A story of mending hearts with Children Mending Heart

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL – Once upon a time, there was a young, vibrant little girl named Sab. She was the typical happy girl, teased by her hero – her big brother, Don. She was born prematurely at 6 months, but since she grabbed her first breath, she was a warrior… She was a happy warrior.

Her first friend was her cousin, Sand. Sand was one year younger than Sab. The two of them were inseparable and constantly mimicked each other.

1985

Around the age of three, Sab made new friends since her family moved to a new neighborhood. Mimi, Reg, Jackie, Ronnie, and Freddie, along with her cousin Sand and big brother Don were her crew. She felt so complete. When she left her crew to start kindergarten, she thought she would find the same kind of friends she had already made, but that wasn’t the case. It was the total opposite. This was the first time she encountered rejection and bullying. She didn’t say anything to her parents or to her brother about it because she didn’t want to dwell. She just couldn’t wait to play with her crew, lovingly called Pigeon’s Crew. For her, solace was in her crew.

Three years later, her world changed. Her family moved from one street to the next, but Sab lost her soulmate, Mimi. Even though they were just one street apart, the friendship would never be the same. They were not going to the same elementary school for grade one and faced this new chapter of their lives apart.

This vibrant little girl slowly started to lose her spark.

Little Sab and a certain Teddy Bear

Why?

She was constantly bullied by the mean girl of the school she went to. This went on up until her sixth grade. The mean Nad was a total nightmare! For no particular reason, she just hated the sweet Sab. Sab was really sad about it and even afraid to go to school, but she kept it to herself.

When starting high school, she thought she would get a break, but she encountered a new version of the Mean Nad and this one wasn’t alone. Mean Mel was a total bitch (sorry for the language). With her crew, they vandalized Sab’s locker, they stole the precious pens that she cherished, they pulled at her long, thick hair in the bathroom thinking it was a wig. The leader of the crew was a mean boy, Mean Kenny E. Sab was totally unhappy and suicidal. She wanted badly to end her life, but she always thought about her hero at times like this, her big brother Donald and her parents. Wrestling was a refuge for Sab. Ever since she was a little girl, she wrestled her brother and wrestling was a religion in her home, for the whole family.

Her idol was Bret, The Hitman, Hart. In him, she saw someone courageous and very bright. He wasn’t the tallest one, but he was the smartest one! He was fearless. Sab held on to his character and his determination to get through each day, every day.

Bret Hart

At the end of her second year in high school, oh I forgot to note – she went to a private school – she did the unthinkable…

She managed to register herself at the local high school, one that had the worst reputation. It was an act of survival for her and probably the best decision she made. The bullying she suffered at the previous schools was because she wasn’t like the other kids. She didn’t fit their definition of normal. She was curious about the world, about other cultures and she didn’t speak with the particular accent attributing to the Haitian community. So, she was bullied. When she finally started going to her new school, Calixa, she was finally able to breathe again. She rekindled her friendship with Mimi, who ended up at Calixa too. She met new friends and they were so sweet.

IMG_0841

She even grew a strong friendship with Grace, a sweet Italian kid that was living in front of her when she moved at the age of 6.

Her confidence grew back, little by little, and her new crew was a remix of the old one with a few new faces.

Friendship

She stayed the sweet girl, wanting to do good and be kind to everyone. She was broken for a while, but with the help of her friends and her family, she was able to rebuild again. In her adult life, she encountered challenges, but she is grateful to be alive.

This sweet Sab is me.

Writing this post was not easy, but I had to do it. This month is a special month. It is Bullying Prevention Month. I’m collaborating with the Children Mending Hearts (yeah!) to bring awareness to the issue of bullying. Since 2008, The Children Mending Hearts (CMH) Foundation has provided free art education programs to more than 25,000 children in the county of Los Angeles.

Children Mending Hearts

I always said to myself when I was younger that if I’m still alive when I grew up, I want to help children that suffer like me and to tell them, please stay as kind as you are and don’t change yourself. Better days are on the horizon.

The founder of The CMH, filmmaker Lysa Heslov (one of my heroes), had the vision to create a foundation that will inspire children to grow up to be compassionate and socially-conscious adults. For me, that is truly a beautiful mission. In the 80s and 90s, we didn’t talk about bullying at all in school. Some TV shows navigated the subject, but not like today. Lisa and the rest of the CMH team’s mission are to change the culture of bullying into one of empathy and action.

