James Domingo: Erasing The Myth of Superiority

Photograph of beautiful and stylish African American woman
Celebrating Antoinette. AKA: Scorpiana. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by James Domingo, Copyright 2024

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Erasing The Myth of Superiority

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The 2024 election cycle may prove to be one of the most important in our country’s centuries old experiment with Democracy. 

As we wind down this Black History Month, there is always reason to celebrate the rich culture and contributions that Black Americans have woven into the fabric of America. 

Unfortunately, aside from the vast contributions of incredible music, art, literature and amazing cuisine, many other accomplishments have been purposely diminished and whitewashed from the history books by those who would prefer not to acknowledge these overwhelming contributions achieved in the face of rabid adversity. 

America, with its many successful advancements of civil rights and equality, is finding itself with a segment of our society actively working to dial our country backwards to its darkest times by resurrecting the ignorant rhetoric of the Jim Crow Era.

It’s important to remember that there are those that like to pretend that Black Americans did not contribute to the Industrial Revolution. However, in the north, we invented and received 50,000 patents which was on par with every other group of immigrants with the exception of German and English immigrants who didn’t face the adversity that Black Americans were subjected to, especially in the south where institutions and policies were extremely racist and oppressive.

Fast forward to the 2024 Election cycle and here we are again being subjected to the same ignorant rhetoric and attacks on Black History. 

For decades the GOP extremists have used their thinly veiled dog-whistles and red meat rhetoric to foment anger and resentment towards the Black American community as well as every other non-white citizen in our country including the LGBTQ  community as well.

American citizens need to stand strong against the likes of Ron DeSantis who for some strange reason thinks his misguided anger gets to dictate how and where Black history will be taught and shared. We need to stand firmly against extremists and wannabe fascist, bigoted dictators like Trump who peddles his bigoted bullshit by suggesting that Black Americans now align with him because he’s been convicted of sexual assault,  fraud and a host of other crimes. He also insisted that Black Americans will embrace him because they “loved his mugshot.” In his declining MAGAt mind he thinks Black Americans have some sort of affinity toward criminal behavior and see him as some sort of an ally or hero. He will continue to pander to Black Americans while mumbling the “N” word in private until he no longer needs them as he does with everyone in his polluted orbit.

Others in the MAGAt camp have also suggested that “the Blacks” will flock to Trump because he came out with a hideous line of sneakers that he’s yet to deliver on and wreaks of desperation.

 I suppose by their ignorant mindset, they’d also believe that he could boost sales by including a slice of watermelon and a piece of fried chicken with each purchase of his “DespAir Jordan” clown shoes.

So again, elections have consequences. The 2024 Election is one that could put some of the worst that our society has to offer back in power and diminish our standing in the world. 

We can and should avert another pandemic of racism.

So, Americans need to decide if they want our country to be run by archaic, knuckle-dragging AmeriKKKans or they can show up at the polls and vote for American leadership that will represent all of our citizens equally in the way any evolved society should. 

We’ve had 247 years to get this Democracy thing right. 

Let’s grow up and act like it.

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Portrait of James Domingo, photographer, activist
James Domingo

About The Author: James Domingo is a veteran professional photographer and political activist based in Philadelphia. He specializes in photographing people on location or in the studio and often promotes his activism on his Facebook profile. This is James Domingo’s first contribution to this zine. 

Nefertari Williams: Two Steps Smarter

An artist illustration of Taylor Swift by Thomcat23
Taylor Swift. Artwork by Thomcat23, Copyright 2024

Text by Nefertari Williams, Copyright 2024

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Two Steps Smarter

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I think Beyonce and Taylor Swift may have just two stepped all over our minds. 
 
Follow me through my pathway of parallel thinking..  And forgive me but “I was dreaming when I wrote this – forgive me if I go astray”. 
 
Well that’s where I’m going to start. This is a quote from the late great genius, artist and superstar, Prince. He wrote Purple Rain and America went wild. We didn’t care what genre it fell under – it was just amazing music… and we love it still to this day. 
 
Prince initially wrote this as a country song to sing with Fleetwood Mac specifically for Stevie Nicks but she admitted that she got a “fearful end of the world” vibe from the lyrics so she didn’t want to record it. She was right to get that vibe. The sing Purple rain is an actual spiritual reference that speaks about getting through tough times and your faith in a higher power during the end of time. Many pondered on the songs meaning for years. 
 
