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CARIBBEAT: Entertaining and educational bus tours on the music and masquerade-making of J’Ouvert 2019




For veteran fans and newcomers to the cultural tradition, entertaining and educational behind-the-scenes bus tours of the steelpan yards and masquerade camps —prepping for Brooklyn’s J’Ouvert 2019 — are taking place Wednesday and Thursday.

Several Brooklyn cultural institutions — the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Folk Arts program, in collaboration with J’Ouvert City International and City Lore — are presenting the novel three-hour excursions, which have J’Ouvert City International’s President Yvette Rennie as one of the tour’s guides.

According to organizers say “this initiative aims to create sustainable tourism, apprenticeship, and career opportunities around Brooklyn’s J’Ouvert celebration and parade, by providing job skills training to artists to seek employment as tour guides, teaching artists, and skilled tradespeople.”

Tour patrons — departing from the Brooklyn Museum on the City Lore Poem Mobile at 7 p.m. each night — will visit panyards, where musicians are practicing for their anticipated mobile J’Ouvert morning performances along the pre-dawn procession route — on playing rolling racks of steel drums.

In the mas camps are the creative designers and their intricate costume creations — many of which mock elected officials and the “powers that be” with bold and humorous Caribbean-style satire.
Tuning and toning of steel drum, rehearsals and details of musical arrangement, and the skilled wire bending and design of costumes are among the features of the trip. Snacks will be provided.

Tour tickets are $30 and all proceeds help support “artists and cultural activists working to keep these traditions thriving in Brooklyn.”

For tickets, visit and search for “J’Ouvert Steelpan Yard Tours.”

Countdown to Carnival
The final countdown to the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade is on — and it’s set to the music and entertainment of the culturally-rich pre-parade shows on the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum, starting Thursday

The West Indian American Day Carnival Day Association — presenter of the Sept. 2 Carnival Parade along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway — begins the festive atmosphere with the “Afrobeats, Reggae and Soca” concert Thursday at 6 p.m., featuring an international lineup of performers such as Wayne Wonder (Jamaica), Nessa Preppy (Trinidad), Afrobeats performer Runtown (Nigeria) and music from DJ Young Chow (Hot 97), Gringo (Sirius XM) and others.

Musical bands rule the stage at the “Brassfest” soca music concert on Friday 8.30, starting at 6 p.m. Performers include KES the Band, Farmer Nappy, Skinny Fabulous, Motto, Teddyson John, Problem Child, King Asa Banton and Patrice Roberts.

Daytime on Saturday belongs to the “Junior Carnival Parade” young masqueraders — who march from Kingston Ave. and St. John’s Place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn at 9 a.m. to a young peoples show and concert at the Brooklyn Museum.

And steel drums will own the night at the 2019 Panorama championship — with steel orchestras competing from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Despers USA Steel Orchestra, the defending champion, are scheduled to take on keen steelpan competitors such as — Adlib, CASYM, the Crossfire Steel Orchestra, D’Radoes, Harmony Music Makers, the Philadelphia Pan Stars, Pan Fantasy from Canada) and Pan Evolution.

And next Sunday , the evening before the Carnival Parade, big stars, such as Calypso Rose and Tallpree, join the massive costumes of “King and Queen of the Bands” masqueraders and other presentations at “Sunday Night Mas – Dimanche Gras: An All White Affair,” 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
For information and online ticket purchases, visit or call (718) 467-1797.

Back-to-school show
Soca performer Lyrikal will give youngsters some musical back-to-school incentive today at the free “Back To School and Sports Day,” presented by the Caribbean American Center of New York, at the Monument Base of Cadman Plaza Park, 195 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For information, call (917) 651-4499, (718) 625-1515 or send email to, or adlamdiane3@yahoo.coms

Flatbush Caton Market’s extended hours
With the New York Caribbean Carnival in mind, the Flatbush Caton Market has extended hours to aid shoppers preparing for the festive affair.

