urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 1
2 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Candace Smith is a native Philadelphian and graduate of Syracuse University (BA) and City University of London (MA). After spending a few years living in London, Candace returned to Philadelphia and continues to forge a career as a freelance journalist, writer, blogger, actress, and host. Besides interviewing intriguing personalities for Urban/Suburban Magazine, she is also currently contributing her knowledge and skills to various artistic movements, publications, websites, and podcasts such as REP Radio, AFFRM, Tinsel and Tine, and Hipolitics.
April Perry McKellar of The After 5 Lifestyle was established by myself, April. I call Philadelphia home and have a passion food and sharing it with others. I am not a chef, nor do I claim to be. Iâ€™m just a regular gal working a Nine to Five that loves to eat and enjoy food with friends and family.
Jennifer S. Matthews is a noted author, motivational speaker, and is trained as a financial coach. She is the author of the award-winning book 12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 3
Matt Schmidt works as the Graphic Design Team Lead for Urban Suburban Magazine. Since he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010, he has been designing various material, from logos to brochures, for clients within the Philadelphia area.
Dr. Irene Okech holds a PhD in Public Health and an MBA in Healthcare Management Policy. Her research interests are in Pediatric health outcomes, & Maternal and child health policies. A young and upcoming leader, she is also a spokesperson for the disparities faced by women and children in rural Africa. Dr. Okech is the co-founder of Imbako Public Health, an organization that seeks to allay disparities in healthcare and education faced by women and children in rural Kenya.
Kyle Leishear has been a Tech & Gadget enthusiast his whole life. Even as a child when he would break something he would try to fix it. That led him to a life of always trying to stay on top of the latest and greatest technologies and seeing how they work.
4 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Publisher’s Opinion Change is a good thing When it comes to change most people are slightly afraid of change. Why? Because change can represent something new and unfamiliar to their secure and safe surroundings. Once this change because familar it may be embraced through a process of discovery nonetheless. Sometimes change should be looked at with naturally skeptical eyes as the full impact of any change will not be realized overnight but over time. For example, the development or gentrification of any neighborhood or community that has neglected by politicians and investors should be viewed with careful deliberations. The reality is that many of our elected officials are not businessmen or women. They are adapt at spending your money because its not their money. I guess it would be easy to point fingers and say why object to growth or be an obstructionist when you let your neighborhood go to hell in a hand basket. This is a far question but far too complicated for this column to explore. However, it would be easy to say that perhaps with better leadership and more spreading of the wealth through real neighborhood redevelopment could have stopped the deterioration of many neighborhoods many years ago. Needless to say development is happening and you can either be part of the change or sit back and complain while change passes you by. Here are some basic inexpensive ways to improve your neighborhoods without going bankrupt in the process:
Pride in Ownership - Sweep in front of your door and pick up any loose trash (even if you did not put it there) or papers.
Paint and Plant - With spring arriving - Install or paint a flower box and plant some colorful spring flowers.
Exterior Maintenance - Consider sprucing up the outside of your home by simply power washing off the years of neglected paint and having exterior brick pointed and sealed or apply a fresh coat of paint.
West Oak Lane - The Role Model Sparked by OARC’s mission is to create and stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life in West Oak Lane and other neighborhoods located on Ogontz Avenue, a thoroughfare which runs diagonally through the uniform grid of streets in the city. Many of the commercial and residential properties on Ogontz Avenue have begun to see revitalization and have largely been restored as a significant and important destination. Places such as Victoria’s Kitchen located at 7304 Ogontz Avenue * Philadelphia * PA 19138 * 215-927-1066 * 215-927-1044 provide a wonderful atmosphere and great food. Other establishment such as Green Soul located at 7169 Ogontz Avenue exist along with Relish located at 7152 Ogontz Avenue. You should also visit 3rd Element Beauty Salon and Spa along with your friendly neighborhood State Farm Agent Brian Madalion located at 7208 Ogontz Ave Bus: 215549-4900 Fax: 215-549-4920. Free Library of Philadelphia operates the David Cohen Ogontz Branch at 6017 Ogontz Avenue at Church Lane.
Organize a “Block Cleaning Day” - This would be a perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbor by sweeping and cleaning your block together. Saturday is a perfect day. Spring is in the air. Smile and speak - Get to know your neighbor by simply smiling and saying hello.
Point Breeze -The New Frontier The Point Breeze neighborhood is slowly rising from years of abandonment and population decline throughout the last few decades. But as most smart and savvy real estate investor will tell this neighborhood still has the greatest upside. It is an area ripe for growth as it is within walking distance of center city. Young business owner’s are gearing up for the revitalization with open arms. I mean where else can you find million dollars home within its reach, stadium within its reach and center city within a ten minute walk. Today it is a neighborhood under revitalization from efforts. Don’t wait on this sleeping gem, just drive through it’s neighborhood and you’ll see all its growth. I mean have you seen the Sardine on south 18th Street (18th and Federal). It’s incredible. In addition, you can visit new places such as Jace’s Soul food (1715 South 20th) restaurant and long standing neighborhood icon Cultural Exchange (Point Breeze and Dickinson) for a real treat, should you want to purchase a gift.
South Street - The Old Staple I guess not many people recall the old song exclaiming why people go to South Street. Time have definitely changed, The name “South Street” is popularly attached to long stretch extending as far 22nd Street, where the ever popular Odunde festival takes place every summer. It remains a popular hangout area for teens, college students, and 20 something crowd with its assortment of and retailers catering to hip-hop fashion, punk fashion, and/or urban culture. A few restaurants and independent boutiques targeting a slightly more mature clientele are located within these businesses. Retail chains are found on the street as well.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 5
Publisher/CEO/Creative Director - George Clifford Blackmon Masthead Creation â€“ Nouveau Concepts Graphic Designer Team Lead - Matt Schmidt Content Manager Stacey Martinez
New Business Development 215-878-3227
Advertising & Sales 215-878-3227
Candace Smith Glynis Tart Irene Okech Jennifer Matthews Magarita McKissick C Double R Kyle Leishar April Perry-McKellar George Clifford Blackmon Lisa Smith Morton Faith Fox
Contributing Photography Greg Tavares Lois Mauro Matt Schmidt
Lisa Smith Bridget Johnsonâ€“Stewart
Web Design Concept
MoMac Media Services
6 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial designed by Walker Hancock (1901-1998), the Instructor of Sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and an Army veteran of World War II.
09 How to Obtain Competitive Moving Quotes
18 Wrongful Death Issues from Negligence
Credits: Photography by Greg Johnson Styling by Wynter J. Nicholas Make-Up by Andrea Hunter Hair by Stephanie Stennis Clothing provided by Dillon&Scott
26 Date Night 40Â Sexual Chemistry
Get Up and Move
16 Jordan Jackson
42 Evolution of Robotic Technology
HOT Or Not
28 The Dazzling Rise of Crystal Nicole
How to Select and Care for Sterling Silver Jewelry Sterling silver jewelry is widely popular and available in many different styles. In order for silver to be classified as sterling, it must contain 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent some other type of metal, often something like copper. urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 7
*See page 16 for more information.
