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    These casual spots for eats and drinks are perfect for lazy summer lunches, with a side of chic.

    buena onda
    PHILADELPHIA Buena Onda Mexican Restaurant

    Iron Chef Jose Garces’s new Baja California- style taqueria is a simple concept, but choosing what to eat can feel complicated. There’s batter-fried or tequila-lime glaze for three types of fish tacos, the house specialty. Even deciding between the three traditional tacos is a difficult. But know the braised chicken with avocado and mexican crema are worth the wait due to madeto- order corn tortillas. The restaurant is almost Chipotle casual, but beer and margaritas—yum, prickly pear—make it a good grown-up stop. 1901 Callowhill St. 215-302-3530.

    marcus bermuda 1BERMUDA Marcus’

    Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem Red Rooster resto is always packed, his four cookbooks fly off shelves and his newest Harlem offering Streetbird is flying high. So, it’s no surprise that as part of a $90 million makeover, Fairmont’s classic Hamilton Princess & Beach Club tapped him to helm a modern open kitchen capturing the island’s Caribbean and Portuguese cuisine. Expect jerk pork belly and Bermudian specialties like fish chowder croquettes. The Darker and Stormier, a spicier spin on the local ginger beer-laced cocktail is sure to be amazing. 76 Pitts Bay Rd. 441-295-3000.

    jug and tableWASHINGTON, D.C. Jug & Table

    The Adams Morgan nabe has inherited a new cozy bar focusing on serving quality, affordable wines and comfort food. Sommelier Theo Rutherford pours 20 varieties by the glass for only $6 to $16 each. Keeping with the wallet-friendly theme, a daily happy hour offers three wines (red, white and sparkling) for $5—cheaper than a sandwich. Speaking of, gooey grilled cheeses are on the menu, using gruyere, goat and Gouda. Add the musical melange from the all-vinyl collection and you’ve got a grape night ahead. 2446 18th St NW. 202-232-7663.

    genuine superette

    NEW YORK CITY Genuine Superette

    This California-style street food emporium is Gotham West Market’s Genuine Roadside’s new sibling. The eclectic menu, designed by an all-star chef cast, features Michelin-starred chef Brad Farmerie’s Cali Shrimp and Grits and brioche panini ice-cream sandwiches courtesy of Sam Mason. Mixologist Eben Freeman’s fresh juices are transformed from day to night. The cucumber, celery and kale-muddled Emerald becomes an Emerald City at dinner when tequila and St. Germain are added. Pretending it’s healthy is part of the fun. 191 Grand St. 646-726-4633.

    – Compiled by Chanize Thorpe

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    emma grede

    For 32-year-old East Londoner Emma Grede, as CEO of ITB, an entertainment marketing and brand development firm with offices in London, NYC and L.A., she often has to straddle the worlds of high fashion and Hollywood, connecting global brands with artistic, celebrity and social properties. (She was responsible for the landmark deal connecting Natalie Portman with Dior.) Now as a busy new mother to a toddler son Grey, Grede tries to find the right balance between work, personal and family life and technology helps her do so. “I have my laptop, iPad and iPhone with me at all times,” she admits. “Technology is so intrinsic to the way that I work.”

    – By Joane Amay

    bose quiet comfort

    Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earphones, $249.95

    “The best noise-cancelling earphones on the market. I take them on every flight.”

    baby ping

    Baby Ping Baby Monitor, $199.99

    “This allows you to check on your baby on your iPhone or iPad from wherever you are in the world.”

    jawbone activity trackerJawbone UP2 Activity Tracker, $99.99

    “This is a sleek-looking device that has made my workouts 10 times more effective.”

    beats mcm pillSpecial Edition Beats x MCM Pill Speaker, Pill Character and Mini MCM Backpack, $399.95

    “A portable speaker that transforms any quiet hotel room and looks super chic too.”

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    Now this is the story all about how Will Smith may bring The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air into the 2000s.

    Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment is reportedly in the early stages of planning a present-day reboot of the hit ’90s sitcom Fresh Prince. Both Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith will executive produces the update.

    The new version will put a modern spin on the story that found Smith’s character go from the streets of Philadelphia to the lap of luxury in Bel-Air with his extended family.

    It would be interesting if the main character of the reboot is related to Will and there are appearances from the original Banks cousins — Hilary, Carlton, and Ashley.

    The project seems to be at the very, very early stage, as NBC president Robert Greenblatt had no idea a reboot was being considered when reporters brought it up Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour. But he said he’s happy to discuss it with Smith. NBC originally aired the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when it ran from 1990-96.

    Now, the cult following of the sitcom has grown thanks to syndication deals with TBS and Viacom Media Networks.

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    Got plans August 16?  Then celebrate National Rum Day with the rest of us.  Easing into Monday will be that much easier with one (or all) of these rum based cocktails.
    Captain Morgan, Chrissy Teigen

    Freaky Teigy
    – Chrissy Teigen

    1.5 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® Pineapple Rum
    1.5 oz. Coconut Water
    1 oz. Club Soda
    Lime Wedge

    Instructions: Fill tall glass with ice. Add Pineapple Rum and coconut water. Top with club soda. Squeeze lime wedge and drop in. Best served in a coconut.

    Zacapa Mid Summer Punch without Bottle
    Midsummer Punch
    -Lynnette Marrero

    *This recipe yields 25 drinks, to be enjoyed with friends
    750 ml Zacapa Rum 23
    1 1/4 cup Ginger Liqueur
    1 quart Hibiscus Tea
    6 cups Fresh Guava Juice
    1 1/4 cups Fresh Lemon Juice
    1 1/4 cups Fresh Pineapple Juice
    1/4 cup Sugar
    3 Lemons, Muddled
    1 Star Fruit for Garnish
    1. Cut the peels of 3 lemons into a 1/2 inch wide spiral with a vegetable peeler.
    2. Muddle the lemon peels and sugar together in a punch bowl and let sit for 90 minutes.
    3. Muddle lemon and sugar again, and stir in fresh lemon juice.
    4. Add Zacapa Rum 23, ginger liqueur, hibiscus tea, fresh guava juice and fresh pineapple juice into punch bowl and stir well.
    5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
    6. Before serving, cut star fruit into 1/4 inch slices.

    Ideal Serving Glass: Punch Glass
    Yield: 25 drinks

    mayan prince

    Mayan Prince
    – CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

    1 oz Malibu
    1 oz Midori
    1 oz white rum
    1 oz fresh pineapple juice
    .5 oz vodka
    .5 oz Curacao
    .5 oz lemon juice

    Add the Malibu, Midori and lemon into a hurricane glass and blend, and then add the remaining ingredients. Garnish with a pineapple slice and cherry and serve.

    the hammond cocktail

    The Hammond
    -Theo Lieberman

    1 oz Santa Teresa “1796” Solera Aged Rum
    1 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
    1 oz Atsby Amberthorn Vermouth
    2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

    Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

    Zacapa Daquiri without Bottle

    Zacapa Rum Daiquiri
    -Lynnette Marrero

    1 1/2 ounces Zacapa Rum 23
    1/2 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
    1 barspoon Caster Sugar
    Lime Wedge for Garnish
    1. Combine Zacapa Rum 23, fresh lime juice and caster sugar into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
    2. Pour contents into a cocktail glass.
    3. Garnish with lime wedge.
    Ideal Serving Glass: Cocktail Glass
    Yield: 1 drink
    -SHORE Restaurant at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort in Curacao

