Oct 5, 2009

Soule Restaurant: Whistling Through Life?

When a company hires you, it’s no favor. Good employees are valuable, and difficult to find, and the best companies are very aware of this fact.

Many companies can clearly demonstrate this understanding through their treatment of summer interns. They are worked pretty hard; however, managers will routinely mentor them, and after graduation, the company will often offer a full time position to these young adults.

It is never too early to think of summer internships. The best opportunities are generally offered to those who maintain good GPAs, so grades should be a priority from now. It is also important to begin cultivating relationships with professors who can offer letters of recommendation and networking with professionals who can keep you in the loop with regard to internships within their field.

Many companies have Human Resources professionals whose focus is solely on recruitment; you’ll find them at College career fairs. Make your attendance at these fairs habitual, and keep in mind that these fairs are essentially job interviews. Dress, speak and behave in a professional manner and carry updated resumes for distribution. If you lack experience, your resume should focus on education. Remember, you’re selling yourself, so don’t be shy.

Collect business cards from companies that pique your interest and follow up periodically. Networking is key.

There are so many who are employed in fields that are not of their choosing because they whistled through life, taking whatever opportunities they stumbled across with no clear direction. Grabbing opportunities as they arise is an excellent skill; however, helping to shape those opportunities through direction and focus is even better... and not all that difficult. Try it.

Soule Restaurant's Spotlight on the Dominican Republic

Christopher Columbus arrived in Quisqueya, (the original Taino name for the Dominican Republic) in 1492. He cultivated sugar plantations, and enslaved the native Tainos for labor. This decimated their population, and he subsequently imported Africans to work the island’s plantations.

The country’s history is turbulent, with control frequently changing between the Spanish, Haitian and the U.S. Today, they are an independent democracy that spans two thirds of an island shared with Haiti. Their ethnic composition is 73% mixed, 16% European, and 11% African; Spanish is the national language.

In 1866, U.S. troops stationed in Cuba taught the natives the rules of baseball. Cuban refugees bought the sport to the Dominican Republic where it became a national passion. Today, the MLB boasts many great athletes from the island.

The Dominican Republic is also a great provider of cigars. Although Cuban cigars are more recognized, the Dominican Republic is known globally by connoisseurs as Cigar Country due to the superior quality of their cigars.

Larimar is a stone unique to the Dominican Republic. It is cultivated from volcanic rock, and is frequently paired with amber, the country’s most popular gem that is actually a fossil; tree sap that has hardened after millions of years. These two gems are used to make beautiful jewelry that is distinctive to the island.

Soule International's October Calendar of Events

Thursday, October 1st & October 15th
7 – 11pm
BYO Karaoke Thursday

Stop by for Soulé’s BYO Karaoke Thursday, with music ranging from the 50’s to now! If you have specific music requests, please contact Nichole at soulerestaurant@comcast.net and we will do our best to accommodate you!

Tuesday, October 6th
7:30pm – 10pm
Brain Damage Open Mic Series

The In-Progress Group presents its monthly Youth Open Mic at Soulé! This Brain Damage Series takes place on the first Tuesday of every month and features amazing teens and young adults from all backgrounds.
All are welcome! Come support our youth!

Saturday, October 10th
4pm – 6pm
Writer’s Workshop

The In Progress Group is hosting a free literary workshop for those interested in honing their writing skills, or just learning the basics.
To register, please contact Nichole at soulerestaurant@comcast.net.

Tuesday, October 13th
7pm – 11pm
Spoken Word Open Mic

Soulé’s Bi-Weekly Spoken Word Open Mic is still going strong! Be there early if you want to sit! Poets, please contact Nichole at soulerestaurant@comcast.net to be included in the lineup!

Tuesday, October 20th
7pm – 11pm
Earth*Mama Tea Party Series

The Earth*Mama Tea Party Series continues to support the Palm Out Poverty initiative of All for Africa as well as a number of retail, artist, and design supporters. To be included in the Spoken Word Open Mic portion, please contact Nichole at soulerestaurant@comcast.net.