Philadelphia’s Spa Treatment Jae Barnes Beauty Bar Jae Barnes
Public Relations Done Right Judith Brown
Jae Barnes Spa and Beauty Bar 1608 Walnut Street 7th Floor Suite 705 Philadelphia, Pa 19103 215-772-1045
J Blair Brown (aka “Juice”) operates J Blair Brown Consulting that specializes in public relations, branding, script consultation and casting (for independent films). See page 11 for more information.
Action Plans - Quick Easy Money Tips
Safe and Secure - Survival Tips while being educated
Jennifer S. Matthews is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and is trained as a financial coach. Her award-winning book 12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job, was also nominated for a 2013 NAACP Image Award. See page 44 for more information.
Don’t draw attention to yourself, avoid wearing flashy jewelry and don’t display large amounts of (http://www.alltraveltips.com/safetytips.shtml) cash. Carry only enough cash to make it through the day and leave the rest in the hotel’s safe.
8 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
By : Nate Rodnay The initial step in moving your home is to search for a credible and professional moving company that provides good services at an affordable moving quote. They inspect your home and your possessions to find the suitable moving materials and the estimated cost that will be charged for your move. Usually, moving quotes are based upon the distance of your move and the weight of shipment. To obtain a competitive moving quote you have to contact as many moving companies as possible and obtain their estimated quotes. This makes you to compare the given quotes to hire the most efficient and cost effective service provider. You have to understand that moving quote is the estimation of your actual moving cost. It may be varied more or less depending on the circumstances.
Online Moving Quotes Most of the professional movers are available online and they can give you the moving quote just by providing some required information. Online moving quotes are the instant responding service that provides your moving quotes in just few minutes. You need to fill the form with some essential information like, your moving date, type of moving, distance and location. You will be provided a list of possible moving companies and their comprehensive moving quotes. So that you can choose the affordable moving company that quotes the least price. The significant facet of online moving quotes is that it is offered for free of cost. It does not have any strings and obligations attached to it. You will be assured that the given information is secured and it will not be misused in any circumstances. It helps in saving your time and obtaining your moving quotes. Different moving companies may provide different quotes. As a result it is necessary to analyze all the available quotes and choose a suitable mover. You have to analyze the following information, which is contained in every moving quote.
Interpretation of Moving Quotes • Any specifications you need to follow before they move your stuff. • Any fine print that could lead to extra charges. • A comprehensive list of moving materials and supplies used for
moving. • Information about the charges on the mileage, volume, weight, and other allied services. • Any items that are not moved, or haven’t covered in the price quote. • Information regarding the costs of insurance and its coverage. • The terms of payment such as advance payments, installment payments and or any other payment methods. urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 9
My Success Consultant Who is Klaudia Kovacs? She researched various business, marketing, PR and life-coaching philosophies and started to develop her unique and effective technology of success. Knowing that all successful people have mentors, Klaudia decided to study acting with Oscar-nominated Lynn Redgrave and eventually began working regularly in theater, film, and television both in Hollywood and New York. She also wrote/directed/produced many of her own projects, and has garnered 25 international awards so far. Torn from the Flag, her film about the global decline of communism and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was presented to the United States Congress and was entered into the Congressional Record. According to several critics and historians it is the “best documentary” ever made about this topic. The project was named “one of the most important cultural events in Hungary” and in 2009, it participated in the Oscar competition in the “Best Documentary” category. Meanwhile, Klaudia – a Renaissance woman – became a Hollywood correspondent for several European and U.S.-based publications. As a journalist, she penned over 200 articles, contributed to many radio and television interviews, and co-authored two books: Hungarian America (2002) and Portrait Gallery of Hungarian Americans (2003). The latter was purchased by 400 libraries around the world.
reach their personal best, her expertise in enterprise and extensive experience in overcoming obstacles, earned her the name “My Success Consultant” which is how her wide-ranging business has developed. What is the name of your business? My Success Consultant When did you start this organization? 2004 What is its purpose/goal? To create financial and business breakthroughs for my clients. Why did you create this organization? To help companies, professionals, non-profits, and artists succeed and reach their goals. Who do you service? Companies, professionals, non-profits, and artists. Where is it located? Hollywood, CA What is your website address? www.MySuccessConsultant.com
Klaudia’s “laser-sharp” ability to determine what is needed for an entity to
Kreyol Essence Who is Yvecar Momperousse? Yvecar Momperousse is the Director of Diversity Alumni Programs at Cornell University. Yvecar is very active in her community as co-founder of the National Haitian Student Alliance and Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia. Momperousse has also been a consultant for issues concerning non-profits, humanitarian organizations and top-tier universities. What is the name of your business? Kreyol Essence, provides exotic and organic beauty products for hair, skin and body made from ingredients cultivated and manufactured in Haiti. Yvecar shares ancient secrets with folks in the US and around the world. Her signature product, organic Haitian black castor oil is proven to grow and thicken hair, preventing wrinkles, have curative properties, and so much more. When did you start this organization? 2009 What is its purpose/goal? To be a game changing company which represents exotic-multicultural brands that enhance natural lifestyles and improves the world through affordable luxury products. Why did you create this organization? I experienced a “haircatosphre” when a beautician burned her hair by using
10 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
an iron that was too hot. She knew the only thing that would re-grow her hair was the “magic oil” her mom used in her hair when she was younger. I went to natural and West Indian stores in Philadelphia in search of the product. To her dismay, no one had the organic oil available. I decided to make sure that anyone else, who needed the oil, could have access to it by creating Kreyol Essence (KE). The creation of KE was also fuelled by my vision to stimulate economic activity in Haiti. The company is “Natural with a Purpose” and plans to create 400 jobs in the country, aid with environmental disparities by starting a seeding and planting program, hiring farmers to cultivate raw ingredients, and hiring women to make the products. Who do you service? Kreyòl Essence services women and families through our on line store. We also wholesale (to the end user through a reseller and manufacturer). We are looking for wholesale partners such as Bed and Breakfast, Spas and Health Clubs, Retailers, Supermarkets, Online stores, and Boutique Department Stores. Where is it located? We are an international Business Located in Haiti and upstate NY (Ithaca). What is your website address? www.kreyolessence.com www.facebook.com/kreyolessence www.twitter.com/kreyolessence
J Blair brown consulting Who is J Blair Brown? J Blair Brown (aka “Juice”) is a “creative” out of Harrisburg, PA, where she operates J Blair Brown Consulting. In addition to her popular radio talk show, “Livin’ the Dream! with JBlair Brown,” she also specializes in public relations, branding, script consultation and casting (for independent films). What is the name of your business? J Blair Brown Consulting
Where is it located? We’re located in Harrisburg, PA, the center of the universe! What is your website address? http://www.thejblairbrown.com Brown’s clients include actors, authors, directors and publishers from across the U.S. You can keep up with J Blair Brown by connecting with her on Facebook and LinkedIn (JBlairBrown), Twitter (@thejblairbrown) and via her website: www.thejblairbrown.com.