    1.25 Oz Rum
    0.75 Oz Raspberry Oasis Mix
    0.75 Oz Banana Oasis Mix
    0.75 Cranberry Juice
    0.75 Lemon Juice
    0.75 Simple syrup (sugar water)
    A dash of dark rum.
    Mix all ingredients together (except for the dark rum),
    Shake and pour into a tall glass
    Top it off with dark rum
    Garnish with a slice of lime & orange
    Tia Mia
    – Ivy Mix (Leyanda, Brooklyn, NY)


    1 oz Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum
    1 oz Del Maguey Vida mezcal
    3/4 oz lime juice
    1/2 oz toasted almond orgeat
    1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Curacao
    Shake, strain, top with pebble ice, garnish, serve

    Garnish: Mint leaves

    Add all ingredients into a shaker pint. Shake then strain into a rocks glass filled with pebble ice. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

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    Equal rights activist Julian Bond died Saturday, Aug. 15th, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. at the age of 75.

    Last Wednesday, Bond fell ill suddenly from complications related to vascular disease, according to his wife of 24 years, Pamela Horowitz.

    Bond once served as a chairman of the NAACP, and co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He has been a prominent fighter for equal rights and social justice since the 1960s — most recently taking up the cause for marriage equality.

    In a statement released Sunday, President Barack Obama called Bond a “hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend.” He expressed his sympathy for the Bond family and Horowitz:

    “Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life – from his leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP. Michelle and I have benefited from his example, his counsel, and his friendship — and we offer our prayers and sympathies to his wife, Pamela, and his children.”


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    Introducing UPTOWN/Martha’s Vineyard 2015 – your curated guide to what to eat‚ see‚ and do on the island…

    uptown vineyard

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    First trip to #Disneyland!!! #myfirstears. Mummy, this is for you! #d23expo @disneystudios

    A photo posted by Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo) on

    Lupita N’yongo takes her first trip to Disneyland.

    Tisha Campbell Martin and Duane Martin celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary with flashback photo.

    Shamicka Lawrence of the now cancelled series Hollywood Exes vacations in Hawaii with her daughters.

    Marjorie Harvey and her kids at their high school graduation party, just before she and Steve drop them off at college – via private jet.  #goals

    We like to thank everyone 4 going to see N.W.B niggaz wit belly’s!

    A photo posted by Mike Epps (@eppsie) on

    Mike Epps does a different kind of Straight Outta Compton meme.

    Yo what the fuck are they yelling!?!?! 60 million!!! Stay tuned for a video from me thanking you all A photo posted by O’Shea Jackson Jr (@oshea_jackson_jr) on

    O’Shea Jackson Jr., who played his dad Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton, celebrates their opening weekend take of $60M.

    Future on our hip. #ElectricLady #HowardTheatre #EephusTour #WondalandRecords Photo by: @tmo365 Baby: @nylah_k

    A photo posted by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

    Janelle Monáe does a surprise concert at Howard Theatre in D.C. with a super cute sidekick.

    Great to be back in Tokyo with Kaikai Kiki ✌🏾

    A photo posted by Pharrell Williams (@pharrell) on

    Pharrell spends time with some Japanese friends.
    Colby C.

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    A newly-released, behind-the-scenes video shows Hillary Clinton and members of Black Lives Matter getting into a heating confrontation.

    The Aug. 11th video was recorded during a private meeting between the 2016 presidential candidate and the activists, after a campaign event in New Hampshire. The group discussed race, and the conversation quickly turned tense with a member from Black Lives Matter accusing Clinton of “victim blaming, the New York Daily News reports.

    Clinton rejects accusations that her husband Bill Clinton’s policies were racist, in the 10-minute conversation, which is spread over two videos. She also suggests the activists focus on developing policy changes instead of attempting to “change hearts.”

    “Look, I don’t believe you change hearts,” Clinton says in the video. “I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You’re not going to change every heart. You’re not.

    “But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential,” she continues.

    “Your analysis is totally fair. It’s historically fair. It’s psychologically fair. It’s economically fair,” Clinton says at another point. “But you’re going to have to come together as a movement and say, ‘Here’s what we want done about it.'”

