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Mai HHILast night was such an exciting moment in my life, and for those I got to share it with, when my House Hunters International episode, “When Ajman Loves A Woman,” aired on HGTV! It was completely surreal watching the edited snippets that comprised the thirty minute episode! What you didn’t see, however, were the REAL moments that made up this total experience!

So, over the course of filming the episode scenes in NYC, I stressed to the production team how much I wanted my adopted neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant (and Stuyvesant Heights, specifically) to be shown in all of its urban beauty! As a result, the home featured in the Brooklyn scenes was the beautiful brownstone of classical and jazz trumpeter Antonio Dangerfield and his lovely wife, my close friend, Khadhyjah.

Khadi & Mai! Filming HHI in NYC!

The reason we filmed at Chez Dangerfield is because I had already moved out of my beautiful apartment on Stuyvesant Avenue and Chauncey. See the white windowsill? That was my Stuy-Hei home for years! I have, however, spent as much time at the Dangerfields as I spent at home, so! It was a real blessing to document our friendship in this way!

Stuyvesant Avenue

The night before filming, as well as after we wrapped taping, the talented Dangerfields (who are some of my favorite people on the planet) created a wonderful feast of Spanish inspired paella and tasty cocktails! The two of them are gourmet chefs, if I’ve ever met any! It was great that a number of friends (including opera soprano, Janinah Burnett, and music producer, Byron Johnson) stopped by for our impromptu party/jam session, which ended up being featured in the episode!

Dangerfield Paella!

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La Janinah & Fly Mai!

BUT all of that was late in the game, in terms of the one day NYC shoot! What I was REALLY hoping they’d feature in the episode (but totally did not) were the local business in the Stuy that we were so diligent to include in the filming. One such local business was The Little Red Boutique on Lewis and Halsey, and the other was Khadi’s and my favorite wine shop, Bed Vyne Wine on Thompkins and Putnam.

I want to give a special shout out to Micheal, Peter, Ayo, and especially Rotimi, the co-owners of Bed Vyne, for allowing us to come in and shoot, though the scenes with Rotimi, Khadi, Janinah and myself are not shown in the episode… Check out this video to get a feel of the shop and brewery that has become a staple in our neighborhood.

A lot of people have been asking me about the HATS I wore in the episode! One of them, the brown one with the brim was purchased here at the Little Red Boutique (where you see Khadi and I browsing through clothes in the beginning of the episode) and Josie the owner was so helpful in allowing us to film in the store. I’d definitely encourage you to check out their elegant and diva style fashion choices if you’re in the neighborhood!
Little Red Boutique

Once I was in the UAE, I had a few opportunities to rock that hat with a TRUE BK stylish vibe to it!!! I will definitely stop by the LRB to add to my collection.

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Overall, it was a masterfully orchestrated whirlwind of filming and I felt like a whirlybird because I had a flight later that night…………………. but I am sooo glad to share this part of the story as well!! There’s more to share on the UAE side, coming up!!!!