As far back as the 1800’s discrimination forced  Chinese immigrants to live near each other, thus the establishments of CHINATOWNS, in many major cities of the United States including Baltimore, Md. Restaurants and laundries were their services, that had little or no competition from other ethnic groups.

After World War Two, the immigrant Chinese, were coming to the States for an education, not to obtain a degree to clean clothes, sell fruit or open a Chinese restaurant on Park Heights Avenue.

Purchasing gas station franchises, Seven Elevens and liquor stores, were not only more profitable, but the children of such immigrants wanted integration. To pursue other interests, namely, law, medicine, acting, art, became their new horizons.

To express the CROSSOVER Tracey Jen has put on display the works of four Chinese artists: Beth Lo, Adam Chau, Hung-Chang Huang and Sicheng Wang. I paid a visit to the gallery at 440 East Oliver Street, Baltimore Md.



The Day I Met Sharon

Because of the vantage point from which I stand, I get numerous invitations to events including concerts, plays, recitals etc. I try to make as many without being discriminatory; however I am, when it comes to comedy: the language often sprayed with four letter words of vulgarity, not helpful for the culture I am promoting.

I decided on meeting SHARON because I was intrigued and curious. She was only available to see me on this particular Sunday. Her location was in the heart of East Baltimore, Md., and I  came to find out this has been home for decades.

The drive up to her location was laden with cars double parked, and security to her entrance door. It was the 53rd Annual Benefit Concert, with special guest, THE HAMPTON UNIVERSITY CONCERT CHOIR, of Virginia.

This SHARON, is not a woman,(as beautifully photographed above), but an old Baptist Church waiting for an endowment.



My Brother’s Keeper

There are several little land masses between the two continents of North and South America. Geographers have named the collection, Central America.

For the better part of history, the inhabitants have been indigenous Indians; then the Europeans came in search of wealth, conquered this area, while sexually and physically enslaving the population; with the help of Catholicism, to the victors went the spoils.

Fast forward to today, these little countries became banana republics of the rich, who ruled from their high chairs in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Some time on “Jose” left Central America for North America. He found out for the same output of labor, not only could he feed himself better, but that he can send money home, or even bring his family to live in the States.

Later cocaine became a bigger cash crop than bananas. The cocaine republic rulers now rivaled the banana republic rulers, the result: factions of war. Some of Jose’s extended families would not work for the cocaine rulers, and thus faced execution. What were they to do? Run, run, run! They could not wait for visas, so with little or nothing the  families set out, the distance is 788 hours, and a total of 2,392 miles. Many were dying on the way, hundreds got robbed. The varying temperatures showed no compassion; subsequently, the remainders arrived at the Southern border of the United States, supposedly at the foot of the Good Samaritan, whose dollar bill, has the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

Immigrants dragging their children to safety (Reuters photo)

Instead of the statue of liberty creed, the current administration, with Donald Trump behaving like the Third Reich (keeping the “race” pure), blocked Jose’s families. This sent the heart rate needle of  Trump supporters into the red. Catholics, Evangelists, Southern and Black Baptists, who voted for Trump, were aghast! They ate pages of the Bible, especially John 21:17. IF YOU HAVE AFFECTION FOR ME, FEED MY SHEEP! The religious, abortion haters, now find themselves in bed with the NATIONALISTS. What a quandary!

The Hilarities have risen to power, 1940’s are here in North America, families separated at the border, then transported to camps… AUSCHWITZ ? March 15, 1942.

Where are the good Samaritans?

Baltimore is doing its part to show its opposition to segregated treatment at the border. I attended a meeting where some expressed their concerns :

CAN YOU CHECK THE BOX, that says, “I am my brother’s keeper?”

The Whisper

It is not that she wanted to hear him whisper something endearing. That he observed something he forgot to mention earlier. Maybe he felt like nibbling, or she was experiencing a moment of seduction, and wanted to feel his heat, but could not wait for the later hour. They were in public. The wine had mellowed them both, the food was in digestive mode; the lights were low, no smoke, while the piano music took them down memory lane. The heat of his lips could sustain her until further notice, there was romance in the air.