The extended Labor Day weekend hours for the market, at 2184 Clarendon Road, are:

Sat., Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sun., September 1: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Overnight on Sun., Sept. 1, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
And Mon., Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the market, you can find traditional flag wear, including all types of formal and semi-formal fashion for women, men, and children, custom Haitian Karabela dresses, handmade leather sandals, lingerie, plus- sizes, handbags, shoes, jewelry and gifts.

A wide variety of “dried foods, spices, personal care, Shea Butter, Haitian Castor Oil, and all things Rasta” are available for area residents and visitors.

“If you’re coming from out of town – this is where you go to buy all things Caribbean for the festivities and to take back home,” said FCM market director Lisa Thompson, noting that “market vendors hail from Belize, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with two West African countries – Guinea and Nigeria.”

The market’s 30-plus vendors carry items such as Caribbean flags and flag wear; “semi-formal fashion for women, men, and children, custom Haitian Karabela dresses, handmade leather sandals, lingerie, plus- sizes, handbags, shoes, jewelry and gifts.”

There is also wide variety of “dried foods, spices, personal care, Shea Butter, Haitian Castor Oil, and all things Rasta” are available.

Visit for information

Eddy Grant at ‘Jazzy’ fest
Like his hit song, organizers and patrons of the free Dr. Mary Umolu Jazzy Jazz Festival at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College will be “Walking on Sunshine” Friday 8.30 when prolific Guyana-born musician Eddy Grant personally accepts honors at the annual event.

Grant — the performer-songwriter-producer whose popularity in England grew into international fame and acclaim — is making an appearance on Friday, when a performance by the Shanto Ensemble closes the festival.

The festival will be held in front of the college’s Academic Complex Building, 1638 Bedford Ave, at Crown St., from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Presented by the college’s Department of Mass Communications, Creative and Performing Arts and Speech, the annual festive was founded by the department chair Professor Mary Umolu and renamed for her posthumously.

Last month, on the “The Tonight Show, starring Jimmy Fallon,” Grant performed a powerful redition of his platinum-selling song “Electric Avenue” with enthusiastic backing from the show’s popular house band, “The Roots.”

Fallon also promoted Grant’s “Plaisance” album, the musician’s latest release which is named for his Guyana birthplace, a town historically known for its independence. Copies of the “Plaisance” album will be available at the event.
For information on the festival, call (718) 270-5140 or (347) 243-6907. And visit for more on the musician

USVI group’s b’day fest
There is calypso, soca, dance, and cultural presentations are on the agenda for the 20th anniversary of the free Caribbean Cultural Fest, presented by the Virgin Islanders United next Sunday in Manhattan at Jackie Robinson Park, 85 Bradhurst Ave. (at W. 145th St.) from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The event’s “Caribbean mega-concert” stars Laurena Davis and TKO, Ebony T and Island Prince Jr, and soca artist Explainer and others.
There will also be vendors exhibiting the “food, and culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.”

“We are so proud to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our signature event,” said Virgin Islanders United President Janet Parris, adding that the 2019 event will focus on St. Croix, host of the Crucian Christmas Festival in December.

For information, visit send email to, or call (845) 670-7695.

Tourism head is N.Y.-bound
There’s a new tourism boss for the USVI — and he’ll be in New York over Labor Day weekend.

First, newly-appointed Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte and a delegation from the USVI Department of Tourism will attend a “Virgin Islands Tourism Ambassadors Event” Friday at the InterContinental Times Square featuring the USVI Carnival Road March-winning Spectrum Band.

On Saturday , author and filmmaker Peter Bailey will screen his moving “Paradise Discovered: The Unbreakable Virgin Islanders” film about “surviving hurricanes Irma and Maria on his native St. Thomas.” The event will be held at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater, 137-139 W. 26th St. in Manhattan, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The screening is free, but attendees must register in advance.

Next Sunday , Boschulte and tourism team members will attend the 20th anniversary “Caribbean Cultural Fest” in Harlem, presented by the Virgin Islanders United organization.


