products made from organic or recyclable paper A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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To order, please call or visit:


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CALL (203) 774-8070

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Courtesy photo dvGreen planned Solar Oneʼs Revelry By The River ( fundraising gala May 2007. For the table centerpieces, they used organic yellow tulips and small fern plants that were planted in Stuyvesant Cove Park after the event. For the tent decor they used locally grown garden ivy, weeping willow branches and blooming yellow forsythia branches.

old things.” For tablewares, Venokur suggests buying dishes made from recyclable or biodegradable materials. A great site for such merchandise is Another option, said Bennett, is to use normal dishes. Sure you will have to wash up after, but you can either make it a fun exercise that your guests can join in on or load it all into the dishwasher.

LIGHTING The identifying marker for most house parties, in addition to the caravan of vehicles hogging all the parking spots on the street, is usually the deluge of light emanating from the space. Bennett suggests cutting back on your use of electricity by: 1. installing a motion switch in the restrooms so lights do not remain on unnecessarily; 2. using battery-operated LED lights to guide guests to the bath12 Trends

room; 3. Try candlelight or hold party in backyard and use lanterns or enclosed candles.

about 10 to 15 percent but that’s going to continue to come down as we see more resources and this becomes more mainstream.” It also requires more thought and CLEANUP AND WASTE planning. MANAGEMENT “You have to approach every aspect of “Managing the garbage is a very importhe event from a sustainable approach,” tant part of the process,” said Venokur. She suggested collecting recyclables sepa- she added. “You really need to plan ahead; you have to be on the ball further rately, contacting a local compost facility out.” to collect the biodegradable material and More importantly, Bennett added, making arrangements to donate the extra successful sustainable event planning and food. Also, think about using non-toxic living requires a shift in one’s mindset. eco-friendly cleaners for after the party “Green living is a state of mind; undercleanup like the Ecover and Envirocare standing that you impact what happens lines of products. to the planet at large. We all have to ask, Even with these tips, planning a green party is not easy, and there may be some ‘What is my role in causing it or fixing it?’ We all have a role in this issue,” she said. challenges, like the cost of food. Some may also wonder at the value of “Generally, as far as your organic food an individual “green” party in saving the is concerned, you will pay a premium,” environment. But, Venokur said, great Venokur said. “Overall, the premium is

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Tree of Life Holistic Vegan Eatery

An intimate fall dinner arrangement in a private residence. Venokur used vases shaped like winter squash and then fresh cabbage flowers, thistle and kumquats to accent the table. The candles were LED lights, and the china and linens either belonged to the homeowner or were rented.

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fruit juices, shake sa drinks, high in nd specialty anti-oxidants energy and and nutrients

Spirituality and Health Classes now being held every Sunday from 2:15-4:30 pm 208 S. Pulaski Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Allegra Bennett on the set of “Home Made Easy,” a do-it-yourself guide now on the DIY cable network channel.

change starts with one person who is willing to make a difference. “The impact it has is that it shows, not only the host that it can be done, but also the guests and that message carries down to them and gets the idea of sustainability out so that people can introduce this sort of [principle] into every aspect of their lives.” ■ A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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Home Décor

efore your guests have a sampling of the delicacies you’ve prepared for them, the savory smell will not only satisfy the nose, but their other senses will delight in the welcoming space you’ve created. The shades of color. The choice selections of flowers. The texture of fabrics. The music softly floating in mid-air. The scents of carefully chosen candles and incense. It’s all part of the fabric of the evening. Setting the mood. Creating memories. Your home’s décor gives others a greater sense of who you are. More importantly though, it sets the stage and sends the message to your guests: It’s all been done by you.


Rich jewel tone glassware brings the season right to your dining table. Martini, highball and wine glass all available at Pier One

Bring warmth to your table with candles! Great textures, shapes and sizes make your setting memorable. Brass leaf candle holder and column candles available at Pier One Etched leaf candle available at Target Triple tortoise shell votive holder available at Target Elephant candle available at Target

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Nothing dresses up a table faster than a great placement, linen napkin or decorative napkin ring. Assorted placements and napkins available at Pier One and Target Jeweled napkin ring available at Target Leaf napkin ring available at Pier One

Bamboo brings luck and life to the party as both a table setting and a centerpiece.

