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September 23, 2007: Expensive Sneakers, More Expensive Cars Morning After Blog

Expensive sneakers and even more expensive cars were the centerpiece of a unique event co-hosted by the Jim Ellis Porsche dealership and Laced Up. The high-end sneaker boutique located in Downtown Atlanta's historic Edgewood district teamed up with Adidas International and the high-end sports car maker Thursday night (8/20) to introduce the 2008 Porsche Design Driving Shoe at the private, invitation-only soiree pulled together under the theme “Refined Performance.” That might have been a bit of an overstatement about the party, but the shoes and the cars are really, really nice -- especially if you have a lot of money to spend on such luxuries.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWith 80s pop music – from Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam to Run DMC – throbbing in the background, attendees, with Courvoisier cocktails in hand, mingled on the showroom floor as they took in a sneak peak at the never-before-seen Porsche Turbo Cab with the designer athletic shoes conspicuously placed on top. The main highlight was an informal fashion show featuring pouty-faced models strutting around in hooded short sets and jogging suits.

The only star sighting I could determine was R&B crooner Bobby Valentino in all his bling and saggy pants glory. Amazingly he makes Tom Cruise look like Shaq in the height department, but the pretty young partygoers (and apparent fans) standing outside the dealership didn’t seem to mind. They flirted relentlessly with him as he piled into his white BMW convertible and drove off.

Like I said the party was pretty uneventful while I was there except for the fact that it was a great opportunity to pose for photos with a real Porsche (if you PhotoShop out the Jim Ellis sign in the background you MIGHT be able to convince someone that you actually own it or, at least, drove it somewhere) and the fact that the event raised money for Sole4Souls, a non-profit organization that donates shoes to needy people around the world. Isn’t that sweet?

Hands down the funniest moment for me had almost nothing to do with the party. It was when I heard a mysterious voice INSIDE my car as I was about to exit the parking lot. “Hello, Moto!” Hello, Moto!” It repeated over and over, to my alarm. I thought maybe some Japanese guy had been kidnapped and locked inside my trunk. Turns out the valet had dropped his cell phone inside my car between the seats and I would have never known about it if it had not rang just as I was leaving. It really freaked me out, but it was really funny when I figured out what that was about. I was also happy to discover it when I did. You know how much driving we do in Atlanta. I would have been pissed to have to drive back to the dealership to return the phone once I got all the way home!

Posted by Chandra Thomas at 9/23/2007 5:58 PM

September 24, 2007: Famous Daddy's Little Girls Morning After Blog

She didn’t have to say his name—we all knew which famous client Tiffany Cochran Edwards was referring to when she mentioned the many lives her late father, acclaimed attorney Johnnie Cochran, “saved” in the courtroom, adding that this one in particular was “in the news again.”  

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe joke about O.J. Simpson went over quite well with attendees at the event Saturday (9/22) hosted by Edwards, a former Atlanta television journalist. The soiree, which included Asian cuisine and a live performance by the newly reunited, former Michael Jackson–backed trio Brownstone, was a fundraiser for a documentary that will accompany the book Daughters of Men: Portraits of African-American Men and Their Daughters (Amistad/Harper Collins, November 2007), which features a fun photo of Edwards posing with a portrait of her famous dad.

The book is a compilation of dozens of photographs and compelling personal essays about African American women and their relationships with their fathers, including locals Rashan Ali, of Hot 107.9 FM, and Comcast Cable’s Mae Douglas. CNN's Don Lemon, celebrity photographer Derek Blanks, makeup artist Toni Acey, and V-103 radio personality Frank Ski and his wife, Tanya Rodriguez, turned out for the $175-a-ticket party at the SunTrust Plaza atrium.
Part of the proceeds went to the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Edwards also used the occasion to announce that she would be taking on a new position as the communications spokesperson for the Cochran Firm. For more information on the book and film visit

Posted by Chandra Thomas at 9/24/2007 5:12 PM

October 3, 2007: DUNN-omite! Morning After Blog

It seems that the lines between the music industry and sports worlds get more blurred each year. Such was the case at Falcon Warrick Dunn’s Foundation Gala Monday (Oct. 1) at the Westin Buckhead.

Songwriter/performer Ne-Yo (you know, the one that lives to channel Michael Jackson and penned that “to the left, to the left” Beyoncé hit “Irreplaceable”) managed to upstage the soft-spoken namesake of the event. It seems that every five minutes someone was asking the musical phenom to pose for a picture, and he graciously obliged. (Random thought: I wonder if restaurateur Tom Catherall landed the Beatles memorabilia he vied for in the silent auction?)

Dunn made sporadic appearances throughout the night, but he must have been busy backstage preparing for the less-than-impressive Falcons fashion show that he headlined. The clothes were okay, and players Keith Brooking and Chris Crocker certainly got their share of catcalls, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only female waiting for a glimpse of half-naked hottie DeAngelo Hall, who was a no-show for the show (maybe he’s still mad about that $100,000 fine for a few blowups during the Carolina game).

Well, what the fashion show lacked was made up for by the fabulous food. The VIP reception featured an open bar and delectable edibles such as to-die-for crab cakes, yummy smoked salmon, and prawns that seemed big enough for a forklift. And that was just the beginning.
The main reception included tasty sushi, chicken skewers, and fresh fruit. That was followed by a great dessert spread that included chocolate fondue and fruit, crème brulee, cake, and mousse.

