Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Return of the Wizard: A Video Game Challenge

Calling all gamers:::

3rd Ward's Video Game Challenge will pit you and your friends against each other in high stakes classic video game competition projected onto 10x10 ft. screens with live DJ's. Relive your glory days - minus the grape soda and nagging parents - plus ice cold beers and cash prizes. Each month will feature a new set of games and a new classic platform. From Excite Bike and Zelda, to Mario Kart and NBA Jam. Nintendo thumb is cool again.
Get your game on from 7 PM til midnight tonight at 3rd Ward (195 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn). It's free to attend, $5 to compete.

And if you can't make this one, video-game challenges are every last Tuesday of the month at 3rd Ward.

March Catholic Hadcover Bestsellers

What did you read this past month? According to Publishers Weekly, these were the top sellers for hardcover Catholic books:

1. Rediscovering Catholicism
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing

2. The Wisdom of His Compassion
Joseph F. Girzone. Doubleday

3. Surprised by Hope
N.T. Wright. HarperOne

4. The Dream Manager
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Hyperion

5. Celebration of Discipline 25th Anniversary Edition
Richard Foster. HarperOne

6. The Rhythm of Life
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

7. Catechism of the Catholic Church
Doubleday/USCCB Publishing

8. The Lamb’s Supper
Scott Hahn. Doubleday

9. The Gift of Years
Joan Chittister. BlueBridge

10. The Seven Levels of Intimacy
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

1. Rediscovering Catholicism
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing

2. The Wisdom of His Compassion
Joseph F. Girzone. Doubleday

3. Surprised by Hope
N.T. Wright. HarperOne

4. The Dream Manager
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Hyperion

5. Celebration of Discipline 25th Anniversary Edition
Richard Foster. HarperOne

6. The Rhythm of Life
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

7. Catechism of the Catholic Church
Doubleday/USCCB Publishing

8. The Lamb’s Supper
Scott Hahn. Doubleday

9. The Gift of Years
Joan Chittister. BlueBridge

10. The Seven Levels of Intimacy
Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing/Fireside

7 Minutes in Heaven with Conquest

Conquest's latest album, Outspoken, hits streets today. Though generally falling under the category of Christian hip-hop emcee, Conquest has always been appreciative of various musical genres. With Outspoken he stands with one firm firmly in the hip-hop world but places the other now in the world of rock.

Whether you know him as 'Quest, The Torchbearer, Dreadlock Slimmm, or his given name, Jason Roberts, he is one of the most well-known names in the underground Christian music movement. Originally from Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, Conquest established himself as an artist in Brooklyn before moving to Manassas, Virginia. He'll be back in New York, at least temporarily, during his album tour. Check out his MySpace page for full details and to listen to his music.

Conquest, whom I've known since our days at Xpression Cafe, filled Asphalt Eden in on one of his favorite places in New York among other things.

[album image]

Asphalt Eden: What inspires you?
Conquest: A lot of great musicians, writers and classic albums past or present inspire me ... but right now I would say that artists like Brother Ali, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Mastodon, Ne-yo, Marvin Gaye, Eminem, and Lecrae are among my biggest inspirations.

Asphalt Eden: Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
Conquest: Well as I write this ... there are two people I really miss the most right now... So I would say my girlfriend and my daughter.

Asphalt Eden: If you had to have a portrait of yourself made, what artist would commission?
Conquest: Hmmm... honestly, I would have to say my former girlfriend Alicia... I think she is an amazing sketch artist.

Asphalt Eden: What is your favorite time of day?
Conquest: Anytime I feel closest to God at any given moment ... it is an amazing feeling.

Asphalt Eden: Where in New York is the closest place to your own personal Garden of Eden?
Conquest: Well I'm not in NYC anymore ... but I will say one my favorite spots out there is this park in DUMBO right next to the water.

Asphalt Eden: What's on repeat on your iPod?
Conquest: If I had one ... it would probably be the music I'm writing to for the album

Asphalt Eden: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Conquest: Too many to ask ... but one of them would definitely be "How did you feel to see your son on the cross?"

The Proverbial Empty Manger

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.
~ Proverbs 14:4

Monday, March 30, 2009

Laid Off Mondays at The Delancey

No job? It may not be exactly biblical to drown your sorrows, but The Delancey (168 Delancey) is the place to be tonight if you want to pray to the porcelain god. At midnight, show your proof of unemployment and get a free shot of tequila. The rest of the night there are two-for-one well drinks. Being broke was never so much fun!

Bag Building

Those "THIS IS NOT A PLASTIC BAG" bags are as annoying as ironic tees. Maybe you can make something more clever:::
Made for food-shopping fashionistas and creative environmentalists alike, join non-profit organization, Bags for the People, in a night of custom cotton bag making. You bring the fun and the fabric; we’ll provide the sewing machines, instruction, drinks, snacks and live music. ‘Cause everybody knows plastic is passé.
Tonight at 3rd Ward (195 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn) from 7 to 10.

And if you can't make this one, Bag Building takes place every last Monday of the month.

Texas Can Keep Its Music, We Still Have Our Books


Unfortunately, the first chapter of the Christian Book Expo did not result in the success it deserved for being the first major Christian publishing convention. The three-day event had geared up to greet 15,000-20,000 people but only saw about 1,500 consumer attendees, according to Publishers Weekly.

What was the cause?

Economic? The publishing industry has taken a devastating hit due to the country's financial crisis. Even HarperCollins dropped the Collins of its namesake recently.

Location? Michael Covington graciously wrote in to Asphalt Eden to explain that Dallas was a strategic choice for a location. And while we agree that a Christian expo of any sort probably would meet with better success in the South than in New York City, we can't help but notice that BEA announced it would be staying in New York until 2012.

Timing? Perhaps Texas just couldn't handle two major festivals happening on the same weekend, and SXSW won. Come on, we think authors can be just as cool as musicians!

Technology? Things with flat screens and buttons reign supreme over things made out of paper. Hello, Kindle. Good-bye, paperback.

So, what would get you to go to the next Christian Book Expo?

Journey to a New Location

Maybe it's the economy or something, but it sure does seem like a lot of churches are picking up and moving these days. Yesterday was the Journey's last service at the Manhattan Center. The church had been held there for four years. Beginning this Sunday, Journey will now meet in the Village, like many other churches, and on the UWS:
On Sunday, April 5 (Palm Sunday) The Journey will be moving to 2 new, more convenient locations that will allow us to reach more people for Jesus, to expand our children's ministry and will put The Journey in the heart of two great Manhattan neighborhoods!

