Keeping you on ... Volume: 3 Issue : 4
THE WRITE TRACK
For the open minded, culturally sophisticated,urban professional.
With LCG ...
2 of AMERICA’S FIRST PLANNED CITIES NEW ORLEANS AND SAVANNAH
A Couple of Words from LCG ...
Special Thanks JAG & Ev Love
Guest Contributor Korey “Kris” Smallwood is a writer/ director who grew up traveling the world, and is the co-founder and CEO of Precise Minds Inc., a film production company based out of Chicago, Il. Film may be his calling, but he also has a deep love for writing, travel (can’t shake that military-brat wanderlust), food of all kinds, music, sneakers, and all things New York City. Bruce Lee movies and classy, sassy women are some of his favorite things. Reality shows are not. Just so you know.
Fall is in the air for everyone (unless you live in Louisiana) and I was flabbergasted that the brisk temperature this morning was a mere 51 degrees. My initial assumption was that this was New York City’s forecast not Georgia but continuing to flip to other stations just proved the validity of the cool crisp air. While we were basking in the summer sun we failed to take notice that fall was on the horizon. While we say goodbye to summer, lets recap what was good with a tribute to Savannah and New Orleans. What I like best about fall is fashion and football. The ability to check out all the new hues and knowing that stores will be stocking their shelves with fresh merchandise is a shoppers dream. For al the ladies, those mustard colored shoes that you bought last year will be right in style and feel free to match them with purples and blues for a hot look. We can’t forget about football season, rooting our favorite teams to victory. I have never been into college football, maybe it has something to do with my college not having a football team but If you went to one of the division one schools and saw how exciting it was on game day, you may be more apt to watch your Alma matter every Saturday. Glad to see the Steelers back to work. One thing to always keep in mind, Steelers fans are never fair weather supporters and with a record of 2-2, it’s still early enough in the season to take the lead. Troy Polamalu suﬀered an injury early on but with Coach Tomlin suggesting that he would only be out 3-6 weeks, we are already upon the third week. His return will really help out our defense. Mike Vick is back in the NFL and hungry to play. If your home team has a match up against the Eagles you better watch out. Last but not least, Chris Rock has a new movie that will premiere in theaters on October 9, 2009 called Good Hair. This documentary takes a look at a very controversial topic among black women, their hair. One comment was made in the movie trailer that the black hair business was a 9 billion dollar industry. With funny man Chris Rock behind the scenes you are bound to be informed and laughing out loud. Rock caught up with many celebrities along the way to voice their opinions on hair, including Nia Long and Lauren London. Stay tuned for the review in the next edition. LCG
Contributed review of The Blueprint 3
Quetions, Comments or Suggestions, Email us at email@example.com THE WRITE TRACK October 2009 Volume 3 Issue 4
7 THE LADY AND SONS
The Grassroots Support for New Orleans Recovery, The Fleur di Lis
Spanish Moss hanging from the Oak Trees cover the streets of Savannah
4 BEAT THE HEAT WITH NEW ORLEANS ICE CREAM COMPANY
Look What’s Nside
5 KINDRED THE FAMILY SOUL
Page 4 Nacho Mama Page 5 Essence Music Festival Page 6 Sucre Page 7 Lady and Sons Page 7 Nourish Page 8 Savannah Bee Company Page 8 Tubby’s Tank House Page 8 Leopolds Page 9 The Blue Print 3 Page 9 Turn Me Loose
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Two Southern Cities with A lot of PersonalitY check out New Orleans and Savannah In my opinion when you live within a five hour driving radius of any particular city, it’s worth exploring. So one weekend in July I decided to get in Betsy (my car) and travel the 250 miles it takes from Atlanta to get to the eastern coast of Georgia aka Savannah. This quaint southern town located on the Savannah River has an historic feel and the willowy live oak trees with the moss hanging down, appears creepy. As I started to get a feel for the city I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Savannah and one of my favorite cities, New Orleans. Probably the most obvious is it’s subtropical climate, yielding hot and muggy summers, significant rain fall and mild winters. Both cities have relied on their active ports for trade. New Orleans too is surrounded by a massive body of water, the Mississippi River. The laid back attitude of these southern gems have coined nicknames by the locals such as “Slowvannah” and “the Big Easy”. I never take city tours when I travel, my preference is