COVID-19, Protests, Unemployment, Violence & Hurricane Cristobal. What’s next? Where is the Love? What do we do? How do we survive? Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective
People” has a principle: “Seek first to understand, then to be
understood”. Well, some things I just
don’t understand. It reminds me of an
old song “Ball of
Confusion” by the Temptations, just change some of the words. We need God now more than ever.
I was 14 when I saw a riot
while living in Philadelphia; and it wasn’t pretty. I went to an all-black Catholic Elementary
school and wasn’t allowed out at night. I
remember that the 2 grocery stores (Fagan’s & Barney’s) were burned down
and other businesses on Ridge Avenue. There was nothing wrong with the white people
who owned the stores; as a matter of fact, they extended “credit” to those who
didn’t have any money until their next government check was in the mail. These store owners kept food on many a table. I never thought that I would experience such
looting and building burning nonsense again in my lifetime until now. I am saddened.
White people are more apprehensive now than ever before (To
To Where Are We?). Some are afraid
of retaliation or being seen as the enemy.
This situation is like “wearing a mask”.
Do we think of how wearing a mask is helping ourselves, or does wearing
one help others around us? What will I
gain verses what someone else is dealing with?
How can I make this world a better place, is the question that we would
be asking ourselves? I’m tying to
are you? How does the song, “We Are The World” come
into play today?
Businesses have been looted and that causes more increase on unemployment, nevertheless,
looting was not done by protestors, but by greedy, lawless, immature people who
wanted to obtain something from nothing.
Because of their acts of violence, we have to earn the right to be
respected. Once again, all protestors
are not rioters!
The “Pledge of Allegiance” still does not give equality for all. Blacks have recited this poem for decades and
it never pertained to black people. We
have tried to obtain liberty and justice for all, yet we haven’t started to get
justice until these recent days.
Colin Kaepernick (and now, many others) are taking a knee. It’s not about putting our hands over our
heart and standing up tall. We need to
respect the American Flag for what it stood for. The flag represents the lives that were lost
during wartimes and the colonies that were set free, but are we all free? Now we are fighting another war; a war of
hatred that exists in the minds and hearts of some people. If “taking a knee” during the playing of the
National Anthem is wrong, consider it part of the “New Normal” instead of a
sign of disrespect. We are NOT
disrespecting the American Flag, yet America is NOT being “Great Again”. We are living in a time of change, and it’s
time to SEE a difference made in our lifetime.
It would be lovely to exist in a land where you’re not judged by the
color of your skin, but by the content of your character.
My heart aches for those biracial couples and their children who may experience
racial slurs, criticism, or bullying.
This hatred has got to stop being spread from generations to
generations. Hatred seems to be another
form of virus that is spreading throughout the land.
We live in a cul-de-sac and are the only blacks in the neighborhood. Just like a place where we lived in New
Mexico, we didn’t realize that we were the only blacks until we relocated to a
city in the south. I was respected more
in Europe and Asia than I am living here in the US. And it’s a shame that I am reminded of words
spoken in the past, “If you don’t like it here, go back to Africa where you
belong.” Yes, I remember those
thoughtless words and a tear comes to my eye.
The other day I was in Walmart getting supplies to make masks. As I walked down the aisle (in the correct
direction) a white man stared at me directly into my eyes. He was unmasked and I could see the distain
in his eyes. I checked myself and made
sure that my hair wasn’t making me look crazy √. It
happened again with another man standing in line. I had to check√ again, I was standing 6 feet from him √, wearing my mask √, my deodorant hadn’t failed √. You want to talk about “a new normal”, we are
living in a “new abnormal”. Things will
never be the same again, and some things we hope will change for the better. Nonetheless, I continue to smile beneath
my mask in hopes that they see the love
of Christ through my eyes.
If any of my friends feel uncomfortable about what’s happening today, please
listen to “Uncomfortable
Conversations with a Black Man” - former NFL player Emmanuel Acho, as he
tries to explain some of the issues that black men go through. It has been awhile since I’ve had to think
about inequality (2007), nevertheless, I will continue to pray and make changes
whenever and wherever I can.