JOURNEY-UPPER WEST will meet on Sundays at 10:00am, 11:30am & 1:00pm at Brandeis High School located at 145 W 84th Street (between Columbus & Amsterdam). Take the Red or Blue lines to 86th Street.

JOURNEY-VILLAGE will meet on Sundays at 6:30pm @ PS 41 located at 116 W 11th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues). Take the F,V,A,C,E,1,2,3 or any other train to 14th Street or the L to 6th Avenue.
Which service will you be attending?

Q The Prophet Reveals the Story of "Soul Hustler's Diary"

Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Q The Prophet (Quason Durant) posted his very first blog entry on Facebook last week and it was jam-packed with info on his new album, Soul Hustler's Diary, due out this summer and the start of his own new label, Prophets i Music Group LLC:
This I can consider my first blog entry ever on Face Book. After much complicated situations, life experiences, empty promises by fleshly folks, and God's unfailing love & miracles, Soul Hustler's Diary is ready to be release this Summer. I know you are wondering why didn't I just release it the first time around? My reply; I was following orders of Brook-Island Records who insisted on me putting out an EP first, cause they didn't want me give out too much to the majors, so they can secure a distribution deal. But after 6 months, no distribution deal, aggravation, and breach in contract by the label, which led me and my management to consult an Entertainment Attorney to represent me in getting out of the contract. I'm a free agent now, and longer affiliated with Brook-Island Records. And I would not advise any artist to be involved with them. Those of you that know me, my integrity, my character, and my work ethics, you already know that I'm a kind hearted individual that is very passionate with the gift God has given me. I don't start any trouble with anybody, unless you spark a reason for it.

But on the flip side, this album will be officially released under the new label Prophets i Music Group LLC. Founded by Clever Gemz and myself. After 10 years experience in the game, and establishing connects with folks in the game, I'm confident in God to run a company and be an artist.

PHEW! Now that I've released that from my spirit, let's get into the meat & potatoes behind this long awaited, yet never out dated LP that cats have been pounding on me to put out entitled "Soul Hustler's Diary". I truly admit the times back then that I thought I was ready to put this project out. But some trials would come to slow down the release of the full project. Notice I said, Slow Down, cause I can't be stopped. The enemy can not stop you, but he can only slow you down. But God only allowed it to be so, because He wanted me to expose a bit of myself, and the many experiences that I've encountered; from my childhood to adulthood, rejection by blood relatives to rejection from church folks, bitter pain of a bad relationship with my ex fiance, being called into ministry at an early age and dealing with persecution of doing Rap music in the church. Also my experiences with the music industry and fake A&Rs and execs. But in all these experiences thanks be unto God who've caused me to triumph in Christ continually. As of the title, which is inspired by 2 Corinthians 3:2 & 3; it's expresses how we are living epistles that are written and read in the hearts of men. The old saying that people would always say is, closest thing to a bible that people will ever read is your lifestyle. The best story that you can tell anyone about Jesus Christ in your life, is your testimony of your experience with Him.

This is album is testimonial. It is balanced with Milk for the babes, and meat for the saints. This isn't your ordinary Gospel Hip-Hop or "Holy Hip-Hop" album. This album is very transparent and out of the box, from experiences in Street Ministry and performing in the Clubs. Musical substance not watered down, neither taking away from God. I personally feel that as an artist in ministry, you have to bring your listeners into your world, while you are ministering to them the Word. And creatively get the point across without being redundant. I personally I'm NOT trying to preach to the church or the choir all day. AND MOST CERTAINLY NOT TRYING TO SHOVE CHRIST DOWN THE THROATS OF SINNERS, like some other gospel rap artists, I'm not going to mention any names. There are many dying souls out there that needs deliverance and healing.

Every track on the album is listed as chapters. And these are pages of my life:

Chapter 1 is exactly what it's called. A mini song with a 16 bar verse & hook, briefly describing who I am, and what to expect through out this album. This piece is only a 1 minute and a few seconds.
Produced by Darulah from Shady/Aftermath Records.

Chapter 2: Momma's Only Child - As you all know this song is very soulful. It's only right make this the 2nd chapter, cause after the brief introduction from Chapter 1, I had to bring you back to the beginning. From when I was born, to when I was raised in Church, to when I backslid into the world, my near death experience that brought me back to Christ. But this time, it was relationship and not religion. Produced by my dude Tone 2, formally Just Blaze's Assistant @ Bass Line Studios, home of Rocafella Records.

Chapter 3: Pit to the Palace - Of course this joint is soulful. After coming back to Christ, I faced rejection by folks in my own family. But the most devastating time in my life was dealing with blow of church hurt. In midst of my serving and being faithful to God, I dealt with hatred from my peers and adults in the Church. Though I fell and messed up in Church, instead of being restored in the Spirit of Meekness, I was criticized, ostracized, downsized, etc. At one point I was going to give up on God, and leave. But God snatched me back in and taught me how to stand and endure the adversity. Which God allowed me to overcome and made me to stand. Produced by neoRock of Jah'Rock'n Productions.

Chapter 4: The MisEducation of Quason T. Durant - Another soulful sound. This particular part of the song is more of a venting track. It was a point in my life where I had to learn how to forgive myself. I had to get over the pain folks doubting me and misunderstanding my potential. I'm emptying out in depth pain from my biological dad neglecting me, my former pastors & youth pastor discrediting me, my ex girl aborting my unborn child. The reason for the MisEducation, is because I was caught up in trying to please people, rather than pleasing God. In the midst of this, God was molding me and prepping me to greater works. This is lesson of character molding God was doing in my life, before He launched me into greatness. This joint is well over 100 bars of straight spitting, no hook and no vocalist singing.
Producer unknown, the track was hot, I flowed to it, next minute it's on the album. So will just say I produced it, LOL.

Chapter 5: Leave It Alone - Once again soulful sound, don't you get the connotation "SOUL - SOUL HUSTLER" Get It? The bible says in Amos 3:3; "Can two walk together, accept they be agreed?" Also 2 Corinthians 6:14 declares don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers. This part of the album touches on the major breakup between me and my ex fiance. Also appearing on the song is my dude from the BX City Scholar. This track was actually off of his mixtape Feel Good Movement Vol. 1, hosted by DJ BedTyme 357. The point that I stressed in the song, if anyone in your life is not for you, or for your dreams, leave it and them alone! Produced by the 3 Kings.