to do my own exploration but after receiving free passes in Savannah, I immersed myself in the history and was quite surprised of my findings. Both cities draw a significant amount of visitors each year and their downtown areas, which were the first to be settled have beautiful ironwork, European architecture and enough history to keep the horse and carriages still in service. Savannah’s strategically planned layout of the downtown area is very lucid, designed using a grid system, makes it easy for tourists to maneuver. Just like the northern star has been said to lead you home, the rivers work in a similar way. In the early days if you got lost it was suggested that the rivers could be your directional point toward home. New Orleans has a similar design but instead of looking for the Savannah River, one was guided toward the Mississippi delta. Savannah also has an open alcohol policy, allowing locals and guests to walk around the city with beverages. I bet you thought that only occurred on Bourbon Street? Hands down New Orleans wins the prize for a more active nightlife, the only city that could compete in this race is the Spanish capital Madrid. There are probably hundreds of comparisons that you could find but enough differences that make each city unique. If you have never visited either location maybe the next few pages will ignite your curiosity.
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Not Yo Mama’s Cooking
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If you thought the Crescent City was are wrong. Combine affordable Mexican with the Big Easy and you have found never ending Magazine Street right next this restaurant looking very much like a the close proximity to the Loyola and to be a student magnet. If you order the to come hungry or you will be asking for years in a row by Where Y’at Magazine,
only about Creole and Cajun cuisine, you fare with the bold, rich flavors associated Nacho Mama. In the 800 block of the door to the popular Reginelli’s, you find college student hangout. Considering Tulane Universities campuses, it’s bound heaping nacho platter you might want a doggie bag. Voted best Margaritas 4 they are truly the star of the show.
A local ice cream company that will make you go nuts once you taste their Praline Crunch. With 5 other N’awlins inspired flavors you will be praising New Orleans Ice Cream Company.
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y the M ge n i g un rmin Superlo o f r e l ip fu Ledis s Beauti i k Blac
RECAP OF THE 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
MCdonalds sh owed their su pport for the 2009 festival, servin g as one of the ma Not even a heat index of 110 could keep visitors jor sponsors for from flocking to the crescent city to celebrate this years event. Th ey br o u gh t Independence Day and the 15th anniversary out many Celebri ties to celebra of Essence Music Festival. Beyonce was te including Ch oreographer this year’s headliner and kicked off the Lo ri A n weekend with a tribute to the late King ne Gibson
of Pop. Ironically her sister Solange performed for the second year in a row on the same night in one of the many Superlounges. New Orleans has always thrived off of it’s tourism industry and attendance at this year’s festival brought in the biggest numbers since before Hurricane Katrina. Saturday night began with the now slim and trim Jazmine Sullivan singing all of her hit singles including “Lions and Tigers and Bears” and “I Need You Bad.” Next Robin Thicke anointed the main stage with “Magic” ending his performance with a rap, specifically Lil Wayne’s “A Mili” which caught most viewers off guard to say the least. A performance from Ledisi in the My Black is Beautiful Superlounge was a must as the other part of my party decided to slip into another lounge to see Ryan Leslie. Ledisi’s fire and great vocal range captivated the audience with her current single from her newest album release, Let Loose. Departing from one Superlounge heading to another in hopes of seeing the tail end of Ryan Leslie’s performance and reconnecting with my party, the masses of people made it difficult to see the stage. Leslie proved that he could put on quite a show and reflected that dreams do come true; shedding light on the fact that he had graduated from Harvard in a field unrelated to music but still was able to break into the difficult industry. Back to the main stage, didn’t want to miss Anita Baker who sang a lot of songs and took time out to acknowledge several familiar faces who she could see in the audience including, Lisa Raye, Susan Taylor and Tom Joyner. An enjoyable performance but a bit lengthy it was hard Carol ’ s to believe that there were Da stand ing in ugher Fou favorites left unsung. At this nder on Ru front L i point it was close to midnight, s e Iberv o a ille in f her temp Price the scheduled time that Maxwell The Fr orary s tore was to hit the stage. An hour and ench Quart a half later we were still uncertain of er what the delay was and by the time he came out a lot of people had left and the remaining patrons were cold and tired. Looking good, suave, clean cut, styling and ready for the show, Maxwell had in l live enter his game face on. Exiting on “I Gotta Get To Know u o S ily nC You,” would have liked to have seen Maxwell’s entire set e Fam Conventio h T d but it was way past my bedtime. indre orial