Lysa Heslov

My 35-year-old heart is happy to learn about this beautiful mission.

Looking throught the horizon

During this month, let’s make something cool and artsy to send a message. By painting our nails blue (come on boys, it’s 2018, you can do it!) and post a picture on social media with the hashtag #bluenailsbullyfree and tag @childrenmendinghearts. I

went to get my nails done! For the whole month, I will be sporting fifty shades of blue nails. Hm, maybe not THAT many! In two weeks, I will post my nails in a new kind of blue to show my support for a cause really close to my heart.

Something Blue!

So, let’s do it! Let’s encourage the next generation to continue being kind, being fearless, and to remember to be compassionate human beings. I sure will continue to do it. With Children Mending Hearts, I can’t wait to be part of their team and witness the legacy they will leave for the future generation.

https://www.childrenmendinghearts.org

Children Mending Hearts

 

 

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Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Roll and Food with Anthony and Eric

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

Montreal – In the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries, we have witnessed some of the most beautiful and powerful friendships. There were Ben and Jerry, Sinatra-Martin-Lawford-Davis Jr, Thelma and Louise, Affleck and Damon, Kidman and Watts, Brodeur-Obama-Winfrey, Obama and Biden and this list can go on and on.

 

One of my favorite duos includes two of the most well-loved and well-known chefs in the world. Their chemistry is palpable.

I’m still laughing about that Parts Unknown episode in Chile when they were hiking toward their cacao field in Peru. Tony was so, hmm… let’s say he wasn’t used to hiking like Éric was, but he kept walking (with a few F words here and there), enjoying time with his friend.

I will be honest with you guys, as a teenager in the 90s (1996-2000), the only time I saw the name Éric Ripert was when I went to my local library and saw Anthony’s book, Kitchen Confidential, on the stand as a new book. I found the man on the cover super sexy (I was a young, hormonal late teenager). I started reading the book. Anthony wrote about his first family trip to France with his parents and his younger brother and his shitty, bratty attitude. I was hooked. I was hooked to his ways with words. This trip was raw, funny and enlightening.

Years later, with Tony’s shows: No Reservations, Layovers, and Parts Unknown, I felt like I, and probably you too were part of their friendship or, should I say brotherhood. They spoke the same language of humility with a sense of gratitude for their chosen art. Their personalities just clicked, like soulmates.

The Bromance of Anthony and Eric

What I really enjoyed with them was that I felt I could hang out with them, no reservations. You will see it in this next video I will share with you. I could clearly be in the corner cutting some hmm, let say the octopus and drinking my glass of wine, listening to their stories with my innocent mind … Not so innocent actually, but still.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRJTKcNYMRs

Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Roll and Food with the boys.

I will end this post with a nice quote from our dear friend, Jim Morrison.

”A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”

Bourdain and Ripert

https://www.le-bernardin.com

La reine Doualé est morte… Vive la nouvelle reine Clémentine. Passe-Partout 2.0

Rédigé par Sabine Démosthènes

À celle qui a bercé mon enfance avec la fameuse berceuse créole.

À celle dont on me taquinait souvent jusqu’à l’âge adulte en m’appelant Doualé.

La charmante petite marionnette des Caraïbes a rendu l’âme (je pleure comme les pleureuses des enterrements haïtiennes).

Repose en paix ma chère Doualé dans les placards de Télé-Québec. Tu vas me manquer.

Doualé

1977-2018!

Mais gloire à la nouvelle marionnette des Antilles. Elle sera digne d’un enfant d’origine haïtienne sans aucun accent. J’ouvre une petite paranthèse à certaines personnes de mon passé qui trouvait que j’étais étrange vu que je n’avais pas d’accent comme eux et vu que je n’avais pas d’accent, il trouvait que je n’étais pas une vraie haïtienne comme eux. Je ne perdrais pas trop de temps à vider mon sac mais je suis extrêmement contente que la chère Clémentine va représenter des jeunes enfants québécois d’origine haïtienne qui sont fiers de marier leurs cultures haïtiennes et québécoises. Je ferme la parenthèse.

Revenons à Clémentine.

Elle fera son entrée glorieuse sur les ondes de Télé-Québec dans la nouvelle version de Passe-Partout.

