Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting Things Together

Been wondering where I have been? Thank you. I am well just busy with many exciting projects.

Nubian Dreams
The concept is to bring together mature LGBT people of African descent for a monthly event called the Nubian Dreams Lounge. Initially we are only promoting this evening of networking, entertainment and information in NYC but we hope to roll it out in D.C., Philadelphia and London in the near future. Our launch will be held this Sunday from 5pm-10pm at the beautiful Taj Lounge located at 48 W. 21st Street in Chelsea, NYC. Not only have we put together a stellar evening of entertaiment including 4 of NYC's hottest DJ but also an exceptionally talented host and a special guest comedian. We will also be presenting a video presentation for the upcoming Nubian Dreams Cruise. On top of that we are celebrating the birthday of my Nubian Dreams partner, James Saunders. Now as if that isn't enough we managing and marketing....

Nubian Dreams Cruise
This will be a magical cruise to the San Juan, PR, St. Thomas and Tortola sailing from NYC on Oct. 8, 2008. The event will be held on the Carnival Miracle cruise ship with additional programming for our LGBT "Sun Pass" holders which will include; the HBO film festival, seminars, parties on board, a beach party, a party in San Juan, workshops, a talent show and special guest entertainers. Producing these kinds of events can only be successful with the efforts of so many people. Over the last three months we have utilized the skills of a talented web designer, graphic artist and travel agent. We have been able to secure media sponsorships from stellar magazines including; Go Magazine, Clik Magazine, Next Magazine, Bleu Magazine and BGM News. Home Box Office has agreed to sponsor our film festival. We are expecting other sponsors to participate as well. The difficulty in producing events like this is that since we will not have the entire ship we have to negotiate for meeting rooms, dining seating and agressively secure enough cabins to accommodate the late comers. We encourage people to book early and save money but it doesn't always happen that way. We expect a few hundred Nubians to join us on this adventure but all are welcome even kids. Carnival has a kids and young adult program that will keep them busy all the time. Our travel agent Veronica Jimenez is surprised at how fast our cabins are selling. The price of our cabins are currently less than the list price on Carnival and the price continues to rise. We will have to raise the prices again so we are trying to get the message out for people to reserve their space now for as little as $100.00. We will see.

Real Estate
On the real estate front...despite the news in the papers and on TV about the dire state of real estate in general, in NYC, the well priced homes and apartments are still moving. What I am advising people who are looking to purchase is to get pre-approved by a bank first. When they find that home of their dreams they can be assured that they have the money in place to commit. Sellers should make sure they pick the right broker that is going to be honest with them about the state of the market and the pricing of their home. Too often, my fellow brokers will say anything to get the listing and when it doesn't sell they will try and get the owner to reduce the price. Now is not the time to be playing those types of games. At my company Halstead Property, LLC we have our own resident economist that keeps us updated on current trends. Personally when I price a home in addition to my 15 years of experience in real estate I also use the services of an excellent appraiser August Caponi of Oyster Appraisal Group to verify the best price to market the property. As a good broker I will also have a team of attorney's, architech's, photographers and stagers to help my sellers successfully move to their next home quickly. Our international referral network allows me to assist my customers and clients with their real estate needs anywhere in the world. If you have any real estate questions just reach out to me and I will get you the answers you need.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Memories are in the Music - Part I

It's been awhile since the last post. I have lots to tell you but so busy don't get much chance to blog. Here are some thoughts from a series I am writing about music memories. Hope you check out the corresponding links. Until next time, stay safe and warm.

Sylvester - You are My Friend...SF Opera House - March 11, 1979
I remember being so afraid of standing in a music hall with so many gay men I asked the record company to sit me by Two Tons of Fun's Parents. Imagine.

Marvin Gaye - at Radio City with Sister Sledge
Remember coming up from Philly to work with Sister Sledge on the production. I came up with the great idea to have the girls rise up from under the stage. The crowd went bananas for the first show. Guess who came up out of the stage for the second show? I will give you a hint, it wasn't the girls.