K NM nest r E e th
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Sucre In the whimsical mind of a child, like a fairy tale, dreams of brightly colored confections fill their mind. Their parents will be transported back to the same mind-set once they visit Sucre on the artisy Magazine street. Who could resist a boutique dedicated to sweets? In 2007 a pastry chef from Michigan opened this establishment in an effort to bring new life to New Orleans, following Hurricane Katrina. With the huge influence that the french had in colonizing New Orleans, it was very appropriate for Sucre (the french word for sugared) to be the chosen name. Clean with a modern touch of elegance, you will be lured inside once you glare into the store front, decorated with tiers of their notable french macaroons in the shape of a cake. A cross between a cookie and a wafer, french macaroons are light and airy. Unlike their flourless Jewish cousin, usually served during Passover, these multicolored treats consist of two shells sandwiched between a cream filling. Their fragile consistency makes it difficult to transport in warm conditions, not wanting to risk a crumbly mess. Special packing was designed to aide in the preservation of the delicacy from point A to B. Out of the 8 flavor options, almond became the victor. After the first bite an explosion of flavor filled my mouth. French macaroons have become one of my new preferred sweets, but it was gelato that I was in search of that first brought me to Sucre. On my first visit I was parched and in need of refreshment, so gelato and h20 were the only things on my mind. The large variety showcased in a glass case, made the options seem limitless. I finally decided on a rich cup of oreo which warranted a return two days later, for another serving. The temperature was not making me delusional, this was some of the best gelato that I had ever tasted. Options of milkshakes and sundaes are available or you may prefer to create your own, with toppings like pecans, sprinkles, macaroon shells, oreoâ€™s, hot fudge, caramel and bananas foster you feel like a kid in a candy store. Macaroons can be ordered online for you to enjoy all over the United States. www.shopsucre.com
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Lady and Sons
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Savannah residents will tell you that there are two Paula’s that run their city, Savannah College of Art and Designs president, Paula Wallace and celebrity chef Paula Dean. While SCAD has rejuvenated the city with it’s fresh perspectives and acquired over 17 historic buildings that make up their downtown campus, Paula Dean has carved her imprint on the city with the opening of Lady and Sons, her booming southern restaurant. Located in the heart of downtown, Dean’s southern sophistication and charm, is the force that draws lines that wrap around her building in search of good cuisine and the possibility of running into the southern goddess. Attached to the restaurant is a retail store with all things Paula and husband Michael is even featured. Quite an experience; you discover new found friends while awaiting over an hour just to get your name on the reservation list. Housed in a two story, former white hardware building, after arrival at your table, a ho cake and cheddar biscuit are brought to you but don’t eat too much or you may spoil your appetite. Next your choice becomes whether to order off the menu or choose the buffet. The buffet selection was more traditional than the menu options but if you are one that doesn’t like people breathing over your food this is not the best choice. The food was a bit disappointing; wasn’t all that impressed with the crab cakes, the macaroni and cheese, average (my aunts make better), the fried green tomatoes had a lot of breading and the greens had a good flavor but too meaty for my preference. If Paula was cooking herself, the rating would be much higher. By time dessert came, I was so fatigued with the hype of Lady and Sons but wrote it off as another adventure. Locals opt for the family style Mrs. Wilkes which is easier to get in and the food is good. Make your own call if you head to Savannah. Bon Appetite Yall!