    The Black Lives Matter activists didn’t agree with Clinton’s advice.

    “‘If you don’t tell black people what we need to do, then we won’t tell you all what you need to do,” one of the activists says, reports the news outlet.

    “What I mean to say is, this is and has always been a white problem of violence. There’s not much that we can do to stop the violence against us,” he adds.

    Throughout the conversation, Clinton continues to assert that the best way to progress is to change policy. At one point, Clinton couldn’t hold back her typical sarcasm and suggested to one activist that if he can’t help offer policy, she will ask advice from white people.

    “Respectfully, if that is your position, then I will only talk to white people about how we are going to deal with these very real problems,” Clinton says.

    That’s when the activist accuses Clinton of victim blaming. Watch the videos of the confrontation, including Clinton defending her husband’s policies.

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    Winnie Mandela, Mbuso Mandela

    A South African family is accusing Winnie Mandela of attempting to cover up her grandson’s rape of a 15-year-old girl.

    The family says after Mbuso Mandela, 24, raped the teenager in a popular Johannesburg bar bathroom, Winnie Mandela tried to interfere with the police investigation, the New York Daily News reports.

    The Mandela matriarch allegedly sent her bodyguard disguised as a cop to the victim’s home and he allegedly told her the police wouldn’t arrest the alleged rapist.

    The family discovered the “cop” was a fraud when the father asked to see his badge and he didn’t have one, said a spokesperson for the victim’s family.

    Winnie Mandela’s involvement in the apparent cover-up has enraged the victim’s family.

    “Just because they have a famous surname, they think they can get away with crime,” the spokesperson said. “Children can’t just be raped and then everything is alright.”

    Mbuso Mandela, who is one of the late Nelson Mandela’s 17 grandchildren, has been arrested and charged with raping the teen girl and is expected to remain in police custody until at least Friday when he’s had a formal bail hearing.

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    Today, comedian Trevor Noah teased new artwork for his take over as host of The Daily Show starting next month.

    Let’s Go

    A photo posted by Trevor Noah (@trevornoah) on

    In this video teaser for the premiere, Noah prepares us for what to expect now that he’s in the driver’s seat.

    The new season of The Daily Show debuts September 28 at 11/10c on Comedy Central. Will you be tuning in?

    Colby C.

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    uptown september round up

    Next month’s newsstand round up is looking pretty striking, with glossies featuring some of our favorite faces, including Kerry Washington, Beyonce, Amandla Stenberg and more.

    Kerry-Washington-SELF-Magazine-september 2015

    Kerry Washington for Self.

    beyonce-vogue-september 2015

    Beyonce for Vogue. Photographed by . Marc Jacobs dress, $12,000, and coat, $4,800;


    Misty Copeland for Essence. Photographed by Dennis Leupold. Zimmermann dress.


    Ciara for Shape. Photographed by James Macari.


    Imaan Hammam by Marc de Groot for Vogue Netherlands September 2015

    iD willow smith september 2015

    Willow Smith for i-D’s Coming of Age issue. Photographed by Tyrone Lebon. Gucci jacket.  House of Liza crewneck top.

    dazed magazine amandla stenberg september 2015

    Amandla Stenberg for Dazed. Photography by Gregory Harris and styling by Robbie Spencer.

    Colby C.

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  • 08/20/15--06:35: Radar: End of Summer Escapes
  • Considering an end of summer getaway? Here are a few places to lay your head.

    diablo vallely pres-suite

    DIABLO VALLEY Hilton Concord

    Don’t be fooled by the name— there’s nothing devilish about this quaint region just 40 miles from San Francisco’s International Airport. Those visiting the typically expensive Napa will appreciate the sprawling 323-room Hilton’s reasonable rates and its proximity to California’s top wineries Mondavi and Grgich Hills Estate. Naturally, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, Plate & Vine, pours quality vino and serves locally-sourced dishes like roasted beet and burrata salad. The heated outdoor pool and courtyard fi re pits are choice chill-out spots, plus the star-lit sky lends an air of romance, too. 1970 Diamond Blvd. 925-827- 2000.