BUGABOO CREEK STEAK HOUSE MORE THAN JUST GREAT STEAKS Bu!Cvhbcpp!Dsffl!Tufbl!Ipvtf-!xfÖsf!gbnpvt!gps!pvs!tufblt/!Ubtuf!pvs!ufoefs!Mpehf!Gjmfu!ps!pvs!!Gjsftjef!Tjsmpjo! Tljmmfu!Ujqt!boe!zpvÖmm!voefstuboe!xiz/!Cvu!podf!zpvÖwf!tbu!jo!pvs!dp{z-!bvuifoujd!npvoubjo!Mpehf!gps!tpnf!Topxcjse!Dijdlfo-! Hsjmmfe!Gsfti!Tbmnpo!ps!bozuijoh!fmtf!po!pvs!nfov-!zpvÖmm!voefstuboe!uibu!efmjdjpvt!tufblt!bsf!pomz!uif!cfhjoojoh/


BBQ Chicken Nachos

Lodge Filet

Big Foot Chocolate Cookie

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Hbjuifstcvsh!¦!412.659.:311!¦!Ofbs!Uif!Ipnf!Efqpu!po!Tibez!Hspwf!Spbe! Mboepwfs!¦!412.5::.7992!¦!Mpdbufe!bu!2211!Dbqjubm!Dfoufs!Cmwe/-!ofbs!Cpsefst!cppl!tupsf

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food and cook for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Prepare the rice according to package directions and serve the seafood mixture over the rice.

Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe From “Top Chef, Season 3” by Howie A delicious chicken chili for the slow cooker, made with chicken, beans, and other ingredients.


Amuse-Bouche: Bites that Delight

1 lb chicken, cut up into small chunks (I like to use boneless breasts for their “ease” and lower fat content) 1 cup chopped onion hat is it about the change of season that brings about a change in the 1 can (or the equivalent) chicken broth way everyone entertains? Packed away are bathing suits, grills and 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely picnic baskets. Out come the sweaters, big soup bowls and tail gate coolers. It doesn’t matter if you are gathering together after church, before a big homecom- 2 tsp Cumin seed (ground will not withstand long cooking as well) ing game or in front of the television to watch the latest reality show. The fol1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves lowing recipes are sure fire hits that allow you to cook ahead so you can enjoy 3 -15oz cans white beans (great norththe time with your friends and family. ern or cannellini), drained and rinsed 1 or 2 chopped red, green or yellow 4 cups fresh spinach bell peppers, or combination 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper jalapeno chili peppers, fresh, jarred or flakes canned, optional or ‘to taste’ (depend4 jalepeno peppers, seeded and sliced ing on how much heat you like!) 4 white fish fillets, cut into bite size From Real Men Cook by Dr. Cliff pieces Preparation: West 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and In a 4 or 6 quart crockery cooker deveined, with tails combine the chicken, onions, chicken Ingredients: 1/2 pound scallops broth, garlic, cumin and oregano. 1/4 cup seafood seasoning 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and 1 cup diced onion debearded Let cook awhile on low (approx. 3-5 3 ears of corn, cut into quarters 1/2 pound squid, thawed, cleaned and hours, depending on your schedule) 3/4 cup julienne strips red bell pepper rinsed Add drained beans. 3/4 cup julienne strips green bell pep1 pound crab legs, cut into 1-to-2 inch per pieces Now here is the important part if you 3/4 cup julienne strips yellow bell pep- Salt don’t want mushy chili.. Add the per 2 lbs rice bell peppers and jalapeno peppers (if 1/3 cup sliced green onions (green and Combine all ingredients (except using) no earlier than the last hour or white parts) spinach, pepper flakes, jalapenos, and hour and a half before serving. 1 cup olive oil seafood) and place in a paella pan or juice of 1 lemon large saute pan; simmer for 1 hour Top each serving with shredded One 28-ounce can tomato sauce over medium-low heat. Add the spinMonterey jack cheese and or broken 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce ach, pepper flakes and jalapenos and tortilla chips if desired. One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes cook for 10 minutes. Then add sea-