Prince used the color purple reference often, almost like he knew his end was coming sooner than later. 
 
I open with a Prince reference to show how we have had artistic genesis’s use their lyrics to shape our thinking throughout time. The art of story telling can change the mindset of generations- and it has. I believe it may be happening now. 
 
We lost this great artist in April 21, 2016 and his songs are still referenced and considered some of the most clever pieces of art ever made. 
 
Fast forward to present day. 
 
The world is on fire (as I write this Texas is literally experiencing its largest wild fire ever recorded 2/27/24) . There are three active wars, constant cyber attacks, women have lost their right to not have babies in some states and to get pregnant in other states. To top it all off we have a man who is saying the quiet part out loud while running to be President. He wants to be a dictator (the very opposite of what the framers wanted America to be) He feels he has total immunity even as a former President. 
 
This former President has tried to over turn the 2020 election, has incited an insurrection (but I think we have to call it a riot) and he might actually win his party’s nomination for reelection into the White House. 
 
Some Americans are ok with this because they feel as though they have been over looked and unseen. They are angry. Some may say rightly so. Some can’t even afford to buy groceries and they have been struggling financially for years. 
 
The problem is – the one man that they feel will be their “retribution” is part of the system that is keeping them poor but that’s another topic for another article. 
 
Ok so here we are in an election year. We have a candidate who is running that most of the country doesn’t want to win. He is running against the current President who some believe is too old to do the job with the vigor that is needed. That is the epitome of being stuck between a rock and a hard place according to many voters. 
 
 
The former President is known for not having a close relationship with the truth. He feels the last election was stolen from him and now he uses strange conspiracy theories to get his “followers” to believe that if he loses again it is because he was cheated. 
 
 
This brings us to my reasoning for opening with the lyrics of the late great artist, Prince and his influence on the world. There have been stories surrounding a young beautiful pop star which are implying that she is using her popularity to influence the election. If she is that’s not against the rules and other artists have made sings that seemed to be aimed at influencing the election for the former President.
 
Like the late great artist, Prince – She too used to be a country song writer. To top it all off she starts dating a very popular Football star who happened to make it to Super Bowl 2023. That’s when more conspiracies started stating 
that they are just dating to gain more popularity which will mean a stronger audience and possibly more votes for the incumbent candidate. 
 
Ok fast forward we have a popular award ceremony and the famous pop star (former country star) wins album of the year. Now this is a big deal because in comes another player. A mega star who shall remain nameless,  has the most awards that this academy has ever given but has yet to win the one big award- album of the year. The pop star win this title nearly every year.
 
Ironically (or maybe not) the mega stars husband is honored at the 2023 award ceremonies and was allotted time to give a speech. He used that time to tell the world that it is wrong that his wife has never won album of the year although her songs have won the most awards ever (again – except for the highest honor that they offer which is Ablum of the year) 
 
Now we are all confused. Why would he do that? 
 
During the big award show the pop star (Taylor Swift) announces that her new Ablum would release soon which brings the audience to a roar. With this announcement the pop star and her famous football playing boyfriend are the most talked about couple all the way up to the big football game of the year. The Superbowl. 
 
The pop star has been making appearances at football games to see her famous boyfriend and this has been great for ratings. It has also pulled in a demographic of Americans who don’t normally watch football. 
 
Everyone is excited because there are rumors that the boyfriend is going to ask the pop star to Marry him if he wins the superbowl. (He did win but didn’t propose)
 
So everyone is watching the big game. Then there is another twist. The mega star (Beyonce)does commercials during the superbowl  and announces that she’s dropping a country album ( she never won album of the year as a pop star and now she’s switching to singing country music). She then releases two country songs. Everyone is shocked. Everyone also thinks that this maybe a competition between the Pop Star who was a former country singer and the Mega Star. 
 
That would be an interesting theory except when you turn on social media all you see are people doing the two step to the Mega stars new country song and the people who are dancing to it are the same demographic of the Ex President who is trying to get re elected. 
 