Passe-Partout 2.0

Soudainement, la tristesse du départ de Doualé est un plus facile à accepter avec la venue de Clémentine.

En passant, mon Fardoche sera un fermier noir! Pour ceux et celles qui sont en train de se révolter parce que Fardoche devrait être comme la version originale que Pierre Dufresne a si bien interprété et il doit être un caucasien, svp, calmez-vous.

Premièrement, nous sommes en 2018  et deuxièmement, pourquoi pas. Les deux acteurs qui auront joué ce personnage culte de la télévision québécoise sont deux excellents acteurs. Pierre Dufresne est un icône du théatre québécois. Et Widemir Normil est une légende également dans le monde du petit écran québécois. Widemir Normil est un sacré bon acteur et je suis si contente qui fera partie de cette équipe.

Un petit mot pour Widemir. Est-ce que ça serait possible que Fardoche 2.0 chanterait une version de la chanson des légumes avec un petit remix version 2018 et qu’il pourrait s’inspirer des chansons de Biggy Smalls, Wu-Tang, Tropicana d’Haïti, James Brown, Patrick Norman, Beau Dommage et Offenbach?  Je serais très heureuse.

 

Widemir Normil

Bravo à l’équipe de production de Passe-Partout 2.0. J’ai très hâte de découvrir à nouveau cette émission qui m’a si marqué (ah, les états d’âmes de Passe-Partout).

Je me demande si Ti-Brin sera de retour en version Hipster. Ce petit rebel avec son manteau de cuir.

Svp, pas de Mélodie. Elle était tellement fatiguante (je vous épargne des mots pas très gentils qui démontrent mon mécontentement vis-à-vis de cette bébé la la. Ok, Sab, calme toi).

Melodie

Voici une preuve de son côté fatiguante en …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p85XTiS6kjU

Hm, peut-être que les fameux gardiens (et non gardiennes) de Cannelle et Pruneau (Cannelle et Pruneau chantent une chanson, Cannelle dit les mots, Pruneau fait les sons… Je me rappelle encore de cette chanson oh wow, c’est intense) qui étaient des étudiants de l’UQAM auront finalement décidé de faire des études supérieures à l’UdeM au sommet de la montagne (je suis une bleue dans l’âme).

Est-ce que Pellerin et Pellerine sont encore ensemble ou comme ils vont partis de la statistique montante du taux de divorce?

Passe-Partout

J’attends avec impatience le remix 2018 de Passe-Partout.

Passe-Partout 2.0

http://www.telequebec.tv

Quoi penser des VMA…

Suite au Gala des MTV Videos Music Award 2018, disons que nos analystes ne fuent pas très impréssionnés par l’hommage que la Reine du Pop a rendu à la Reine du Soul.

Laissons nos analystes s’expliquer.

De la part de l’équipe du Chronicle et du Northside, on tient à donner nos condoléances à la famille et aux amis de la grande Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin

A nice chat with Fabrice Tardieu

I’ve always been very proud of my Haitian heritage. I’m even prouder of when I discover some of the most inspiring Haitians having success in their endeavors and are proud to showcase our beautiful culture.

Speaking of inspiring Haitian entrepreneur, I have the chance to have a fun and really cool chat with one of the most famous designers in America Fabrice Tardieu. He is passionate, insightful and clearly very smart.

Let’s discover this classy and fabulous human being.

Sab: You were born in Haiti, The Pearl of the Antilles and you went to Paris to continue your college education. Could you tell us about your experience of leaving Haiti to go to France to discover the city of light?

FT: Moving to Paris on my own at such a young age was very challenging and scary.

But at the end, it is certainly the best thing that could have happened to me professionally. It opened my eyes on so many different levels. But the most important was the different cultures it exposed me to. I believe one of the reasons my brand is successful today is because I am able to understand what each market is looking for and feels comfortable buying. Therefore, I design collections that are understood by the North American, European and Middle Eastern markets due to my understanding of their cultures. 

Sab: After college, you were an intern for Giorgio Armani and you did work for the fashion house after your internship. What is the biggest lesson from this once in a lifetime experience?

FT: My biggest lesson from Giorgio Armani has been:

  1. To always Design a collection that has a very strong identity that is recognizable from a mile away.
  2. Distribute to a minimal number of places while maximizing sales
  3. Always be on top of everyone from the assistant designers to the warehouse guys.