    buttonwood reserve condos

    BAHAMAS Buttonwood Reserve Condominiums

    There comes a point where a single hotel room can’t cut it for a vacation–traveling families and friends are seeking more space to spread out. One such place to do that is this quiet Eleuthera property’s two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos overlooking the Caribbean Sea. These stylish households sleep up to six comfortably. Not only can the full kitchen be pre-stocked with groceries, the great room (with pull-out couch), dining room and large outdoor patio make guests feel at home. But for a true island escape, hit the beach, ignore the available washer/dryer and hire the personal chef. Governor’s Harbour. 239-482-8173.



    Once the Mondrian SoHo, Buddha Bar’s Gerard Guez and partners rebranded this lower Manhattan luxury hotel. The name is short for “nostalgic + modern” and both vibes exist. The 263 rooms (ask for one above the 15th floor) have 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows providing views of the city’s glittery skyline. Stark white and blue furnishings are a tad Laura Ashley-esque and bring fear of red wine spills, so drink it in Italian restaurant, Serafina. When not celeb spotting in the lobby, a short walk takes you to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and ferry to the Statue of Liberty. 9 Crosby St. 646-218-6400.

    four seasons nevis

    NEVIS Four Seasons Resort Nevis

    The 24-year-old, 5-star Four Seasons has a pole position as the island’s premier resort. A $120 million overhaul transformed it from Caribbean cliché to subtle chic. Lazing on the beach or by the three infinity pools is a popular pastime, but an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II golf course, and 10 tennis courts are onsite, too. Even with such cache, the air is delightfully unstuffy. For fun, hop in a cart to Mango restaurant and pair braised oxtails with one of the bar’s 101 rums. Pinney’s Beach. 869-469-1111.


    NEVADA Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

    Picture a European ski chalet-slash-California resort with the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe your playground. Days outside your fireplace and leather furniture-filled room are packed–on land think hiking, mountain biking and golf; water fun means kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, plus swimming in the hotel’s two saline pools. Hungry? Enjoy blues, brews and bratwurst at the Backyard Bar & BBQ restaurant. However, save dessert for the firepit “Marshmology” class, a lesson on properly roasting s’mores. At 6,000-feet elevation, it’s literally a breathtaking experience. 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Ct. 530-562-3000.

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    St. Louis Police fatally shot Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, when trying to execute a search warrant on Aug. 19th, and then had to turn their attention towards some 150 protesters.

    Police say Ball-Bey pointed a gun at two officers.

    Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters late Wednesday that protesters, who gathered after the shooting of Ball-Bey, threw glass bottles and bricks at the police. The police arrested nine people and deployed tear gas to disperse the protesters.

    NBC NEWS describes the scene in its report:

    On Wednesday afternoon, according to police, two officers were executing a search warrant at a home in a crime-plagued neighborhood when two armed men fled out the back.

    The officers shot Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, after he turned and pointed a gun at them, police said. The second suspect fled, they said. The officers were white; Bell-Bey and the other suspect were black, police said.

    Tensions were already high in the St. Louis area after violence erupted around the anniversary of the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

    Dotson said that four guns, including a handgun that Ball-Bey was carrying, and crack cocaine were found at the home. Another man and a woman who were inside the home were arrested, he said.

    About 150 people gathered in protests near the scene of the shooting. Officers also responded to burglaries near the scene, and a car was set on fire, the police chief said. He blamed the crimes on people seeking “notoriety.”

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    Bullets – what anyone with an Ashely Madison login and password is sweating right now. The recent hack of the cheaters matching site is barreling toward epic levels of embarrassment for the 37 million members whose names were revealed in yesterday’s data leak. On Thursday, hackers calling themselves the “Impact Team” released another 20 gigabytes of data.

