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The Judgement of Brooklyn: Wine, Beer, Bling...BK Style

As my taxi pulled up to the Art Deco masterpiece, Skylight One Hanson, an event space like no other located in downtown Brooklyn in the world famous Williamsburg Savings Bank Clock-tower building, the stage was set for the Judgement of Brooklyn. A custom designed Lamborghini Murcielago decorated by Artist Rashaad Newsome was parked at the entry way. The automobile mirrored the opulence of Sklylight One Hanson's interior of mosaic murals, marble, and carved teller stations. The Judgement of Brooklyn has arrived. The first event of its kind in Brooklyn adapted from the original "Judgement of Paris '76 Tasting", created by Michael Brooks, Co-Owner of Bed-Vyne Brew and Bed-Vyne Wine.

Sponsored by numerous companies in the wine, beer, and lifestyle industry, folks from far and wide came to one of New York's hippest boroughs to partake in the festivities.

Tanya Jackson, daughter of Tito Jackson, promoting her new album came through by way of L.A. dressed in a gold gown, bringing a little extra bling to a momentous event.

Judge Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy's No. 43 chatted holding a glass of beer. He wouldn't divulge his beer of choice but indicated they were all great. I guess we'll have to wait for the final results.

Barbara-Bullard Jimmy-Carbone Jimmys-No-43-Restaurant Judgement-of-Brooklyn 05172014

What's The 411TV correspondent Barbara Bullard with Jimmy Carbone, owner, Jimmy's No. 43. Photo Credit: Donna Leslie/What's The 411 Networks

James Tai, Certified Cicerone ® & BJCP Beer Judge divulged that his passion of beer came from his college days! I researched the meaning of "Cicerone". For novices like me, the word Cicerone (pronounced sis-uh-rohn) was chosen to designate those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring, and serving today's wide range of beers. Go figure!

Among the list of sponsors VON Wine and Spirits gave a heads up on their new restaurant soon to open in Bedford Stuyvesant named Casablanca.

It was also great to see non-profit participation with "God's Love We Deliver" as a sponsor. The organization does such great work and its Director of Volunteer Services and Special Events, Steven Marion, came through to give Judgement of Brooklyn some love.

Jeff Kings Band performed an amazing set, which had people grooving while guests enjoyed their own samplings. An electronic voting system was provided so that guests could compare their own evaluations to those of the critics.

Last but not least, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams showed up bringing some Brooklyn love. The crowd got revved up with Brooklyn energy as the Brooklyn Borough President spoke about the future of Brooklyn.

Congratulations Judgement of Brooklyn! You have set the bar in a borough that continues to uplift and expand! Kudos! See ya'll next year!!!!!


Editor: Ruth J. Morrison

Flashback: John Calipari Checks in at the Barclays Center Opening

John Calipari checking out Jay Z and scoping the Barclays Center ahead of his Kentucky Wildcats taking the floor in a college basketball tournament showdown

As basketball lovers across the country are getting ready to watch the showdown between the cats and the dogs or, the Kentucky Wildcats and the UCONN Huskies, I'm going down memory lane to a first meeting of Kentucky Wildcats head basketball coach John Calipari.

It was the night of the Barclays Center opening. Music and business mogul, Jay Z was about to take the stage and perform, the first performer to do so. Coach Calipari was among the many that had come to the Barclays Center to celebrate a new beginning in Brooklyn and a new day of basketball in Brooklyn.

What's The 411TV, based in Brooklyn, NY, was out in full force on the red carpet and Coach Calipari stopped to chat it up with What's The 411SportsTV correspondent, Andrew Rosario.

So, what does Coach Calipari think of the new arena?

"Since we're going to be the first college game in here, I said I better get over here and see it (Barclays Center) and since Jay Z's on stage, I said I might as well do both."

Yes, basketball will be great in New York City with the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets battling it out.

"...that college game is going to be fun," said Calipari referencing the University of Kentucky's upcoming game at the Barclays Center and nicely reminding us that basketball professionals will be sharing the court with college kids.

With all new players, Kentucky was poised to face Maryland. Although Calipari lost his previous team, he remained optimistic saying, "it'll be fun."