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There really is a holiday for everything, and so today we celebrate the cheeseburger




celebrate the cheeseburger

Happy National Cheeseburger Day! Yes, there really is a day for everything.

But a day for everything means there’s a deal for everything, and so some of your favorite burger spots are serving up discounts -and free burgers – to celebrate.
We’re not sure when this day was invented or why it falls on this day in particular, but we do know these random facts about cheeseburgers:

The cheeseburger was likely invented by a teenager
If you’re going to be devouring a juicy burger today, you may have Lionel Clark Sternberger to thank.
Legend has it that Sternberger invented the cheeseburger sometime in the mid-1920’s, forever altering the course of human history.
Mr Sternberger — can we call you “Berger” for short? — was a teenage short-order cook at a restaurant called The Rite Spot in Pasadena, California.
One day, Sternberger slapped some cheese on top of a patty and America was never the same.

Americans have a favorite cheese for their burger
Forget the fancy stuff. Unsurprisingly, Americans prefer American cheese on their burger. According to the 2019 Burger Consumer Trend Report, 70% of Americans prefer the processed stuff over cheddar cheese.

You can attempt to eat the world’s largest burger in Michigan
Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar owner Steven Mallie spent four years figuring out how to execute making a 1,794 pound cheeseburger. And in 2017, he did it. The burger earned a Guinness World Record and is on the menu, but it will cost you a whopping $10,000 to try.

Where you can get a deal on a cheeseburger
So now, the real question. Where can you score a juicy cheeseburger deal on National Cheeseburger Day? Search no more — we have the answers right here.

Applebee’s: Classic Bacon Cheeseburger’s are just $6.99. Plus, the chain is offering endless fries with the burger.
Jack in the Box: You can get a free burger by making any purchase through the Jack in the Box app at a participating restaurant.
Wendy’s: There are exclusive coupons in the Wendy’s app today, but no free burgers.
White Castle: The chain is offering one free Cheese Slider with any purchase today only.
Smashburger: Bring a friend and get a buy-one-get-one free deal on double classic Smashburgers.
Red Robin: You can get a Gourmet Cheeseburger and Bottomless Steak Fries for $5 with any beverage purchase at participating restaurants today.
Dairy Queen: Try the chain’s new two for $4 Super Snack deal today, which comes with mix and match snacks including choice of a cheeseburger, a small sundae, fries, pretzel sticks or chicken tenders.
Burger King: Burger King isn’t just celebrating today, but this deal lasts through Sunday. You can get a cheeseburger for just 59 cents with a mobile order on the app.

Or hey, you know what? Burgers aren’t too hard. Head on down to your local grocery store and pick up some bread, cheese, and meat (or something meat-like if you stick to veggies) — and celebrate one of the greatest sandwiches known to humankind.


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Ash Ketchum’s First Pokemon League Title Has Fans Going Crazy





It’s the anime equivalent of LeBron winning his first ring or Scorsese winning his first Oscar. After 22 years on the air, the long-running “Pokemon” anime series gave fans what they’ve always wanted, as Ash Ketchum finally won his first Pokemon league title Sunday.

For decades, Ash has traveled through the various regions of the world of Pokemon with his buddy Pikachu, meeting friends and foiling the plots of Team Rocket. Along the way, he has caught dozens of Pokemon and competed in six regional league tournaments, but every time he has fallen short. He did bring a trophy back to his home in Pallet Town way back in 1999 by winning all four badges in the Orange League, but that league did not have a full tournament.

Ash’s constant setbacks have been praised for teaching kids how to learn and grow from failure, but longtime fans have been begging and pleading for him to finally reach the top of the mountain. He got there on Sunday’s episode of “Pokemon: Sun and Moon — Ultra Legends,” the 1080th episode of the series, which aired this week in Japan.