The Doctor’s Seafood Paella

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Fennel Crusted Pork Chops with Apple Fennel Salad & Sultana Raisin Emulsion From Weight Watchers Prep time: more than three hours Serves: 4

Ingredients: 4 7oz Pork Chops 4oz Fennel seed toasted and roughly ground 2oz Dijon Style Mustard 2oz White Grain Mustard 4oz Olive Oil 2 large shallots 4 large Cloves of Garlic 4 Sprigs of Rosemary Picked 4 Sprigs of Thyme Picked Salt & Pepper to taste

Apple Cider Reduction: 1qt Apple Cider 4oz Peeled, Sliced ginger 5 Garlic Cloves 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar 2pcs Star Anise 2pcs cinnamon stick 1 small bunch thyme 4 Shallots peeled and halved 1 Bay Leaf

Directions: Combine all ingredients except pork and 1 half fennel seed, in blender and puree. Pour puree over pork in shallow dish and allow to marinate over night.

For the Apple Cider Reduction: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Reduce slowly over medium heat. When sauce has reduced to rich, glossy constituency, strain and set aside. Adjust seasoning with Kosher salt and black pepper.

For the 3 Apple Fennel Salad: Combine all ingredients (except apples & fennel) in a blender and puree. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Reserve for later use. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove pork chops from marinade and wipe off excess. Season generously with salt, pepper, and remaining ground fennel. Grill to desired doneness (8-10 minutes for medium) Set aside to rest. Combine apples, fennel, and raisin vinaigrette in a mixing bowl, toss to combine, season with salt & pepper. Slice pork thinly, arrange on warm plates, top with fennel salad, drizzle cider reduction around pork, serve immediately.

Low Fat Vegetable Lasagna

Apple Fennel Salad Ingredients: 2 Granny Smith Apples – Julianned 2 Golden Delicious Apples – Julianned 2 Breaburn Apples – Julianned 2 Head Fennel – Julianned 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Cumin 1 Cup Golden Raisins 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar 2/3 cup blended Olive Oil (70/30)

This meatless, low-fat lasagna is chock full of colorful vegetables, making this a healthy and nutritious supper dish. You can even prepare this vegetable lasagna ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook. If you do, let the lasagna stand at room temperature for

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20-30 minutes before placing it in the oven.

1/4 Cup Water

Ingredients: 2 tsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced 1 celery stalk, chopped 1 medium carrot, diced 1 medium zucchini, chopped 1 yellow squash, chopped 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp oregano or mixed Italian herbs Freshly ground black pepper 2 handfuls baby spinach salad leaves, roughly chopped 1 15-ounce tub fat-free or low fat ricotta 8-ounces no-cook lasagna noodles 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and coat an 11 X 7-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sauté garlic for 1 minute, followed by onion, mushrooms, celery, carrots, zucchini and squash. Gently sauté for 10 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and some black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach. Spread a cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with noodles, followed by half the ricotta cheese; add another layer of sauce, followed by noodles and remaining ricotta cheese. Continue with remaining noodles and sauce, ending with sauce. Top with mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes. Serves 8.

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By Tyra E. Williams


n one city block decorated with familiar city things: stoops, towering brownstones, storefronts, mothers, men, children, police and corner stores, there are also young and relatively new Black boutique-owners maneuvering through the colorful characteristics of the city, while skillfully creating fashion paths all on a street called Charles. Besides an influx of Black hair salons—six within a 3-block radius from the tip of the 21st to the end of the 24th

The 22nd block of North Charles Street and its surrounding area is the home of several new Black-owned boutiques.

