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This Week's Various

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sylvia Woods, who opened the famous restaurant 'Sylvia's' in Harlem passed away this week. From the NYT:
Sylvia’s Restaurant opened on Aug. 1, 1962 — with six booths and 15 stools — at Lenox Avenue near 127th Street, offering soul-food staples like ribs, hot cakes, corn bread and fried chicken. The immense popularity of its dishes earned Ms. Woods the sobriquet the Queen of Soul Food.
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The daughter of a farming couple, Van and Julia Pressley, Sylvia Pressley was born in Hemingway (SC) on Feb. 2, 1926; her father died when she was a baby.

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 Sylvia met her future husband, Herbert Deward Woods, when she was 11 and he was 12 and both were working in the fields, picking beans under the blazing sun.

As a teenager, Sylvia moved to New York to join her mother, who had gone there for work. She found work herself, in a hat factory in Queens. In 1944, she married Mr. Woods, who had come North to claim her.

In the 1950s, Ms. Woods began work as a waitress at Johnson’s Luncheonette in Harlem; because she had grown up poor in the Jim Crow era, the day she first set foot in the place was the first time she had been inside a restaurant anywhere.

In 1962, with help from her mother, who mortgaged the family farm, Ms. Woods bought the luncheonette and renamed it Sylvia’s. Three decades ago, Gael Greene, the food critic of New York magazine, wrote a laudatory article on Sylvia’s, sealing the restaurant’s success.



Also, it looks as though Sylvia's may open a restaurant in south Florida next year.

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This...is a Slugburger.  Slugburger Cafe, Corinth MS
The Slugburger Festival in Corinth is as of this year a part of the Major League Eating circuit (they said the MLE reached out to them); the winner this summer downed 30 slugburgers in ten minutes.

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Sweet Mozell Benson, a National Heritage Fellow for her quilting, passed away this week.

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Bravo has a new show starting August 13, called 'Gallery Girls': Bravo's Gallery Girls is a docu-series that follows the lives of seven dynamic and ambitious young women in New York City who tackle the cutthroat environment of the art world while vying for their dream jobs. From gallery openings and art shows to the hottest events in the city, the women share a passion for art...

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If you saw the 'Booker's Place' piece on Dateline NBC last week...the people at Lusco's (where Booker worked) have a whole different view of their relationship with Booker and the community (you may need to click on 'see more recent stories' to view it on FB).

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Nice article on cordwood architecture/building in the NYT.

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Celementine Hunter

The 'first comprehensive biography of this regional self-taught painter, who attracted the attention of the world' will be published as “Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art,” from LSU Press, and will be available this September.

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Uncle Lionel Batiste was embalmed so as to stand during his wake (so wonderful!! pic in the Times-Pic) and here's more from his funeral.

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Gourmet.com on '10 cities where the music's hot and the food rocks' -- including Athens, GA; B'ham; Lafayette; Nashville.

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Marc Smirnoff and Carol Ann are out at the Oxford American.

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Hot Tamales at Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
Greenville has been declared (by its mayor) the official 'Hot Tamale Capital of the World' but I lean toward Clarksdale (blowing a kiss that direction to Hick's).

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'Behind the Low-Priced Clothing, a Priceless Midcentury Sculpture' at NYT about the Harry Bertoia piece on display now at the new 'Joe Fresh' shop on W 43rd.  AND there's this great piece about Barton Lidice Bene's home/belongings being packed up and sent to the North Dakota Museum of Art to be reconstructed for exhibit.

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...and in Irondale, AL #signfail:
Sign Fail

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