When did you start this organization? January 2010 What is its purpose/goal? To bring awareness of our clients to the public. We do this via social media, public relations, marketing, strategizing, branding and building the necessary buzz that makes our relevant. Why did you create this organization? I saw the need to represent lesser named artists in the industry. It’s called show BUSINESS for a reason; all artists (who are serious about their craft) should have a rep of some sort on his/her team. Who do you service? My clients include actors, filmmakers and authors from both the east and west coasts.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 11
Americans are urged to take the Diabetes Risk Test on American Diabetes Association Alert Day® and to share it with everyone they care about to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, the American Diabetes Association conducted its 25th Annual Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million Americans including 1 out of 9 people in Philadelphia, which is nearly 3% higher than the national average. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take the steps to Stop Diabetes. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Early intervention via lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is fighting to Stop Diabetes and takes the opportunity of Alert Day to help identify those who are undiagnosed and those at risk for type 2 diabetes, by educating people about diabetes risk factors and warning signs. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
12 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
“Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating,” said Michelle Foster, Director of Mission Delivery for the Philadelphia Office. “The American Diabetes Association hopes that this Alert Day will encourage people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share it with their loved ones. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.” To help people better recognize their own risk for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides the Diabetes Risk Test, asking users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider. You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting us on Facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation, stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round. The primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk for developing the disease. The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in (http://www.diabetes.org/) English and (http://www.diabetes. org/espanol/default.jsp) Spanish.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 13
For the water sports aficionados, the Caribbean offers endless possibilities. Perhaps youâ€™re longing for fly-fishing. If yes, then the Bahamas is just right for you. No wonder, hordes of fly-fishing enthusiasts arrive at Long Island, about 160 miles south of Nassau every year.
When it comes to sailing, it would be impossible to narrow down the Caribbean to a single spot. But if you need to strike a balance between sport and leisure, Antigua might just be the perfect choice. Thousands of yachters arrive on the island between late April and early May every year, and for the Stanford Antigua Sailing Week. This is the second-largest regatta in the Caribbean. The event sees more than 200 boats racing in eight different classes, from chartered sloops to billion-dollar yachts. In the end, Antigua Distillery pours out the award-winning rums. Most of the festivities take place at the Falmouth Harbor. Puerto Rico has enough options to keep you busy for months! From mountain biking to hiking and snorkeling to scuba diving, the island destination is known for its multiple sporting facilities. But its reputation for surfing is unmatched in the Caribbean. With a 310 mile coastline, Puerto Rico takes the center stage for most ISA surfing events. From October through April, Rincon, with its consistent wave breaks, is a hub of surfing activities.
14 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
If exploring the swaying coral reefs and
watching sea horses and schools of sergeant majors or blue tangs is your passion, then Bonaire is where you should be. The waters around this flat island offer 80-plus-foot visibility! With eighty-nine registered dive sites and 500 species of fish within the Bonaire National Marine Park, this is enviably the best scuba diving venue in the Caribbean. With steady trade winds, strong currents and over 30 islands located miles apart, the British Virgin Islands would be an ideal place to kayak. Kayaking is the single most popular sport that draws visitors to the islands. There are several routes to take on this sport. The level of fun and difficulty vary across these routes. Maneuver your boat through wide chunks of coral growths or check out the offshore shipwrecks. On the clam inner-reef waters, youâ€™ll steer your boat along the shoreline and squeeze in through the lean inlets to anchor in the salt ponds. These are habitats for island wildlife.
Besides sports, each of these destinations is blessed with lush vegetation, miles of unspoiled beaches, and hidden coves. On a calm day, you can stretch out on a hammock and relax! On another day, set out on another expedition, be it fishing, sailing, surfing, scuba diving or kayaking! Author Resource:- Manoj Borah is a Senior Writer & Journalist working with CheapoAir.com, one of the top travel online. Manoj writes and reviews articles with special focus on the airlines industry, vacations, and road trips, besides sharing tips and nuggets on booking airline fare , hotels and tour packages.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 15
16 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
About 100% Fitness is a lifestyle embodiment dedicated to helping people improve their overall health!
Mission To unify our communities through physical fitness, while helping people realize the greatness that can be accomplished by living a healthy, motivated, and confident lifestyle.
Description 100% Fitness is a lifestyle embodiment dedicated to helping people improve their overall health! We do this through our core values; COMMITMENT, DISCIPLINE, SERVICE, and CONFIDENCE. We believe that if you feel good, you can and will lead an inspired life with an inspired purpose! http://100percentfitness.tumblr.com/
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 17
Wrongful Death Issues from
Negligence By: Mesriani Lawgroup
Fatal accidents often lead to serious injury or death. Wrongful deaths have become one of the many tragic results of these accidents. Families are left with the lingering effects and pain of the loss of their loved ones. Survivors or families of wrongful death victims are entitled to file for claims which would somehow compensate their sufferings and alleviate their financial burden.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There are many accidents that could result to an injury or even the death of a person. Most of these accidents could have been prevented only if people have exercised caution and have been responsible in their duties. •Drowning Resort owners and administrators have the duty to keep their property as safe as possible to everyone. There must be floaters made available especially to inexperienced swimmers. Also, expertly trained lifeguards must be strategically positioned so that they will see people who might need their assistance. These accidents usually victimize children who are not aware of the dangers that water parks and settings present. Parents must be watchful of their kids or ask a responsible adult to keep an eye on them to avoid these tragedies. •Vehicle Accidents According to a study, vehicle-related accidents are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the nation. High-velocity impact of vehicles can cause severe injuries to a person that could lead to his death. Because of this, every motorist must be reminded not to drive while intoxicated as this would affect their capacity to think efficiently. Drivers must also maintain their speed limit and follow every traffic rule to be sure that they would not cause any road accidents. •Fall Accidents It is the establishment owner’s responsibility to constantly make sure that his property is in safe condition for those who would be visiting it. There are fall accidents caused by slight negligence that have led to a person’s paralysis or death.
Each case of wrongful death is different as there are various accidents that could cause them. In order to avoid wrongful deaths, we must keep in mind some reminders that would keep us away from litigation and from accidents that will endanger our lives. 18 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
“Parents must be watchful of
their kids or ask a responsible adult to keep an eye on them to avoid these tragedies.”
It would also help if we do not over estimate our skills in driving or swimming to avoid accidents. Checking our pathway and flooring that we are walking on would also ensure that we would be able to avoid fall accidents caused by faulty tiles and flooring. Even if we exercise more caution in our daily activities, we can’t still guarantee that we would not meet any accident as it could still be caused by other parties.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 19
â€œIt is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.â€? - Katherine Patterson 20 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped By Cissy Houston The definitive account of Whitney Houston’s astonishing life, ground-breaking career, and tragic death — complete with never-before-seen photographs — from the only one who truly knows the story behind the headlines: her mother, Cissy Houston. Cissy has said little publicly about Whitney’s heart-breaking death. Now, for the first time, she opens up and shares the unbelievable story of her daughter’s life, as well as her own.