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block of Charles—there are monolithic businesses and social service facilities that sporadically pepper the area. There are no trendy restaurants or fancy latte conglomerates to lure people in either. But there is fashion. For those with fashion compasses, the boutiques on the north corridor of Charles Street are easy to find. Most of the boutiques—Honey Dip, BU and High Voltage—hang on a cornered cusp of the 22nd block of Charles. Others like Makkah’s Boutique and Mustard Seed are flanked between curiosities, and heightened when red lights provoke a second glance. They all, however, offer something fresh, new and exciting to a specific clientele in a communal location, an evolving city block. Take a look at some of the hottest new boutiques on Baltimore’s Charles Street as well as some of the hottest boutiques in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

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PAVING THE WAY IN COUTURE At High Voltage Couture all it takes is descending seven steps to a basement level store-front to enter a new world. High Voltage Couture is a co-op-style haute’ couture and prêt-a-porter design haven that houses designers Oneevia Valdes for “High Voltage Couture,” John Roberts for “Fuchie” and Dermaine Johnson for “Madison Walker.” Each designer creates clothes that reflect their imaginative personal perspectives on style and fashion.

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Location: 2203 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 Phone: 410-662-0064 A publication of the Afro-American Newspapers

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On a Friday night, amongst the burgeoning bass of old school hip-hop, clank of metal hangers gliding over hollow poles as Exact Science brand t-shirts are fingered over, and the laughter of young professionals congregated on stoop-steps invited potential customers, there was a quiet space where temperaments and experiences collided to yield identities. The result: BU. Supposedly, it takes courage to embrace one’s identity and a sense of fearlessness to dress and style it. And at BU, a new boutique for men, it takes “the fashion-conscious fellow between the ages of 18-40, who just wants to express himself,” to master both—at least according to one owner, Aaron Greene. The stylish resource center-like boutique, collectively owned by Raza Ojada, Carlos Brown, Kevin Anderson and Greene, offers treasures any Renaissanceswaggering man would value (books, magazines, music, art and occasional Photo by Travis Barnes Friday night wine.) Some of the fashion Kevin Anderson, left, and Aaron Greene of BU are two of the four masterminds behind lines include: Seven Diamond, Pricko and Wild Child. Baltimoreʼs latest menʼs boutique. Other owners include Raza Ojada and Carlos Brown.


Location: 2211 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 Phone: 410-889-1148.

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Photos by Travis Barnes Jenna Davis, 25, stands outside of Honey Dip boutique, a dream five years in the making.

HONEY DIPPED FASHION Jenna Davis, owner of Honey Dip Boutique, comes from a legacy of women who love fashion. Her aunt went to school for fashion design and her mother sewed all her life. On the surface, Honey Dip does possess hallmark-like qualities that legacies tend to offer. But there is also a young, edgy and urban vibe that cannot be ignored, especially for the bold.

One of Honey Dip’s most notable lines is Patricia Fields, a collection that boasts patent leather clutches and hoodies. The boutique also houses an increasingly popular t-shirts line called Cake. Since Honey Dip, like many of the other boutiques on the block, generates very little foot traffic, the owner relies heavily upon her Web site, newsletter and other marketing strategies.

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“My [boutique] style is a combination of street culture, hip-hop, feminine; with an ‘I’m still high fashion look,’” she said. Location: 2204 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 Phone: 410-585-6200 Web site:

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Photo by Travis Barnes Kennedy, 8, models a pink tank top and ballerina skirt, one of the many fun and affordable outfits at Mustard Seed.


Parents aren’t the only ones who can be pampered at trendy salons. The Mustard Seed Salon & Boutique for Kids gives children a chance to play, relax and primp all day long in an environment of their liking. After observing that salons are not always an ideal place for children, owner, Chevria Meekins was motivated to create a kid-friendly environment for both boys and girls. “It’s fine for us to say certain things amongst ourselves but sometimes we do cross the line and forget that a couple of kids are in the room,” said Meekins, mother of two. Not only does Mustard Seed cultivate the exterior by offering stylish kid’s clothing and pampering, the salon also provides services that nurture the young mind and spirit. According to Meekins, various programs such as financial planning, nutrition classes, story-telling and

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jewelry making are underway, to set a positive foundation for a child’s future and overall development. Services provided: Drop-off service for parents, manicures, pedicures, haircuts, hair styling and plain old fashion fun for children.

Photo by Tyra Williams

Location: 2116 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 Phone: 410-727-1201

Makkahʼs Boutique offers a large selection of stylish menʼs shoes.