    Officials from Ashley Madison and its parent company Avid Live Media have downplayed the initial leak as fake, but hackers made a pointed comment with the release of this latest batch of info, which purportedly include the inbox from Noel Biderman Ashley Madison’s CEO.  A message attached to this latest data dump reads, “Hey Noel, you can admit it’s real now.”

    Social media wasted no time drawing up memes in honor of the occasion.  Here, some of the funniest memes inspired by the Ashley Madison hack.


    ashley madison hack meme beyonce jay z

    ashley madison hack meme lawyers wives be like

    ashley madison hack meme baes sister

    ashley madison hack meme lawrence fishburne


    ashley madison hack meme panda
    ashley madison hack meme lawyers

    ashley madison hack meme sanctity of marriage

    ashley madison hack meme maury


    Colby C.

    0 0 Giveaway

    Summer is not over yet! We’ve teamed with to giveaway ONE (1) $500 gift card to one of our lucky readers!

    To enter:

    • Make sure you’re either following on us on Twitter or Facebook
    • Retweet/Share this post using #UPTOWN500
    • Complete the form below.

    Enter now through Thursday, September 3, 2015 at11:59pm EST for your chance to win! We’ll announce the winner via random drawing September 4, 2015 at 12pm EST.

    Fill out my online form. discount
    You can get up to 50% off with the Labor Day Sale when you book before September 7th for travel through September 21st. Then, tell them about your trip with #TANLINESORITDIDNTHAPPEN., the obvious choice.

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    What happens when police departments across the nation are graded? Forty-seven percent either failed or received a D, according to a new study. That’s right; almost half of Americans hate their police department. But which state and city have the worst police department?

    Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Virginia, and Georgia are among the states ranked highest in the number of people reporting negative perceptions of police.


    Fractl, a marketing company that conducts project case studies, pulled the results from social media by examining over 766,000 tweets regarding the public’s sentiment toward law enforcement in each state. Thirty-seven percent of Americans gave their police department a failing grade, and the national average was a D, according to Fractl’s findings. Thirteen percent of states received C grades, including Texas. However, three cities in Texas — San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth — received F grades when the data was examined city by city.

    Arkansas is the state with the most negative perception of police. The state with the best perception? New Hampshire.


    When Fractl examined perception of police in cities, Columbus, Ohio is the city with the most positive perception. Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago were in the middle with C grades. Ferguson, Mo., which exploded in unrest following the police shooting of Mike Brown, was the most negative. The police departments in Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, New York, and Denver also failed. Baltimore, which has experienced unrest recently, received a D grade.

    Click over to The Root for an expert’s reasoning for such low scores …

    [Image: Shutterstock]

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    Dee Barnes, Michel'le Toussaint, Dr Dre

    Dee Barnes, the journalist who was brutally attacked by Dr. Dre back in 1991 penned a response to the mega music producer’s recent apology for being a former woman beater.

    From Gawker:

    “Bravo, Andre. Humility is true self-knowledge.

    On Friday, the New York Times printed the following statement from Andre “Dr. Dre” Young:

    I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives…Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.

    I hope he meant it. I hope he represents these words in his life. I hope that after all these years, he really is a changed man.

    Dr. Dre has matured, and the women he’s hurt, including myself, have endured. I’m proud to be able to say goodbye to the man who at one point was straight outta fucks to give, as he consistently dismissed and disrespected any mention of his assault history. Goodbye to the man who didn’t deny it and even bragged, “I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing–I just threw her through a door.”

    Goodbye to a general public that accepted these indiscretions without so much as a second thought. When news of the apology broke, my social media feeds were immediately flooded with responses ranging from good to bad to ugly. I saw comments like, “That was the worst apology,” “Fake apology,” and, “He did not have the decency to state your names and do it face to face after all those years—that’s the least he could do.”