Coincidence – I think not. In fact I think the plot thickens. I don’t think the pop star and the mega star are competing at all – I feel that it’s all a brilliant plan to unify the country which has been deeply divided due to the two Presidents running on opposing issues. 
 
I also think, like the late great Prince has done so brilliantly ( for example when his record label would not give him a fair contract, to gain back control he referred to himself as a symbol that could not be spoken out loud ) one of the two singers is the master mind behind this effort to use music to unite Americans. 
 
In the mean time I’ll be two stepping right along with the rest of America as the mega star becomes the first black woman to have a song reach number one on the country charts, the catchy country ditty seems to be leaving us a little less divided. 
 
I think our blonde pop star, with her oh so mischievous grin, is sitting back, cow boy hat cocked, thinking….the plan is working.
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About The Author:  Nefertari Williams is a jewelry maker, activist for women with heart disease and the mother of five beautiful children.  She lives in Willingboro, New Jersey.  To access additional articles by Nefertari Williams link herehttps://tonyward.com/nefertari-williams-the-vicious-cycle-of-war/

A.H. Scott: Crystal Clear

Illustration of President Joe Biden smiling from ear to ear. Artist: Thomcat23
President Joe Biden. Artwork by Thomcat23, Copyright 2024

Text by A.h. Scott, Copyright 2024

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Crystal Clear

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What will 2024 bring?

Will it bring about the reinforcement of American democracy?

Or, will it sink into the quicksand of dictatorship?

Well, of the two leading candidates of the respective Democratic and Republican party; one man boasts of an affinity for being a dictator. 

As for the other man, who came into office riding a wave of reclaiming the soul of America; he might not be a shoe-in of being re-elected. 

Just think about that reality for a moment. Donald Trump, a former President of the United States of America; who stoked and stroked an insurrection of the 2020 Presidential election, is closer than anyone would have believed in being on that pathway of reclaiming an office which he took to the brink of demolishing the spirit of democracy. 

Oh yeah – and all the while his doubly-impeached backside is facing 91 counts from New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, DC over his malevolent machinations. For Donald, everything is everything, and everything is a-ok for him. Just keep the grift up and all is well is Trumpworld. 

Joe Biden, the current President of the United States of America; who has had a string of legislative successes that any politician would be getting high-fives and kudos over; is almost having to scream for a crumb of attention to get the respect he deserves over his record. President Biden doesn’t need to be a man begging for acknowledgement.

And, damnit, it’s a sad state of affairs in this country, when a person who has the gas can in one hand and the matches in the other in destroying anything that could be considered normal is leading or tied in the polls. Of course the polls are ever changing, and the election of this burgeoning year isn’t until November 2024. But, geez, is it just me, or is the abnormal the normal and sanity suddenly insanity. 

Alas, this present situation is not just about two men; this is about who WE are as Americans. Okay, more specifically; who WE are as voters. 

Some just wanna’ give a half-assed shrug and act as if what Donald Trump did in violating the 14th Amendment in giving aid and comfort to an insurrection, as if the Constitution doesn’t mean squat. 

To the rest of us out here in America who actually give a damn about what the Constitution means and should be heralded as being; the name of Donald John Trump should be as far away from any ballot anywhere in this country. He forfeited the right to be a candidate the moment he chose to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. Going a bit further and being blunter to the point; fairness and that man’s name or likeness ain’t even in the same galaxy. He gets what he gets and what I believe he should get is the sound of that closing cell behind him. 

Always acting like he is some penny-less victim, Donald Trump is playing that role of the ‘Poor Rich Boy’ whose daddy Fred didn’t hug him enough when all those millions he left his son was frittered away in bankruptcy after bankruptcy. Donald Trump, born with a diamond spoon in his mouth is groaning on and on every time he pops his head up before camera, rally or his own social network, which is Anti-Truth.

Just be glad you were not treated like every other defendant who would have been tossed in the clink to cool your heels until whenever your trial date came around. Yet, you have your southern palace of tackiness you get to stomp around in, all the while you tell your supporters you are being railroaded on their behalf. 

You tell them that the ‘deep state’ is out to get you, even though the title of President of the United States of America doesn’t make that reality of persecution stand the laugh test. 

The office of the President of the United States of America brings out whom and what you are. If you were a selfish, miserable, small-minded, misogynistic, son-of-a-Trump, then that’s what the reflection reveals during your days in that office. 