Knowing that some of the kids on his team are from Nashville (Tennessee) and Arkansas, Calipari understands that when they arrive in New York City, it will be culture shock, but in Calipari's words, "it's going to be a great experience."

Is Calipari a Jay Z fan?

"Oh yeah, oh yeah; now he (Jay Z) came into our locker room and it cost him $50,000," Calipari said with a smile. "Now, I wonder if I go in his locker room, if it's going to cost me $50,000?"

By the way, I'm rooting for the freshmen (that's Kentucky if you're not a follower of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament).

Check out video interview with Coach John Calipari here:


What’s The 411 Wins Free Speech Award for News and Information

What's The 411, the weekly entertainment news and lifestyle television show, produced by Ruth J. Morrison, is now an award-winning entertainment news and lifestyle television show.

With 14 other honorees in its category, the show took home the coveted B FREE Award for news and information from the Brooklyn Public Network.

In the video below, Ruth J. Morrison, CEO and Founder, What's The 411 Networks and producer of What's The 411, takes us back to the early days through her acceptance speech as narration and a montage of video and photos of notables and celebrated personalities interviewed by What's The 411 reporters.

The video includes in order of appearance: actresses Susan Sarandon; Angelina Jolie; and Kimberly Elise; former U.S. President, Bill Clinton; the filmmakers of Love and the Small Print; comedian and actor Chris Rock; Ericka Pittman, Vice President, Blue Flame Agency; actor Malik Yoba; singer-actress Miesa and Melba Moore; legendary author and poet, Maya Angelou; actress Angela Bassett; New York Knicks fans (in happier days); Earvin "Magic" Johnson; singer-actress Jennifer Hudson; Blood, Sweat, and Heels reality TV star, Daisy Llewelyn; the legendary actress Cicely Tyson; actors Meryl Streep; Phylicia Rashad; Jamie Foxx; Denzel Washington; Halle Berry; Kerry Washington; Beyonce; and Samuel L. Jackson; New York Knicks President, Phil Jackson; tennis legend Billie Jean King; Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston; NFL Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Russell Wilson; NBA basketball players, Kevin Garnett; Paul Pierce; and Jason Terry; NFL football players, Victor Cruz; Eli Manning; and Peyton Manning; the Heisman Trophy; Texas A&M football player and Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel; boxers Mike Tyson and Sonya Lamonakis; Olympic Gold Medalist, Sanya Richards-Ross; and tennis great, Serena Williams.

Hosted by Bianca Peart, Glenn Gilliam, Jacinda Motton, and Kizzy Cox, What's The 411 airs nationwide on DISH TV's SimplyMe video on demand network and on Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on Verizon FiOS Channel 43 in New York City.

Watch Video

U.S. Launch of House of Mandela Wines in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn

VIDEO: House of Mandela Wines Comes to Bed-Vyne Wines


There's a tendency for us to mythologize our beloved leaders. Nelson Mandela is no different.

As the ANC leader who languished in a South African prison for 27 years and then became South Africa's first black president, he's become a symbol of bravery and forgiveness in the face of oppression. But to Makaziwe Mandela and Tukwini Mandela, he's no myth he's a man--their father and grandfather. Mr. Mandela didn't just "fall from the sky," as they put it. For their family, he's a symbol of self-determination who's taught them that when you put your mind to achieve something you can do it.

It's this legacy that Dr. Makaziwe Mandela (known more commonly as Maki) and Ms. Tukwini Mandela are bringing to their latest venture: House of Mandela wines. They're joining the very short list of black-owned wineries in South Africa's $3 billion wine industry. They hope that by doing so they'll empower other black business people to do the same.

On their first trip to Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Mandela and Ms. Mandela came to Bed-Vyne Wines, Bedford-Stuyvesant's boutique wine shop, to help the owners Michael Brooks and Rotimi Akinnuoye celebrate their second anniversary. The Mandela women also shared their thoughts on family legacy, the importance of being socially responsible in their business and how they're using the House of Mandela to give back to South Africa, one bottle at a time.