Black Wallstreet by Jay Jay Wilson and Ron Wallace Black Wallstreet was the most affluent African American community and business district in United States History. At the turn of the last century, Tulsa’s black community was thriving with highly successful businesses. Approximately ten black millionaires lived there. Six had private airplanes in 1921. There were affluent black doctors, lawyers, educators, entrepreneurs and oilmen. Over 600 booming businesses literally flourished during this very troubling period in American history.
The Fruits of Our Sins by Jean Mekie-Sutton The lives of Madeline and Sybil become intertwined in heated confrontation by the birth of a child - a child that each claims to have a right to. For one woman, possession of the child represents redemption; for the other, the repetition of generational sin. The Fruits Of Our Sins chronicles the deeply flawed relationships these women have with their parents, the impact of those relationships on the direction of their lives and ultimately the lives of their children as they attempt to flee from, yet reconcile, the betrayals and abandonment of their youth.
Harlem Godfather The Rap on My Husband, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson by Mayme Hatcher Johnson Al Capone may have ruled Chicago. Lucky Luciano may have run most of New York City. But from the 1930s to the late 1960s, when it came to Harlem, the undisputed king of the underworld was Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 21
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 23
HOT or not
Sterling silver jewelry is widely popular and available in many different styles. In order for silver to be classified as sterling, it must contain 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent some other type of metal, often something like copper. The copper or other metal added to the silver gives it strength and durability. Fine silver, also called pure silver, is almost 100 percent silver and is too delicate and soft to make jewelry. Sterling silver maintains its beauty and does not wear away as silver plating often does. When purchasing a piece of sterling silver jewelry, you’ll want to look for the stamp which designates it as fine quality sterling. You may also see a symbol which designates the maker. Quality crafted sterling silver can last a lifetime or more if it’s cared for properly. Like all silver, sterling silver jewelry is susceptible to 24 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
tarnishing, especially if it’s not worn very often. Luckily, this is an easy problem to take care of and prevent. Choose a polish or jewelry cleaner especially designed for sterling silver. You may even want to have your silver jewelry polished by a professional jeweler on a periodic basis. If you like shopping online, then you’ll definitely want to take a look at the gorgeous jewelry offered at BlueNile.com. Not only does this online vendor offer gold, diamond, pearl and platinum jewelry, they offer incredible pieces of sterling silver jewelry as well. One of the most popular items is the sterling silver charm bracelet. Choose from a wide variety of silver charms to add significance and beauty to your charm bracelet. Charms include initials, lockets, birthstones, numbers, religious symbols, and even baby booties. Other affordable and beautiful choices include the popular heart pendants offered by this retailer, available in a variety of sizes and styles. You’ll also find bracelets, rings, earrings and more! Sterling silver jewelry makes a great gift for anyone in your life. Many couples these days are even choosing sterling silver for their engagement and wedding rings. Silver looks gorgeous with every skin tone and hair color. You can find delicate and dainty pieces of sterling jewelry, as
well as large, bold pieces for more adventurous wearers. When it comes to great jewelry, sterling has it all -- beauty, durability, and affordability! Tiffany Jewelry -- The Ultimate in Classic Sophistication The name Tiffany and Co., as well as the widely recognizable turquoise box, is synonymous with sophistication and quality. Who wouldn’t want to unwrap a gift to find that distinctive Tiffany’s box? Tiffany jewelry is some of the finest and most beloved in the world today. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular selections available: Tiffany Hearts Pendant: This gorgeous gold and diamond pendant is suspended on an eighteen inch chain and is crafted from 18k gold and stunning round diamonds. This incredible pendant makes an ideal romantic gift for a special woman. Tiffany Stars Pendant: 4.44 carats of brilliant round diamonds make up this incredible star-shaped pendant, suspended on a 16.25 inch chain. Like all Tiffany jewelry, it makes a perfect gift and is the ultimate in quality and beauty. Tiffany Celebration Rings: Celebration rings are platinum rings which feature gorgeous brilliant diamonds. You can stack and combine these rings, or wear only one. They are perfect for marking a significant event, such as an anniversary, marriage or birth of a child. Tiffany Circlet: This circle style platinum and diamond ornament can be found in pendant and earring form. Rounds of sparkling Tiffany diamonds are encased in stunning platinum. Frank Gehry Collection: One of the newest offerings in Tiffany jewelry is the Frank Gehry collection. There are a variety of different styles, including Axis, Equus, Fish, Fold, Orchid and Torque. This incredible collection features pendants and bracelets crafted from materials like sterling silver and green jade. Every piece in this collection is stunning and modern, as is the architecture they’re inspired by! Paloma’s Sugar Stacks: These stunning gold rings are stackable and designed by Paloma Picasso. They come in a variety of gemstone choices, such as amethyst, rubellite and aquamarine set in 18k yellow gold. Lock Charms: Tiffany’s silver lock charms can be snapped onto most anything you wish, such as a necklace, bracelet, or purse. The charms feature the alphabetic letter of your choice, while some of them sport the classic Tiffany logo. A book could be filled with descriptions of the various Tiffany jewelry pieces that are available! There are diamonds, jewels, gold, silver and platinum in a variety of different styles. Need a piece of jewelry that’s beautiful and functional? Tiffany offers a plethora of
stunning watches that are the ultimate in quality and style.
Why and How to Obtain Wholesale Jewelry If you are looking for a fun business, why not consider selling jewelry? The great thing about this is that there are many places where you can find wholesale jewelry at a great price. When it comes to buying wholesale, you receive such a dramatic reduction off of the retail price because you’re buying in bulk. There are many different places where you can market and sell your jewelry. While you could open a retail store, many people choose to conduct business online. It’s certainly easier and less expensive than selling your wares in a brick and mortar location. There are many different ways to sell jewelry online. You could open a web store where you offer your jewelry for sale at a fixed price. Many vendors are finding success this way. However, another option for Internet sellers is the online auction route. After all, there are more than 100 million members registered on EBay. That’s a staggering potential customer base! The only thing about selling on EBay is the competition. With so many sellers offering similar items as you, you’ll need to offer quality merchandise, low prices and excellent customer service. If you can, then there’s a distinct possibility that you can make a very good living this way. EBay offers its sellers the ability to open their own stores for a low monthly fee. This can be a way to sell your items at a fixed price while still having the clientele and support that EBay provides. There’s no limit as to what kind of jewelry you can sell. Some people offer fine jewelry, while others go the costume jewelry route. Still others specialize in between the two extremes, especially those sellers offering sterling silver and gemstone jewelry at moderate prices. Once you decide that you want to sell jewelry, the next step is to find a great place to buy it. One fantastic online vendor that offers wholesale jewelry for entrepreneurs is pippinbass.com. At Pippin Bass, you’ll discover gorgeous wholesale jewelry such as necklaces, rings, earrings and more crafted from fine sterling silver and beautiful gemstones. They offer lots of selection, great customer service and everything a jewelry seller needs to start and maintain a thriving business. Author Resource:- Frances Coleman on behalf of http://www.jewelry. lovegiftsshop.com urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 25
Almost half of marriages these days fail. That’s a bit daunting for anyone thinking of entering into a marriage. Why? Can it be prevented? I think a lot of people put an awful lot of effort into their relationship whilst dating, but after marriage, and children we fall into a bit of a mundane routine. Go to work, eat dinner, bath the kids, put the kids to bed, then sit in front of the computer or television and often fall asleep, without having a conversation other than what the kids have been up to during the day. That’s why I think a date night for
every married couple is a necessity, if not every week then at least once a fortnight. What stops a lot of people having a date night often is, they can’t afford a babysitter, or can’t afford to go out. But by putting a limit on what you spend on a date night can actually make the whole experience more special. It’s easy, if you have the money, to book a beautiful restaurant, send flowers or buy an expensive box of chocolates but if you have a budget of just say $30 for night, you really need to put a lot of thought into what you can do that’s special but also inexpensive. It is so much nicer when you receive a gift where a lot of thought has gone into it, a gift voucher is easy, but not a lot of thought has gone into that idea. What can you do with $30 for an evening for two people? A beautiful walk along the
26 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
beach, throw a blanket on the ground, lay back and watch the stars, totally free. Pack a picnic with a nice bottle of wine, some good music and head off to a park. Go for a walk along the river, and then sit in a cozy little cafe with a good cup of coffee and a delicious cake. It really is endless with a bit of thought. So what about not having a babysitter? There are other couples out there that would also like to have a date night, swap babysitting with them, and have their children over for a sleepover or vice versa. Start a date night babysitting circle in your neighborhood. Marriage isn’t the be all and end all, it has to be worked at like everything else in life, so have some fun and rediscover again why you fell in love.
