QAS Heritage and Culture – January/2018 

Sharing global food and cultural celebrations has always been a personal interest of mine.

Since childhood I’ve been blessed to experience culturally and ethnically diverse neighbors, teachers, and classmates. We attended the same public schools and ate lunch together. 

I have often wondered how changed my elementary school friends may have become since we played together. Even our last names didn’t seem to matter, back then. If it did, we hadn’t noticed it. We studied, worried, went home, got up, boarded the school bus, and followed each grade along. We played, we ran, we played double-dutch and double-orange, laughed by falling (while running) up staircases. We wiped each other’s skinned knees from roller skating mishaps, kissed “boo-booed” elbows together, we cried on each other’s shoulders, and whispered secrets never minding ear color. Maybe I yearn for some of that innocence today.

Maybe I was totally naïve; part of me remains so, because I want to believe that perhaps a vestige of an untainted* childhood abides within each adult.

Fellowship is needed now more than ever it seems. Perhaps we took for granted what we had, or have. Perhaps childhood memories are not vestiges of a misunderstood childhood. I’d like to think and believe that friendships were real and are not as unnecessary as an appendix. I know that everyone isn’t like “any them” just as of my race all of mine isn’t all “like me”.   

Perhaps this hope is not a leftover vestige of childhood? People claim an appendix no longer serves a purpose because we’re evolving. I have my appendix, so far. Purposeful or not I thank my memories, which shelter my belief that friendships and camaraderie were real, are not as removable as an appendix is these days. I know better. I also know that everyone isn’t “like them” just like everyone of my race isn’t “all like me”.   

I’ll continue exploring cultures, peoples and ethnic foods. 

Our blessed Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, New Year and Feast of Three Kings are celebratory feasts with traditional foods.

Life is a daily celebration. I watch “Create TV” and salivate at most of the great recipes made with seasonings I’ve never heard of or that my family refers to by another name!

So I dare you, in the middle of any day in any month, any season, and claim and share your culture. Use plastic wrap, bowl, in bag or knapsack, share a portion of your favorite recipe with someone. Their smile will shine brighter than electric lights and just a watt below lightening. Maybe you’ll be jolted awake and realize how timely this venture has always been.

I was recently surprised with a large portion of stewed vegetables and beans prepared by an East-Indian friend.  They were delicious. I am still smiling.       

*As an adult I witnessed a child use a derogatory word to address a coworker. He was no more than 4 years old with a toy he was dragging alongside him. His mother immediately cautioned him in their native tongue basically to tell him not to say that word outside, but only in the house. I’d like to believe that I am not too late. How about you?

Smiles don’t require language. The choking sign, heart attack sign require no language. Welcome and sit with me requires no language. Have a cup of tea, take half my sandwich, sit, pull up a chair require no language.

What’s your excuse?

Peace, Diane Ward

February 27,2017

 Hello QAS Academy Family
During December and January our children enjoyed foreign films. For a few moments we were transported somewhere else, watching others lives, and reminded of our similarities.
The New York International Children’s Film Festival (ICFF) commenced this weekend. The ICFF is in New York for the next three weekends. If you attend and find a favorite video/movie; write us a review !
What have you been reading? I recently enjoyed the following:
“Spirituality of Gratitude The unexpected Blessings of Thankfulness” by Joshua Choonmin Kang and
” The Roses and The Windows by Rainer Maria Rilke.

January, 2017

A towering figure of contemporary African literature, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s latest memoir, Birth of a Dream Weaver, tells the story of his creative awakening as a university student and budding writer in the early 1960s, on the cusp of Kenyan independence. Peter Kimani’s debut novel, Dance of the Jakaranda, weaves together a multi-generational, multi-ethnic tale of the formation of modern Kenya, a riveting saga of railroads, revolt, and secret ties. Join us for a special, far-reaching conversation as Ngũgĩ and Kimani discuss their work, their homeland, and the myriad dimensions of African writing today.


CLICK for details


Also, check out these Brooklyn Borough Hall events: 

1 – An art exhibition featuring  Muhammad Ali  through January 27.  

2 – This is the Year of the Rooster  for our Asian families. The celebration date is February 2nd at Brooklyn Borough Hall  from 6 – 9 PM  

3- Black History Month Celebration’s on February 22  6- 9 PM.

