Friday, May 4, 2012

May DAY 2012

Super Moon, Solar Eclipse, Meteor Shower From Halley's Comet On Tap In May, 

2012! click here

And for some musical notes on the moon, one of my fav. southern bands-lucky to see  

them many times LIVE live-

click on live. 

Celebrate the 5th of May: Cinco de Mayo
Sunday-May 6- Fanta Festival - McAlpine Creek Park - 11am-7pm
Address: 8711 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC

Live performers, dancing and singing, traditional food and folk dances and a Latino marketplace. Plenty of fun, check out the video (click on it).

YUM-A-LISH-ISH- In the mood for some good mexican food but don't know where to go? Try Loco Lime at 1101 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC. Opened in 2010 in the funky Plaza Midwood section of Charlotte. They serve corn tamales cooked in corn husks, made fresh and so delish.

Loco Lime Mexican Central Ave on Urbanspoon 
Recipe to make your own! click: Corn Tamales

                            First: make your tequila spicy 24 hours prior to drinking by cutting hot pepper in half, (habaneros are the hottest!) and put into the bottle of tequila. 
Do I have to mention, don't touch your eyes, mouth, any body areas at all before thoroughly washing your hands after cutting the hot pepper??

  • Ingredients:
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces spiced tequila 
  • ½-ounce orange brandy
  • Lime juice squeezed from 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup or simple syrup
Add ice to a shaker, add the tequila, orange brandy, lime juice and the agave/simple syrup. 

Now-shake it like a polaroid (Click here for shaking inspiration
and a little OUTKAST music to shake by! What's with the green outfits?)

Use fun glassware and wet the rims, then dip the rims in rock salt or sugar, whichever you prefer.  Strain and serve. I ask you, "What's cooler than being cool? Ice cool!" Feel the burn...

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smART: Time again for cruising local art in NoDa, (North of Davidson Art district).

Charlotte, NC

Seems that NoDa is crawling with activities every weekend. A super cool place to hang and see art, have brews, catch a live show and see some funky folks digging the scene. It gets busy as the weather gets warmer...

“NoDA 1st Annual Studio Tour”, May 4
Time 6-10pm.

13 participating studios  to puruse on your self guided tour, map attached, click to check out and see local art! And say "hi" if you see me.

When you've had enough visual stimulation in NoDa and you're heading home and maybe need a little KICK to wake you up, drive a few blocks on North Davidson Street, south towards uptown (don't try walking it!), and stop in Amelie's. It will be packed, I can assure you, but just suck it up and get in line. Chat with your friends while trying to decide which wicked dessert treat to sample. I recommend: chocolate eclairs, bear claws, strawberry cheese croissants or the multi-colored coconut macaroons, (so cute-I always take a box of six home!).

 Open 24-7, no kidding, Amelie's has the best french pastries, freshly baked loaves of bread, espresso, wi-fi, and shabby chic lounging rooms. You can hang here and people watch while slurping coffee and getting a sugar buzz to go!
(They also have a satellite shop in uptown Charlotte on Tryon Street which pales in comparison though very convenient for a quick cup of joe and pastry!)

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Three major musical influences in my life (and tons of other folks, too, MAYBE YOU!), left this world in April to join the huge rock concert in the sky. First to go on April 18 was 82 year old Richard Wagstaff, known to his fans as                                                             Dick Clark. 

American's oldest teenager was yankee born and bred from Bronxville, New York, and a graduate of Syracuse University. Dick moved to the Philadelphia area in the early 50's and ended up taking over a new TV show when the original host was arrested for drunk driving. Talk about a break! In 1957 Dick opened his show with an interview from a shy southern newcomer,  Elvis the Pelvis Presley. American Bandstand became the longest running variety show in the U.S. and ended 30 years later.
 I grew up watching this show with my sister, mom and aunts. We learned all the cool dances (click here) from Philly: the watusi, the jerk, the stroll, the pony and of course one that everyone young and old knows, the twist! Bands who were on the top 40's record list would lip synch their songs while neatly groomed teens danced to Ike and Tina Turner, Simon and Garfunkel, Sam Cooke, Chubby Checker and even the Talking Heads! All of them had "good lyrics and a beat you could dance to". Click here for a stroll down memory lane if you're old enough to remember and if you weren't around back then, well you missed it! Nothing like it today though Ryan Seacrest (click on that) was mentored by Dick Clark and helped on his annual New Years Eve show from New York City. 