Monday, October 26th
7:30 – 11pm
Entrepreneurial Nonprofit Workshop

Terryl Ebony of misunderstoodyouth.org will host a workshop teaching the ins-and-outs of starting your own nonprofit company! Appetizers and drinks are included with entry. Please contact Nichole at soulerestaurant@comcast.net for details!

Soule Restaurant's Latest Menu Offering

Pepper Steak!

Tender sliced steak smothered with onions and peppers!

Try with white rice to preserve its distinct flavor, and sweet plantains for contrast. Delicious!

Soule Restaurant: Spirits of the Caribbean!

The name Halloween is a Catholic creation; a corruption of All Hallow’s Eve, which was originally celebrated by the Irish (or Celtics) in Ireland, the U.K. and France.
November 1st was their New Year, and they believed that on its Eve, the boundary between the world of the living and dead became blurred, allowing spirits to return to Earth.

The Celtics would extinguish their hearths to discourage spirits from visiting them and then don ghoulish costumes, parading around the neighborhood to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.

During the potato famine, Irish immigrants bought these customs to the U.S., and their celebration blended together with the Christian All Souls Day, where Christians would walk from village to village begging for Soul Cakes, creating the custom of trick or treat.

The current American adaptation of Halloween is typified by costumed fetes and scary tales of mythical or supernatural beings.

Trinidad’s folklore includes several creatures that fit nicely in the realm of America’s Halloween tales. However, these creatures are believed to truly exist by many in the islands.

One tragic figure of Caribbean lore is called a Douen (DWEN). It is said that Douen are spirits of children who died before being baptized. Their feet are turned backwards and they have no face. They wander near rivers and lure away young children, who see them only as another child, into the forest. Douens are believed to visit villages at night, whimpering for their mothers’ love.

The Soucouyant, (SOO-KIN-YA), is the chilling Caribbean version of the vampire. She has made a pact with the devil, and sheds her skin at night so she can travel in the form of a fireball in order to find someone from whom she can feed.

A Soucouyant’s bite looks like a bruise with two punctures in its center, and if you find a Soucouyant’s skin and pour course salt onto it, she will be unable to put it on again. She can then be killed by tossing her skinless body into boiling pitch or tar.

Another fearful creature is the La Diablesse (LA-JAH-BLESS). She is a beautiful woman with eyes of coal and the face of a corpse, which she hides beneath a wide-brimmed hat and veil. The La Diablesse attends dances dressed in beautiful ruffled blouses and full skirts to hide her one cloven foot.

She is always disliked by the women and loved by the men; she enchants them, luring them away into the woods where they subsequently fall into a ravine or river to their death.

Men found naked in graveyards or in a prickly tree are also said to be victims of the La Diablesse.

Papa Bois (PAPA BOY-AH) is the guardian of animals and trees. He will not tolerate killing for sport nor the destruction of the forest.

Papa Bois is muscular, with cloven hoofs and leaves growing from his beard, and if you should meet him, always be very polite. Greet him with “Bon jour, vieux Papa.”

Stay cool, and do not look at his feet... you’ll be fine.

Happy Halloween!

Soule Restaurant: Skiing for a Cause!

Local Productions along with eight other promotional companies across the east and west coast will be hosting a Winter Weekend Getaway on February 26th to February 28th, 2010 with scheduled fundraising events to benefit The American Cancer Society.

After a four year hiatus, Brooklyn based Local Production has united with eight other entertainment companies from Boston, Philadelphia, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and California to host the First Annual Winter Weekend Getaway with a Cause.

Each of the promotional companies will be tasked with creating their own fundraising event to be held that weekend. The group’s goal is to raise a minimum of $5000 for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

The all inclusive getaway includes accommodations at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg East in Harrisburg PA, live concert by Grammy nominated artists Musiq Soulchild and Trey Songz and Grammy award winning artist Chrisette Michelle, various parties and an open bar. Plans range from $339 per person to $379 per person.

For further information or to make a donation, please contact Bernard Mayers bernardmayers@verizon.net. For more information on how to donate directly to the NOCC, go to www.ovarian.org.

Soule Restaurant: Christopher Columbus' Legacy

Christopher Columbus is celebrated in the U.S. as its discoverer. Yet, North American and the Caribbean were already settled by hundreds of native tribes before his arrival.