QAS Heritage and Culture July/ 2016

My vegetarian journey for 24+ years has enhanced my use of global seasonings. Here’s a shortlist of simple seasonings and preparation ideas with an international flair of ingredients.  

1) Roasted Cauliflower: Oven at 350 degrees, takes only 15 -20 minutes. Olive oil, turmeric, ground black pepper. Stir once. Squeeze fresh lemon right before serving.     

2) Kale with Ginger: Use fresh sliced ginger. Steam together with minimal water and only until the kale is a brighter green. Do not ruin by overcooking cooking. Keep firm and eat the stems.   

3) Corn on the Cob: Use green peppers to season the water. They sweeten the corn! 

4) Cornbread with Jalapenos: Add to your usual recipe, add jar (use some of the oil from the jar) or fresh jalapenos. Be careful, not to touch your face or rub your eyes! Amount varies with your personal preference.  

5) Quinoa and Mixed Sweet Peppers: Sauté peppers with onions, and garlic. Prepare quinoa as package indicates except season the water with vegetarian low sodium bouillon (half) cube. Toss together and serve hot or cold. 

6) “Enhanced” Chive Cream Cheese. Add freshly cut scallions. Use the entire onion. Add capers.  Mix well.     

Tasty, fast, nutritious, and easy recipes even non-vegetarians may enjoy! Summer time is here. Enjoy.   


April, 2016

Hello QAS Heritage and Culture Family!
Welcome to Sr.Shai of the Unity of Consciousness Community’s Digest.
I have been a supporter with like-minded folks of her informative and wonderful newsletter.

Fri Apr 8, 2016 6:55 am (PDT) . Posted by:


Greetings Family,

Apologies for the late release of the newsletter. Anyway, link is below:

News from African Holistic Health Chapter of NY – April 1, 2016—April-1–2016.html?soid=1102919617421&aid=mHomP1zD4Jk—April-1–2016.html?soid=1102919617421&aid=mHomP1zD4Jk

News from African Holistic Health Chapter of NY – April …—April-1–2016.html?soid=1102919617421&aid=mHomP1zD4Jk In This Issue Dr. Llaila Afrika Products & Services Dr. El Ha Gahn’s Holistic Travel Service African Holistic Health & Wellness Center

View on myemail.constantcont…—April-1–2016.html?soid=1102919617421&aid=mHomP1zD4Jk
Preview by Yahoo

Feel free to share & make an event or 2 or 3 🙂

Sista Shai (Shy-ee)
African Holistic Health Chapter of NY

Fri Apr 8, 2016 8:08 am (PDT) . Posted by:

“Michael Imhotep” mjrob1914

Hello Everyone,

Listen to the podcast “Math Teacher Uses Beyonce’s Formation Song to Teach
Geometry To Students”, from “The Michael Imhotep Show”, Wednesday, April
6th, 2016 at or for
podcasts and DVDs.

Have you seen the viral video of geometry teacher using the Beyonce’s song
“Formation” to teach geometry? We spoke with this innovative teacher and
one of her friends. Listen to “The Michael Imhotep Show”, MondayFriday
10pm-12midnight EST online at or by
downloading the “TuneIn Radio” app to your smartphone and search for
“Empowerment Radio Network” or at and for the

Michael Imhotep
President, The African History Network
Executive Producer/Talk Show Host of The African History Network Show
(313) 462-0003 (Office)
Listen to The African History Network Show, Thursdays, 8pm-11pm EST
at or at (914) 338-1375

QAS Heritage and Culture, February, 2016


If you’re interested in adorning the body and spirit view these two sites:

 Heru AnkhRa Semahj  creator of “The Ascension of Jewelry” at Studio of Ptah., 

Holistic jewelry designer Beverly Sapphire Wilson call or text at 718-930-8841. 

I have enjoyed wearing masterpieces made by both if these wonderful designers.


Although I am gluten-free and vegetarian, my plate remains full! 

 Blockheads Restaurant has many gluten-free offerings.  Tate’s Bake shop, Schar, Glutino, Glenny’s, and Milton’s are companies that offer a variety of gluten-free menu and snack options. 

BTW Bakery (By The Way) is fully gluten- free and fresh & CO offers a good hemp brownie and other offerings that are gluten-free.   


Here’s my hot chocolate recipe which presents a different twist during these winter months. 