Chapter 6: 1 Man Army - This track is very aggressive & gritty. The Word says in 2 Timothy 2:3,4; "Therefore endure hardness as a good soldier. No man that wars are entangled with the affairs of this life..." There comes a point in time in your life, where you have seek the God power within you, to overcome every spiritual opposition that comes to hinder you. This track to me I came off really gangster, from the word play, to my emotions, sharing how Christ was that 1 man army who put His life on the line for the entire world, so that we may have eternal life. I'm inspiring my listeners to think like a 1 man army, whenever testings & trials arise. Because He is an Overcomer, then that makes us Overcomers. Produced by E-nonymous for Enon Beats and All God Entertainment.

Chapter 7: Hustle Like It's Your Last! - If you all remembered my 1st EP Touch & Agree, which had Soul Hustler's Anthem; well this is Soul Hustler's Anthem part 2. This track has a dirty south appeal, more street and more aggressive. Like Jesus had to overcome temptation in the wilderness with the devil in order to walk into His ministry; this is me overcoming all from the previous chapters. And now I'm in ministry as "The Soul Hustler". This is a motivation chapter to the church prompting them in these last and evil days to win souls. Go out and hustle like it's your last for the Kingdom. Produced by Hard Work The Great, formally of the production duo Twinz NY.

Chapter 8: Above Average - The feel of this track is very much a Commercial Club joint, with a radio friendly approach. Featuring LaFonda on the track, this song is more of a motivation encouraging others to think better of themselves in God. Ephesians 3:20 is the motivation behind this song. No more settling in mediocrity, poverty, low or mid class, cause we are a Royal Priesthood. Produced by my business partner Clever Gemz of Clever Gemz Music/Prophets i Music Group LLC.

Chapter 9: L. S. D. (Lust, Sin, Death) - Inspired by James 1:15; this is a story telling joint of young man who got caught up in the drug game, and never lived to see age 25. In my ministry endeavors, I minister to a lot of drug dealers & gang banggers. So this joint is very soulful, yet lyrical and straight to the point. This is giving my evangelistic side talking to the hood, still telling my story. And you have heard this on Touch & Agree, but I'm re releasing this particular one, cause the streets is paying attention to what I have to say. Produced by Daniel Steele of D 1:8 Mindstate Productions.

Chapter 10: Soul Hustler's Ambition - This is the Soul Hustler approaching every music industry facet for a divine purpose to reach the lost at all cost. By simply grinding hard like any other aspiring artist, yet keeping it ministry. If the average rapper who brags about gun clapping, claiming themselves to be a pimp, and glorify in being flashy, then why can't I take the same approach in representing who I truly am...a Christian. I grind like every other rapper out there, with shows, mixtapes, television and radio appearances. I'm ambitious to bring the message in it's true form to the mainstream market. The music is very hood, commercial, and radio friendly. Produced by FranAm of NuBirth Music Group.

Chapter 11: Make Noise - This is one of my favorite songs on the this album. And can be played anywhere, both in Church and in the Clubs. Featuring my long time friends Jason Hendrickson and Doug Sheppard aka D Blessed MC. I love to party! Yes I do; I hadn't stopped dancing I just changed partners. I always was and shall be the life of the party. This is my praise joint on the album. Psalms 100:1 says for us to "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. all ye lands". And Psalms 150:6 says "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord..." Produced by neoRock of Jah'Rock'n Productions.

Chapter 12: Soul Mate - This is another soulful love song on the album. I'm all about promoting positive relationships. Like husband & wife instead of baby mama & baby daddy. Featuring the sultry sound of Ms. Stephcynie Curry, this has a very melodic feel. This can be played at all times. I mean after all, it's a love song. Produced by Justin Goodman of JustGood Music.

Chapter 13: The Song Of Healing - So now that I'm in the fullest of ministry, and going forth I share my testimony to heal those that are going through. This song is very soulful with a worship feel. When I was writing this song, I was going through my own personal turmoil. And God had me to write this, while interceding for those that have a physical disease, to those that experiencing issues that have them at a dis-ease. Healing is the Children's bread. Music was greatly arranged by Lil brother Jaquan McCain aka Yung Diddy & David Dove, which features my older brother Dovon Foster & CTW. Special lead soloists Tiffany Beckles & ED'Drena Miller, which was the icing on the cake. This song will usher you into the presence of God. It was only right to make this the last track on the album. Cause I'm taking my listeners from tragedy into God's triumphant victory in their lives.

This is album is all straight music, no interludes or nothing. A straight well balanced and musically put together album. Musical selection from Hood, to Commercial, to Club, to Church. You name it, I got it!

I'm not going to mention the bonus cuts on here, cause I want you all to appreciate this project. The Supplier is ready for this Summer's Take Over finally into Full Effect. If you all haven't cop the EP of this, you can cop online at Itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, and Emusic for download.

More great news is coming up soon. I have a major meeting next week with somebody who is a well known Philanthropist in the game. Whose name I'm not revealing, until the next blog entry. Thank you all for the love and support. And for riding with the kid on this go round. Let the Hate keep coming, cause you only causing me to elevate. God Bless you all, and until then live your life to your last chapter!!!
Can't wait for Soul Hustler's Diary to drop this summer!

The Proverbial Fool's Talk

A fool's talk brings a rod to his back,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
~ Proverbs 14:3

Friday, March 27, 2009

Broadway Under the Bridge

Who wants to stand in line at the TKTS booth all day? Skip the line and see Broadway Under the Bridge this Sunday, March 29, at 8 PM at Galapagos (16 Main St., Brooklyn):::

Performances by DUMBO's own Ana Gasteyer (SNL, Wicked); Jenn Colella (High Fidelity); Sarah Litzsinger (Beautfy and the Beast); Megan McGinnis (Little Women); Kate Reinder (Wicked); Cathy Trien (Gypsy); Christopher Sloan (Cabaret); Jessica-Snow Wilson (Spelling Bee)

Tickets are $75 and benefit The Brooklyn Young Mother's Collective.

The Proverbial Devious Ways

He whose walk is upright fears the LORD,
but he whose ways are devious despises him.
~ Proverbs 14:2

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Step Right Up

Oh, Britney, look what you've inspired now:::
"Propel-her Dance Collective presents Step Right Up!
A Benefit party for The Balancing Act

Step Right Up and support emerging female dance artists at this circus-themed event.