MAKKAHʼS BOUTIQUE If fashionistas were flies on the wall of Makkah’s Boutique, they would probably wrap their buzzing minds around the many expressions the boutique offers— international designers and a collection of eclectic male shoes—and then zone in or eavesdrop on how owner, Makkah Elsiddiq greets each customer. “Peace brother. What can I help you find today?” She then offers a recommendation. Makkah’s ability to gauge a customer’s style is something that her clientele enjoys. The boutique, which made its debut two years ago, has become the place people from all walks of life come to for fashion, even celebrities. In addition to the boutique, Makkah is also the stylist for Gabriel’s The Magazine. She’s styled the likes of Erykah Badu, Ayazarah, Musiq Soulchild and Eva Marcille of America’s Next Top Model, to name a few. Location: 2444 N. Charles, Baltimore, MD. 21218 Phone: 410-243-4115.





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AT 7:30 P.M.



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Photos by Tyra Williams


It is said war is for the young and council is for the wise. When the two are combined, maybe a twenty-orthirty-something sophisticatedly wild and introspective urbanite woman arises from the concrete pressures of life. Possibly, she roams into a place called Wild Women Wear Red Shoes to find cushion for the journey, and while there, she might as well get some style too. Wild Women Wear Red Shoes, a U Street favorite and shoe haven to all walks, offers styles by Classic Girl, Camper, Sinela, Corso Como, Frye Boots, Jedidiah and Shoe Designs, just to name a few. This boutique is for those searching for “funky-functional” footwear to make strides in any direction exceedingly more pleasurable. Location: 1512 U Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Phone: 202-387-5700

A hop, skip and jump away Since Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are close neighbors, they should be able to borrow such things as purses, threads and shoes, right? Check out some of the shops on D.C.ʼs U Street. On our block in Washington, D.C. Nana

The light and pastel environment suggests a breezy open window to a quaint girlie-girl world. The clothing and boutique décor are charmingly inspirational for both the vintage and name-brand shopper. Some of the designers include Kasil Maya and Kelly Lane. 1528 U Street, NW. 202-6676955, Moojoo Ken

Perhaps the most fitting punctuation to end the perfect outfit is a killer shoe. The perfect start, however, is a handbag. Find both at Moojoo Ken where ambitious in-house designs are assembled on leather and drenched in 24 Trends

rich color. 1512 U St. NW, Second Floor Best places to shop in Philadelphia

Hop on I-95 North and take a drive to Philly to enjoy a favorite pastime--shopping. There are several fashionably quirky places to shop in one of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s tax-free clothing shopping districts, which makes an ever greater incentive to make the trek. Charlieʼs Denim

A great pair of jeans is a dream come true. Charlie’s Denim has an impressive selection of high-fashion denim geared to fit just about any body-type. 233 Market Street. 215-923-9681. www. Vagabond

It’s never too early to stock-pile hand-knit sweaters and accessories for every season. Find everything from yarn to new labels at this boutique. 37 N. 3rd Street, 267-671-0737 Tony on Third

Any fashion-forward thrifty girl is certain to find clothes, lingerie and accessories at un-boutique prices that compliment her heart’s desires at Tony on Third. Styles include: Max Cleo, Lure, By Deep Voxx and Zio. 47 N. 3rd Street 215-592-8669,

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Rags to Riches—Frugal Betties has nothing to worry about at Rags to Riches. Here, it’s easy to find quality garments at convenient prices, plus a few splurge items too. Find everything from True Religion to Gucci.

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– Katie, Grade 7

McDonogh School in Owings Mills offers a challenging curriculum and the support of the entire McDonogh family—innovative teachers, caring advisors, involved parents, and truly remarkable peers. For information about our K-12 college preparatory program or to register for an open house, please call us at 410-581-4719. Visit us on the Web at Open House Dates Grades K-4

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More families are trading off traditional movie-going for a more comfortable, tailored home theater experience.