Donald Trump didn’t change when he ascended to the office of the President. It was the office of the Presidency that changed when he became occupant of that hallowed office. 

In some ways, the word descent is what comes to mind when I think of Donald Trump. The descent of America is what occurred when he and his lady love Melania descended that escalator at his namesake tower. Descent into one man’s egotistic madness is what we all have had to live with during the past, present and soon to be future in the realm of Donald Trump. 

Yet, for Mr. 45, there is another word that looms heavy. 

Even now, out of office and still on the hunt to claw back into the oval, Donald Trump is still the same person he’s always been. And, what word could be used at this moment – is DEPLORABLE. Oh, yeah, remember when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used that term and was berated and mocked. She was on target then and the target is still on point. 

Deplorable Donald is who he is. 

Tact be damned, when it comes to this human being; who is void of any flicker of humanity. 

The whole situation of January 6, 2021 has to be addressed. What happened before that date, and what has happened since that date is the flashing beacon which no one should attempt to avoid. 

 Call it a reckoning. Call it karma. Or just call it just desserts. 

Damn, this was just within the last five years, but it is starting to seem as if it were decades or a century ago when these events occurred. 

With Barnum-esque braggadocio, the former President of the United States revels in always saying he is in a category all by himself. And, you know what – he is. Donald John Trump is in a category all his own. He is the only person who has occupied the oval office who has been charged with felonies up and down the courthouses of the Eastern coast of the United States of America. 

Yes, Donald, your category is yours and yours alone. You know; the category of being the first candidate that even breaches the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the courts have to come up with a ruling upon it. Yes, you have misshaped and deformed all which has been considered on the level of decency or just plain normalcy. Yeah, it’s all you, Donald Trump. Everything you touch turns to trash. Trashing the military, trashing the media, trashing political opponents, trashing fellow citizens, trashing anything you deem as being beneath your level of supposed greatness. 

Yeah, so even I have to agree with the point of this person being on a level of all his own. It’s the 9th circle of hell, but it’s Donald’s and Donald’s alone. 

Who would have ever thought that the levers of democratic institutions in this country could ever be taken beyond the outer limits of what is civil, proper and fair; all at the behest of a single person?

When Donald Trump whines about being tossed off the ballot in Colorado and Maine (and, hopefully many a more state) and being treated unfairly, it is a joke; for he should be glad he isn’t cooling his heels in a jail cell, until he goes through his court cases, due to his role as Insurrectionist in Chief for January 6, 2021. 

Having the panoply of legal theories and legal firms on retainer at his beck and grifting call, the leading Republican Presidential candidate could choose how he wishes to be defended.

Would it be a defense of ‘true innocence’ by Donald Trump? You know, the kind of innocence that a person who wasn’t standing over a corpse holding the murder weapon in hand and has an actual alibi of being a thousand miles away with visible proof. Or, would it be a defense based on technical jujitsu[1] of flipping words and crossing your fingers in hoping that you could pull the wool over a judge or jury’s eyes? 

Donald Trump can’t plant his flag on the visage of virginity. No matter what he or his highly paid defenders can toss into the ether as a hypothetical comparison[2] to any other person who has held the office of President of the United States of America, he has to stand on his own hooves and show not a fleck of ash upon a sheet of white. 

George W. Bush with the Iraq War or Barack Obama authorizing drone strikes were policy directives by both former Presidents of the United States. So, the pros and cons of what those two former occupants of the oval office are apples compared to the putrid citrus fruit which is the orange of insurrection.

Dragging any other politician into the mucked up mix that Donald Trump may be mired within, will never make him virginal. 

That train of temperance has long left the station of his living many a decade ago.

Alas, with all the gas-lighting that’s the purview of the Republican playbook, transparency of logic isn’t as evident as one may think it should be.

One party speaks in sentences, while another speaks in paragraphs. Yeah, I just wrote that and you might think it doesn’t make sense. But, it actually does. 

Donald Trump – Make America Great Again

Joe Biden – ????????

Yes, one sentence. Whether you agree with it or not; it snaps and goes straight into a simple note of memory. You can’t forget how easy those four words in that sentence can hold your attention.