Diane’s Hot Chocolate :Instant Rich Chocolate hot cocoa mix  (I use  gluten- free) , one square of 86%cacao chocolate (bittersweet) and one pinch of organic cayenne pepper (Pimiento Roja). Stir gently, sip with spoon and savor. Marvelous! 

Enjoy.  Diane Ward.  

QAS Heritage and Culture, Late Summer, 2015

There are so many wonderful restaurants that allow us to experience fabulous international food and drink. Here’s a compilation of restaurants and a few food selections I have experienced that you may find enjoyable as well.    

 Treat yourself to: 1) Ichi Umi (Start with cool sushi and work you up to the warm foods. Leave room for desserts).  2) Rainhas Churrascaria (Try the roasted quail, and wonderful roasted whole pineapple.)  

 You might want to try 3) Toloache’s cricket appetizer (Yes, I tried it; it was different, a smaller portion would have been fine for me.) 

4) Mumtaz and 5) Jaiya are frequent favorites. Diet before visiting 6) Maison Kaiser and 7) Macaron Parlour Patisserie. Absolutely marvelous, top notch and superior is 8) Le Bernardin. Everything they serve is wonderful.

Do you have favorite wines? Try the seasonal offering of 9) Apothic Dark wines. 

Enjoy, as we will all keep exercising! Peace, Diane Ward.  

June News

La Casa Azul Bookstore is THREE!
Saturday, June 6
11:00am – 4:00pm

Music, face paint, art making, AND storytelling by local authors and illustrators:

  • Carla Torres, author of Larry and Friends
  • Jake Perez, author of Sweet Coco: Chocolate Maker’s Apprentice
  • Kathleen Benson, author of Draw What You See, The Life and Art of Benny Andrews
  • Raquel M. Ortiz, author of Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural
  • Renee Watson, author of Harlem’s Little Blackbird, What Momma Left Me, This Side of Home
  • Sonia Manzano, author of The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, No Dogs Allowed!, A Box Full of Kittens
  • Dance performance by Forza Malizia Dance Company
Art making and activities by:
  • El Museo del Barrio
  • New York Public Library
  • Total Equity Now
  • Women in Comics NYC Collective
AND….visits by many local authors and artists, includingAngela Dominguez, Dahlma Llanos Figueroa, Jose Angel Figueroa, Leenda Bonilla, Manuel Melendez, Maria Aponte, Raquel Penzo, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Vicky Grise y mas!

The celebration continues tomorrow with a special collage making class!
Sunday, June 7
2:00pm – 3:30pm 
Create one-of-a kind collage artwork inspired by artist Frida Kahlo. The class is perfect for beginners!
It’s also a great way to decorate your apartment because you are sure to go home with a painting you can be proud of.

All materials are provided. However, you can bring materials to personalize your artwork if desired.

Class fee: $25.   

La Casa Azul Bookstore
143 E. 103rd St
El Barrio, NY 10029
(212) 426-2626
6 Train to 103rd Street

Store hours: 
Wednesday – Saturday
12:00pm – 8:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm – 6:00pm


Free family concert by New York City Mariachi


June 10 

6:00pm – 8:00pm


This performance and workshop will provide professional instrumental demonstrations and performance etiquette, while enhancing repertoire that emphasizes the traditional and popular mariachi music forms, including sones, rancheras, huapangos, boleros and more!
Join us for a live music performance by  Mariachi Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino!
Event will include a book reading of “El Mejor Mariachi Del Mundo“.

QAS Heritage and Culture February/2015

We have so many heroes amongst us!

Eugene “Silent” Hairston was a professional boxer from 1948 – 1953. He was a New York Golden Gloves Champion. Along with a prestigious record of winning bouts, he was also the second round contender to fight Sugar Ray Robinson.

Mr. Hairston was born in Harlem, attended Public School 47 (in Manhattan), married twice, and has one daughter. He was a devoted Jehovah Witness. He had a close friendship with a dear friend of mine. He was respected, and loved by many people; especially those that may recall his boxing prowess.   

He fought many name boxers including Kid Gavilan, Paddy Young, Jake LaMotta, and Bobo Olsen.  Mr. Hairston appeared in several books and publications including Ebony Magazine.  

Mr. Hairston died on November 24, 2014. 

Look him up on    

By the way, Mr. Hairston was deaf. 

Pursue your dreams, use your talents, and love everyone. 

We make history all of the time. 

Thank you. Diane Ward