I Love Beach Music

I always have and I always will 
There aint no other kind of music in the world 
that gives me quite the thrill 

I'm so excited for today!! I am about to get ready and head downtown Myrtle Beach for the Mayfest Beach Music Festival. I'm so excited to wear my new seersucker dress and shag the day away! If you are from the Carolina's you will most likely be familiar with the lineup. We have 

The Craig Woolard Band 
Atlantic Groove
The Catalinas 
Too Tight 
The Embers 
Chubby Checker 
The Spinners 

When Chubby Checker plays we are attempting to set a world record for the most people doing "The Twist" at the same time. Whew Who!

What do you have planned on this Sunny Saturday?
Have a great day!!


I hope you are all in as great of a mood as I am! OF COURSE I watched the Royal Wedding this morning as I'm sure most of you did. How amazing? Kate looked simple but stunning and the entire ceremony was breathtaking. I expected nothing less. I guess I should have known but I had no idea the normal "you may kiss the bride" would not be happening! The balcony kiss made up for it. I am in awe/amazement of the entire thing. Ohh to be a princess. After the viewing of the wedding I had an 8am exam that I hopefully aced (fingers crossed) then headed straight off to the beach to spend a weekend with the boy! I think my amazing mood is due to the fact that I just spent the last two hours laying out on the beach with PERFECT weather.  I forgot how relaxing that was! Now we have showered and are about to head out for dinner and shopping. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday night.. I can't wait to tell you about what I have planned for tomorrow!!

A short history of Trump: the roots of Donald's wealth, from quiet Queens beginnings to glitzy Midtown excess

Ice ice baby: Donald Trump at Wollman Rink, which he renovated in a moment of non-profit public altruism during the 1980s.

PODCAST Sick of Donald Trump yet? (Probably.) Figured him out yet? Is he a financial wizard, reality sideshow, or political distraction? Or all of the above? The solution may be contained in the roots of his fortune -- a saga that stretches back to the 1880s and begins with a 16-year-old boy named Drumpf who made his living in a barber shop. The story unfolds during the early days of Queens, a borough once sparsely populated but by the 1920s, a land ripe for growth.

By the 1960s, Donald's father Fred had built thousands of middle-class homes throughout Queens and Brooklyn and embroiled himself in some controversy regarding the remains of two Coney Island theme parks. The Donald built upon his father's reputation to become a successful Manhattan developer and a flamboyant celebrity with seemingly bottomless levels of lucre. But of course everyone has their limit.

FEATURING: Trump Tower marbles, a miracle on 34th Street, and the magic that would have been Television City.

You can tune into it below, download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services, or get it straight from our satellite site.

Or listen to it here:
The Bowery Boys: TRUMP

A home building frenzy in Woodhaven, Queens, at the corner of 64th Road and Woodhaven Boulevard. A massive population influx into the borough induced home development at a rapid pace. Fred Trump's first constructed homes were in the neighborhood in the 1920s.

Donald and his father Fred Trump, two of the most powerful developers in the city by the 1970s and 80s. Of course, the elder Trump constructed mostly dwellings for the middle class, while Donald focused on the wealthiest New Yorkers.

Trump Village, Fred Trump's largest apartment co-op when it opened in 1964. (Courtesy flickr/TheFadedPast)

The Hotel Commodore under construction in 1918. Sixty years later, young Donald Trump would redevelop the property to become the Grand Hyatt, encasing the stripped-down hotel in a sleek glass tower that literally reflects Grand Central on one side, and the Chrysler Building on the other (below). (1918 pic courtesy NYPL; modern pic courtesy flickr/kw-ny)

Trump rode a wave of personal connections, business drive and opportunity to become New York's hottest developer by the 1980s, fueled by media attention and spectacle to become one of New York's most ubiquitous celebrities.

Does anything typify New York in the 1980s more than Trump Tower, that fortress of wealth gleaming with imported marbles, finished in 1983 and offering the most expensive apartments in the city?

Bonwit Teller, the luxury department store that had the misfortune of having an address that Trump wanted for his Trump Tower.

Behold -- Television City, the Trump plan for the west side involving a 152-story skyscraper and a studio for NBC, originally at a total of 16 million square feet of space.

Trump the Game! From 1988. "It's not whether you win or lose. It's whether you win!"

Photos at Wollman Rink and of Donald/Fred courtesy Google Life images

I can't focus!

Ahh, I can't focus!! I am trying to study for my exam tomorrow but the only thing I can think about is the tornado warning going on and the royal wedding. UGH not good! In my nervousness I am really feeling for the people of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Please keep them in your prayers, many lives were lost and homes were destroyed. Okay I am going to give studying another shot but will update later(:

Run DMC and the Revolution: Historic Hollis, Queens

I'm putting together a special edition solo podcast to be released tomorrow morning, featuring a very timely subject. In the meantime, here's a reprint of an article originally posted April 3, 2009, on one of the places that will be mentioned in the show.

It's like that: Rap pioneers and proud sons of Queens

NAME THAT NEIGHBORHOOD Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Other entries in this series can be found here.