Democrats never seem to come up with a single sentence that can grab the voters’ attention. There seems that there is nothing I as a Democrat can reply in a slogan to express a vision or a roadmap.  

As you read this, can you come up with a single sentence as a wraparound for what the Biden-Harris 2024 campaign is using as a basis for their re-election.

I don’t see it. I do see accomplishments. Most definitely, there are many of them that can be pointed to. Yet, are any of them bumper-sticker worthy? No, at this point, I don’t think so. 

This is where the Democrats constantly fall short in getting their message across. In a YES or NO world, politicians on the left are forever lost in an analytical loop. 

Donald Trump says Make America Great Again and yes, I roll my eyes and groan when hearing it. But, it’s a line that’s become ingrained. And, from Joe Biden’s side of the ledger, his advisors keep saying he’s got time to make his case for re-election. Well, it is now February 2024 and November is closer than they may think.

My small piece of advice for President Joe Biden and all within his campaign infrastructure is this – Make It As Plain As A Glass of Water. 

Think of it this way; think of a glass of water and just say what it is. Water is wet. Water is cold. Water is lukewarm. Water is life.

Keep it simple and make your point. No need for a long and overdrawn chemical analysis of H2O. 

That should be a breakdown of how a slogan should be made in defense of the Biden-Harris policies and the opposing of Donald Trump’s second coming. 

If it’s the growl of Make America Great Again, why can’t we on the Democratic side say something like – Democrats Protecting Democracy. Yeah, it’s probably too simple a phrase to say; but, a single sentence has to come from somewhere. Because, right now; people out here in America ain’t feelin’ it. 

You know, feeling the purpose of something beyond just the fact that Donald Trump is on the other side of whatever this election is all about. 

Feeling of purpose seems to be that level of intensity to the extent of bleeding for the candidate. And, no matter how good and valid a man Joe Biden is; it ain’t him that brings out that devotion. Now, devotion may be overrated. I don’t know. But, since that asset of devotion is not in the toolbox of the Democratic candidate for re-election; then that messaging better be hotter than Hades and more on point than Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

You see, I can list the achievements of the Biden-Harris administration and show how they are benefiting the American citizenry. Yet, seeing statistics in black and white won’t set the soul on fire for people to have an impetus to vote in November. 

THE BIDEN-HARRIS RECORD: 

American Rescue Plan [3]– Stimulus checks, child care tax credits 

Inflation Reduction Act [3]– Lowering drug costs and $35.00 insulin price cap 

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act [3]– Bridge repair and replacement, pipe and service lines, sewer systems, upgrading power grid, investing in high-speed internet 

Safer Communities Act[3] – Providing funding for gun safety and $10 billion in funding for mental healthcare

Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) [4]– providing loans, grants, and assistance to small and minority-owned businesses in low-income and financially underserved communities.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program[4] – 8 million payments to renters at risk of eviction

Whatever the message is that the Democrats are working on getting out before this election, they should be shouting from the rooftops and flashing the bat signal. 

Advisors can say ‘Bidenomics’ from now until the end of Summer and that will fall on deaf ears. Focus on the underlying numbers and not a cutesy name for the economy under Joe Biden’s tutelage. 

The slogan should be – Competence Over Chaos!

There you go – 3 words – bumper sticker ready!

Biden/Harris – Competence Over Chaos!

It turns ‘old & creaky Joe Biden’ into a sober and clear thinking leader of competence versus ‘old & dithering Donald Trump’ as a diaper soaked cry-baby of consistent chaos. 

Now, it might piss off both sides of the political ledger in noting both men are ‘old’. And, yes, neither of the candidates are spring chicks fresh off the farm, okay. 

So, the choice is competence or chaos? 

And, that is crystal clear. 