Bonnie Raitt - Drinking and having a ball at Clark Hall?
As a concert promoter during my college years I had the pleasure of booking Bonnie Raitt more than once. During those times she was drinking Jack Daniels. What a wonderful person to work with. Even though I was not a big fan of country music she blew me away as she continues too.

Pleasure - the NY - Tusla - SF to Portland trip
I left college to go on a 6 month internship with this soul group. It lasted over a year. Remember going cross country several times in a beatup bus from Boston to Oregon. These were incredible musicians that never got these just due. What a wonderful experience for a young man to have.

Patti Labelle - Look to the Rainbow
After rehab from a horrible car accident a psyciatrist suggested I do something that I really loved. I told him that I always wanted to stage shows and my favorite artist at the time was Patti Labelle. He encouraged me to find her and to show her what I had. Although the odds were against me Patti and her former husband Armstead too a chance on my and my business partner Bruce Stein (RIP). The result was the "Look to the Rainbow" Tour. Thanks Patti

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stuff to Think About

I will be away for 8 days in South America. Until then I thought I would leave you with some things to think about. How kind of me right? LOL. Anyway here goes?
  1. Don't let the Pharmacy kill ya. CNN has an interesting feature everyone should read. In 1985 my Mom dropped dead after getting medicine from a new pharmacy. I couldn't prove it because by the time I got to her house the body has been removed along with the medicine. The bottle was never recovered. How convenient.
  2. On Nov. 2, 2008 American Gangster opens in theaters. I want to see it for the magical performance of Ruby Dee. Maybe they will give her an Oscar for this one. Will you see it?
  3. The Fires of Los Angeles. I was saddened to hear about the fires all over California. It was interesting to see how well FEMA and the State and Feds performed. They said they learned from Katrina. Hmmmm. Better late then never but the question is what are you doing about Katrina now. Will the houses be rebuilt or will they have to wait in line for the Calif to be rebuilt. I am always amazed by the spin. Check out this blog piece on the comparisons. Hold on to your hat cause it sure pissed me off. I am praying for all those that have been displaced and died. All lives are equal even in America.
  4. Hold on to your cash. The real estate market is going through a serious transition right now. There will be many opportunities for those with cash and good credit. Thankfully Manhattan is still doing okay but I feel for many people in other cities. It is a bloodbath out there with foreclosures up everywhere. Don't get too stressed remember what goes up must come down but it always goes back up again. Good credit is going to be the key to everything in the foreseeable future. Check your credit for free.

See you soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just Another Day

Well I have reached the magic number of 50 yesterday. Yeap, that's right. It is hard to believe because I don't feel any different than 10 years ago. How did I celebrate? I didn't. Got lots of calls from well wishers which is always nice but in reality everyday is a birthday for me.

When I wake up each morning I thank God for letting me see another one. I turn on the news to discover that so many people did not wake up. With each day comes a commitment to make my life count in some way. To help someone along my journey. I know it sounds corny but it is what I truely believe. I often wonder why I have made it another day and what I am suppose to do with the time I have left.

During this past week it has been extremely difficult for me to function because of a wicked flu that decended upon me on Tuesday and kept me in bed all week. Today is the first day I actually could get something done. I felt good on Monday when I went for my annual physical. Everything checked out fine but then I took the flu shot. Well, I guess I should have waited because I had the sniffles that day and man once that shot took hold all of the flu kicked in. It is going to be a bad flu season I guess because when I tell you it was a rough week, that is an understatement.

The week ahead....

> If you make between $70,900 and $117,000 a year, there is a great opportunity to buy a 3 bedroom & 2 bath coop in Central Harlem for $505,000. Now for those of you that don't live in NYC you might think that is not a deal but for those of you who do know the real estate market here, that is a steal. Check out the open house tomorrow from 12:00-1:30 at 130 Lenox Ave.

> Also tomorrow a very special event happens at the Park Avenue Christian Church where Rev. Alvin O. Jackson formerly of Memphis, TN and Washington, DC will be installed as the Senior Pastor of this venerable institution. The Reverand James A. Forbes, former Senior Pastor of Riverside Church will be the guest preacher. The installation will begin at 2:30PM

> Come On People - the new book by Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint hits the streets. It has a powerful message for families and communities as they lay out their visions for strengthening America, or for that matter the world. The authors aim to help empower people make the daunting transition from victims to victors. Read it and you decide.