Titled “The Rise of Alola’s Champion,” Ash faced Gladion, a rival trainer he’s encountered multiple times in the “Sun & Moon” series, in the championship match of the Alola region’s tournament, the Alola Conference. Gladion’s main Pokemon was a formidable Lycanroc, a Rock-type that resembles a wolf. Ash brought out his own Lycanroc for the battle and came out victorious, becoming Alola’s regional champion.

For millennials who were kids when the 10-year-old Ash first set out on his Pokemon quest back in 1997, it’s a truly remarkable moment. It’s also a big moment for Ash’s original voice actor, Veronica Taylor, who congratulated Ash as well as her Japanese dub counterpart, Rica Matsumoto.
Fans in the U.S. will be able to see Ash’s big victory in English when it airs on Disney XD on Jan. 18.


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Here’s Where You Can Get Friday the 13th Tattoos for Cheap




tattoo salon new york

If you’re superstitious, you might feel risk-averse on Friday the 13th. Netflix probably sounds a lot better than skydiving or starting to train for your new career as an apiarist. If you enjoy a little thrill and find creepy holidays to be the best ones, you probably already know it’s a big day for tattoo shops.

Popularized by Oliver Peck in Dallas, Friday the 13th tattoos are a major event for many parlors across the country. The shops set out flash sheets — a sheet or book of pre-drawn tattoo options — often designed by artists in-house. Those drawings are available as cheap, quick tattoos that have people lining up for hours.

Be good to your artist if you’re going under the needle. That should go without saying anytime you’re getting a tattoo. However, artists usually aren’t making much on your tattoo when they offer steep discounts. The prices vary by shop, but many offer the tattoo for $13 with a mandatory $7 tip. “The shop doesn’t make $$ on Friday the 13th,” New York’s Daredevil Tattoo writes on its site. “It actually cost us $$ and we are very tired at the end of the day so we really appreciate nice words and any nice reviews you can leave for us online.”

Paul Collurafici of Chicago’s Tattoo Factory previously told Thrillist you “watch out for shortcuts.” Participating shops are going to be going through a lot of customers throughout the day. “Counters and chairs should be wiped down with sani-wipes after every tattoo,” he says. “Needles and tubes should be in sealed sterile packages and opened in front of [you]. New ink poured out while [you] watch.”

With all of that in mind, here are shops around the country that are offering Friday the 13th tattoos. Be sure to check with your local parlor for more details, because the procedure will vary from place to place.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Atlanta
Memorial Tattoo
As usual, tattoos at Memorial will be $13 with a $7 tip (cash only). They’ll also have an option to get a nice-looking Memorial Tattoo shirt, which you can bundle with the tattoo for $40.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Austin
All Saints Tattoo
Shop owner Jon Reed says they’ll have more than 400 custom designs drawn in-house. It will run you $31 whether or not you want the piece in color. In addition to the All Saints staff, artists from Los Angeles are flying into town to join the fun. The 400 designs will be available at both All Saints locations, but there will be bonus options at the North Austin shop.

Amillion Tattoo
Amillion is participating, as it usually does. The deals vary, but there are often options to get a tattoo for $13 (with a $7 tip), $31, and $130.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Chicago
Head to Toe Tattoo
The tattoos will vary in cost by size, starting at $13+$7 for a 1″x1″ piece. Then they go up to $31 and $66.6 from there. If you pay $66.60 for a tattoo, you’re allowed to refer to it as the mark of the beast at a later date.

Jade Dragon Tattoo
Swing by Jade for a $13 piercing with a $7 tip or a $31 tattoo with a $9 tip. As most shops do, Jade Dragon has pre-drawn flash sheets, but you can also bring in a similar design. There will also be some $50 designs on a separate sheet.