“Crystal Clear”- THE FOOTNOTES: 

1.-Trump’s outrageous ‘license to kill’: MAGA lawyer claims POTUS may ‘legally’ murder American rivals – MSNBC

2.-Trump’s Bizarre Immunity Claims Should Serve as a Warning – The New Yorker 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/trumps-bizarre-immunity-claims-should-serve-as-a-warning

3.-10 Accomplishments of The First Two Years of The Biden-Harris Administration – UpNorth News Wisconsin 

https://upnorthnewswi.com/2023/01/20/accomplishments-two-years-biden-harris-administration-2/

4.-Year in Review: Treasury’s Top Accomplishments During Year Two of the Biden-Harris Administration – U.S. Treasury Department

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1180

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Portrait of A.H. Scott poet and writer based in New York City
A.H. Scott

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.H. Scott is a poet and essayist based in New York City and is a veteran contributor to this blog.  To access additional articles by A.H. Scott, click here:  https://tonyward.com/a-h-scott-games-people-play/

Milton White: Dining Out in February


Text & Photographs by Milton White, Copyright 2024

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Dining Out in February

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Well, there are so many events to celebrate in the shortest month of the year, including Ground Hog’s Day, the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Lent (for those of you who celebrate Lent), you might want to add another day at the end so that you can enjoy Valentine’s Day! And Ladies, this is Leap Year!!! 

Here are a few of my favorite locations for you to visit or revisit to get your cheer on!!!

Sunday Brunch at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel

The original Brunch has returned!!! The Chef manned carving stations throughout the kitchen are back. The exquisite menu boasts luscious hors d’oeuvres, hot and cold stations,  as well as delectable desserts. All served with a view overlooking Rittenhouse Square mastered by classic French service. This may be the perfect date venue, although it is family friendly.

The Capital Grille – Center City

Lunch, Happy Hour, Pre-Theatre, Dinner

This location is one of the finest! The Executive Chef will serve up your favorites from Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, amazing soups and salads to the best cuts of Steaks. Seared Salmon and Roasted Chicken Breast are also favored by guests. Accompanied with a knowledgeable and friendly staff, it a great time for family and friends. Don’t forget your Bartenders!

Rouge

Still hot on the Square

Always chic, always fun, a great place to meet and greet. You can’t go wrong with what has been named the best burger in Philadelphia several years running. The Roast Pork Sandwich is delicious too! The DJ at Brunch keeps the party going from the night before, especially if you add a bottle of Veuve or any other bubbly! For dinner their Plates choices are designed to want for more, they are that good.

You just might get more for reserving this spot…wink, wink

I’m talking conversation, lol

Ristorante Positano in Ardmore

If you have been fortunate to travel to Italy, better yet, the Amalfi Coast…well let’s get right to it…to Positano. There is a slice of Positano in Ardmore. As you approach this hidden gem, you might take notice of the Mediterranean facade with the Italian tile address number when you enter. Once inside, you are transported to the coastal village. Tile floors, walls covered with Art, sculptures and intimate table settings. The service is that of a style of long ago, hand written menus, entrees served from carts expertly maneuvered by your server. But, most importantly…the food! The owner, Dom, has brought his home to you. The best sauces, meatballs, freshest fish and vegetables, pasta and breads made daily. Wines to complement each dish. On and on I could go. You will thank me for this one. Just make room for me if I drop in when you visit.

Set a few doors down is:

Local Wine and Kitchen in Ardmore

For the Wine Enthusiasts, there are several, if not monthly, wine tastings throughout the year. Chef Dom, hmmm, that name sounds familiar (another Dom), has prepared a menu of locally grown products to accompany the local wines served in this wonderful restaurant, hence the name. You can learn more about the great food, cheese & charcuteries at the bar and at the table.

Off street parking is available behind these two establishments.

Cheers,

Milton White III

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ADDRESSES:

Local Wine & Kitchen

39 W. Lancaster Ave.

Ardmore, PA 19003

(610) 896-4740

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Positano Ristorante

21 W. Lancaster Ave.

Ardmore, PA 19003

(610) 896-8298

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Lacroix at The Rittenhouse

210 W. Rittenhouse Sq.

Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 790-2533

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The Capital Grille

Broad & Chestnut Sts.

Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 545-9588

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contributing writer to Tony Ward Studio blog Milton White
Milton White Photographed by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024.

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About The Author: 
Milton White is a fashion aficionado, collector and consultant.  He is currently creative assistant to KVaughn Studio. To access additional articles by Milton White, link here: https://tonyward.com/milton-white-i-see-i-like-i-buy/

Kitchie Ohh: Oh, It’s Nothing!

Glamour portrait of the very sexy pinup model Kitchie OHH for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss. Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024

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Oh, It’s Nothing!