Did you know that regular visits to your dentist for preventive care can reduce your overall dental and medical spending?
Take charge of your oral health with iDental coverage from United Concordia. Because healthy habits mean healthy savings. iDental has five affordable PPO dental plans for individuals and families, offering:
Reduced out-of-pocket costs
A large, national network of dentists
Peace of mind for both expected and unexpected dental care expenses
Friendly, knowledgeable customer service
Get a FREE quote today by calling (866) 568-6099 or visiting iDental.com. ADV-0063 0313 • United Concordia dental products are underwritten by United Concordia Life and Health Insurance Company in PA. United Concordia Insurance Company
HOT or not
t’s no secret that the songwriter, like a screenwriter, composes the skeleton that is utilized for further creative inspiration and work by other artists or themselves. When a songwriter is teamed up with another artist, the heights that a song can reach to touch others is even greater. Diane Warren wrote “Because You Loved Me” for Celine Dion, Tracy Chapman wrote “Fast Car”, Kurt Cobain and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Culture shifts and is transformed by a songwriter’s gift. Proud Atlanta native Crystal Nicole continues to share her songwriting and singing gifts to the world, transforming and influencing culture in her own way. This
Grammy-award winning songwriter who states that she “came out of the womb singing”, possesses a brilliant resume that other songwriters would maim for, having written songs for and with artists such as Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Brandy, Beyonce, Natasha Bedingfield, Mary J. Blige, and Rihanna. But Crystal was not originally drawn to songwriting. Songwriting
found her, showing her a surprising life purpose. While she continued to sing from birth until present day, she did not recognize nor use her natural writing talents until high school. A fit of boredom propelled her to put thoughts on paper and her interest in songwriting awoke. After high school, Crystal skipped college and dove straight into the workforce. Working various jobs, she found herself getting a pink slip from her time at a hospital. This loss of her job was the catalyst for her declaration into becoming a full-fledged professional in the music industry. Another chance of destiny that led her to more songwriting occurred in 2002, when a singing group that she was a member of disbanded. Crystal decided to dedicate more time to her lyric writing. She began to write for local artists in Atlanta, which provided her with experience and money to eat and pay bills. One of these artists was Monica. Crystal Nicole quickly found herself working as a songwriter in Atlanta during an exciting time of the music industry, where the Billboard charts were a menu listing the crème de la crème of the R&B, hip-hop, and neo-soul music elite. With all of Crystal’s success, she remains an inspiring and inspired person. Humble and grounded, she has not forgotten where she comes from as she consistently works hard to get to the places she wants to go. She reminds herself that all of her success comes from God and is therefore not hers alone. With her current resume, deep appreciation for life, faith, persistence, and diligence in work, the multi-talented Crystal Nicole is now working on building her solo career with an abundance of supporters. The city of Atlanta is home to many successful songwriters and singers in the history of the music industry, and Crystal Nicole continues to extend this legacy, as well as her own, with her dazzling talents. Connect with Crystal Nicole! Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/1CRYSTALNICOLE Crystal Nicole’s Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Nicole
We provide the following services and more: •Medical RFP review and preparation •Dental RFP review and preparation •Prescription Drug RFP review and preparation •Ancillary product such as Life Insurance and Disability program reviews
www.ebconsultingservices.com email@example.com 215-878-EBCS ( Ofﬁce ) | 215-878-5227 ( Fax )
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 29
30 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 31
32 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Tiffany E. Green is watching her dreams unfold before her. In the year 2012 alone, she was seen on the arm of actor and comedian Chris Tucker as his girlfriend Tanya in the critically-acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro; performed alongside actor Clifton Powell in the upcoming film North Star, which also stars Lynn Whitfield; and portrayed R&B musical artist Angie Stone. And that was just the start.
Still, Green takes it all in stride. When onlookers gawk at the stunning beauty, recognizing her as “that woman” on TV, in films and commercials, Tiffany simply flashes that million dollar smile…and they melt. Watching her in action is like watching a master at work. Her candid demeanor and “I’mjust-the-girl-next-door” attitude naturally draws in her public. They feel her warm, welcoming energy – and they gravitate. Yes, she’s magnetic. “I know I possess a gift,” she says, “and that means that it can also be taken away. So I don’t take it for granted…I appreciate it. I enjoy meeting people, getting to know who they are. I never want to be that ‘star’ who’s turned off by the fans. I’m not judging how others handle their celebrity…it’s just not who I am.” And it’s quite obvious. ‘Who she is’ is a multi-dimensional, talented, beautiful Black woman who’s time has come. We predict 2013 will be HER year! But it hasn’t been all “peaches and cream” for the model-designer-turned actress. No, but it’s been quite an adventure.
