Living for the Weekend

"Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life." Dom Tomás Balduino

The Friday Night Bunch surprised everyone when we ventured east of President Street, for a unique experience on Harbor East's Lancaster Street’s newest hotspots: Ouzo Bay, serving seafood; Townhouse Kitchen, an upscale sports bar with specialty tables where you can draw ice-cold draft beer from a computer-monitored tap; and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, featuring crafted beers. These restaurants range from casual to fine dining. “It’s electric” The surrounding area brings a new charm to the East Side.

“Eastern Aircraft at that time was completely integrated. It was the first time I had ever sat down to eat in a completely integrated institution in my life.” Susan King, riveter, Eastern Aircraft Corporation 1942

The group left “downtown” and headed uptown to Kumari Restaurant in Mt. Vernon to meet my godson Darren Henson at his favorite restaurant, serving Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan food. The romantic aroma of the spices drifting through the dining area was so seductive that I couldn’t resist the temptation when Darren insisted on ordering the lamb jalfreezi (lamb chops) for me. The lamb chops, perfectly seasoned with a hint of pink, arrived on a sizzling platter with grilled vegetables. This restaurant also features a lunch and dinner buffet.

In the middle of the 800 block of Calvert Street is Iggies, serving the best pizzas, antipasto, salads and gelato prepared with fresh ingredients. Since it was my first experience at Aggies, Whitney was eager to assist me in making my choice. I settled for the signature pizza “Alice” with basil pesto, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, garlic spinach, and goat cheese. The pizza was “simply the best.” Did I tell you this is a BYOB eatery and they provide the glasses? “I’ll be there” next time with a bottle of vino. To order online go to .

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished, lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” Carter G. Woodson

In celebration of Black History month, Living for the Weekend honors Eddie and Sylvia Brown, Andrea Evans, Susan King, and Ruben Hooper– African -Americans who have made a difference in our community.

“A day at the museum.” Kudos to Baltimore philanthropists Eddie and C. Sylvia Brown, creators of The Brown Challenge Grant at Walters Art Museum, for the purchase of art by 18th, 19th and early 20th century African-American artists. The works by Edward Mitchell Bannister, Edmonia Lewis, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Richard Seldon Duncanson, whose River Scene is on display in the Walters’ 19th-Century Galleries. Go to for information on these outstanding acquisitions made possible by this phenomenal couple.

“I am thankful to have the talents and abilities to help children see their dreams become a reality." Tasean Baldwin

Bunches of flowers to attorney Andrea Evans, honored by IMPACT’s Champion of Change, for her commitment to improving the lives of individuals through her organization’s KidGINEER. The 6-week STEM project for children ages 5-10 years is an educational program designed to enrich children's interest in science, technology, engineering and math. To find out more about this innovative program visit

“As you look back at your life, there are just a million different things that have happened, just in the right way, to allow you to make your dreams come true; and you know, someone has all that under control.” Michael Anderson, African-American astronaut and space shuttle commander

This week marks 23 years since Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from a South African prison after 27 years of confinement as a political prisoner.

“I’m so proud.” “Daddy’s Girl” Marilyn Benaderet is celebrating the 90th birthday of her dad, Ruben Hooper. “My dad was a hard worker all of his life, a WWII veteran, a loving husband, father and grandfather. He is no one ‘important’ to the world, no college degrees and no fraternal affiliations, just an all-around regular good guy who got up every day, went to work and took care of his family. I’m so blessed to have had his counsel for all my life.” Marilyn, thanks for sharing and happy birthday, Ruben!

Happy 88th birthday to Arch Social Club member Larry Washington and Toni Mackey. Both celebrated their birthdays at Arch Social Club with Judson Wood playing the music and barmaid Cathy serving the drinks.

It’s a celebration! Reginald Haysbert, Dr. Sam Redd, Harold Hayley, Sarita Murray, Ed Foster, Carolyn Stepney and Doreyce Keston-Green celebrate “like its 1999.” Happy 45th wedding anniversary to Carolyn and Steve Wainwright.

“You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can’t go wrong. The world is behind you.” Josephine Baker

Congratulations to the newest member of the Jay Leno show–songstress Sy Smith, wife of Baltimore actor/director Shawn Peterson and daughter-in law of Harold Peterson.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Condolences to the Jones/ Jolivet family, Armenta Jones, Atlanta TV personality Sasha Jones and Kevin Harris, Alvin Jones, Ernestine and Russell Jolivet, Dr. Pythias Jones and Dr. Gary and Verna Jones-Rodwell on the death of husband, father and uncle Vernon Jones. Our condolences to Phillip Allen and his family on the death of his mother, Sandra Lotts.

“Doing it in the park, Doing it after dark, oh, yeah Rock Creek Park, oh, yeah Rock Creek Park.” RIP Donald Byrd

"Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all." St. Augustine

Happy Valentine’s Day, Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch

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Living for the Weekend


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