That's it for now. Thanks for all the birthday greetings. Back at ya.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

You wanted to know what is next?

We are proud to announce our next incredible adventure ...

Nubian Dreams Cruise

sailing from New York City to
San Juan, St. Thomas & Tortola
October 8 - 16, 2008
graphics & web design
by Prodigal Sun
visit the website at

Friday, October 12, 2007

What People Are Talking About

* Foreclosure Filings Double From Year Ago
Posted: 2007-10-11 12:01:56
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 11) - Foreclosure filings across the U.S. nearly doubled last month compared with September 2006, as financially strapped homeowners already behind on mortgage payments defaulted on their loans or came closer to losing their homes to foreclosure, a real estate information company said Thursday. Keep in mind this doesn't count in NYC. Click the link above for the full story. Courtesy of

*Retirement Tips for LGBT Community * Westport, CT - Monday, October 1, 2007 - The MetLife Mature Market Institute and the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network (LGAIN) of the American Society on Aging have prepared a list of tips and advice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) baby boomers. Based on the Institute's 2006 study, Out and Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian and Gay Baby Boomers, the first national survey of its kind, this publication will help LGBT individuals prepare for retirement, long-term care, caregiving and other issues related to getting older and providing assistance to others. Click the link above for the full story. Courtesy of

* Updated Sept. 28, 2007 – Managing diabetes may make you feel confinded or that you have to restrict your lifestyle. Don't eat this. Don't eat that. In a positive twist, here are 12 things you can do to live healthier.

1. Do review your treatment plan with your doctor or health care provider at least once a year! Make changes if your plan is not working well. Click the link above to read full story. Courtesy of

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

SmileyBooks Part II

Well the reviews are in on the SmileyBooks event last week it turned out to be one of the hottest events in NYC for the literary world. It seems that this was a unique event of the book world because it merged so many different types of industries in one place. I was happy to be a part of it's success.

<(Photo by Jefry Andres Wright)

In the previous post I talked about the stars that came out that night. For those of you that know me I have to tell the whole truth. Unfortunately I was disappointed by a few people and businesses' that sent in the RSVP to this intimate event but didn't show. More importantly they didn't even bother to call to cancel. Why is this important? The event was limited to 200 very special guests so those that didn't show took a space from many people that would have loved the opportunity to spend time with so many good and notable people. Usher, Whoopi and others had previous engagements and could not attend yet they took the time to call with regrets.

Maybe I am old school but I was brought up to always send my regrets if I had to cancel. The sad thing is that many of the people who I personally invited could have used this event to talk to those who spend thousands of advertising dollars each month on products. They could have pitched there stories to the top literary agents in the business or talked to people like Tavis Smiley or Charlie Rose. What a shame they missed the opportunity and didn't think about the fact that many of them would never be invited to an event of this caliber. Oh well, we tried. Coming off of the Republican Debate on PBS that Tavis Smiley put together where all of the major Republican candidates dissed him and all African Americans, I was totally disgusted by those few African Americans that didn't show or call. For the ones that did call. Thanks for having grace and style. While the buzz on the street has been great for this event, you hardly heard a peep in the media. Again, smart black people don't count I guess. Next week I hear that the Amsterdam News will do a feature. Please let me know if you hear of any other posting.

On a happier note, it was wonderful to receive so many congratulations and warm wishes from many who attended the event. Even from people I didn't know. James Earl Hardy sent a email to me before I got home that night. Thanks James, you show that class and style is not dead.

One final note: If you missed the interview with Ruby Dee, I suggest you try and find someone that has it. It is a rare opportunity to hear the words of this legend in the no holds bar interview with Tavis Smiley. Ruby Dee gave insights on life as an activist, a wife, a mother and an actress. It was simply amazing. Take a look at this sneak peek here or read the transcript from the show.

Thanks it for tonight. Thanks for reading.

Video by: Morris W. O'Kelly - Producer/Editor