As Governor DeSantis reopens concert halls in
the state of Florida, the Florida Theatre is among the establishments that will
comply to government guidelines. The
Florida Theatre is pleased to announce the return of the world’s number one
touring ABBA tribute concert, “ABBA MANIA”, on Thursday, February 25,
ABBA MANIA returns to perform the group’s biggest hits: "Dancing Queen,"
"Waterloo," "Mamma Mia,” "The Winner Takes it All,"
"Super Trouper,” “Fernando,” ‘‘Take A Chance On Me” and many more in
this special live concert.
ABBA MANIA formed in 1999 and the show has been selling out theatres and
concert halls internationally ever since. This show has toured the world in its quest to
bring the music of the Swedish supergroup to their millions of fans, old and
ABBA’s timeless songs were written to be enjoyed live and ABBA MANIA gives you
exactly that. Two hours of uplifting,
dance inducing and sometimes heart-breaking songs, fully live with fantastic
staging, lighting and effects. ABBA
MANIA is the perfect concert for lifelong, die-hard ABBA fans as well as the
new generation of fans who never had the opportunity to see ABBA live.
Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid, collectively known as ABBA, dominated the
charts for nearly ten years and enjoyed nine UK number 1 hits. At their height they became Sweden’s highest
export earners, amazingly, outselling Volvo cars. ABBA Gold was continuously in the album
Charts throughout the nineties and is one of the biggest selling albums ever.
“Beware of imitations…this is the real musical tribute!” – Polly Graham, Sunday Mirror
The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit
Union. For a complete list of upcoming
events or to buy tickets visit the Theatre’s official website,
Feb. 25, 2021
TIME: 8 p.m.
TICKETS: $29 - $50
East Forsyth Street.
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is working hard on reopening plans to
welcome you back soon. Our goal is to create the safest and best visitor
experience that is centered around the highest quality works of art and
historic gardens that are accessible and fun for everyone. Their reopening phases will include the
Gardens, followed by a full campus reopening. As they continue to work toward finalizing a
timeline for when they can safely reopen their doors, please be assured that they
have been developing an extensive plan which implements the highest-level
health and safety protocols to greet you. To learn more, click here.
Florida conjures visions of a lush tropical paradise, with vast natural
resources and endless opportunities for those most daring to try. The cultural landscape, however, is a
combination of nature and humanity; the landscape, from white sand beaches to
murky swamps, provides the backbone; the inhabitants provide the culture. Florida’s cultural landscape is light, bright,
expansive, and ripe with potential, but also wild, untamed, ambiguous, and
obscure. Tour the exhibition here.
STAY SAFE, STAY SHOPPING: Discover unique gifts, including puzzles, books,
jewelry, apparel, children's items, and more. Now you can shop online anytime at the Cummer
Shop Online Store. The Cummer Shop is
filled with items that are educational, inspirational, and fun. The selections reflect the quality of the
Museum’s Permanent Collection, Gardens, and Exhibitions. Discount code for you as a member to receive
the member 10% off is Member10. You
support our mission - proceeds from the Cummer Shop support exciting and
diverse exhibitions and programs for our community.
ENGAGE WITH THEM: The Cummer Museum continues to provide comfort, wisdom, and
the means for self-expression and connection through our virtual presence. Visit here
for innovative solutions to experience the Museum and its benefits from home.
The Alhambra Theatre & Dining announced it will open its doors on June 11
with Rogers & Hammerstein’s classic, “Cinderella.” With social distancing guidelines strictly
enforced and capacity restricted to 50% occupancy, the Alhambra will continue
its run as America’s longest-running dinner theater. The re-opening plan took some juggling of
seating charts and schedules, not to mention the patience of more than 10,000
guests who already had tickets for the remainder of the year, but the curtain
will rise on June 11, the originally-scheduled dates for the Alhambra’s run of
“Cinderella.“ The show is scheduled to
close on July 26. Patrons are asked to
wear a mask except during mealtime.
Because of the social distancing guidelines related to COVID-19, the Alhambra
will only be able to sell limited number of additional tickets. The show was already 70% sold out when it
suspended sales in late April. Following
the math of only allowing 50% capacity, the Alhambra actually added several
matinee dates to accommodate the overage.
“We are thrilled to roll with whatever punches we need to open for our
family of guests and staff,” said Alhambra Managing Partner Craig Smith. He continued, “Our job is to provide the
community a break from the day-to-day and give folks a place to go to make some
memories. We’re grateful we get to do our job again and that our guests and
staff are so accommodating.”