Enjoy tunes from DJs Oskar Mann and Winslow Porter, a live set from Brooklyn's own Pass Kontrol, live dance performances, and snacks from Hell's Kitchen. Hear from the innovators behind TrustArt.org and enter the raffle to win prizes from Lupa Osteria, Bike the Big Apple, and more. Cash bar, recession friendly ticket prices: $15 advance purchase @ www.propelherdance.com or $20 at the door.

Join the pre-party/pre-show conversation on our blog www.propelherdance.wordpress.com

The Balancing Act will premiere May 28 & 29 at 9pm and May 30 at 8pm at the Merce Cunningham Studio Theater.

Contact propelherdance@gmail.com for tickets.
Step Right Up is tonight at 6:30 at Galapagos (16 Main St., Brooklyn).

TG Park Slope Announces Trips, Conferences, and Retreats

Trinity Grace Church Park Slope has announced several trips, conferences, and retreats:::
SouthCrest Vision and Construction Trip to Brooklyn: April 22-26
Q Conference in Austin, Texas: April 27-29
Spanish River Conference in Florida: May 1-6
Brooklyn Missional Community Retreat to Upstate New York: May 15-17
The church doesn't actually have any Sunday services in Brooklyn yet -- people are encouraged to attend one of the three Trinity Grace services in Manhattan -- so the Park Slope crew is used to traveling.

The Proverbial Architect

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
~ Proverbs 14:1

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dumpling Man's Veggie Dumplings

Over the summer I was at a gallery opening with this artist and we stopped next door to get dumplings before heading out to the next gallery. I have no idea where that was but ever since then I have been craving veggie dumplings. When I saw on 8coupons.com that Dumpling Man had an offer for six dumplings and a beer for $6, I hit the ground running.

Dumpling Man is the perfect end to a night of revelry in the East Village. Located at 100 St. Mark’s Place, between Ave. A and 1st, the restaurant is a block or two away from the insanity that is St. Mark’s Place and therefore a little quieter, a little calmer. The restaurant is small and set up with counters so you can watch the dumplings being made right in front of your very eyes.

The veggie dumplings hit the spot! Tucked inside the hand-wrapped spinach-juice flour wrap were shitake mushrooms, bok choy, tofu, wheat protein, and sesame oil. It did not taste like veggies-in fact, I was rather paranoid that maybe they weren’t-but rather general dumpling goodness. Although you can get them steamed, these babies were seared to make them just crunchy enough on the outside.

The coupon did not specify, but the only beer that came with the coupon was the Tsingtao. Although not generally a beer fan, this Chinese beer was more tangy than weighty and therefore made a good accompaniment to the dumplings.

Conclusion::: This isn’t fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but the coupon makes it a worthwhile stop if you’re in the area.


3rd Ward likes perpetuating the idea that drinking leads to creativity. Every Wednesday at 8 PM, they invite you to head on over to their studios at 195 Morgan Ave. in Brooklyn for an evening of drinking and drawing. For $15 ($10 if you bring a friend), they'll provide you with the beer and the model. You bring your own drawing equipment and alcoholism.

The Proverbial Heart's Content

The righteous eat to their hearts' content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.
~ Proverbs 13:25

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It Takes a Village

As mentioned yesterday, Awakening recently added a second service to their ministry, demonstrating the demand for more church services. Pastor Dennis Minner planted the church in the Village in June 2008 after noticing the lack of churches in the area when he was visiting New York from Missouri. Likewise, in October 2008 Pastors Steve Wolma and Ben Spalink, both not originally from New York, planted City Grace in the Village, though they originally had their eyes on the Financial Disctrict.

It's interesting to see the out-of-state pastors choosing to grow church communities in Greenwich Village. There are actually several churches in the area already. Among them are:

The Village Church
First Presbyterian Church
Church of the Ascension
Judson Memorial Church
University Parish of St. Joseph
Church of St. Luke's in the Field
Our Lady of Pompeii

Is it possible that pastors perceive the need for churches in Greenwich Village because of its bohemian history? Does the Village make a good setting for churches because it is more community oriented with its neighborhood feel and close proximity to NYU?

What areas of New York City do you feel need more churches?


Night should be hyperbolic. And it will be if you spend it at Memefactory:::
What do you get when you combine a lecture, vaudeville and Double Dare? Memefactory! Three gentlemen with five computers and three projectors take the audience on a fast-paced, whirlwind tour of every major Internet meme, famous piece of Internet media and YouTube footage imaginable. The modus is not depth, but breadth, and constant audience participation is required. Over the course of the evening, the audience will produce an entry for every internet phenomenon possible, including but not limited to: LOLCats, Bouncing GIFs, Me Singing [blank], Reaction Videos, Folk Covers of Hip Hop Classics, FAILs, Redubbed music videos, and more. Some will become famous like Boxxy, most will drink beers and a brave few will bare it all.
Where else but 3rd Ward (195 Morgan Ave., Brooklyn)? Free tonight from 7 to 9 PM.

The Proverbial Sparer of the Rod

He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
~ Proverbs 13:24

Monday, March 23, 2009

Awakening Adds Morning Service

The Awakening Church debuted its morning service this past weekend. On March 22, the new 10:30 am service met at AMC Loews Village 7 at 66 3rd Ave. (at E 11th St.). The church also has a 6:30 pm service on Sundays at 115 MacDougal St.

At both of the services there is "experiential worship" under the direction of musician Ian Heikel. New artists are also featured every week. Among the upcoming performers is singer songwriter Matthew Brookshire on April 19.

Awakening was established just this past June, after Pastor Dennis Minner had been ordained in March 2008. It is geared towards "those tired of playing church. It is a church for those that want to be the church. It is a place where people can come as they are and also who they are." As such, it is essentially a non-denominational church with ties to the baptist church: "We basically run as many think we are, an independant [sic] Church. Our basic faith and guidlines [sic] are in line with the General Baptist Denomination which also funds and supports us. It is a denomination that is generally known throughout the Midwest but has spread to California, Florida, South Carolina and now, New York City."

Given Awakening began a morning service a year into their ministry, does that mean that evening services are more popular these days or that the congregation wanted a more traditional meeting time?