Just as we feed our insides with healthy food, we can’t forget about our skin, the outer protective layer, and one way to keep it soft is to revitalize it with homemade products made by Nourish in downtown Savannah. Clever packaging, exotic scents, lots of windows, and a reputation built around quality products peek curiosity of Savannah visitors. Think about wanting to relax after a hard day at work, what could be more calming than a bubble bath. We are not talking about the kind you took as a child, with rubber ducky in hand and calgon, this is the creation of a spa experience in the luxury of your home. Pop in a tropical inspired coconut lime bath fizzie with the moisturizing benefits of shea butter and a delightful scent, helps you leave all the work day worries at work. We can’t forget about the main attraction, the soap. All soap is not created equal. Many factors can play a role in the soaps texture, shape and color but a true connoisseurs may inquire about the ingredients, asking if the soap is made with lye or vegetable oil. When selecting soaps you may also what to take into consideration whether or not it has a good lather, if it dissolves easily or serves as a good exfoliant. Top picks are the tea rose, lavender mint and coconut lime soap and for the males you may enjoy the mambo man, sandalwood or ocean mist. You can also find a selection of handcrafted candles, lotions and scrubs. Whatever you choose the bottom line is that you will smell like a bed of roses. An interesting find displayed near the register, oil scented towelettes, in aromas like peppermint and lemon lime, will leave your hands refreshed, meanwhile the pungent scent will stay on your hands and the package well after the towel has been discarded. Quick tip, throw the empty paper in your linen drawer, for an added benefit.
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Savannah Bee Company
Tubby’s Tank House Watching the boats dock in one of the largest ports in the United States, is just one of the benefits of dining at Tubby’s Tank House in Savannah. The second floor location on the famous River Street serves seafood and plenty of it. Go on a Friday and listen to local entertainment as you savor crab legs with drawn butter and ice cold beer. During the summer time the humidity may make it almost unbearable to sit out on the deck but if you have lucked up on nice weather, your in business.
Haven’t seen anything quite like it, a store devoted to honey. 104 W Broughton Street is home to Savannah Bee Company, a Georgia distributor of local honey. Apparently, this elixir is good for more than just a sweetener in your morning tea. A natural energizer, immune system builder and a curer of some aliments are just some of the advantages of the yellow liquid produced by bees. If you are visiting Savannah Bee Company for the first time, you may notice the samples of honey on the counter sitting to your left. Who knew there were so many varieties, tupelo, sourwood, wildflower, orange blossom, organic acacia, winter white, raspberry, black sage and honeycomb, all of which have distinctive flavors and cater to different palates. You may then notice a menu of honey inspired drinks and such, perfect for an afternoon retreat. The thirst quenching honey and mint limeade is excellent, following an afternoon of extensive shopping on Broughton Street. Displayed on the opposite side of the room are different sized containers of honey for purchase, not to mention other retail products including hand cream and soap. The honey is also sold in large quantities. After overhearing a conversation about the luxurious royal jelly, a blackberry scented body butter that promotes skin’s elasticity had my curiosity searching for the sampler. There I found a thick, moisturizing cream which blew Carol’s daughter body souffles right out of the water. After your enlightening honey experience, you will be buzzing back for more. www.savannahbee.com
Before you head to Tybee Island to soak up some rays at the beach make a quick detour to Leopolds for a frozen treat. Sitting in the window of the SCAD library directly across the street, you have a great view of the steady stream of patrons flocking to Leopolds, in search of homemade ice cream. The tastes are so pure that you will remember what ice cream tasted like from a hand cranked ice cream maker. After a brief closing, the beloved shop reopened in 2004 in a new location, using the same name and secret family recipe. The selections were varied but it was the mint chocolate chip that seemed the most appealing. The subtle taste of mint does not overpower the ice cream but the crunch from the chocolate is just the right combination. The honey almond crunch comes in as a close second. Recently celebrating their 90th anniversary, if you were fortunate enough to be in Savannah during that time, cones were only ninety cents.