Magic Johnson on Red Carpet at Barclays Center Opening


To thunderous applause and shout-outs, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, CEO Magic Johnson Enterprises and former NBA Allstar, stepped on the red carpet for rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z's inaugural concert at the opening of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Speaking to What's The 411 TV's correspondent, Crystal L. Henderson, Magic shared his good feelings about the opening of the Barclays Center. Magic stated that the Barclays Center is not only good for Brooklyn, it is good for New York City. Magic also compared the impending rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and the NY Knicks to the Los Angeles Lakers and the L.A. Clippers.

The best line of the night came from Magic when Crystal asked him what's his favorite Jay-Z verse. Magic gave that great laugh and smile that he is famous for and said, ", no, hey, I love him; I think Jay Z's the best. I would do him a disservice by trying to rap; that's not what I do, I own things, that's what I do."

Geoffrey Davis Ecstatic About Opening of Barclays Center

VIDEO: Community activist, Geoffrey Davis, an early supporter of the Barclays Center's development delighted to finally see the arena open

On the Opening of the Barclays Center, Geoffrey A. Davis, President and Founder, James E. Davis Stop The Violence Foundation, told What's The 411's Barbara Bullard, "This is amazing, this is amazing, Brooklyn Nets, we're here to support our home team, we're going all the way, tonight it's Jay Z, a Brooklyn legend, we're supporting Jay Z all the way,....Brooklyn, Barclays Center Number one."

Davis further elaborated about the arena's impact on the community, "Oh, it's going to bring jobs, it has brought jobs, its bringing jobs, it's bringing excitement; look at all the people, it's bringing a whole different aura, which is Brooklyn, it's putting Brooklyn back on the map where it belongs, Brooklyn number one."

Redemption, Inc., Fundraising Gala - The Art of Legacy

Watch Video: The Art of Legacy

Redemption, Inc., a nonprofit youth-education and community empowerment organization, celebrated the Art of Legacy at its annual fundraising gala on Thursday, November 10, 2011, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY.

The theme, the Art of Legacy, honored people who have left a legacy for their children or for others to live by. Kizzy Cox, correspondent for What's The 411 TV, interviewed the honorees: Dr. Una Clarke, former NYC Councilmember, 40th District, Brooklyn, New York; Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, Member of Congress, NY-11th Congressional District; Charles Grannum, D.M.D, Cosmetic Dentist; Colvin Grannum, President and CEO, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Inc.; Jeffrey Grannum,Managing Agent for Flagstaff Clapham Group Real Estate Co. and Retired Director of Labor Relations, NYC Transit; Vera Moore, President and CEO, Vera Moore Cosmetics; and Consuela Helms, National Vice President, Product Development and Training, Vera Moore Cosmetics.

Also featured in the video are: Honorable Major R. Owens, former Member of U.S. Congress and Distinguished Professor, Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York (CUNY); NYC Councilmember Jumaane Williams; and Tiffany Tucker, President and Founder, Redemption, Inc.

Medgar Evers College Founders, Alumni, and Visionaries Dinner featuring Dr. Bill Cosby

WATCH VIDEO: Medgar Ever College Founders Day Celebration featuring founders, visionaries, faculty, local luminaries, community members, and Dr. Bill Cosby

This video features a number of luminaries from the Brooklyn, NY community who attended the Medgar Evers College Founders, Alumni, and Visionaries Dinner. The event, held annually, is to benefit the Medgar Evers College Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to students.

Actor/Philanthropist/Social Activist, Dr. Bill Cosby, gave the keynote address. In addition to Dr. Cosby, the video features: Sylvia Kinard, Esq.; Dr. William L. Pollard, President, Medgar Evers College; Joan Parrott-Fonseca, Esq., Former Dean, School of Business, Medgar Evers College; African Art Collector, Eric Edwards; Marketing Management Expert, Marilyn Artis; Ann Tripp, News Director, WBLS-FM Radio; Byron Lewis, Chairman & CEO, Uniworld; Dr. Moses Newsome, Medgar Evers College, Vice President, External Relations; and Ryan Mack, noted author, financial commentator, and President of Optimum Institute of Economic Empowerment.

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