Redeemer Musical Theatre Singers Fellowship Tonight

Give your regards to Broadway, and join other musical theatre performers for a night of worship. An accompanist will be on hand so be prepared to sing. The Redeemer Musical Theatre Singers group will meet on the Upper West Side at 7 PM tonight. For more information contact Kristen (kristen@redeemer.com).

Trinity Grace Cancels UWS Service

So, who showed up to church yesterday only to find out it was canceled? If you attend Trinity Grace's Upper West Side service, it's possible you were left stranded at church. Only about an hour before the 10:30 am service was supposed to begin did the church administrators discover that they would have to cancel their regularly scheduled service. Service is supposed to resume as scheduled next Sunday.

According to Pastor Jon Tyson's email at 9:40 AM on Sunday, the service was canceled "due to a problem at Emily Dickinson School," where the church holds its services. A phone call from one of the leaders in the church revealed that the service had to be canceled because the hired security guards did not show up or respond to calls about their whereabouts. Because the church holds its services in a school they are responsible for hiring security guards as a precautionary measure for the school and those who use it during the week.

A flurry of emails, phone calls, and text messages went out to alert the congregation. Missional community leaders were instructed to tell all the people they could think of that the service was canceled for that day and to tell those people to tell their friends so that everyone in the congregation would know that the service was canceled.

How did this viral communication work out? Is everyone at Trinity Grace so tightly interconnected to the community that they all received multiple phone calls and text messages that the UWS service had been canceled or did some people unwittingly show up for the service?

The Proverbial Poor Man's Field

A poor man's field may produce abundant food,
but injustice sweeps it away.
~ Proverbs 13:23

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wine and Cheese Party ... at a Church!

Remember when it was a sin to drink? When Communion was only grape juice lest someone be led astray by the evils of wine? Well, these days it seems more churches are taking Noah's and Paul's approach to wine and serving it at social functions.

One such church is North Brooklyn Vineyard, who is hosting a Wine & Cheese Party on March 27:

Note the RSVP by today.

Of course, a wine-and-cheese party isn't all that shocking from a church with the motto "Breaking the Stereotype" that meets in a bar. They're not the only church hosting events like this, though. For last week's Ashley Jones CD release party, City Grace served wine and Murray's Cheese, among other tasty morsels.

What are your thoughts on serving alcohol at church?

Indie Movie Night: Outsourced

It's Indie Movie Night this Sunday at City Grace. The night's featured presentation: Outsourced, a timely story of a guy whose job has just been outsourced to India. The movie will be screened at City Grace's 219 Sullivan Street location a little bit after 7:00 PM. No tickets are required and admission is free.

As if finding out losing his job wasn't enough, Todd Anderson (played by Josh Hamilton) has to go to India to train his replacement. Without giving to much away, let's just say this is a comedy about cross-cultural relationships.

After the movie there will be a discussion about the movie and the complex issues it brings up.

Last month City Grace showed Little Miss Sunshine.

Opera Grows in Brooklyn

Opera Grows in Brooklyn ... more specifically, Opera Grows at Galapagos Art Space (16 Main St., Brooklyn):::

Love / Hate
American Opera Projects presents scenes from new opera in development Music by Jack Perla Libretto by Rob Bailis Performed by students from the Manhattan School of Music Musical Director, Silas Huff Stage Director, Caren France Piano, Mila Henry More info on Love / Hate: http://www.operaprojects.org/lovehate.htm

Opera on Tap presents scenes from new opera in development
Music and Libretto by Christopher Berg
Performed by Anne Ricci, Jessica Miller-Rauch, Matt Curran, Erika Hennings
Musical Director, Christopher Berg
Stage Director, Christopher Carter Sanderson
Piano, Christopher Berg
More info on Cymbeline: http://www.operaontap.com/

G Train the Musical
Remarkable Theater Brigade presents scenes from new musical
Music and Lyrics by Christian McLeer
Book by Dan Jeselsohn, Monica Harte & Christian McLeer
Performed by Julia Amisano, Chas Elliott, Monica Harte, David Schnell & Kevin Ginter
Musical Director, Christian McLeer
Stage Director, Monica Harte
More info on G Train the Musical: http://remarkabletheaterbrigade.com/productionspast.htm#g_train

Presented by Opera on Tap, American Opera Projects, and The Remarkable Theater Brigade, Opera Grows in Brooklyn is tonight at 8 PM. Tickets are $20.

Go on, get cultured.

Porn Weekend Has Arrived

You've been breathless with anticipation, and now Porn Weekend at the Journey has arrived. As a reminder, details are here.

The Proverbial Inheritance

A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children,
but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.
~ Proverbs 13:22

Thursday, March 19, 2009

7 Minutes in Heaven with Ashley Jones

Last year Ashley Jones' To Feel Alive Around Here was placed on the Official Ballot for the 2008 Grammy Awards. Now she's back with a brand-new album full of inspiration. Her Songs About Falling released last week at an enthusiastic release party. If you weren't able to make it to the party, you can buy a copy of the album here and catch her playing live at The Haven and City Grace. The busy musician, who is an independent artist in World Vision's Artist Associate Program, took time out of her schedule to answer a few questions.

Asphalt Eden: What inspires you?
Ashley Jones: People, relationships, everyday stuff, extraordinary stuff...it's all pretty inspiring.

Asphalt Eden: Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
Ashley Jones: Someone who knows how to build a boat :)

Asphalt Eden: If you had to have a portrait of yourself made, what artist would commission?
Ashley Jones: Any artist? Dead or alive? Caravaggio ... every time I see one of his paintings I'm drawn in by the way he balances the light and the darkness -- and I think I'd need a little of both in my portrait.

Asphalt Eden: What is your favorite time of day?
Ashley Jones: I'm not a morning person but I love the sunlight in the earliest part of the day.

Asphalt Eden: Where in New York is the closest place to your own personal Garden of Eden?
Ashley Jones: I love Bryant Park in the summer when they play movies on the lawn. You're surrounded by people, surrounded by trees, surrounded by skyscrapers.

Asphalt Eden: What's on repeat on your iPod?
Ashley Jones: I [am] more of a fan of the shuffle... This morning I rode the subway to Trace Bundy's album, Adapt. It's all instrumental acoustic guitar -- makes a pretty great soundtrack for the daily commute.
Asphalt Eden: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Ashley Jones: Just one? Hmm... Where should I be headed next?