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If you’ve read my earlier posts here, you know how close I am with my family. They are a large part of the person I am today. If you haven’t, well, that’s kind of an understatement but still true.

Recently, I was shocked to get the several days delayed news that my mother had fallen and severely injured herself. She required immediate surgery and would need to remain in the hospital. It was very little consolation that this injury occurred while she was doing what she and my father love- seeing the world from on board a cruise ship- or that said ship was docked in the gorgeous port of Maui, Hawaii at the time. She was, literally, on the other side of the world, and there was not a damn thing I could do to help. 

When we were finally able to speak, my parents told me of the excellent care at the hospital, the kindness delivered alongside the routine medical services. And, of course, they were thankful that the hospital was near beachfront and they had a gorgeous view. They could still see a bit of Hawaii, despite their situation. 

My siblings and I, unknown to either of our parents, sprang into action, assigning and volunteering for key tasks that would need to be completed before mom came home. She would be unable to climb stairs for 6 weeks, maybe longer. There was no way we could allow her to come home without a plan that was in equal parts for her recuperation and for our peace of mind. We would need to make the ground floor comfortable enough to be a makeshift bedroom for her, clear enough to safely accommodate a wheelchair or walker, private enough to allow for daily hygiene tasks if she couldn’t get to the bathroom.There was more we didn’t know about what she needed, than what we did.  Everything we could think to do, was done, having no idea when -or HOW- they would be getting home. We were as ready as we could be. 

Luckily, my niece was with them and made the necessary flight and hotel arrangements to get them all safely from there to here. Just shy of one week from the day we heard the news, we were planning for their arrival back to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. A week of storms made travel more dangerous, not to mention added the never fun task of snow and ice removal to our to-do list. But that evening, the flight remained on time and we got mom and dad (niece and fiancée, too) home safely, to a clear driveway, and an organized house with only a few minor hiccups not even worth mentioning. 

As we settled them in and listened to all of the details between hugs and tears, the relief everyone felt was obvious. Home is a magical, comforting place. We pointed out all that was done in preparation and made sure nothing was missed, addressing if it was. Soon, all of us were yawning, it was definitely time to rest, but not before confirming the remainder of the plan. 

Reconvening the following morning, we shopped, chopped, cooked and meal prepped, cleaned and did laundry. We made it easy for dad to keep things going while he worried and fussed over mom. We also sat around and did what we do best. We ate, we talked and laughed, made wildly inappropriate jokes and brought back a sense of normalcy. 

Completely overwhelmed, mom repeatedly apologized, dad paced, and both thanked us profusely. As we finished up tasks, made sure every detail was handled, Dad beamed, telling us how proud he was at the way we pulled together; no arguing, no questions asked, just jumping into action when they were in need. 

My first thought was to say “oh, it’s nothing!” but recalled another instance of stepping in to handle a stressful situation for someone else and the response that remark got me.“Don’t ever say that. It may seem insignificant to you, but that small thing, that “nothing” meant so much more than words can express.” And so, standing in the kitchen, drying my hands after cleaning up the last of our mess, I hugged my dad, tightly, and told him, “that’s what we do, right? It’s what you and mom taught us, by showing us. If there’s something you can do to help, you do it. We love you.” 

Honestly, there really isn’t a better lesson I can think of that they taught me by setting this example. It’s not one that only applies in times of crisis or just to family either. An action, a compliment, getting someone their favorite snack just because, being a hug or shoulder to cry on, whatever it may be, however little effort it took, it means something. It could mean everything to that person in that moment. 

It’s the smallest things bring me the most joy, whether I’m providing or receiving them. Grand gestures make me uncomfortable. Words often go unsaid. But the ‘I saw this and thought of you,’ the ‘I did that thing you’ve been putting off so you don’t have to worry about it,’ the everyday mundane, small things, the going slightly out of your way, tolerating a mildly inconvenient moment for the benefit of someone else, unasked….THAT is love in the purest, kindest form. 

So, in this month of all things chocolate, roses, hearts and love, as people bend over backward for their Valentines for one day,  think smaller. It might mean more than you will ever know. 

Glamour portrait of the very sexy pinup model Kitchie OHH for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss. Copyright 2024

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once. To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, link here: https://tonyward.com/kitchie-ohh-thanks-i-feel-awful/