Adding the additional dates not allow the Alhambra to sell more tickets. It simply gave them the opportunity to seat
existing ticket holders, some who were asked to switch dates and tables. “Our guests were ready, willing and able to
work with us. Our staff was willing to
switch from days to nights when called upon. Our kitchen staff was happy to add day time
hours to an already-busy schedule. It
was really a great demonstration of being in this thing together,” said
Smith recounted that the most challenging part was figuring out what to do with
the remaining shows on the calendar, including the nearly-sold out, “Grease.” To do that, the Alhambra is moving its run of
The Music Man to 2021 and replacing it with “Grease” from July 30 to September
20. This adds two weeks to the original
run of “Grease,” allowing for the Alhambra to accommodate its current ticket
holders as-well-as take more reservations.
Said Smith, “We knew when we scheduled it that “Grease” would be a big
seller for us. We had the opportunity to
accommodate the 12,000 “Grease” ticket holders and honoring our commitment to
“The Music Man” by simply moving it to next season.” The Alhambra will allow anyone unable to use
their current tickets in their new seats and date as a credit for a future
show. “Love, Sex and IRS,” will run as
planned in late September, and with matinees added to create more seating for
what Smith expects to be a strong seller.
In compliance with local, state and federal guidelines for COVID-19, the
Alhambra will heighten its usual high safety standards. Staff will undergo training in safe service
practices as well as what to look for regarding symptoms. All staff will be wearing masks and gloves. They have also been instructed to stay home if
there is even a hint of a related symptom. In an email to ticket holders, the Alhambra
has asked customers to take the same precautions, and has offered to waive the
“day of” transfer fee to those needing to change dates at the last minute.
In addition, the Alhambra will suspend for “Cinderella” and “Grease” its
Opening Night Gala pre- and post-show celebrations in the lobby of the Theatre.
“We take for granted our usual
processes because we’ve been at this for so long, so we’re having to review and
change every contact point from food delivery to pens our guests use to sign
their credit card receipt. It’s been a
good exercise for us in terms of efficiency.” Said Smith. Complimentary Champagne and Hors d'oeuvres
served at your table before dinner, on Gala evening.
Reconfiguring process is not new to the Alhambra, which had successfully
pivoted at the beginning of the business closing period by switching from
seated dining for 375 people to take-away and curbside delivery. They later added dine-in options once the
options were allowed. The Alhambra will
continue its curbside to-go dining program.
DATES: June 11 through July 20, 2020
SHOW TIMES: Please note, to accommodate the many young
families attending this show, doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for evening shows
and dinner will start at 6 p.m. Adult
and Children’s Menu can be viewed HERE.
TICKETS: Prices range from $40 – $68. Children 12 and under are $38 + tax. Ticket prices include: a plated three-course
meal that changes for each show, and is served directly to your table; a
Broadway-style performance and complimentary parking. Tickets may be purchases by calling (904) 641-1212.
**Prices do NOT include gratuity,
professional photos, or orders from the bar**
LOCATION: Alhambra Theater & Dining
12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246
The next scheduled Florida Theatre show is The Orchestra: An Evening of ELO’s Greatest Hits, on July
11. If that changes, it will be
announced directly to the audience in a timely manner. Their guiding principle is that the Florida
Theatre will be open again when it is safe for the artists and audiences to do
so. They’re paying close attention to
the best thinking in the sports, arts and entertainment industries on how to do
this, and following guidance from the Centers for Disease control, the State of
Florida, and the City of Jacksonville. They are specifically working closely with the
City of Jacksonville, who understand the importance of returning the arts and
entertainment to the life of our city, but our mutual goal is to do it safely. When they have more information about when,
and any new protocols that the audiences should expect, we will share it
Due to the current global health crisis, these events have been rescheduled and
current purchased tickets will be honored on the new show dates.