Mind Crusher Tattoo
As the shop does every Friday the 13th, they’ll be open at 11am and tattooing until 9pm. Tattoos are first come, first serve and cost $13 with a $7 tip.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Dallas
Elm Street Tattoo
The shop co-owned by Oliver Peck runs a 24-hour tattoo marathon every Friday the 13th. If you want to make sure you get in, sign up for an appointment on Thursday. Reservations won’t be taken before that point. Otherwise, the line starts forming just before things kick off at midnight. Tattoos will be $13 with a lucky $7 tip.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Denver
Lifetime Tattoo
During Lifetime’s “Lotto” event, you pay $60 and “get what you get.” (There’s a randomized selection process, and you get the tattoo you’ve picked at random.) If you don’t like what you drew, you can drop another $20 to pick again. Alternatively, for $100, you pick your own image from the flash sheet. The tattoos are palm-sized, and you won’t be able to see the potential designs until the day of the event.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Houston
Red Eye Gallery
You’ll find a “straight forward” Friday the 13th event at Red Eye, the shop tells Thrillist. First come, first serve on $13 tattoos with a minimum $7 tip.
Friday the 13th Tattoos in Los Angeles

True Tattoo Hollywood
The shop will be open for a full 24 hours, from midnight to midnight. People start lining up as early as 8 or 9pm the night before, the shop tells Thrillist. There will be a bunch of $20 designs to choose from, as well as larger options that range from $40 to $240.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Minneapolis
Guns N Needles
The shop will have four artists inking revelers from 12-9pm. Tattoos are first come, first served. They’ll cost $20 ($13+$7), but you can’t ask for design changes or have the tattoo on your hands, face, or neck. The available art will be kept a secret until the event starts.

MPLS Tattoo Shop
The Twin Cities staple is serving up a sheet with $66 and $131 tattoos. The images aren’t yet available, but you’ll certainly be able to see the custom flash sheet from the talented artists at Minneapolis Tattoo when you stop by.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Nashville
Grace & Glory Tattoo
The Murfreesboro shop will be doing Friday the 13th tattoos as it usually does. The event will run from 10am to 10pm.
Friday the 13th Tattoos in New York

Daredevil Tattoo
The shop goes all-in for the spooky holiday. You’ll find $13 tattoos with a $7 tip. As they’ve done for 15 years, you can line up at noon and put your name on a reservation list at that time so you don’t have to stand around all day.

Fineline Tattoo
From noon until midnight, Fineline is offering $13 tattoos with a lucky $7 tip. The shop will have special designs available for the occasion and will not be offering custom designs. Arms and legs only.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Philadelphia
Art Machine Productions
Art Machine’s Friday the 13th event lasts from noon until 7pm. You’ll be able to grab a tattoo for $130. After they’re finished inking customers, the shop and gallery will open for an afterparty that includes giveaways, raffles, food, and drinks. Get more details here.

Hunter Gatherer
Stop by for tattoos from a custom flash sheet prepared by Hunter Gatherer artists. The ink will start at $50 per tattoo. You can also get $10 off a piercing with a maximum of three per person. No appointments or reservations are accepted.

Spirited Tattoo
The shop will have two artists rolling through a flash sale on palm-sized pieces. All art is designed by the shop’s artists. They won’t be accepting custom designs.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Portland
Adorn Body Art
Adorn wasn’t going to participate while it prepares to open a studio in Vancouver, but they will be joining in after all. Though, only the Adorn West shop is participating. Adorn East will not be doing Friday the 13th tattoos. The shop will open at noon, but the line often starts as early as 9am. You can get a tattoo from Adorn’s flash sheet for $31 with a minimum $9 tip.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in San Francisco
Black and Blue Tattoo
The shop will have a pair of artists participating with their own flash sheets available. The tattoos will go for around $200 an hour.

Moth and Dagger
Tattooing commences at noon and no appointments are accepted. They’ll cost $60 cash and are only available on legs and arms. Additionally, owner Mario Delgado still offers free nipple tattoos for breast cancer survivors on an ongoing basis. Call the shop for more details.

Friday the 13th Tattoos in Washington, DC
Hyena Tattoos
There will be 13 designs available at Hyena. Each will cost you $31. The designs will be unveiled late Wednesday or early Thursday through the shop’s social media channels.


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