Shola vs. Blatstein: The Saga of the City’s Most Mysterious Chef

Culinary mystery man Shola Olunloyo became an underground sensation in Philadelphia with his mythic private dinners, wowing everyone from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to Penn president Amy Gutmann. So why did his year-long effort to open a restaurant in Northern Liberties end with developer Bart Blatstein changing the locks? A saga of foodies, finances and egos in the era of the celebrity chef

THE GRAND OPENING WAS POSTPONED.

And postponed.

And postponed.

And now Speck Food + Wine, the hotly anticipated modern urban restaurant, is a modern urban legend.

Plans took shape in the spring of 2010. Presided­ over by Shola Olunloyo, the city’s most mystifying chef, the bistro was supposed to be the fine-dining showpiece of Bart Blatstein’s Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties. Then, in March of this year, Blatstein locked Olunloyo out, effectively closing Speck before it even opened.

The million-dollar fiasco seems like a simple tale of a virtuous artist, an avaricious businessman and their inability to compromise. We all know how that story ends.

So much for simplicity.

A RESTAURATEUR WITH intimate knowledge of the Speck project describes it as a “Machiavellian triangle,” with Blatstein as the all-powerful king, developer-investor Gagandeep “Gagan” Lakhmna the archbishop, and Olunloyo the adventurous but ultimately expendable prince. Olunloyo declined to be interviewed and also discouraged many supporters and friends from talking. When we sent him a list of 48 statements from this story­ for fact-checking purposes, he replied that all but four were inaccurate, but refused to elaborate.

Fittingly, the tale was set on the scalloped bricks of the 80,000-square-foot public square—inspired by the Piazza Navona in Rome—that Blatstein unveiled in 2009 on the site of a shuttered brewery. The complex has five eateries, and Speck, with its avant-garde cuisine and its “chef’s counter” offering ambitious nine-course tasting menus, was supposed to be the gastronomic novelty.

And it would have been 44-year-old Olunloyo’s first restaurant for the masses. Over the last decade, he’s made a name for himself—everyone simply calls him “Shola”—­as a cooking blogger and micro-caterer. In Philadelphia’s foodie forums, piety has collected around his toque blanche like mist around a mountaintop. On Egullet.org, the Shola thread is 23 worshipful pages long. The reverence is thicker than remoulade.

Until recently, Shola floated over the Web chatter like a benevolent balloon, never descending low enough to be pricked. Not that he’s ever been one to shy away from an abrasive opinion. A reedy, British-raised Nigerian with a handsome face and keen eyes, he oscillates between raffish charm and a finely measured line in contempt. “Shola is legendary for torturing bartenders,” says buddy Jeff Towne, a producer for the public-radio show Echoes. Not long ago, at a certain Rittenhouse watering hole, Shola was served a rococo variation of the already baroque “Round the World #2” (made with cucumber, gin, pomegranate liqueur, agave nectar, elderflower liqueur and yuzu juice) that didn’t meet his exacting standards. Leaning in close, he murmured to the bartender, “Make the next one sing!”

“Shola’s a very funny guy to figure out,” says his pal Chip Roman, who runs Blackfish in Conshohocken and Mica in Chestnut Hill. Some chefs—and Roman is one—seek his counsel on sous-vide techniques, novel flavor combinations, and modernist recipes like rabbit escabeche with cauliflower, prunes and Earl Grey tea. Skeptics, though, point out that he’s never really faced the scrutiny that comes with a popular restaurant. Chefs are as much leaders and delegators as conceptualists: They must be able to manage the sheer pandemonium that is a professional kitchen. “Shola isn’t a chef,” a prominent restaurateur says flatly. “He’s just a competent high-end cook, and cooking is the easy part of the job.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 Next >View as One Page
  • Richard

    Masterful deconstruction of Shola and Speck!

  • Dick

    Shameful and repulsive. This is what is known in journalistic circles as a massive blow-job for Bart. Blatstein is one of the most underhanded and reprehensible developers in town. Yet, this story completely glosses over his and his family’s dirty deeds. What does Shola’s sister have to do with this story? What about Blatstein’s dad’s conviction on felony charges of soliciting bribes during the construction of Veteran’s Stadium?

  • neveryou

    I believe some details are missing from the end of this tale, namely the onerous terms that Blatstein tried to impose on Shola and the restaurant…

  • Chris

    What a terric story. The writing is elegant and the investigative details quite impressive

  • Ray

    I was asked by one of the people mentioned in this story to write a negative comment without even seeing the article. But after reading it I’ve gotta say it was very thorough and fair minded with lots of fascinating detail. Which is why I clicked “like”. Great job Philly mag!

  • Alex

    I am one of the select few who has dined at Studio Kitchen, and never bought into Shola’s “mystique”. Having read this feature I now realize why the whole over-hyped experience made me so uneasy. As laid out wonderfully by your writer, The Blatstein-Shola “saga” is like the Emporer’s New Clothes. Thank you for puncturing the Shola hot-air balloon and bringing him down to earth.

  • Tom

    my own experience with shola is exactly as you might expect after reading this story. twice i had dinner reserveations at SK and twice shola called on the day of the dinner to cancel. once he even said his father was on his deathbed, which judging by this story must mean his dad has been on life support since 2006. the last time i saw shola was in may. he bragged that food and wine magazine was running a 10 page story on him in the july issue. guess what? the issue is out and no shola story. as if i ever should have expected one. shola may be incapable of telling the truth.