*The Florida Theatre will continue to update their website
and social media platforms (Around Town With Ms. “V”) as new information becomes
- Brit Floyd
on May 26, 2020 | New Date May 24, 2021
Kitten Surprise on May 12, 2020 | New Date coming
Bargatze on April 25, 2020 | New Date February 12, 2021
on June 18, 2020 | New Date September 19, 2020
on March 25, 2020, postponed | New Date March 18, 2021
Up with Stassi Live! on April 5 postponed | New Date January 30, 2021
Moore postponed April 7 | New Date coming
- Neil DeGrasse
Tyon on April 8 postponed | New Date February 4, 2021
- Piff The
Magic Dragon on April 11 postponed | New Date December 4, 2020
- Chris Botti on
April 15 postponed | New Date March 17, 2021
Howard on April 23 cancelled
- Brian Culbertson
on April 26 postponed | New Date April 25, 2021
- One Night of
Queen on May 1 postponed | New Date July 27, 2020
- Jonny Lang on May 3
postponed | New Date October 18, 2021
- Gary Allan on May 7
postponed | New Date August 28, 2020
Happy Together Tour on June 4 postponed | New Date September 10, 2020
Maher on June 28 postponed | New Date to June 13, 2021
Bachelor Live on May 10 postponed | New Date coming
Firefall and Pure Prairie League postponed | New Date October 3, 2020
LOCATION: The Florida Theatre
128 East Forsyth Street.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Stay tuned for the next exciting post from the Alhambra Theatre &
Dining here at “Around Town With Ms. “V”. You won't want to miss it!
Take a look at the takeout menu options for Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 7, 2020. Takeout Hours: Fri. - Sun.: 3:30 p.m. - 6:30
Family-Style Meal: Fri., June 5 - Sun., June 7 (4 servings). Chef DeJuan's Famous Shrimp & Grits
served with caesar salad, and dessert of Chef's kitchen sink cookies. $55
Entrée Options for Fri., June 5 (1 serving/each) Herb & Crumb Crusted Cod with lemon beurre
blanc, rice casserole, zucchini and squash medley, and dessert of chocolate
peanut butter pie. OR Braised Pork Cheeks with natural pork jus, buttermilk
mashed potatoes, squash medley, fried onions, and dessert of chocolate peanut
butter pie. $20 each.
Entrée Options for Sat., June 6 (1 serving/each) Aunt Mae's Fried
Chicken with country chicken gravy, white rice, creamed peas, and dessert of
blueberry crème brûlée with sugar cookies. OR Spaghetti with Housemade Giant Meatballs,
garlic bread, green beans, and dessert of blueberry crème brûlée with sugar
cookies. $20 each.
Entrée Options for Sun., June 7 (1 serving/each) Creamy Chicken Pasta
with angel hair, artichokes, mushrooms, peas, tomatoes and pesto cream sauce,
and dessert of white chocolate bread pudding. OR Smothered Pork Chops with gravy, yellow
rice, succotash, and dessert of white chocolate bread pudding. $20 each.
Price includes tax. Gratuity not included - but much appreciated. Orders may be placed until 12 p.m. on day of
pick-up. Quantities are limited. Available
while supplies last.
To place your order, CLICK HERE or call the Box Office at (904) 641–1212 to order.
Separate orders required for each day. Menu subject to change,
based on availability. Photos are not
exact representation of meal. Question? Please give them a call! They are there to
LOCATION: Alhambra Theater & Dining
12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246
The City of Jacksonville community will come together to remember George Floyd,
and Victims of Police Violence and to call for the: Release JSO Body Cam
videos, FDLE investigation of all JSO Officer involved shootings, a Citizens
Review Board and increased Police Accountability.
As part of a community wide Solidarity Day of Action for George Floyd,
Thursday, June 4, 2020, Women’s March Florida Jacksonville Chapter in
partnership with 11 local organizations: Northside Coalition of Jacksonville,
League of Women Voters, NAACP, NOW, New Florida Majority, National Organization
for Women, Sister Hermana, ACLU, Bring It Home Florida, Jacksonville Black
Commission, Clergy, Community Leaders will host a peaceful solidarity
remembrance and press conference.
Women’s March is calling for the community to take positive, peaceful action on
that day to express their sorrow, anguish, and disgust over the wounds of
racial division in this country and to remember those who have suffered, and
continue to suffer at the hands of rogue police officers. Supporters have been asked to wear black in
support of black lives, place signs in their cars with supportive verbiage,
donate to local charities that support racial justice, and attend the
Remembrance event in front of JSO.
WHO: Women’s March Florida, Jacksonville Chapter, in partnership with
community organizations, and clergy
WHAT: Solidarity Day of Action for George Floyd, “In Remembrance”
WHEN: Thurs., June 4, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) 501 E Bay St, Jacksonville,
WHY: “In Remembrance” George Floyd
HOW: Peaceful Gathering