Circa 1970’s Little Tiffany stood in front of her “audience,” made up of friends and family. She belted out her favorite song, “If You Look Into Your Heart (With a Positive Mind),” from the original Sparkle film starring Irene Cara and Phillip Michael Thomas. Everyone applauded…and the rest, as they say, is history. From the moment she heard the applause, the Philadelphia native was hooked. She knew that one day she would become a real performer. She wasn’t quite sure just when…but she knew it was meant to be. urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 33
As she grew up in her diverse Philly neighborhood, Tiffany became popular in school. Her sense of style and her cheery disposition set her apart from the others. And then there were her academics: she excelled at Business and Math, and her love of arts was unsurpassed. “I used to write poems…all the time,” she says. “I think that’s where the creativity in me began to rear its head. I was also a very, very good artist. I paint and sketch really well! Thankfully, my mother saw potential in me and insisted that I hone my skills. She was adamant that I focus on my education, in whatever field I chose. I think that’s where the eventual shift in my thinking began to take root…it shifted from the academic to the visual. “I started seeing things differently. I would watch sporting events and check out the uniforms. I’d take those same patterns and put my own flair on them and alter them to become fashion statements. I’d leaf through fashion magazines and create my own looks out of what the designers made. I was even sure to shop at stores that my peers would never shop in – to be different, to have my own style. That was the beginning of my fashion sense and what led to my success in fashion today.” It has served her well. Following graduation she would become a model, confidently walking the runway and flashing those pearly whites. She’s been seen nationwide on BET’s “Rip the Runway,” on commercials and in print. She would eventually develop her own clothing line called Iynde, where women of all ages and sizes could find “just the right look” for any occasion. Celebrities the likes of hip hop’s Eve and actress Vivica A. Fox are counted among those who have sported her line. Still, something else was calling…and it would soon be answered…in a big way.
Hooray for Hollywood As if taking a cue from a Hollywood script, Tiffany dove right into the acting pool. And what began as an “I-wonder-if-I-can-really-do-this?” move morphed into her real passion. “I remembered how much I loved performing as a child and decided to pursue acting as a career,” she says. “I really didn’t know what to expect. I just know that I recalled childhood fantasies of seeing my name in lights, so there was the glamour of it…but once I really became infatuated with the art of it, things began to change for me.” Turns out, it was the dedication to the craft that made all the difference. Tiffany explains, “Acting is real work! Until the student sees that and understand and appreciate the hard work that goes into it, they will likely ‘just coast.’ I didn’t want to coast; I wanted to excel; I wanted to shine; I wanted to build my integrity in the art of it…but more than that, I wanted to instruct others on how to do that.” To that end, Tiffany now offers her own workshop called “Acting: Making It Your Business.” The workshop focuses on the marketing aspects of the business and includes effective methods of branding one’s self. Alongside actress Crystal Lee Brown, the duo has gained favorable reviews from actor Clifton Powell (who will join them on occasion), and are now taking the workshop ‘on the road’ within a matter of months. “Our goal is to save up-and-coming actors from making the same mistakes we made when we were starting out. So far we’ve had successful outcomes.” And that’s not all: Tiffany is currently working on her own production, a film called “In a Field of Roses,” which touches on important topics such as spirituality, sexuality and marriage. And the entrepreneur recently launched a seasonal iced tea business called “FruityGirl,” which keeps her connected to her community, something that she values highly. “I want my audience to value what I bring as an actor, but even more so as a person, a neighbor – someone like them. I want them to see my success as something that they can achieve. I want to remain relevant to them as a member of society…our society. “Basically, I want them to see the real me…I’m just Tiffany.” For sure, she’s a beautiful, Black woman with a remarkable future ahead. But Tiffany E. Green is more than that…o’ such much more…and we can’t wait to see what comes next. Tiffany E. Green is the one to watch in 2013 – and beyond! Tiffany E. Green can be seen in the upcoming stage production “Always Remember” on Sat and Sun, April 6th and 7th at the Temple Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia. Her film “North Star,” starring Clifton Powell and Lynn Whitfield, will premiere in the spring.
34 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
[All garments worn in photos shown are from Tiffany E. Greenâ€™s new Dillon&Scott clothing line and are available online at www.iysolation.com.]
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 35
36 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 37
38 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 39
Lack of trust on either side is the major problem creator in a relationship. Women chiefly succumb to unnecessary suspicion resulting in an eventual break up with their partners. On the other hand, men hate being nagged randomly. However, this does not mean that men can take their partners for granted. The best thing a couple can do is to allow equal space to each other; confide in their darkest secrets, and try to figure out mutual problems. 40 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
It’s very important for couples to know each other. No two persons are alike and hence one must respect each other’s identity. One should not try to make an argument out of insignificant things. However, if arguments take place, make sure that you attempt reconciliation. Showing that ‘you care’ is one of the best kept secrets in a loving relationship. Notwithstanding the above-mentioned issues, their crops up some intimate problems, which demand more attention and perhaps even professional support. Many partners shy away from the most wonderful gift of God to mankind- sex. Sexual encounter is an inevitable aspect of conjugal life and trying to remain celibate post marriage is quite illogical. Failure as an ideal sex partner might be another trouble in your sex life. A
Relationships So what happens? The newness fades, the passion flees. Where does it go? Does it get mortgaged along with the house? Disposed with the diapers? Years ago, Mary, age 49, shyly told her family doctor that she had lost interest in having sex with her husband. She was told this was a natural event, which women eventually lose interest and that’s the way it is. For some women, she was told, it comes earlier. Today, Mary might be offered testosterone patches to fire up her lagging libido! Martin, age 59, is having erectile difficulties. Viagra to the rescue! Times may have changed, but is it really just a story of diminishing hormones and loss of blood flow? The popularity of these new biologically-based treatments attests to their effectiveness as sexual aids. Yet we continue to yearn for the fulfillment of a deeper intimacy. Reviving the mechanics of our sex life may help, but it does not fully address the hunger in our hearts. We desire even more than the wonderful climax of sexual release. We crave a connection with our partner’s soul. We ache to embrace a love that lights up our eyes, that enlivens our very being.
situation might arise wherein your passion has lost its erstwhile spark or you have been unable to light a single spark in the first night itself! Dissatisfaction in a relationship often calls for extra-marital affairs or adultery. The resultmore trouble, more pain. These love pangs can best be sorted with the help of professional sex experts or ‘sexperts’. The sexpert can guide you to tackle your love challenges wittingly. With their guidance and support, you can actually sail smoothly over the intermittent waves of love and sex. In the beginning, when love is new, romance, courting and conquest are aphrodisiacs, stimulants that increase our appetite for sexual union. Eventually the chase ends, hearts are won, and lifetime pledges are made. The happy couple says “I do,” strolls off into the sunset together, destined to be lovers forever. urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 41
When I was a kid I was always fascinated by robots and toy robots like Voltron and even in movies. My Saturday morning cartoons often included the Jetsons. I would think that in the future this will all be the norm. Houses in the sky, flying aircars that fold into a briefcase, moving sidewalks, house robots that clean around the house and crack jokes. All of this from one cartoon. As time went on and the future became the present I became sad knowing the Jetson future I had hoped to be living in was nowhere close to coming true.