For the record I didn’t eat all of that, but I guess you can tell that I was hungry. All I have to say is kudos to the caterer! The best part was knowing that the $125-a-ticket affair raised money for Dunn’s annual donation of furnished homes to single parents, just in time for the holidays. He does that every year in honor of his police-officer mother who was gunned down in the line of duty when he was 18. That’s just so sweet of him to do that. In light of recent Falcons headlines it’s certainly refreshing to see a “dirty bird” in such a positive light!
Posted by Chandra Thomas at 10/3/2007 5:12 PM

November 28, 2007: Aretha Franklin Rocks The Fox Morning After Blog

It was the least Aretha Franklin could do after dissing the ATL by abruptly canceling her Chastain Park concert scheduled for September. The undisputed “Queen of Soul” paid homage to living civil rights legend the Rev. Joseph Lowery with a packed tribute concert at the Fox. You may recall that the diva pulled out of a late summer concert, claiming it was too hot to perform outdoors (despite the fact that city leaders had managed to secure an alternate indoor venue). Well, it seems that the diva has love for A-town, or at least the sprightly Lowery, as she agreed to do the show as a benefit to the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights at Clark Atlanta University and in honor of his 86th birthday (yes, 86th). A “who’s who of Atlanta” crowd, including actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry, former mayor Andrew Young, Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond, and Coca-Cola exec Ingrid Saunders Jones, packed the joint to savor Franklin’s sultry vocals and she did not disappoint as she cruised through a medley of signature hits like “Think,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” and a variety of gospel tunes. Lowery was clearly in his element as he watched the show front and center in a special VIP area. He managed to briefly upstage Franklin during a special presentation telling her, “You make me feel like a natural man!” He followed the comment up by playfully kissing his wife who feigned jealousy. After the show at a catered reception, Lowery was mobbed like a rock star by friends, supporters, and well wishers. Hands down, though, the highlight of the evening was when Franklin honored a special request by the guest of honor and returned to the stage to close out the show with a lively rendition of  “Respect.”  We all left the Fox with an even higher level of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Franklin’s awesome talent.

Last Edited by Chandra Thomas at 11/28/2007 5:12 PM
December 7, 2007: Get Genarlow Wilson Out of Prison, Then GET DOWN!!! Morning After Blog

Remember those Disneyland commercials from back in the day? Some sweaty baller would be leaving the field basking in the glow of a Super Bowl victory and the reporter would ask what they were going to do next. They’d stare directly into the camera and proclaim, “I’m going to Disneyland!” Well, acclaimed Atlanta attorney B.J. Bernstein could have shot a spot like that last night (12/6). After spending a couple years voraciously fighting to GET embattled Georgia teen Genarlow Wilson out of prison what better way to celebrate than by GETTING DOWN? Bernstein was among the booty-shaking revelers who turned out to support the Arrested Development CD release party last night at Pure, a new event facility on Clairmont Road. If you’re 30 or older you probably already know that before it was a popular TV series, Arrested Development was actually the name of a Grammy-winning Atlanta-based a hip-hop group. They were on the scene when the phrase “hip-hop” was not so inextricably tied to images of misogyny and violence.  The group, known for its thought-provoking and uplifting rhythmic hits like “Everyday People,” “Tennessee,” and “Mr. Wendell,” has a new CD out called “Since The Last Time” so they teamed up with 2007 Atlanta Magazine Best of Atlanta winner, Shelley Wynter of WAOK radio to host the event. The two big highlights of the night hands down was when high-profile attorney Bernstein joined a group of women dancing on the makeshift stage during a tribute song to women. The second, was the finale when half of the audience joined the group onstage in a lively round of “Everyday People.” At one point Bernstein was dancing with Wynter and it was the funniest sight ever. It was a lot of fun and I was able to connect with some high school chums there, including group member Eshe. Ah, the days when hip-hop wasn’t about posturing and perpetrating. Thanks Arrested Development for keeping it positive for all these years.  --- Chandra R. Thomas

Posted by Chandra Thomas at 12/7/2007 11:45 AM

December 21, 2007: Who's Who At The Hyatt Morning After Blog
Too bad James Brown is no longer around. A lively round of “say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud” would have been fitting entertainment for the unveiling ceremony for the 10th anniversary edition of the annual Who’s Who In Black Atlanta commemorative book. The annual black love fest always brings out, well, a who’s who crowd of black Atlantans. As a follow-up to the very successful ninth edition, which focused on women, this year’s book pays tribute to African American men. Playwright, producer, and actor extraordinaire Tyler Perry, Herman Russell, C.T. Vivian, Congressman John Lewis and Jesse Hill, and tributes to the 100 Black Men organization, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Morehouse College. Oh and did I mention that yours truly got a  little mention in the media section? Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton and FOX 5’s Mark Hayes emceed the posh affair at the downtown Hyatt. I know one person who was elated that the event was finally over—publisher Yolanda Reynolds. Who’s Who’s Founder & C.E.O C. Sunny Martin surprised her onstage with tickets to Oprah's The Color Purple on Broadway, complete with backstage passes to meet the cast. All I can say is “hey Sunny, need any more help?”

For more information or to order a copy of
Who's Who In Black Atlanta, visit
Last Edited by Chandra Thomas at 12/21/2007 8:32 AM


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