"Wait a minute Chester. You know I'm a peaceful man"...on April 19, 72 year old Levon Helm, singer and drummer for The BAND, took a load off and laid down his head for the last time. Born in 1940 to cotton picking parents in rural Arkansas, Mark Lavon (later changed to Levon) took up drumming at an early age and traveled to Canada where he teamed up with the Band members and called themselves Levon and the Hawks. In the 60's, they met and became the back up band for Bob Dylan (I didn't know that!) and played in 1969 at the Woodstock festival as THE BAND. (Did you go? I didn't because I was too young but I did watch the movie three times straight in a row=9 hours straight! Yeah, I was such a hippie with my bell bottoms and waist long hair. ) 

Levon loved rural upstate New York and  made Woodstock it his home. (So did Dylan). I tootled to Woodstock in March (see photo-that's me!), just last month. Word on the street was that Levon was still battling with throat cancer and was holding music nights called Midnight Ramble in his living room to help cover his medical costs. OMG. Can you imagine sitting that close and listening to the great voice of Levon Helm? That southern mountain voice echoes in my head for over 40 years-Up On Cripple Creek (click here), Rag Momma Rag, The Weight, and so many more hits- four grammy awards. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, in 1978 Martin Scorsese documented The Band's last concert after performing for 16 years in a film called, The Last Waltz. Get it on Netflix and learn about an all American Band that played with the great rock and rollers like Dylan and Clapton.

R&R TRIVIA: What band leader did Levon mention in the song, Up on Cripple Creek? Be the first to answer and you will get a copy of Levon's 2007 CD, "Dirt Farmer"; be sure to send your email address!

April 26 brought the sad news that 66 year old Pete Fornatale, Bronx-born radio personality, had died from a stroke. I grew up listening to WNEW-FM Radio where Rock truly LIVED.
Pete was a regular DJ since 1969 and hosted "Mixed Bag" in 1982. Those were the days when the DJ's ruled the air and got to play who they liked, no play list! Click here for more info on Pete. Who are some of the DJ's that you remember?

 Thanks to all for the great music that rocked our world!

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        Dandelions and white clover blossoms are blooming in my lawn right now.

Ok. I know! These are considered weeds and frowned on by the majority of grass loving groupies. But did you know in Canada that dandelion root is registered as a drug and used to treat kidney disease, respiratory illnesses, gallstones and anemia- just for starts! Yeah, it's been around since the beginning of time along with white clover which is also considered a pesky lawn infiltrator. Both are partially responsible for the vegetables and fruit we eat! How so? Dandelions and clover are food sources for bees and 90+other pollen eating insects. While you might shirk from the sight of a bee, don't reach for a can of pesticide unless you can live without edibles such as peaches, blueberries, apples, squash, and the list goes on...We need these industrious creatures if we wish to survive. Busy bees cross pollinate (or fertilize) fruit and vegetable blossoms which initiates food production.  Click here for scientific evidence provided by students of Virginia Tech. Look for the little guys with yellow or orange sacks on their legs, that's pollen that they collected from dandelions or clover and then share with their hive mates.

Staying on the subject of those little yellow flowers, right here in uptown Charlotte, we have the Dandelion Market. Open 7 days a week until 2:00AM! You can't find that in the suburbs. Stop in for sliders, flatbreads, pint brews and good wine.  Click here to see more! Personally, I haven't sampled it yet but it is now on my must try list. Send me your review if you have been there. And yes, they ARE serving dandelion greens, why not!

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What's Charlotte's most ICONIC restaurant? Reviewed this month by another yankee tootler, Adam Richman, on the Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food TV show, it is tucked the plaza midwood section of the queen city and is over half a century old! The Penguin Drive-in. MUST have: fried pickles (the secret is revealed in the video-click here). We stopped in prior to seeing New York's favorite son, Jerry Seinfeld, who was appearing less than two miles away at Ovens Auditorium. We stuffed our gobs with juicy angus beef eight ounce patties slathered in pimento cheese and  served up by hustling hipster waiters. Walk right in and grab whatever seats are open unless the line is already out the door. Now you know where to go when you need a BFF= burger and fries fix.

Speaking of BFF's, CowFish in the Village of South Park is the only place that serves up "burgushi", a.k.a. sushi burgers. That's what I said, sushi-burg-AHHHS. I can't get enough of them. Small like sliders, paired up with parmesan truffle fries, you will not die and not go to heaven but you will be happy as pie. (What'd she say?) My waiter, just by chance, Joe from the Big A, gave us the low down and hit us with his best shot-"The Taste Explosion Roll." Click here."! As Arnold says, "I will be back!"

                             Calling all LOCAVORES

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                                             WHERE IS THIS? 
             Have you been here? It's in North Carolina, not far from Charlotte.
                                            Send me your guesses!
 If you answer correctly, I will email you a coupon for buy one get one free coupon to this place. Send your answer and email to:, subject line: Where is this?

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Member of the New York-based Professional Women Photographers and resident of my husband's home town, Maplewood, New Jersey, Pamela Greene hosted a book signing at The Words bookstore and I was privileged to attend! Her photographs of New York's meat packing district feature both blood and beauty, hence the title: Blood and Beauty. Stunning images of New York's  hustle and bustle in  a transitional neighborhood, this book is worthy of your collection. 
To order your copy, please visit:

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  Calling all Gardeners!! There's still time  to start some seeds at home.
This bio-dome (click) from Park Seeds  is easy and so convenient to use! I have several.

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You might wonder why I include New York stuff in my blog.  
Fact is I lived there, went to school there and still travel there as much as I can. I LOVE NEW YORK, but for now, I'm going back down south (click on the blue).
Another all time GREAT BANDS!!

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