WHERE: HOLLIS -- in the southeastern section of Queens. It's next to the much larger Jamaica, a neighborhood with an even stranger origin to its name

Hollis, Queens, is one of the least pretentious musical inspirations in the world. What may have been an average neighborhood under normal circumstances has become one of the birthplaces of hip hop, starting with music mogul Russell Simmons and his younger brother Joseph, the Run of Run DMC, and continuing today with current hip hop star, Hollis native Ja Rule.  Run DMC even immortalizes Hollis in their unusual holiday classic "Christmas In Hollis."

Icons of a major musical movement, emanating from such a saccharine sounding community? But Hollis disguises some rather tragic moments in Queens history, its roots reaching all the way back to a horrifying, bloody moment of the Revolutionary War.

In a story now steeped in legend, it was here along the Jamaica road -- back when Hollis was mere uninhabited hillside -- that one of the Continental Army's great generals Nathaniel Woodhull was brutally tortured by British soldiers.

Woodhull was in charge of the Queens and Suffolk county militias when the British invaded Brooklyn, spreading out along the countryside and pushing back Washington's men, surging towards an invasion of Manhattan island. On that fateful day in August 27, 1776, however, Woodhull and his men were busy herding Brooklyn's cattle east into Queens, ensuring the British had little to eat when they arrived.

While stranded at a tavern on Jamaica road (today's Jamaica Avenue) near the center of today's Hollis, Woodhull was captured and, as legend goes, forced to swear allegiance to England. Instead of "God Save The King" however, Woodhull allegedly cried, "God Save Us All!" For his defiance he was mutilated by British soldiers and died a few days later.

Below: Woodhull receives his mortal blow at Carpenter's Tavern

This bucolic land outside of the town of Jamaica would not see much excitement for the next 100 years, the quiet hills and farms being referred only as East Jamaica, the memories of Woodhull's sacrifice its only legacy.

Then came Freddy. That would be Frederick W. Dunton (pictured at right), a young, ambitious and handsomely mustachioed man born with the benefit of calling the president of the Long Island Railroad -- during the days of unprecedented growth into New York -- his beloved uncle.

Dunton was raised in the New Hampshire town of Hollis and obviously thought the most of it. When he went off to pursue his own real estate development in Long Island in 1884, he grew fond of this hilly area outside of Jamaica and, as an ardent history geek himself, most likely reveled at its importance in Revolutionary War history. He built his house here on a hilltop, sold plots to his friends and called the surrounding development Hollis and Holliswood -- because there's no place like home, right?*

He also bought and named a community after himself -- the now-vanished Dunton, which was later absorbed into today's Richmond Hill neighborhood. (Ken Bausart does some fascinating detective work in digging up the back story.)

Apparently, Frederick is equally as known for something a bit more scandalous -- a headline grabbing grand larceny trial in 1896.

The area developed slowly into a comfortable middle-class neighborhood, experiencing a bit of scandal now and then, as when Hollis Hall, Dunton's old home in Holliswood, allegedly became a speakeasy during Prohibition. (An apartment complex stands in that spot today.) Hollis grew slowly and steadily, from 4,000 people in the 1920s to 31,000 people today. Some of the first homes ever built by mega-developer Fred Trump, the father of Donald, were in this neighborhood and still stand today.

Russell and Joseph were raised here in the 1960s, soon teaming with Darryl "D.M.C." Matthews McDaniels (born in Hollis in 1965) and the late Jam Master Jay** (who moved here in the 1970s), performing together for the first time in 1980. Within four years, they would become rap music's ambassadors to the world, the first rap act played on MTV, selling millions of records and paving the way for mainstream hip hop culture. God save us all.

(Frederick's picture courtesy Dunton.org)

*  Okay, but if Hollis, Queens, got its name from Hollis, New Hampshire, then where did they get it from? Hollis is a vestige of British occupation of the entire region. British governor Benning Wentworth gave the settlement the name Hollis in 1746, after one of his more colorful ancestors John Holles, the Earl of Clare. Holles was actually one of England's wealthiest men ever; in today's currency, his estate would be worth 5.1 billion pounds.

**Jam Master Jay, aka Jason Mizell, was also shot and killed in Hollis in 2002

Another of Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: TANJONG PAGAR RAILWAY STATION

Come 1 July 2011, there will be no trains leaving Singapore for Peninsula Malaysia from the historic Tanjong Pagah Station as the Malayan Railway (KTM or Keretapi Tanah Melayu) lines in Singapore will be closed for good. The Tanjong Pagah terminal building had been gazetted as a national monument, and with good reason. Opened in 1929, its art deco exterior is unique in Singapore architecture, as are Rudolfo Nolli's statues, allegories of Agriculture, Commerce, Transport and Industry. My last visit to this historical building was way back in 1977, having taken an overnight express to Kuala Lumpur. This recent visit with my son brought back some old irreplaceable memories.