Spring Salon Preview

Tonight there will be a special Spring Salon Preview hosted by Curious Frog Theatre Company and Opera Singers Initiative at NY Studio Gallery in Manhattan (154 Stanton St.). According to Shaun Bennet Wilson, who will be playing Juliet in two preview scenes from CFTC's upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet:
[T]here will be several (I'm told they're incredible) operatic pieces from Opera Singers Initiative, a preview of CFTC's upcoming production of True West (with a "non-traditional" cast), modern dance, orchestral music (featuring a beautiful solo piece for the cello) free wine, free gourmet food (Tapas, et al), and more creative things to make your art loving hearts tingle. We've got a little something for everyone!!!
It sure sounds like quite an evening from the Curious Frog's description:
Everybody loves a party. We hear you. The Spring Preview wouldn’t be much of a shindig without a little food and drink. Not to worry. Curious Frog knows how to make merry. Just ask anybody who came to our benefit for Much Ado About Nothing last fall, where between songs, musician Mark Pires did impressions of Christopher Walken playing Hamlet. Yep. The wine was that good. Need we say more?

The show begins at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $35, but there will be "Hugely discounted rush tickets available 20 minutes before the show begins!!" The proceeds will go toward producing True West at a found space in Manhattan in the spring. Romeo and Juliet will play in August and September as part of Shakespeare in the Park.

Both the Curious Frog and the Opera Singers Initiative work toward broadening the experience of the arts.

Curious Frog:

Curious Frog's mission is to present new, modern and classical works with the goal of showing a new, multicultural perspective through non-traditional casting that does not hinder understanding or believing a work, but rather enhances the work in an innovative manner and fosters fresh perceptions.

Opera Singers Initiative:

The mission of Opera Singers Initiative is to provide educational services and financial support to young opera singers while increasing the public's interest in opera and classical music through the following through career development, funding and performance opportunities.

Before watching Romeo and Juliet, you may want to read the chapter "The Gospel of Jesus: Why William Shakespeare was a Prophet" in Donald Miller's Searching for God Knows What, which is reprinted here. Miller beautifully explains God and love through Shakespeare's play.

Legal Fellowship Meets for Breakfast Today

When a lawyer is on a case, they work day and night to research and build their case for when they go to trail. Sometimes there's not much time left in the day for anything else. Redeemer, therefore, centers its legal fellowship around breakfast, allowing for busy professionals to start their day off with a little perspective. Redeemer's Legal Fellowship meets for breakfast this morning from 8 to 9 AM at the Redeemer Offices (1359 Broadway, 4th Fl.).

Redeemer's Legal Fellowship meets on the third Thursday of each month.

The Proverbial Pursued Sinner

Misfortune pursues the sinner,
but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.
~ Proverbs 13:21

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not Quite a Proverbs 31 Woman Cooks Stroganoff

Beautiful mushrooms in the Farmers Market inspired me to make Stroganoff over the weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't grab them when I saw them, and the farmers had already packed up their veggies by the time I got back at the end of the day. I ended up having to purchase overly expensive, non-organic, non-local 'shrooms from the grocery stores on my block. Lesson learned: buy 'em when I see 'em. Still, it ended up being a rather tasty and easy meal, with plenty of leftovers.

I ran the baby bellas and standard white mushrooms under water while I cut up onion and garlic. As the onion and garlic were frying with some margarine, I sliced the mushrooms and when I remembered I stirred the mixture in the frying pan Started a big pot full of water.

Tossed the sliced mushrooms into the frying pan. Stirred. Violently struggled to open bottle of cheap white wine. Added wine, garlic powder (you can never have too much garlic!), red pepper flakes, and black pepper to the frying pan. Stirred.

Dropped the egg noodles onto the floor while opening the bag. Put the salvaged noodles into the boiling pot of water. Stirred.

Poured a glass of wine for myself. Yuck! Even Two-Buck Chuck* woulda been better than this sickeningly sweet stuff.

Added a couple spoonfuls of 0% fat Fage yogurt to the frying mushroom mixture and stirred. Mmm... I love Fage yogurt. Sroganoff actually calls for sour cream, but yogurt saves calories.

Egg noodles had been cooking about 10 or 15 minutes, or however long it took to open that bottle of wine. Strained the noodles. Put them back in the pot. Gave a final stir to the mushrooms, then tossed them into the pot with the noodles. Stirred thoroughly.

Put mixture into bowels for me and my test subject. Sat down in front of the computer, said grace, started a rerun of "The Office," and pigged out.

What I learned::: Listen when people say to go to the Farmers Market early. Buying wine that can be cooked and drank is economical, but only if the wine is actually drinkable. Adding lots of margarine and yogurt makes any meal tastier.

* It costs a dollar more here in New York.


3rd Ward likes perpetuating the idea that drinking leads to creativity. Every Wednesday at 8 PM, they invite you to head on over to their studios at 195 Morgan Ave. in Brooklyn for an evening of drinking and drawing. For $15 ($10 if you bring a friend), they'll provide you with the beer and the model. You bring your own drawing equipment and alcoholism.

Redeemer Writers Group Meets Tonight

Grab your pen and notebook and head on over to the Redeemer Offices (1359 Broadway, 4th Floor) for an evening of literary delights. The Writers Group meets tonight at 7:00 PM to discuss writers' works-in-progress and offer encouragement and guidance on each other's works. All are welcome to attend.

The Proverbial Walker

He who walks with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
~ Proverbs 13:20

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prayer in the Square Date Set

The date for the next Prayer in the Square has now been announced. It will be September 20 from 3 to 4 PM in Times Square. This is the third Prayer in the Square and may be the last. Pastor Carter Conlon said:::
This will be the third and possibly the final year for Prayer in the Square. The Lord called us to host, fund and organize this event for the last three years. He told us that the first year would establish credibility with the city, and we have received positive feedback from various city agencies, including the office of the Mayor himself, commending us for honesty, order, and keeping our word.

The second year confirmed to local churches that this was not the beginning of some new ministry but rather a gathering for the sole purpose of one hour of prayer, in humility, with all denominations represented and no personalities or ministry showcased. Those who have attended can attest to the fact that this has been so. Everything has unfolded exactly as the Lord impressed upon our hearts it would.

This year Prayer in the Square will be what the call has been about from the beginning. In prayer three years ago, we felt that 2009 would be a time of great distress for our city and country. However, our hope is in the fact that God has called us to gather to pray in our time of need. I do not believe that He would have called us to gather in such a place and at such a time if He had not planned to answer our prayer. I expect something spiritually profound to happen this year.
Have you been to Prayer in the Square in the past? Do you want to see it continue in years to come?