These were the main guidelines from My first brand shirt Bogosse back in 2004 and today 14 years later I am still applying the same rules.

Sab: Did it come naturally to mix your artistically side with your analytic side together?

FT: My business side is actually what put me in touch with my artistic side. God gifted me with the talent of understanding what people would like to wear. I, therefore, became a designer without ever learning how to even draw. It has always been something I visualized. My talent has been to be able to communicate these visions into others and bringing them into life.


Sab: I find it inspiring that we see more and more Haitian designer like Stella Jean and yourself making some waves in the fashion world.

In our culture, our parents want us to be the greatest doctors, lawyers, engineers you name it out there. Even if we may have some artistic aspirations, they will strongly recommend you to put that aside.

Do you feel that slowly but surely, this mentality is changing since more and more artistic Haitians artists are having success in their field?

 

FT: I think that we do see more and more young kids of Haitian descent take an artistic direction. I believe it is a bit more accepted now due to social media. What I mean by that, more and more people have access to information and can clearly visualize success stories. Whereas in the past if you didn’t read an article or was told about a brand or an artist etc… you would have never known about them.

Sab: A quick Haitian food questions for you:

a) Griot ou Lambi?
b) Riz djon-djon ou du riz à pois?
c) Accras ou pâté?

FT: Accras for appetizers, griot with duri ak pwa to finish with lambi and duri djondjon.

Sab: I could eat Lambi with duri djondjon all day, every day.

FT: That’s right I EAT LIKE AN ANIMAL!

Sab: I love asking this question. What would you tell to the young 19 years old aspiring fashion designer if you could go back in time?

 

FT: Never take the word NO personally. Keep trying until no becomes maybe and maybe becomes YES!

 In fashion, you get turned down constantly by buyers, manufacturers, banks, etc… It is one of the most challenging business in my opinion. You can only succeed at this if you are truly passionate about it and NEVER GIVE UP!

Thank you, Fabrice, for this opportunity to have a quick chat with you.

 Most welcome….

https://www.fabricetardieu.com

Fabrice Tardieu

Le Trio en délire… Volume Uno

Écrit et filmé par Sabine Démosthènes

Quand tu réunis ”The Preacher”, ”Le Fou Éduqué” et de ”Brain Gal”, tu ne peux pas savoir à quoi t’attendre.

Une des questions du jour était si LeBron est un héros ou pas.

Regardons ce débat avec attention.

 

Le trio était d’accord que LeBron est considéré comme un héros.

Yeah.

Bon, passons au prochain sujet.

Dans une des épisodes de South Park, le professeur de la gang a dit aux petits enfant: La drogue, c’est mal…

Ce prochain segment est un avertissement pour notre belle petite jeunesse.

Ce n’est pas bon la drogue les enfants.

Ah, les questions à la Sab. Il y a une leçon à retenir à la fin.

Restez brancher à la même Batchaîne, à la même Batheure avec ce trio.

Northside!

Le trio:

Le Fou Éduqué – Donald Démosthènes

The Preacher – Gregory Renaud

Micky  – Mikelsie Féquière

The heat is on!

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

The heat is on…

The heat is on, on…

I’m trying to sing one of Glenn Frey’s classic songs. I was always singing this song when I was younger. My dear Mamma’s poor ears, singing was never my greatest attribute.

It’s so hot in Montreal and yes, we are complaining, like little babies. Let’s all remember our state of mind from November to April.

I was the first one to chant like a gospel singer that I cannot take this cold weather anymore. Even if I’m a very proud child born in the NorthSide, the North Pole.

I’m being a little bit too melodramatic. But damn, it’s so hot outside.

Even Raymonde’s plant (in memory of my father-in-law) in my living room is all saggy.

But the heat was worse Sunday night. While I was watching the highlights of the World Cup match between Haiti hmm I mean Brazil vs Mexico (what a game!), I went to check my Twitter account.

And boom! I thought I was passing out because of the heat (ok ok, I have AC at home but still), I saw a tweet that King Lebron is going to the City of Angels.

Holy macaroni!

For two days, I had to contain myself. But with the first official episode of The NorthSide, I will let our Educated Fool analyze this historic trade. I wonder if the Educated Fool will talk about Kobe Bryant not being the golden child of the Lakers anymore.

The heat is really on…