    I understand people’s apprehension. The stakes are high now and money talks, loud. Is this is a PR move by Universal, which released Straight Outta Compton? After all, the film just crossed the $100 million mark its second weekend in theaters. Is it damage control by Apple, which can no longer ignore that if you take the “Beats by Dre” logo and remove the “S,” you get a double entendre describing several woman he just apologized to? Is Dre himself really remorseful or just saving face? To me, the answers to these questions matter less than the fact that Dre stepped up and performed his social responsibility by finally taking accountability for his actions. Who cares why he apologized? The point is that he did.”

    R&B singer Michel’le, Dre’s former girlfriend and mother to his eldest son Andre Jr., was less forgiving.  “He’s selling a movie. I just think its good PR at the moment,” she told Up All Night’s Dotun Adebayo on 5Live.

    She recalls times being at the top of the Billboard charts as a Ruthless Records artist, the label NWA was on, and having to hide her wounds so they didn’t show while she was filming music videos.

    “I had to cover two or three black eyes for my videos, and one of the make-up ladies – she said you’ve got to stop letting him beat you.”

    Michel’le reflects, “I thought he cared about me. I didn’t know any better. I just really thought that was what men do, I thought it was a form of love. When I was a little kid we got whipped. It was nothing new to me, I was used to it.”

    But on the matter of apologizing in an open letter, Michel’le isn’t having it nor is she taking Dre seriously.

    “I don’t really think it’s a sincere apology. I didn’t ask for a public apology and I think if he is going to apologize he should do it individually. To just group us like we are nothing and nobody – I just don’t think it’s sincere,” she says, “treat us like we have names.”

    Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

    Colby C.


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    Rae P. Revelle, the president and creative director of Ray Norris Design, specializes in luxury residential design on a worldwide scale. Here, we learn more about this daring designer—who transforms spaces into elegantly edited homes—as she takes us on a tour of an exquisite house she outfitted in Switzerland.

    Photography By Ray Main

    rae revelle 1



    “My core vision for this room was to appoint the living room as a series of places to sit, read and relax, and be as right for a party as for nights in with friends. Plus, this space was well deserving of statement lighting.”

    rae master suite


    “I considered every aspect of the imprint of the space such as the shape, proportions and light coming through before planning what to do with it. The goal was to provide the client with the ultimate comfort zone and design to please all the senses. The clients wanted a sanctuary from the rest of the world— a place to chat, read, lie down and think, rest, sleep and love.”

    rae 4

    “I am always inspired to create beautiful, yet functional, spaces that embrace all of the clients’ dreams for their space. The kitchen is no exception, so we let the light in and keep the walls light. The space is as much for lounging with a laptop or friends as for cooking or eating meals.”


    “This bathroom was one of my absolute favorites as it encompasses everything I love—elegant proportions, an abundance of light, natural materials and a calming color palette of white and gray. The client requested a space that was not overly masculine or feminine.”

    rae kitchen

    Passion Play

    “I am a firm believer in pursuing your passion in life. Unfortunately, my former career as an acquisition manager did not provide enough creative stimulation. As a lifelong lover of interior design and architecture, I made the decision to pursue design. After completing the Interior Architecture and Design program at the Academy of Art University, I started my brand, Ray Norris Design.”

    Inspiration Nation

    “My parents are my inspiration. The name of the company is an homage to my father. He taught me a number of life lessons: namely, to never accept the status quo. Also, he believed in the principle of continuous improvement—to always look for opportunities to learn and grow. These lessons have played an invaluable role in the success of my business.”

    rae living room

    Creative Crush

    “I would be honored to work with Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. Her unique approach of envisioning buildings in different shapes than a box like dynamic formal qualities of sinuously, curving shapes, or crystallized strata is refreshing. I look forward to meeting her!”

