On Monday, I got the opportunity to meet the cast of "RADIO GOLF" (www.radiogolfonbroadway.com/) - including Tonya Pinkins and Harry Lennix. I also go the chance to re-connect with my old friend from Atlanta, Kenny Leon, who mentored me along with his then-wife Carol Mitchell-Leon, my speech/theater teacher at Morehouse (by way of Clark Atlanta University). My dear friend Carl Nelson threw this private set on the eve of RADIO GOLF's opening night and programmed it with some lovely treats. In the 5th Avenue home of Loida Lewis, whose welcomed me in several times before (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/3/11/success-is-nothing-without-someone-you-love-to-share-it-with.html), we enjoyed floating champagne and h'orderves. Mrs. Lewis, who statistically may be the richest Filipino outside of her home country, is such a warm, generous, and present host (as seen here in this photo from my last visit to her home). Hot off of her successful run of "Miracle in Rwanda" (www.miracleinrwanda.com/), Mrs. Lewis' daughter Leslie Lewis-Sword served as mistress of ceremonies, which included a rousing performance of "Georgia" from pianist Eric Lewis (www.ericlewisgroove.com), who I went to see recently at Zinc. (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/5/2/happy-birthday-to-yall.html). Additionally, the three artists formerly known as the Three Mo' Tenors (NOW COOK, DIXON, and YOUNG) did an array of classical, Broadway standards, and classic soul with just piano as accompaniment. (www.cookdixonandyoung.com/). In attendance, author Shelly Branch, a Wall Street Journal editor who co-wrote "What Would Jackie Do?: An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living" (Penguin Group (USA). She along with her co-author Sue Callaway take an irreverent, wity, and wry look at how Jackie Kennedy Onassis would have operated in the 21st Century. Wall Street Journal's fashion editor Teri Agins was also there and she and I got to catch up. We met many years ago when I invited her to sit on a panel for the National Association of Black Journalists; and Tony-award-winning LaChanze's sister Michelle is - in her own right - making some big moves inside of event planning via her brand MICHELLE'S PLACE (www.michellesplacelive.com): She's a dear friend and I've written about her before. (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/2/25/my-cup-runneth-over-with-party-invites.html). Our synergy and energy are always intertwined and intertangled since we first met over frozen margaritas at BBQ in 2002. And though we don't talk often, it's always rejuvenating when we do get together. Also, shout out to her friend Blessed, a renowned DJ in the area. He and Michelle drove me to VOYAGE, Anthony's and my favorite West Village restaurant that we discovered together. Anthony's friend Marcos hosts an awesome networking mixer there on Monday nights. His best "Amazing Grace" Manivone met us there as well as Khalid. Along with another of Anthony's Momentum mates Laurencia, we again went to Karaoke (This is getting ridiculous, right? In our defense, we do like the saki! SMILE!). (www.karaoke17.com/) [Meanwhile, check out http://radiogolfonbroadway.com/emails/index.php?e=1508&c=ALC7ASGVFR for tickets, group sales, and other information around special features at "Radio Golf".]
Speaking of saki, Anthony and I got to introduce the cocktail delicacy to our friend Marqise (of Jason & Marqise fame). As you know, they are one of Anthony's and my favorite couples and we hoped Marqise would accept our invitation to dinner at Ginger (www.gingerexpress.com/) since Jason was out of town. Couple-to-couple, we really do support each other as managing relationships and our busy schedules is more than a notion. As I write this blog from Chicago and Anthony navigates New Jersey & New York City without me there (and as I navigate being here in Chicago without him) can sometimes be rough. I know - for him - it's beginning to wear and though we continue to look at ways our overall scenario (and the logistics around them can improve), it's still rough. With that, it's nice - for me - to know that friends like Jason & Marqise will check in on him. It's also nice - as I am out and about - to know that friends are looking out for me -- in Chicago, for example. And ultimately, new possibilities will present more optimum scenarios for us all. On this night, Marqise thanked us for getting him out of the house as we segued from Ginger to Pier 2110 for Anthony's friends Marcos and Robert's Tuesday night networking set. (www.pier2110.com/). This was our swan song with Manivone before she headed back to Denver. We got to see her "Big Willie" (if you will, other than Anthony) Sy, who I had a chance to meet last year when I hosted Manivone one evening before Anthony moved here. He's a creative, sweet, and loving man, who has such a lovely apartment that sits in the heart of Spanish Harlem. It (along with Anthony's nudging) has me thinking about a move to New York City. Of course, we'll have to figure out exactly how that is going to look. I own in New Jersey. How workable is that for the city - whether Brooklyn or Harlem? We'll have to see. But it's a lovely proposition when I see quaint, beautiful spaces like Sy's home.