Instead my future I had hoped for has shown itself in the form of a movie. Terminator came out and the sequel Terminator 2 also served as a precursor to future robotic technology. In those movies you had robots that looked like humans and interacted with us and you couldn’t tell the difference. Well, unless that robot was trying to kill you then you had a pretty good idea about the horror that lied underneath that skinsuit. I soon found out that more people were inspired by those films and have tried to emulate those robots from the movies and we even have some other robotic technology that is being used in today’s world. For example we don’t yet have full human skinned robots but we do have some advanced robotic technology being developed every day. Honda’s ASIMO robot has been a huge technology breakthrough with its human like abilities and characteristics. ASIMO has the ability to recognize moving objects, postures, HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesture_ recognition” \o “Gesture recognition”gestures, its surrounding environment, sounds and faces, which enables it to interact with humans. The robot can detect the movements of multiple objects by using visual information captured by two camera “eyes” in its head and also determine distance and direction. This feature allows ASIMO to follow a person, or face him or her when approached. The robot interprets voice 42 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
commands and human hand movements, enabling it to recognize when a handshake is offered or when a person waves or points, and then respond accordingly. ASIMO’s ability to distinguish between voices and other sounds allows it to identify its companions. ASIMO is able to respond to its name and recognizes sounds associated with a falling object or collision. This allows the robot to face a person when spoken to or look towards a sound. ASIMO responds to questions by nodding or providing a verbal answer and can recognize approximately 10 different faces and address them by name. That is just simply amazing to see just how far robotic technology has come and when you really think about it we have no clue just how far it can really go. Sadly if you take a look at those Terminator movies you have that inert fear that a huge robotic uprising could happen, or maybe the Matrix where robots harvest humans and the ones that have escaped are driven underground. Not really do you see lots of human robot movies where we all live happily together. Sure there are some but mostly they are few and far between. Robots have also helped with production of our goods and manufacturing of cars. They are able to be programmed and can work the assembly line where a human once stood. The upside for the car makers is the robots don’t need a break and they can’t complain. Now on the other hand robotic technology has improved areas of manufacturing when you need exact precision in crafting medical equipment or car parts. The ability of these machines to be as exact and precise as they are is a huge improvement in safety and reliability. With everyday towards the future we will see improvements in the field of robotic technology and we can even enjoy some robotic fighting like Robot Wars or a new show that wants to recreate Real Steel and have life sized robots being controlled by humans punching each other in a battle to destruction. Maybe we will look back and see these shows and remember a time when humans controlled the robots and not the robots controlling us. Again I think I might have seen to many movies and could be paranoid, we have nothing to worry about….right?
ASIMO responds to questions by nodding or providing a verbal answer and can recognize approximately 10 different faces and address them by name.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 43
44 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Al Thompson, of Harlem provenance, had no intentions of
becoming an actor at first. Some of his buddies were, but they did not seem as intimidated by the prospect of memorizing lines as he was. Yet, Al discovered that you don’t have to be an actor in order to be a part of a theatrical production. You can be behind the scenes. Al volunteered and handled the lighting for a play that a few of his friends were a part of. This was one of a few key experiences at the beginning of his creative career path that would transform his life. After that play, Al decided to study at some schools for acting. He worked hard to gain roles in movies and television, such as in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Law and Order: SVU, and Homicide: Life on the Streets. In 2001, Thompson arrived at the Sundance Film Festival, having acted in two films that were selected to be screened. It was at this festival that he made a connection with acclaimed film director, producer, dancer, actor, and choreographer Adam Shankman. This star-aligned meeting led to an acting role in the cult classic movie starring Mandy Moore and Shane West, A Walk to Remember. Al continued to flourish in his acting career, a career that he hadn’t planned on striving for as a young child. But his success in acting allowed for him to attain a higher education of the roles of those working behind the scenes. In a very powerful and influential business, this has been paramount to his success as he has branched out as a creative entrepreneur in the worlds of new media and the Internet. Like other intelligent, resourceful actors, Al knew that the time to create his own content would come. “Some actors think you can slack off and slide as an actor…but I wanted to be the driver of my own ship”, said Thompson during my interview with him. Taking his knowledge and experiences as a professional actor, Al formed ValDean Entertainment in 2007. While the idea and
inclination to form the production company was a natural decision, there was a progression of creating and building on their slate of digital projects. Countless time was spent planning, researching, networking, and creating. But since the inception of ValDean Entertainment, an impressive schedule of smart, unique digital series emerged, such as Johnny B. Homeless, starring Al and guest starring Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel, All That, Heavyweights, Saturday Night Live) and Odessa, starring Skai Jackson (Disney Channel’s Jessie, Royal Pains, Boardwalk Empire). The latest series, Lenox Avenue, accomplishes what few digital web series can : filming the show in the exciting neighborhood of Harlem, engaging a vast, loyal fan base that only continues to grow, gaining interest from authoritative media enterprises like Ebony Magazine, Huffington Post, and Fast Company, and displaying a cast of well-established and up-and-coming name talent in Al, Dorian Missick (Southland), Ryan Vigilant (Gossip Girl), Victor Williams (The King of Queens, NYC 22), Athena Colón (Law and Order: SVU), Chenoa Maxwell (Hav Plenty, Girlfriends), Monika MarLee (Stephen King’s Dead Zone), Christina Marcelle and La Rivers (14085). Al believes that the stories of Lenox Avenue hold important relevancy because viewers will see relationships through female eyes. Even with such TV and film projects as The Mindy Project, Girls, and For A Good Time, Call… there are still much more relationships portrayed on television and in films seen through the male gaze. There is also an imbalance of how men are seen on TV and film, according to Al. “They aren’t well put-together. There’s the football, on-the-couch, farting stereotype. We don’t see guys in a positive light!” says Thompson. In Lenox Avenue, the male protagonists pay their bills on time and aren’t just “baby daddies”. We get to know their hopes, dreams, and fears. In other words, all characters in this series, whether male or female, are three-dimensional, complex, flesh and blood characters. Real people like you and I. Covering genres of comedy, drama, and science-fiction with diverse, clever casts and enthralling stories, ValDean Entertainment and Al Thompson have quickly become new leaders of the entertainment digital landscape. urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 45
Fashionable Spring Gear
Tips Well you certainly need a compass for this spring and summer modes. While sexy and fun is â€œinâ€? do not forget to measure and chic. In fact, he is allowed to mix the two. Here are the fashion trends of spring: 46 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
pring dresses are definitely the element to have this season. Very inspired by the 50s and early 60s, you can find vintage or new modes right on the grid in all major clothing stores. Looking for flying low, tissue fluids, big buttons and belts. White is everywhere. Be careful with it as some complexions are not made for a bright white. If you approach middle age, try to use your accessories in white instead of bright white jackets or skirts. Everyone should be careful about what we call Minnie Mouse shoes and please do not leave the white pants, skirts and shoes until after Memorial Day. I do not like what someone says. Some rules are not meant to be broken. Shoes and Sandals Chunky platforms are still the rage this season. Be careful when pairing with your dress inspired by the 50s or you look like you came straight from a charity sale and not the trendy boutiques in fashion. Of course some will say this is the trend too. Chunky necklaces are still in this season as well. Natural woods and brighter colors play a role in the continuation of this trend in the spring to fall. A line skirts and tulips are everywhere in the world of fashion this spring. Look at the length and the belt. A-line skirts are great for camouflaging large hips.