t’s a Saturday evening. You and your family have been waiting to see this latest blockbuster since its release. You each have adjusted schedules and carved out time to spend this evening with each other. As you make your way in front of the giant screen, you each choose from a great selection of perfect seating—perfect reclining action complete with cup holders and enough room to hold your snacks or pass them comfortably down the row. The lights begin to fade; you prepare yourself for the previews, not to mention the ideal pitch surround sound that will just about lift you inside the film for a truly interactive experience. Right before the feature film, you give the remote a quick kiss and set it down thinking to yourself, “Who needs to go to the movie theater when you can bring the movie theater to you?” Does this sound like an evening for the rich and famous? Not anymore. Home theater systems are becoming increasingly popular as more working families are preferring to stay home and avoid crowds for their entertainment needs and products are

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becoming more affordable. According to the Arlington, Va. based Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), one-third of U.S. households own a home-theater system, which in its definition includes a large screen television (27+ inches), a surround sound system and a device to play or broadcast movies and/or recorded programming. And while the number of households owning a theater system is steadily increasing, so too are the sizes and features that make home theater systems so appealing to people. “I call it home toys,” said Brian Smith, president of LP Media, a 10-year-old Baltimore-based multimedia entertainment company that specializes in audio/video systems design and other multimedia specialties. The company, which does everything from simple flat screen wall mounting to elaborate custom-built home theater packages can attest to the wide-spread popularity of home entertainment. “Everyone likes the look and convenience that these gadgets provide. Plasmas, LCD’s, projectors and projection screens, surround systems, lighting control, its all designed to give people the feel that their home is really their palace.”

One customer they recall, Paul A. Smith, a retired Baltimore circuit court judge, wanted a system that required every skill set the company possessed and took months to complete. The package included a 106-inch projection system, touch screen remote to control audio/video components and lighting. A custom wet bar that also served as sound bouncer to complement the acoustics of the room, stadium positioned theater chairs, surveillance network, which could be monitored from practically every television in the house, surround sound which included speakers on his outside short, the works. He recently hosted a meeting, followed by a movie party for 20. “He just kept upgrading,” said Devron Barrett, vice president of LP Media. “For a lot of people, it never is complete and when there’s no more room inside the house, they take it outside into other environments. A growing trend is now for boat owners to have home theaters installed.” The cost for such elaborate systems can easily swell into the tens of thousands of dollars, and that’s just for the construction and networking, not the television and other components. But according to LP Media a

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decent theater doesn’t have to be that expensive at all. Gregory and Tonya Kearson, a married couple with children, recently bought a new house in Rosedale and converted a portion of the basement into a theater complete with a wall mounted 50-inch plasma television, surround sound system and sectional sofa style seating for six. “I like the idea of being able to view television as if I was in a theater. It’s a big enough picture for me and anyone else,” Gregory said. The Kearsons have gotten good use out of the space as well, hosting family nights, entertaining guests with movie and sports parties. It’s a popular addition to their home and the total package costs less than $5,000. “Although I enjoy the picture, it’s more about the time we spend as a family,” said Tonya. Other individuals and couples are building theater systems to fit their middle class budget as well. Ivan and Keya Whitaker and their two daughters, enjoy the picture and sounds coming from their 52 inch floor model projection television. They too have dedicated a large portion of their basement to accommodate movie and sports parties. Keya, who is as much of a fan of the theater as her husband, appreciates being able to host parties and not have to go to the movies as much for entertainment. When discussing how much more they would add to their theater space, she mentions only a few more items. “I want to add another type of lounge chair but in addition to that, it would be nice to have a mini refrigerator to keep beverages in.” Keya said. Ivan, now a computer specialist for Comcast, who used to install cable, remembers connecting customers’ giant screens to cable service before deciding to invest in his own personal theater. With his expertise in consumer electronics, he shopped for the best possible package for the money and did his own installation and wiring. “Being a former cable installer, I was able to see how the resolution differed from brand to brand,” said Rayner, whose job gave him the advantage of on-the-job research/comparison. Before his purchase, he considered a host of factors. “Cost is always important, but the living space has to be considered. You don’t want to clutter the area or box yourself in with a big screen and a loud unit.” Brian suggests that anyone who is considering a home theater system do at least some preliminary research before purchasing. Reading product reviews—whether in print or online—and asking questions help with the process to a degree if you’re familiar with some of the terminology. There are