This particular night the wind was cold, but I was not interested in my imagined couple, nor was I famished to try the “Herb Crusted Beef Carpaccio” with truffle aioli, or the “Roasted Bone Marrow” with shallot and capers. A bottle of Marlborough Pinot Noir from sunny New Zealand,(2014) would be just fine, before talking with the entertainer of the night, MARK KOTISHION.

Picture of delight at 18th & 21st

During my talk with Mark, the background music was provided by JOHN “Chordy” Teagle on piano. The Entertainment Manager has piano skills.

I’m home, in Columbia, Md., at this new supper club, named 18th & 21st. After THE LIBRARY club and disco took exit, the community suffered a drought. Merriweather Post weathered the barrage, and now the open space, that once felt the thumps of feet in jeans and T-Shirts, has an extension.

To my couple in “the whisper”, she smiled at him cunningly and said in wide grin, “yes of course!”

Two Sisters In The Key of “J”

When we think of sisters of note, we think, fame. Venus and Serena Williams. These two African American sisters changed forever the way tennis is played today. They represent speed and power, and drive fear in women’s professional tennis; for if you beat one, two rounds later, you face the other.

Then there were those twins, Ann and Abby Landers,(Listed in the Jewish Encyclopedia) advice columnists, who got married in a double wedding, lived in the same town and wore matching outfits.

Last week I watched two,  who looked like my neighbors that I would meet in the neighborhood supermarket, who went into the key of “J” moving into attack mode, using brass instruments.

Left, INGRID JENSEN, (trumpet); Right, CHRISTINE JENSEN, (saxophone)

“Wo!” was my immediate reaction. They were playing trumpet, alto and soprano sax, and the music was “J”, jazz!!

The Ingrid Jensen Quintet, that includes her sister Christine on saxophones. Two white sisters, who love the first original American Music, created by descendants of slaves, JAZZ. Does she (A Canadian, who was teaching classical music at age 25 in Austria, see herself as a bridge between the two races? (See Video for answer).

KUSH ABADEY, the band’s drummer is from Cheverly Md. Only in his 20’s, his drumming pushed him on tour at age 16, and hit the platform of prestige, when in 2008, First Lady Michelle Obama, invited him to play at the White House. He joined company with stars likes of  Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter extraordinaire.

The Baltimore Jazz Society sponsors these concerts, with April 5th, 2019, planning to be one of their largest.

The Minotaur In You

What is it? It is the fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of one’s evil albeit sexual thoughts, having been suppressed for decades enveloping one’s conscience, and then you acting out as if overcome, driven into a state of delirium!

Andre Masson, There Is No Finished World, 1942

Herein lies the embryo of psychotherapy. Not trusting anyone but “me, myself and I”. “Why did you rape the woman?” “I don’t know, something told me to”. A certain clergyman did it, then jumped to his death off a mountain. It was the “monster/Minotaur” in him that took over.

“Why were you attempting to commit suicide?” “I couldn’t take it anymore”

“Do you know you are addicted?” “Yes, but I can’t help myself”.

It happens when “anxiety” becomes the “X” factor. For many the minotaur is the DEVIL. “Get the cross!”, some are heard shouting in sudden outburst. The Catholic priests have been raping young boys, their minotaurs got the better of them.

The Temptation of  Saint Anthony (Dorothea Tanning) 1945

In the 1930’s and 40’s, prominent artists like SALVADOR DALI, created elaborate works, showing creatures with bodies of men, with heads of bulls, and tails of mammoth creatures. The minotaur factor had risen, Hitler, Mussolini, war, death, starvation, greed, sexual depravation.

The minotaurs in mankind seemed to be stunned gunned, since 1945. But the rumblings can be heard from afar. This is the 21st Century. There is a United Nations for heads of government, acting out their “minotaurs” as  Donald Trump is showing signs of a menacing minotaur. So is Putin, “Little Kim” of North Korea, and Maduro of Venezuela. Not to speak of the competing cities for murder capital of the world: Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles!

If you are afraid of what your inner voice is saying to you, would medical marijuana help? And what happens when you cannot get it, does the minotaur in you win?

Max Ernst, The Barbarians,1937

The Baltimore Museum of Art asks you to look at what happened in the 1930’s and 40’s, in its exhibition of MONSTERS & MYTHS, (IT CAN BE A SELF SEARCHING EXPERIENCE).