Tops are affectionate with flounces, cinching under the bust, and belts or gathers at the waist. These looks are great with jeans, pants style loose trousers and skirts, but can also be coupled with a tailored jacket and skirt or pants work to add a little femininity to your outfit work appropriate. While many chiropractors and physicians may protest, the handbags are available in bigger and fatter. As always if there must be a balance between what you wear and the size and style of bag you wear. Remember, no matter what styles you choose, you should always make sure you have other pieces (we recommend three) already in your wardrobe with which to coordinate. Also, be aware of the styles and how they watch someone your age. You can make you look like mutton dressed as lamb if you try to be too trendy or too affectionate with your styles. Always be aware of shape and color and how it relates to your body. We will say just this once in this article. Just because they do it in your size does not mean you should wear it. Now, enjoy the spring weather and flowers and have fun accessorizing your wardrobe.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 47
In the recent economy, more people are living paycheck to paycheck than ever before. As if it weren’t already tough enough, changes to tax laws and health insurance premiums further decreased the take home pay of millions of people this past January. 48 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
So, how can you make a couple hundred bucks quick and easy? It’s actually pretty simple! Most people don’t know where their money goes from one day to the next. Therefore, if this scenario I’m about to describe fits you, then you can open your pocket and put money in it! In our constantly busy and on-the-go lifestyles, we don’t think twice about stopping to grab a cup of coffee in the morning on our way to work. Sometimes we add on a bagel or our favorite breakfast sandwich. We dash out of the office to grab lunch and then hit the vending machines to raise our afternoon drag. Does all or part of this sound familiar? Is this how your weekday looks? If we were to put some numbers behind these basic scenarios, we get a real eye-opener that could put hundreds of dollars in your pocket! There are about 20 work days in each month, so let’s look at the total cost of our constantly busy and on-the-go lifestyles:
If this chart looks eerily familiar, then you have a great opportunity to quickly put hundreds of dollars in your pocket! Did you realize the $6,216 per year shown here could be $31,000 saved in 5 years; $62,000 in 10 years; and $186,500 in 30 years! Even if you don’t smoke, this still adds up to $350 per month and more than $4,000 per year. A simple adjustment of bringing coffee, breakfast and lunch from home 2 or 3 days each week, buying your water/soda and snacks in bulk at a warehouse store, will save you hundreds of dollars every month! So there you have it… a couple hundred bucks quick and easy! About the Author: Jennifer S. Matthews is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and is trained as a financial coach. Her award-winning book 12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job, was also nominated for a 2013 NAACP Image Award. The book shows readers how to create hundreds of dollars in cash every month from within their existing income. Visit Jennifer online at www. MoneySmartBook.com and sign up for her newsletter. You can also purchase her book, take advantage of free downloads, and much more. © 2013 Creating Financial Literacy, LLC
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 49
50 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
he concept of Flour start-
ed thanks to a Nike commercial. Or wait, was it a Gatorade commercial? No, it was a Cotton-esque commercial, like the ones that feature singer-actresses Emmy Rossum and Zooey Deschanel. Like the New Girl star, Jeni Miller and Deirdre McCullagh are quirky, affable, and full of excitement. It’s a joy talking to both, as they explain how their comedic web series, Flour, came to be. After working together on a few commercial ideas, Jeni and Deirdre quickly realized how much they understood one another in both personality and ideas. They were having fun, they had good chemistry, and they were developing a groove that, for artistic and ambitious people and projects, is not easy to cultivate. Coming up with skit after skit for their commercials, Jeni and Deirdre decided that it would be great to bring a web series to life every week. Their brainchild, Flour, was soon born. Filmed in Philly, Flour is about two sisters Tulip and Violet, the progeny of hippie parents. The younger, carefree sister, Tulip, played by Deirdre, moves in with her older, level-headed sister, Violet, played by Jeni, who has a bakery named Flour and a dippy fiancee. Jeni and Deirdre explained that the name of their web series comes from both the bakery’s name and their character names (as ‘flowers’). That double entendre is one of many signs of intelligence and humor you will come to find from watching Flour.
elements of a fantastic small-screen production- interesting direction, which complements and heightens the comedy, rather than dampen it, natural actors, and hilarious storylines. With the glut of web series online today, this is one to give your full attention to before it gains an even bigger following after its premiere at this year’s LAWEBFEST next month.
Like Lucy and Ethel, Tulip and Violet find themselves in the strangest situations with every monthly episode. In one instance, both girls decide that they want to raise money for Violet’s bakery and thus decide to have a bake sale. A harmless idea until their friend Clay comes up with the idea of putting marijuana in the brownies, thinking that if there’s pot in the brownies then customers will eat more, leading to more sales. Of course! Jeni and Deirdre already felt like sisters before playing them on Flour, and decided to come together with their mutual love of creating. Their enthusiasm and consistent, solid work ethic has brought together a well-rounded production team, which are mainly comprised of females. The direction, production, and writing, and editing are all the results of women and while this should not be a big deal, it is in a time where the entertainment industry could use more of the female imagination. They also want to see more diversity- in entertainment and for their web series. Hearing Jeni and Deirdre’s candid thoughts on casting actors who may have any other ethnic and racial backgrounds other than Caucasian was refreshing and thrilling. If you’re a future web series creator, Jeni and Deirdre have a handful of advice for you: Have a plan. If you’re an actor trying to create your own web series, use everything that annoys you as an actor to your advantage now that you’re also behind the screen. For example, you want your actors and crew to show up on time. You want your actors to know your lines. You’re going to want to be more aware of time, especially if you’re the producer. Have everyone in both the cast and crew signs a contract. Finally, crowdfunding is a great option, but don’t put all your expectations in this. You may still have to use funds that will come out of your own pockets, so be prepared! As if conceived through magic or just plain fate, Flour was conceived in one of the most painless ways, genuine ways possible, and it shows through the production team responsible for the series. Flour has all the
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 51
©2012 The Islands Of The Bahamas
Production’s Go Better In The Bahamas
Scout your locations. BahamasFilm.com
52 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent CONVENIENT ONE-STOP-SHOPPING So much goes into the perfect vacation: lodging, ground transportation, activities, tours. A travel agent handles all this and more. EXPANDED POSSIBILITIES Travel agents can suggest enhancements to your vacation that you haven’t even dreamed of. They’re in the business of making awesome memories! SAVES TIME Planning a vacation is complex and time consuming. Let a Travel Agent handle the calls, research and booking so you don’t have to. LESS STRESS Feeling overwhelmed by options? Worrying you missed an important detail? With a travel agent on your side, you can rest easy. EXPERTISE Travel agents constantly attend seminars, get new certifications and travel the world themselves! They are destination, cruise, air and hotel experts. LATEST INFO AND INSIDER KNOWLEDGE Travel agents are communicating constantly with travel suppliers, so they know latest itineraries, policy changes and more. They have the inside track. HELP WITH DOCUMENTS Visa, passport, what else? A travel agent knows. They’ll make sure you have all the necessary documents to travel outside the country. COMPARISON SHOPPING Travel agents get the biggest bang for your buck. They “curate” all the options, finding you the best experiences at the right price points for your budget. CONSUMER ADVOCATE If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper resolutions are made. CUSTOMER SERVICE No travel website is going to offer you all of the above, plus that personal touch and peace of mind that comes from working with a travel agent that has your best interests at heart.
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 53
54 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia
urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia 55
56 urban suburban magazine.com Philadelphia