What will the building become after July 2011? A suggestion would be to house a Museum of Railways in Singapore, or a Museum about the good relations post independance between Singapore and her northern "Abang" (Big Brother), Malaysia. Given the prevalent tone of recent autobiographies of LKY and MM, the former is a more likely option.

Rudolfo Nolli's statues

The art deco arches

The interior with a small ticket booth (left)

Murals of daily Malayan life adorn the walls.

The Singapore-Malaysia timetable

Relics of a bygone era

Welcome to Malaysia!

Wednesday Whatnots

I don't know about you but in my neck of the woods the weather is crazy! Pouring down rain one second and sunny the next. Rain or shine though I have a fun night planned! A little random but we are having a all girls Guacamole and Strawberry Daiquiri night! Yay! Two of my favorite things, I can't wait. Everyone needs a girls night occasionally, although I think I need one more than occasionally. Every week possibly? haha, they keep me sane!

I finally found my camera cord so I can share pictures from Easter Weekend! Saturday night was the concert and we had a pre Bob Seger Party that turned out to be a lot of fun!


Paula Dean's Squash Boats

8 Layer Salad


Have a great day!

Oui! Paris on Broadway (now with air conditioning)

New Yorkers have been borrowing things from Paris for decades -- the fashion, the architecture, the people. And, one hundred years ago today, the city paid homage to Paris' naughtiest hideaway with the opening of the Folies Bergere (206-14 West 46th Street) on April 27, 1911, a dinner-theater extravaganza that Irving Berlin once proclaimed was "the first theatre cabaret in America."

Theater producer Jesse Lasky was 30 years old when he opened the dinner theater, hoping to borrow some of the exotic allure of the Parisian music hall, with a big entrance fee to boot. In September a young Mae West performed there for over a week in the show A La Broadway.

The theater even inspired a sassy Berlin Irving number titled "Down At the Folies Bergere": "In old New York up at Long Acre Square / Turn 'round the corner, you'll find yourself there / Millions of miles from all trouble and care / Two doors from Heaven the Folies Bergere."

More appealing than the comediennes and the dancing girls, however, was a remarkable innovation; the Folies Bergere was the very first air conditioned theater in New York.

Its reputation belies its longevity. Within the year, the Folies Bergere abandoned the dinner theater idea and, with it, the name.  Lasky went on to become an iconic film mogul. The stage survived as the Fulton Theater, then, after 1955, as the Helen Hayes Theater. It was ripped down to make room for the Times Square-consuming Mariott Marquee. Another theater on 44th Street was then given the name Helen Hayes Theater

Things to do in May

I was Reading the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens and came across an article entitled "Things to Do This Month." I think they have listed three fabulous ideas and decided to share with the blog world in case you missed it! I am planning on doing all three things and hope you will too!

1. Special Delivery

Ever heard of the May Basket? May is just around the
corner and it is the perfect time to fill a basket with treats
such as flowers, cookies or candy and secretly
 leave it on the doorstep of someone special. 

2. The time is Ripe

It's National Strawberry Month! Look for
a local strawberry festival or make homemade
chocolate dipped strawberries!

3. Pet Protect

Be kind to animals week is May 1-7, pay extra
attention to your furry friend. Maybe go for
an extra long walk.

wonderful weekend recap

I had an amazing Easter weekend and I hope you all did as well! The Bob Seger concert was amazing! I promise to upload pictures later! The late night out had me nervous I would be tired for Easter but I found I was way too excited to be tired. I made deviled eggs, squash boats and strawberries dipped in chocolate out of my Paula Dean cookbook before church. I then headed off for a truly inspirational sermon. After church my family gathered around for a huge meal that I am still stuffed from (probably because of my continuous snacking of the leftovers, ha) The Easter bunny and surprised me with a new bathing suit, shorts and top from Banana Republic.. so exciting! I can't wait to share pictures but it will have to wait until I find my camera cord. Easter night the boy and I went to see Water for Elephants. OMG, AMAZING!! YOU HAVE TO GO SEE IT! I have not read the book but plan on reading it this summer. Love love love!!

Random thought: I am watching Pregnant in Heels right now on Bravo.. How cute is Rosie?!

One of Singapore's Best Kept Secrets: NUS MUSEUMS

Forget the overhyped ArtScience Museum at MBS, there's a whole new world to be found at the NUS Museums at Kent Ridge, one of Singapore's best kept secrets. The best part: its totally FREE. My son and I spent a quiet Saturday morning hour at this gem, and had the run of the house as there were no other visitors in sight! Below are some of the current exhibits, which included a salute to the old museums and collections of Malaya, an Indonesian installation art project involving refuse and recycling, a look at a demolished keramet and its longtime shaman, the priceless Ng Eng Teng scupture collection and NUS's famous collection of Chinese antiquities.

Skeletal relics of the Raffles Collection.

Assorted primates.

The Mohamed Din Mohamed collection.

Quotable quotes may be found all around the museum.

The Indonesian installation art project.

The Sufi and the Bearded Man

Panorama of the Ng Eng Teng collection.

Father and Son, by Ng Eng Teng.

The NUS Museum's permanent collection.

The "Shard" Room.