The Proverbial Fulfilled Longing

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.
~ Proverbs 13:19

Monday, March 16, 2009

Brooklyn Songwriters Exchange CD Release Party

Brooklyn Songwriters Exchange kicks it up a notch tonight with a full band EP release show for Rebecca Pronsky. Jenn Clappp and Ethan Lipton will also be at the Union Hall (702 Union St., Brooklyn) concert. The fun is free and starts at 7:30 PM, with Pronsky going on around 9:30.

NBC Drama Takes a Modern Look at the Old Testament

"Kings," a new series about King David, premiered last night on NBC. To drum up intrigue, NBC created a newspaper-like website called UNN Reports.

You can watch previews and behind-the-scene footage on NBC.

Here's what the Times said. What did you think of this modern retelling of the Old Testament?

Pictures from the Cops vs. Clowns Bike Ride and Pie Fight

On Saturday, Times Up! staged a Cops vs. Clowns Bike Ride and Pie Fight to raise awareness about bicycle safety. The event culminated in a crowd-gathering pie fight in Astor Place.

The Proverbial Ignorer of Discipline

He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored.
~ Proverbs 13:18

Friday, March 13, 2009

CityLight Celebrates Its 7th Anniversary with a St. Patrick's Theme Party

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day a few days early with CityLight Church:
Join us for our St. Patricks themed Seven Year Anniversary Party!
Get out your clogs, and your green wigs and prepare to kiss the Blarney Stone as you arrive (Kissing the stone is said to give you the gift of gab.. evidently most CityLighters already have their own Blarney Stone hidden somewhere.)! Lots of food, fun, and just a bit o' celebration of our seven year success!
The party, which is free, starts goes from 7 to "10ish" this Saturday. It will be at the former CityLight Church location, at 121 E. 7th Street.

Abstract Painter Emanuele Cacciatore Speaks at InterArts Fellowship

Abstract painter Emanuele Cacciatore comes to Redeemer's InterArts Fellowship fellowship tonight. In addition to showing his artwork, he will speak on the artist's intent and the viewer's perception. InterArts Fellowship will meet at the Redeemer Offices (1359 Broadway, 4th Fl.) at 7:00 PM.

"Only rarely does a young painter ignite the canvas with enough, insight, passion, and authority to readily persuade us with his vision," said ARTnews of Cacciatore.

[image of Emanuele Cacciatore's painting Swig]

Cops vs. Clowns for a Bike Ride and Pie Fight

Beware the Ides—scratch that—Pies of March! Tomorrow clowns on bikes will ride around the city to draw attention to the need for better enforcement of traffic laws. The festivities will end with a pie fight in Astor Place.

Cars and trucks in bike lanes—Homey don’t play that. Cyclist safety is no laughing matter. The Bike Clown Brigade will be cycling through Manhattan tomorrow, doling out the parking tickets that they believe the NYPD should be handing out.

NYC traffic law Section 4–08 (e) prohibits standing, stopping, and parking in bike lanes. A violation of this law carries a $115 fine. And yet:

In 2000, motor vehicles injured about 4,000 cyclists and killed between 15 and 20.

In 2005, 24 cyclists were killed.

In 2006, between 11 and 14 cyclists were killed.

In 2007, 27 cyclists and 100 pedestrians were killed.

And these are just the numbers for those killed by motor vehicles in New York.

Times Up! encourages you to help raise awareness by dressing up as a clown or a cop and meeting at the big tree near the 7th Street entrance of Tompkins Square Park at 1:30 pm. The bike ride will begin at 2:30.

At 3:30 the clowns will tumble onto Astor Place for a madcap pie fight!


Sketchbook Project Tour Stops for One Night in Brooklyn

A while back Atlanta’s Art House Gallery had an open call for artists across the country to fill Moleskine® sketchbooks with sketches and then send them in for a mobile exhibition. Finally--finally!--the tour is stopping in New York. Tonight, from 7 to 10, the Sketchbook Project Tour stops at Brooklyn's 3rd Ward (195 Morgan Ave.).

Songs About Falling CD Release Party

Ashley Jones' CD release party for Songs About Falling will take place tomorrow evening at 7:30 PM. Ashley Jones, as well as Cory Cavin & Josh Lay (Lynn Lynn Comedy), will perform live. Food and drinks will be available. Sponsored by City Grace, the event will take place at 219 Sullivan Street (Children's Aid Society). Admission is free and open to the general public.

The Christian Connection and YAGU will be attending. Will you?

Coming up...
Check back next week for our exclusive interview with Ashley Jones!

In the meantime, you may also be interested in this previous article about Ashley Jones.

New Men's Sexual Abuse Support Group Starts Today

A new support group for men dealing with sexual abuse will begin today. The closed group has already been filled for the seven-week spring 2009 semester, but a new group is forming. The support group is run through Redeemer and will cover such topics as:
The definitions of abuse
Damage to the developing person
Secondary and long term damage
Memory and concentration
Forgiveness and confrontation
Healing from hurt
Risk management and safe environment
Compassionate and responsible policies
For more information on the Men's Sexual Abuse Support Group, visit the Redeemer website specifically devoted to this topic.

Redeemer also offers a Men's Sexual Addiction Recovery Support Group, a Women's Sexual Abuse Support Group, and a Women's Sexual Addiction Recovery Support Group.

Woman to Woman Talk

Riverside Church is celebrating women's month by bringing in a gynecology prof. to talk to the ladies:
Yvonne Thornton, M.D., who is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at New York Medical College will talk to us Woman to Woman. A question and answer period will follow her talk. Dr. Thornton is the author of two books: The Ditchdigger's Daughter and Woman to Woman.

This takes place at 1:00 PM this Sunday, at the same time as the forum "Talking God's Justice." So while the men discuss immigration policies, the women will be over in room 9T (490 Riverside Drive) talking about their periods and stuff.

Talking God's Justice

Riverside Church will hold a forum on immigration called "Talking God's Justice" on Sunday, March 15. The event will take place at 1:00 PM in MLK room 430 of the church, which is located at 490 Riverside Drive:
Our Biblical imperative is clear. We are called to action on behalf of the "foreigner living in our land." Many Riversiders have already answered that call through personal visits, educational pew cards, political advocacy and prayer. What is God calling you to do?