also things he says that need to be accounted for in your home that add to either a stellar or less than perfect experience. How will the television be used? How often? How big is your space? What kind of lighting do you have? What viewing angles are possible for your guests? Are you in a townhouse, apartment or single family home? Questions such as these help determine what technology is the best choice for your home theater system or how powerful your surround sound system should be. “Also keep in mind, what you experience in the store may not be what you experience at home,” Brian said. “Store setups have a few things working for them including, lighting and surround sound studios. When you take a package home, you may see and hear something totally different from what you saw on display.” When it comes to quality, there are lots of television manufacturers to choose from—Sony, Samsung, RCA, Phillips, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc. There are new product manufacturers that are also starting to surface as the technology for developing such products becomes cheaper to mass produce. AOC, Maxent and the growing in popularity Vizio brands target their products for those who want a large digital image, but don’t want to pay extravagant


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costs. According to Brian, they may compete in size and picture, but may lack in special features that give the popular name brands an edge and sometimes justification for their costs. In any case, no matter the manufacturer, Brian highly recommends purchasing the extended warranty. More good news for the budget conscious: digital televisions are actually more energy efficient than their predecessors. In fact, some of the higher end models even have efficiency settings that allow them to dim the brightness slightly and actually save energy. Naturally, however bigger the television, the more energy use. And keep in mind if a new television and theater system is being added, and not replacing a television (which is mostly the case), the energy bill may show a slight increase, but it may be worth the added costs when figuring how much it costs for a large bucket of popcorn and four sodas.

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Ikeaʼs Besta T.V. Storage entertainment system offers users two sliding doors making it easy for your home theatre to blend in with the rest of your décor when not in use. Besta TV storage $430

Ikeaʼs Besta Enon has a reinforced back panel with pre-drilled holes making it easy to hide all those pesky cords that may get in the way. Besta $558

By Ernest Alexander


Benno $69.99 Ikeaʼs Besta entertainment system makes it easy to store all your entertainment doodads in one place with its multiple shelves and various draws.

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ith the growing popularity of services like Netflix and Comcast OnDemand it is no surprise that many people are turning away from the high cost of movie ticket prices and the annoying waits in long lines at the theatres preferring home theatre systems to get an enjoyable movie watching experience right in the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know where to go or what to buy as there are a lot of products to choose from. Some people even think they have to be an instillation specialist to even fathom setting up their own in-house theatre. Well, don’t fear. With these few simple steps even the not-so-tech-savvy can grasp a basic understanding at what to look for when setting up a home theater system.

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37” Flat-Panel LCD HDTV and their all those TVs you see on display at Best INSIGNIA™ 42” Plasma HDTV. With Buy aren’t there so a single movie can play on 30 different screens; they’re there the INSIGNIA™ 37” Flat-Panel LCD HDTV you can either place it on an Though this may seem like a tired old so you can get personal and see what they can do. Get hands-on with the TVs entertainment center or mount it on cliché, surveying the area that you plan a wall and it can even double as a PC on putting your home theatre in is a very and ask plenty of questions, because one monitor. The INSIGNIA™ 42” Plasma of the worst things you can do is buy a important step to do before you start HDTV is also a good choice as it comes TV, get it home, and then later find out buying anything. Things like knowing with a built-in HDTV tuner for receivthat it is not compatible with the other if your outlets are three prong or two ing over-the air and cable high-definition parts of your home theatre. Two things prong, how the lighting will affect your broadcasts (where available) without any movie watching and where you plan put I recommend looking for when selecting your surround sound speakers are key to a TV are size and type. There is no need additional equipment to add. optimizing your in-home theatre experi- to go crazy with the size if you plan on setting up your home theatre in a small STEP 3: GETTING PAST ALL ence. In addition, know what kind of area. The same way it sucks to sit in the entertainment center you want and if it THOSE WIRES first few rows at the movies, the same is going to fit in the area you have descan be said for having a 52 inch TV in a I don’t know about you, but when I ignated. Let’s face it, the last thing you see the star of an action movie narrowly want to do is go out and buy a TV—call small room. Additionally, I suggest getting a high definition television, HDTV. escaping a warehouse as it explodes and Comcast or Direct TV— and get whatThey offer superior picture quality, betincinerates everything inside, I want to ever else you may want only to find that ter clarity, smoother motion, colors are hear everything from the massive roar of the entertainment center isn’t equipped richer and more natural, and they have the fire to the very heart beat of the star for a home theatre or that the TV you surround sound as well as the ability to as he lives to fight another day. Getting purchased is too big or not designed allow a variety of input devices to work that superior sound is one of the biggest to go into an entertainment center. My together opposed to a standard TV. Two problems that people face when setting recommendation is to go to IKEA good choices are Best Buy’s INSIGNIA™ up their home theatre system. Many because, their stuff is inexpensive, easy to assemble, and all the measurements are either listed on their products or can NATIONAL COUNCIL OF be easily found by using the tape meaNEGRO WOMEN, INC. (NCNW) sures provided in the store. Some good examples are their Besta TV storage entertainment center and the Besta Enon th ANNUAL entertainment system. The Besta comes COLLEGE EXPO with a cord outlet in the back for keeping all your cords in one place, adjustable shelves for the ability to adapt to your particular entertainment needs, and even adjustable feet so you can still keep your home theatre system level despite having uneven floors. If your just one of those people who like to keep it simple I suggest IKEA’s Besta Enon. You won’t have to worry about drilling holes in the wall as it comes with a reinforced back panel for flat screen TV’s as well as pre-drilled holes in the back panel to help conceal and organize all your cables in the back. Mitchellville/Bowie Section