History books portray Columbus and the early American settlers as somewhat pious, surrounded by savages. However, Columbus wrote that the natives were gentle and shared their food stores with them, even after realizing that their graves and stores had already been raided by the newcomers.

The fact is, history is written by the victor, and consequently, the victor is depicted in an honorable light, despite the atrocities he may have committed in pursuit of his goal.

In regard to Columbus, find out the true story. Check out The Lies My Teacher Told, by James W. Loewen... Very enlightening.

Soule Restaurant's Food Fact: Pumpkin

Pumpkin is part of the gourd or cucurbit family and is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It also contains potassium, manganese, copper and one of the B vitamins, riboflavin. In its raw state, it helps to maintain good eyesight and a healthy immune system.

Its seeds are a popular snack that is simply bursting with nutritional value.
Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K and possess the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin, and phosphorous.

Pumpkin seeds have been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities.

In many cultures, they are used as a natural remedy for tapeworms and parasites.
They also lower cholesterol due to their high level of phytosterols, which are also known to protect against many cancers.

So, when you prepare your pumpkin pies, soups and breads this holiday season, don’t neglect the seeds!

They’re a veritable treasure!

Soule Restaurant: Happy Halloween! ...and Breast Cancer Awareness Month


It’s Fall!

Summer is over. Good.

I am not a fan of the summer months. My theory is that in the summer, you can be newborn naked and still hot.

AC on. STILL hot.

In the winter, you can be cold. Throw on another sweater. BAM! Warmth.
Or date big women like I do.

The end of this month is my least favorite "holiday": Halloween.

The reason it’s in quotes? As per that great philosopher…

Well… ME…

If your job ain't closed, it ain't a holiday.

I hate beg for crap day. 364 days out of the year, these little kids don't say anything to you. But when the time to knock on your door and ask for candy comes, these kids act like they helped old people across the street and carried old ladies’ groceries across a crowded boulevard while carrying said old lady on their back.

The good thing about Halloween?


Last year, I was Angry Man With A Beard.

This year?

Angrier Man With A Longer Beard.

I'm writing this on the Red Line to Shady Grove in Maryland.

* Shout out to my DMV folk out there!

And before I got on the bus, I saw a couple of women carrying pink balloons, screaming, "Be aware! Breast cancer awareness!"

They had everyone very well aware.

‘Cause they were topless.


Sans top.

Sans brassier.

This article finishes itself.

Support Breast Cancer Awareness.

I do.

...Victor Torres

Soule Restaurant: The Buzz

Soulé International is holding a coat drive for Coats for Kids this winter! Information and the drop box will be available at Soulé shortly... Jerry Seinfeld's new reality show set up a casting tent at the Brooklyn Flea Saturday, hoping to attract couples who want to air their dirty laundry on TV. Perhaps wisely, locals weren't biting, and only about a half dozen couples stopped by the casting tent for "The Marriage Ref" at the Fort Greene market... Congratulations, Councilwoman Letitia James for winning last month’s election... Fort Green Park doesn’t exist, according to the MTA map... Pratt institute has decided to demap portions of Ryerson St, Grand Ave and Steuben St, on what is now the Pratt Institute campus, “in order that the closed street areas may be integrated with abutting property of Pratt Institute for redevelopment for educational purposes.”... Clinton Hill resident Amy Oztan visits movie set in Brooklyn and takes pictures for her blog, 'Filming in Brooklyn,’ where she posts movie locations in Brooklyn. Her latest is a shot of Salma Hayek in a guest spot on NBC's '30 Rock' in Cadman Plaza Park... Jamaican reggae artist Major Mackerel was recently slashed in the head and arms with a sword in East Flatbush. Goodness... What possessed protestors from the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS to come to Brooklyn preaching fire and brimstone? Protestors with anti-Semitic, anti-Obama, and anti-homosexual signs were outnumbered by about 30 to 1 in September as they protested downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope. The Topeka group, which included children encountered counter-protestors at every turn bearing placards that read, “Jesus had 2 dads” and “We say NO! to Racism, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia and Hate.”... You know, sometimes being a Brooklynite just makes me proud…