Sponsored by Global Justice and Peace Ministry. Speakers include following immigration organizations;

Carol Fouke-Mpoyo - Sojourners Ministry
Juan Carlos Ruiz - New Sanctuary Coalition - NYC
Ms. Janis Rosheuvel - Families for Freedom
Rev. Richard Witt - Rural and Migrant Ministries

Finally, Rev. Bob Coleman, Susan Wersan and Joya Colon will lead us from "Talking" God's Justice to "Walking" God's Justice with opportunities for ministry, advocacy and shaping legislative policy.
Light refreshments will be served.

The Proverbial Wicked Messenger

A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
~ Proverbs 13:17

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nerd Nite at Galapagos

Here's what's happening at this month's Nerd Nite at Galapagos:
This March 2009 edition of Nerd Nite features Ben Bartelle of NYU discussing Genetic Engineering in Humans (less creepy than you might think), Mike Liss talking about Messing with the Chinese Government at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Kerry P Donny-Clark talking a whole lot about cancer. But not in a depressing way.
The event costs $7; tickets available here. The meeting begins at 9 PM at Galapagos Art Space (16 Main St., Brooklyn).

7 Minutes in Heaven with Susan Isaacs

You're going to get to spend a lot more than seven minutes in heaven with Susan Isaacs soon. After all, her new book Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir comes out today, and it's unlikely you'll be able to put it down once you start reading it.

This comic memoir tells the story of what happens when Susan feels her relationship with God isn't what it should be and takes God to couples therapy. Feeling like a neglected spouse, she begins nagging God about her struggling career as an actress and lack of a husband.

Susan, who works with me at Burnside Writers Collective, was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to give Asphalt Eden an exclusive interview.

Asphalt Eden: What inspires you?
Susan Isaacs: Vulnerability, honesty, irreverent humor, intelligence, a willingness to look stupid or be unpopular. I love big stories with big issues at stake, like The Lord of the Rings. Or smaller stories with big things at stake for the character: like in the movie "Millions." It's no wonder "Slumdog Millionaire" just swept the Golden Globes. It's a big story! Yes it's a love story and a fantasy, but it's set in a very dark and dreary universe. Still the love and innocence of it triumph. I can't imagine a film like that being set in America. We live comfortable lives, we've insulated ourselves from Big Issues because we live lives that only get a little better or a little worse. Maybe if America does experience another Great Depression, we'll get back in touch with what's really important in life.

Asphalt Eden: Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
Susan Isaacs: Eddie Izzard, Jesus, N. T. Wright, Saint Peter, Monty Python. And of course my husband. I can't go anywhere without him.

Asphalt Eden: If you had to have a portrait of yourself made, what artist would commission?
Susan Isaacs: Rats, I don't know my visual artists enough to answer that. I would say Mako [Fujimura] but the painting would be a splash of gold paint and some film strips. And a clown head. OK Mako, go to it!

Asphalt Eden: What is your favorite time of day?
Susan Isaacs: For inspiration: Late afternoon before twilight. For work: late night at 1am when all the world is asleep and my "To Do" list has been done or can't be done until tomorrow. That's when my creative energy kicks in and I think about the things I've pushed below the surface. (you'll see I wrote this at 12:45am)

Asphalt Eden: Where in New York is the closest place to your own personal Garden of Eden?
Susan Isaacs: The Hudson River Boat basin on a late afternoon in October.

Asphalt Eden: What's on repeat on your iPod?
Susan Isaacs: "Something Changed" by Sara Groves, "I Want To Be A Clone" by Steve Taylor; "Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," by Ralph Vaughn Williams; the theme from "Jupiter" by Gustav Holst. Get Back from the Beatles "LOVE" show. "Visions of Johanna" by Bob Dylan, "Phantom Limb" by the Shins, "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2.

Asphalt Eden: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
Susan Isaacs: "What took you so long?" Or maybe, "What took ME so long?"

The Fray's "How To Save a Life" Must Be Playing

You're supposed to be learning how to save lives, but sometimes it feels like med school will kill you. Get together with other PhD and EdD students and recent post-docs for fellowship. Over food, talk about Biblical decision-making in the medical ward. Redeemer's PhD Students Group meets today at 7:00 PM at the Redeemer Offices (1359 Broadway, 4th Fl.).

The Proverbial Exposed Folly

Every prudent man acts out of knowledge,
but a fool exposes his folly.
~ Proverbs 13:16

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eat Chocolate, Help Farmers in Ghana

Though the Mast Brothers have a current stronghold on the blogosphere with their beautifully wrapped Brooklyn-made chocolate bars, another deserving chocolatier has also recently entered the New York scene. Divine Chocolate, previously only available overseas, opened in DC in 2006 and is now available at grocery stores and health-food markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

What makes Divine Chocolate an important addition to the chocolate scene is the company's fair-trade, farmer-friendly, eco-sensitive policies. A "pioneer in the world of socially responsible enterprise," Divine puts the power back in the hands of the farmers in Ghana, instead of the government's.

The income that comes from the sale of cocoa goes toward building schools, medical clinics, and wells. The company also cultivates feminism, as it enables women to earn money. Investors and support for the company include The Body Shop, Twin Trading, Comic Relief, Christian Aid, Lutheran World Relief, Oikocredit, and SERRV International.

You can read more about the story of the Kuapa Kokoo farmers' co-op that own a third of Divine Chocolate in the US here.

There are an assortment of Divine chocolate bars. In addition to the standard milk chocolate, there are such treats as White Chocolate with Strawberries and Dark Chocolate with Mint.

Participating retailers in New York include:

Bell Bates, Blue Marble Ice Cream, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, Commodities, East Side Health, Flatbush Food Cooperative, Food Emporium, Food for Health, Health Nuts, Healthfully Organic Market, Kitchen Market, Natural Frontier, Natural Green Market, New York Naturals, Park Natural, Park Slope Co-op, Perelandra Natural Food Center, Westerly Natural Market, and Whole Foods

For addresses and more locations, visit their website.


3rd Ward likes perpetuating the idea that drinking leads to creativity. Every Wednesday at 8 PM, they invite you to head on over to their studios at 195 Morgan Ave. in Brooklyn for an evening of drinking and drawing. For $15 ($10 if you bring a friend), they'll provide you with the beer and the model. You bring your own drawing equipment and alcoholism.