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Please . . . Please . . . Review This Album The BluePrint 3 For hip hop fans, it’s easy to become excited by the frenzy created around the release of a new album. The only difference between the hip hop’s days of yore and the present is the endless parade of downloads and early leaks followed by a sea of comments and blog entries on the validity or realness of the artist. Apparently, it’s more important to these “fans” to stay connected to the streets than to produce good music. Keep some beefs going. Make disrespectful comments about other artists of label heads in interviews. Bad mouth old business partners on a consistent basis. This seems to be the only way to sell some records in an industry suffering from a lack of sales and originality. Enter Shawn Corey Carter, known to the world at large as Jay-Z. To many new rappers he’s an elder statesman, a guy who should hang it up because he’s past his prime. To others he’s the epitome of hip hop; the street guy who made good, and really good by anyone’s standards. With ten number one albums under his belt and over a decade in the game, Jay-Z has nothing left to prove. Except maybe that he isn’t just a hip hop artist or label exec anymore. Jay-Z is a bonfide rock star, and The Blueprint 3 is a testament to this growth. Despite the see-saw feelings that D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune) created among other artist in the industry, and the bloggers claiming that Kanye West out-rhymed his big brother on the moody but triumphant “Run This Town”, BP3 is an album for fans of growth, not reliance on old motifs. “Empire State of Mind” is Jay’s ode to the city that birthed him and hip hop itself, and Alicia Keys adds the Sinatra-esque flourish that makes the song a winner. “Thank You” is a cocky, tongue in cheek affair, while “ Real As It Gets” finds Jay and Young Jeezy serenading those who value street cred. “So Ambitious” is Pharrell’s contribution to the album, and finds Hova discussing his journey from new artist to the top of the game, and the people who fueled his ambitions along the way. “Already Home” addresses all of the pointless musical jabs other rappers have aimed at Jay, with Kid Cudi along for the ride providing the smooth hook. The great songs outweigh the off kilter offerings like the Swizz Beatz helmed “On To The Next One” or the unnecessary “Hate” featuring the aforementioned Kanye West. Ultimately, The Blueprint 3 is a great ride for the listener who puts on the record, gets comfortable, and presses play. Those who only listen to the radio or obsess over blog commentary won’t get the point: people change, grow, and experiment with things. Artists are no exception. Be brave enough to appreciate that, and enjoy the ride.
You may also want to pick up Signature by Joe and Kaamal The Abstract by Q-tip
Turn Me Loose
The true creative process behind a great album can differ from artist to artist. Whether inspired from a breakup, a traumatic encounter, or a great vinyl, these emotional roller coasters usually provide the best material. In concert Ledisi appears bubbly, energetic, with confidence and ease. If you are familiar with her 2008 Verve record debut, Lost and Found you may be surprised by her new recording. Although Lost and Found didn’t cry out pain as did Mary J Blige’s What’s the 411, it was saturated with love songs, that tapped into a more private side and showed her vulnerability. After hearing ballads like “In The Morning”, a true testament of her feelings, you will realize that it takes more than a great imagination to produce this type of song. Her newest release, Turn me Loose, almost slipped through the cracks with little promotion. Don’t be too quick to pass judgement on the 14 track sophomore effort without giving it a fair listen. If your looking for a Lost and Found part two you may be disappointed, however if you allow yourself to be open minded about her new approach you will grow to like the album. A blend of various producers styles, mid and up tempo beats, and an apparent rock influence is the sound that this album has to offer. The title and album cover allude to the record being rebellious, risk taking but this was one leap of faith that could have been reconsidered. With no guest appearances and Ledisi flying solo, you may be drawn to “Going Thru Changes” because it is more in tune to the style that fans have come to know her for. The self confident “Trippin” is reminiscent of a reggae joint, a good song to mix in the club and “Higher Than This” mirrors another song from her last album, “Think of You”, an inspirational piece, bordering on the lines of Musiq’s “Love”, one that can be interpreted as gospel or R&B. THE WRITE TRACK October 2009 Volume 3 Issue 4