How Shelley Worrell, Creator of CaribBeing, Spends Her Sundays


Here is an interesting article featuring CaribBeing’s Shelley Worrell and her day-to-day honoring of her Caribbean roots, which was recently published in The New York Times (31 August 2017) Annie Correal writes:

Growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Shelley Vidia Worrell saw her Caribbean roots reflected everywhere. So as an adult, in an effort to celebrate and preserve them, she created CaribBeing, which hosts film series and art exhibitions, and which just completed a monthlong residency in a shipping container at the Brooklyn Museum. When not at the museum or working with the mayor’s office to designate an official Little Caribbeanin Flatbush, Ms. Worrell, 40, has been checking out her neighbors’ preparations for the West Indian American Day Parade, which will be held on Sept. 4 in Crown Heights. She lives in a brownstone with her husband, Janluk Stanislas, a filmmaker.

PULL AND PRUNE I usually get up around 8, 8:30 and slowly ease into my day. I make coffee and I garden. Depending on the temperature, I may have coffee outside. I’ll try to prune my rose garden or pull weeds, cut some flowers for a vase, cut some herbs. I have about 30 herbs as well as vegetables and lettuce. I harvest some while I’m planning my day.

SALT FISH NOSH Allan’s Bakery is right next door. I’ll typically pick up some coconut currant rolls, or accra, a crispy saltfish fritter. It’s almost like a falafel in terms of the size or texture, but it’s typically made of salted cod. I’ll grab some and nosh on those on my morning walk through the neighborhood.

IMPORTS I’ll look for things for dinner. My favorite Caribbean market is on Nostrand, Labay. Its products are imported directly from the Caribbean and it’s one of the few markets owned by Caribbean immigrants. This one is owned by someone from Grenada. His names is Mack. I’ll pick up some Caribbean produce for dinner.

CHOPPING THINGS I go back home to cook. I love cooking and it’s very therapeutic for me. I like chopping things and planning things out. Friends will come over and we might sit in the garden. There’s usually seafood involved, some grilling. We’ll have plantain, breadfruit if it’s in season, salad and vegetables. We’re more of wine drinkers, but we also have an extensive Caribbean rum collection from our travels. My husband may have a ti’ punch typically made with Rhum Agricole, lime and sugar. He is from French West Indies, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

LIMES We could end up in one of those Caribbean shopfronts or gardens converted into a place to prepare for the West Indian Day parade. Typically leading up to Labor Day, the steel drum or mas groups, that’s short for masquerade, take over storefronts or vacant lots or backyards. However, they’re moving East. Growing up my father always took me to panyards on or off Flatbush and Church Avenues. Most of those groups are being displaced because they can’t find affordable space. But there are still a few. During production, they have weekly and sometimes daily limes, a casual Caribbean or Trini gathering. [. . .]

For full article, see

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