    When I Think of Home

    “The number one mistake people make in decorating their homes is to push furniture back all the way to the walls. Oftentimes, this creates a look that is boxy and uniform. My suggestion is to move furniture to the center of the room. Challenge the norm. In fact, sometimes the backs of furniture can be beautiful. Also, a sofa with a console table behind it is a great place to create a gorgeous display of items.”

    Hot Trends

    What’s cool in design right now, according to Rae.

    Mixed Metals

    “Long gone are the days of keeping all the metal in the home the same, mix it up a little. Don’t be afraid to mix gold or brass with your nickel or iron.”


    “Say goodbye to your parents’ or grandparents’ wallpaper. Today’s wallpaper is easier to install and comes in a wide array of colors, textures and digital prints.”


    “Deep, rich colors are very popular in luxurious velvets, silks and linen textiles, but can also be found on the walls in both matte and high gloss lacquer finishes for a dramatic and moody interior.”

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    Sistahs on the Reading Edge napa wine train

    The Napa Valley Wine Train has apologized to the members of a Black women’s book club after the group was booted from a tour over the weekend.  The group, Sistahs on the Reading Edge, were kicked off the train after other customers complained they were making too much noise. A train manager forced them off the train at the St. Helena stop where they were met by police, though no charges were filed.

    Following their ousting, someone from the company posted note about the incident on Facebook, suggesting that the women were being abusive toward staff and customers so that’s why the police were called.  Book club member Debbie Reynolds told KGO-TV,  “At no time were we loud with them. We were direct, and we asked questions, but at no time were we loud with them or inappropriate with them.”

    napa valley wine train facebook post

    The post has since been deleted after it was determined that the note was full of inaccuracies. CEO Anthony “Tony” Giaccio issued an apology for how the situation was handled Wednesday, saying, “The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue. We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests.”

    The apologetic press release continues:

    Giaccio wrote an apology letter to the club saying: “I want to apologize for your experience on the Napa Valley Wine Train on Saturday, Aug. 22. We accept full responsibility for our failures and the entire chain of unfortunate events you experienced.”

    “Clearly, we knew in advance when we booked your party that you would be loud, fun-loving and boisterous—because you told us during the booking process that you wanted a place where your Club could enjoy each other’s company. Somehow that vital information never made it to the appropriate channels and we failed to seat your group where you could enjoy yourself properly and alert our train’s staff that they should expect a particularly vibrant group.

    “We were insensitive when we asked you to depart our train by marching you down the aisle past all the other passengers. While that was the safest route for disembarking, it showed a lack of sensitivity on our part that I did not fully conceive of until you explained the humiliation of the experience and how it impacted you and your fellow Book Club members.

    “We also erred by placing an inaccurate post on our Facebook site that was not reflective of what actually occurred. In the haste to respond to criticism and news inquires, we made a bad situation worse by rushing to answer questions on social media. We quickly removed the inaccurate post, but the harm was done by our erroneous post.

    “In summary, we were acutely insensitive to you and the members of the Book Club. Please accept my apologies for our many mistakes and failures. We pride ourselves on our hospitality and our desire to please our guests on the Napa Valley Wine Train. In this instance, we failed in every measure of the meaning of good service, respect and hospitality.

    “I appreciate your recommendation that our staff, which I believe to be among the best, could use additional cultural diversity and sensitivity training. I pledge to make sure that occurs and I plan to participate myself.

    “As I offered in my conversation with you today, please accept my personal apologies for your experience and the experience of the Book Club members. I would like to invite you and other members to return plus 39 other guests (you can fill an entire car of 50) as my personal guests in a reserved car where you can enjoy yourselves as loudly as you desire.

    “I want to conclude again by offering my apologies for your terrible experience.”

    Images: Sistahs on the Reading Edge, Facebook

    Colby C.

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    Torn by loss and bound for revenge, don’t miss the action-packed thriller Lila & Eve starring Academy Award nominee Viola Davis and Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Lopez. Lila & Eve is available now on Blu-ray and DVD, but you can enter below to win a FREE copy!

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