Maysles Cinema Throws First Annual Spring Pong

What do you get when you mix music and ping pong in the spring? Why, Spring Pong of course! This year, our dear friends at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem are throwing a slamming ping pong party at SPiN New York to raise funds for the Maysles Documentary Center. Some of the hottest DJ's in NYC, like Sarah Lewitinn, Chairman Mao, Nancy Whang,  and Stormin' Norman, will be mixing while guest challenge each other to some friendly ping pong matches.

A silent auction will also be held featuring some limited edition Maysles Cinema posters signed by documentary legend Albert Maysles, and even a chance to win a coffee date with him at our very own Red Rooster Harlem. All proceeds will go directly to the cinema and documentary education programs at the Maysles Institute.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Come and get your spring on with some ping pong!

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Art Tour and Cooking Demo with Harlem's Children's Storefront

We had many smiling faces at Red Rooster Harlem yesterday as we welcomed the Children's Storefront 3rd grade class for a special art tour and cooking demonstration. I love teaching the importance of healthy eating to kids and with Philip Maysles' collection still at Red Rooster, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bring in a Harlem school for a tour.

Miss Larson's 3rd grade class from The Children's Storefront joined us as Harlem artist Philip Maysles came and personally gave them a tour of his current collection "The Comfort of Enlightenment" hanging at Red Rooster. Philip showed each of his pieces to the kids and spoke of the history of Norman Rockwell and Ruby Bridges who inspired his collection. I was truly impressed by the kid's amazing questions for him in regards to the mediums of his art and his inspiration for the paintings. They also got a chance to sign and leave comments in our guest book for the collection.

The art tour was followed by a cooking class and lunch that I prepared for the kids. I taught them a simple way to make sauteed shrimp and spoke of how to include more vegetables in our diet. We then served them a Rooster-style lunch of grilled shrimp, healthy beans, and collard greens and cornbread with tomato jam in theme with New Orleans, where Ruby Bridges was from and went to school. It was great to see the kids enjoy the food and ask important questions about cooking. They also had a blast "toasting" to several aspects of their field trip, just like they've seen adults do at restaurants. It was a trip to see!

The children weren't the only ones who went home with something, since both Philip and I were presented with gifts from the Storefront children. The kids gifted Philip with a collage of inspirational words that they used to describe Ruby Bridges and a picture of her on the collage, while they gave me a bag of green beans picked from the school's very own garden, as well as several "thank you" noted from my last visit to The Children's Storefront. It was such a beautiful gesture that I pickled the green beans and they will soon be on display at our bar.

Overall it was a great event and I can't wait to host another one for more kids here in Harlem. Check out our photos of the event below and for more information about The Children's Storefront, click here.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya

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Red Rooster Hosts Art Luncheon for Philip Maysles

Yesterday, Red Rooster Harlem hosted an intimate art luncheon in honor of Harlem artist Philip Maysles and his current art collection, "The Comfort of Enlightenment." We welcomed many esteemed guests like Studio Museum's Thelma Golden, Veronica Chambers, and other artists like Delphine Diallo, John Ahearn, and Jason Kraus. The intimate luncheon served as an introduction for press and other guests to Philip's collection currently hanging at Red Rooster. Philip proudly presented his collection inspired by Norman Rockwell's piece "The Problem We All Live With," and spoke of the history behind Rockwell's creation and inspiration. 

Red Rooster will also once again welcome Philip Maysles in the coming weeks as he also conducts a tour for a class of students from Harlem's Children's Storefront. Check out our images below from the luncheon and for more information about Philip Maysles and his current collection at Red Rooster, click here to read.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya

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Philip Maysles' New Art at Red Rooster

We all witnessed a bit of history pass through Red Rooster's doors yesterday, as artist Philip Maysles stopped by to install his new exhibit of his work. This new 5-piece collection on Red Rooster Harlem's walls was inspired by the great American artist Norman Rockwell's painting "The Problem We All Live With." As explained by Philip, he had seen Norman's painting in 2005 at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and noticed a connection between the painting and the school kids that were touring the museum at that time. He wondered "to what degree have we been able to transcend those same racial issues today?"

From that point he delved even more in Rockwell's work and history and learned that during Rockwell's tenure at the Saturday Evening Post, he was only allowed to portray African Americans in subservient jobs. This demand of him was completely against his own beliefs since at the time he was also donating to the NAACP and supporting the civil rights movement. Because of this stark contradiction, the degrading task grew heavy on Norman and caused him to seek therapy for his dissociation. After his therapy and was complete, Norman left his position at the Post and his first painting was "The Problem We All Live With," which tells of the story of Ruby Bridges, the first African American student to attend a desegregated school in New Orleans in 1960. Every day Ruby was escorted to school by two US Marshals and sat in a classroom by herself with her own teacher, so while the school was desegregated, there was still no interaction between her and the other students in her school.

Philip's first painting is inspired by the actual painting hanging in the Houston Museum and the guest book alongside it for comments from those who have seen it. The next is a painting of Lucille Bridges, one of the daughters of Ruby Bridges who was a victim of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and through her evacuation to Houston, Texas, was able to first see the painting inspired by her mother, Ruby. Another painting is a self-portrait of Norman Rockwell as Ruby Bridges, which speaks that there is a Ruby in each one of us. The final two paintings are inspired by the actual making of the original painting, where a model was used, Linda Gunn, who was accompanied by her father David Gunn, who was actually the first African American to teach gym in a New England Prep School. Each painting is related and interwoven in such a way that draws upon the experience of not only the subjects of the paintings (like Ruby, Lucille, Linda, and David) but also of the painters themselves (Norman and Philip) and their own experiences with race in the US.

We would like to encourage everyone to stop by the Red Rooster and check out Philip Maysle's new hanging pieces that we are currently proudly displaying in the restaurant. You are also welcome to leave a comment in own our guest book beneath Philip's "After 'The Problem We All Live With.'"

For more information about Philip Maysles, please visit here.

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