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STEP 2: PICKING OUT A TV When it comes to buying a TV, the best approach is to take the car buying method and take the TV on a “test drive.” This may sound a little weird, but

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■ ■ ■ ■

Door Prizes and Giveaways College Assistance Raffle Colleges and Universities Financial Aid and PSAT/SAT Workshops

And More... FREE ADMISSION Saturday, September 29, 2007, 1pm to 6pm University of Maryland, Reckord Armory, College Park, Maryland * for sponsorship opportunities and event details, please visit our web site: contact us: ABOUT NCNW: NCNW has partnered with U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, to ignite a movement in communities across the country to close the achievement gap for African American children. Leveraging provisions in the historic No Child Left Behind Act with the tremendous outreach network of NCNW, the partnership brings organizations and individuals together to improve academic achievement by focusing on early reading proficiency.

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people have a hard time properly wiring their surround sound from one side of the room to the other. To avoid the hassle of setting up all those wires and making sure they are out of the way, I recommend Best Buy’s Rocketfish™ Wireless Rear Speaker Kit. With the Rocketfish,™ a wireless uncompressed digital signal (resilient to other wireless signals and interferences) is sent from the sender device connected to the back of your home theatre system to the receiver connected to the speakers across the room; the provides you with an uncompressed CD quality audio. Compatible with most major manufacturers home theater systems and receivers and possessing a wireless range of 100 feet no matter where you decide to set up your speakers you can still get that booming sound you’re looking to get. ■

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QUAIL RUN SOUTH 1818 Triple Feather #85 Lovely 3 BRM THS, features a fenced front yard w/porch - Large MBR w/jacuzzi and separate shower - Carpeting throughout ($2,000 carpet allowance) Washer/Dryer on 2nd level - Plenty of closet and storage space throughout - SELLER IS OFFERING $3,000 TOWARDS BUYER'S CLOSING COSTS - LOOKING FOR QUICK SALE!Off 95/295 * Near MARC Station, Arundel Mills Mall. For more info please call Ron Harper at 410-804-0541

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UPPER MARLBORO 10309 Wood Sorrel BRAND NEW LISTING! Gorgeous 5 Bedroom Colonial w/3.5 baths, 2 car garage, 2 story foyer and family room, overlook from 2nd level, updated kitchen w/granite counter tops and stainless appliances, freshly painted, deck, new carpet lower level, wet bar , and much, much more – Ready for immediate occupancy. Call Denise DeLeaver 410-419-7880

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AFRO Trends Fall 2007  
AFRO Trends Fall 2007  

Afro American Newspaper Trends Fall 2007