  • Calling bullshit

    I love the commentators calling this an elegant and investigative piece. Anyone who really knows the real story not a single fact accurate. Fiction ususally is fasincating. The truth never seems as sexy

  • MarioK

    Philly’s Greatest Chef Without A Restaurant has asked me to tell you that everything fact in this story is false. Everything written here is fiction, even Shola’s real name. It’s really Anonymous and he was born in Camden. Shame on you Philly Style Magazine.

  • Jim

    Food&Wine actually did have a Shola story in the works, a friend of mine was interviewed briefly for it. Maybe they canned it when Speck fell apart.

  • Linda

    Several years ago I paid $600 at a charity auction for the privilege of having a dinner for 2 at Studio Kitchen. I outbid several other people. When I called Shola I was told that there had been a mistake and that I had actually won two cooking lessons. I shrugged it off and took my husband to the lessons, which Shola more or less sleepwalked through. Two years later I met a foodie who had just paid $700 at a charity event for dinner for 2 at SK. When he called SK, Shola gave him the same exact excuse. He too had to settle for lessons. Unbelievable.

  • Tom

    @tom: that almost sounds logical. unfortunately speck folded in march and shola told me about food and wine in late may. he repeated the boast to an entire bar full of people at rouge earlier this month. the closing of speck was obviously not the deciding factor. clearly another shola fairy tale.

  • Candace

    Just a note to say I found this article a great read and utterly delightful. The underlying irony was delicious: Shola Olunloyo tells Philadelphia Magazine that the story is rife with inaccuracies and yet refuses to reveal what those inaccuracies might be. No wonder Bart Blatstein was so frustrated with the man. Chip Roman was right. Shola really is too smart for his own good.

  • Holly

    It is not clear whether Mr. Lidz started out to write a hatchet job on Shola Olunloyo or, at some point, decided to punish him for not cooperating on the piece. Part reads like a Zagat blurb – a bunch of quotes, some cheap shots, many anonymous, alleging an accurate description. Elsewhere – an ill informed restaurant review where the critic relies on second and third hand information rather than actually dining at the restaurant. Overall – the simplicity of an old time cowboy movie where Blatstein wears the white hat and Shola the black. Blatstein’s PR hack could not have spun a more favorable point of view.

  • G.

    Dear Holly. I, too, was asked by Shola to savage this story in the Philly Mag comments section. Unlike you, I twice dined with Mr. Lidz at StudioKitchen and can vouch for the accuracy of his descriptions. (Full Disclosure: We have the same editor at the New York Times). I know first-hand that his original intention was to write this piece from Shola’s perspective. He gave up when Shola bailed on him on five separate occasions. I can also attest that Mr. Lidz is an unbiased observer who started his reporting with great sympathy for Shola. He anticipated a foodie firestorm when the piece was published, especially with Shola encouraging (now ex-) customers like me to affect outrage. I resisted Shola’s caviling. You should, too.

  • Holly

    Your command of the facts is as accurate as Mr. Lidz’s. Shola has not contacted me about the article.

  • G.

    Sure, Holly. Whatever you say. Foodie bloggers like you are renown for their scrupulous truth-telling.

  • Holly

    It seems you employ the same questionable tactics as Mr. Lidz. Wrong again. I do not write a blog. I do publish a restaurant website. I did write a newspaper column on restaurants for over ten years. Please point out where, in either, I have not told the truth.

  • T-Mac

    Shola is a c u next tuesday and so is Bart. That has been clear for years.

  • T-Mac

    Shola is a c u next tuesday and so is Bart. That has been clear for years.

  • G.

    @Holly. You seem to be about as accountable as Shola. First you assert that Mr. Lidz “relied on second and third-hand information rather than actually dining at the restaurant.” Based on what, exactly? Was that a cheap shot or merely an inaccurate description? And, pray tell, do you get comped by Shola at StudioKitchen or actually pay full freight? (Can I safely assume that we all know the answer to that one?) People who live in glass restaurant websites…

  • ar

    G- I’m amused that you (a) claim to be a journalist at the NY Times, and (b) are anonymously commenting on a piece in Philly Mag, which i’m positive is something a person who actually writes for the New York Times wouldn’t do (and wouldn’t be allowed to do even if he or she wanted to).

  • Holly

    I hope the NY Times editor you shar with Mr. Lidz doesn’t let you get away with such innuendo. I’ve eaten at Studio Kitchen twice. Last time was maybe 2005. Nope, I wasn’t comped either time. That makes the third time you were wrong. BTW, you seem to use the term “foodie” pejoratively. Actually, I do too. But since we’ve both dined at Studio Kitchen twice, I guess, in a way, we’re both foodies.

  • Holly

    I hope the NY Times editor you shar with Mr. Lidz doesn’t let you get away with such innuendo. I’ve eaten at Studio Kitchen twice. Last time was maybe 2005. Nope, I wasn’t comped either time. That makes the third time you were wrong. BTW, you seem to use the term “foodie” pejoratively. Actually, I do too. But since we’ve both dined at Studio Kitchen twice, I guess, in a way, we’re both foodies.

  • G.

    @ Holly. No doubt you are one of the magical thinkers Mr. Lidz refers to. Your memory of a dinner that took place 6 years ago is indeed phenomenal. (FYI, Mr. Lidz and I last ate at Studio Kitchen in 2010). If that’s your idea of restaurant reviewing, I think I’ll dispense with your otherwise indispensable site.

  • Meg

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story. However I think it’s shameful that Philly mag allows paid apologists like Holly to post whatever slanderous comments they like.

  • Holly

    I get paid for this. Cool!

  • Tommy

    At least Holly is finally honest about something.

  • John

    The “anonymous” restauranteurs who contributed to this story were Chris Scarduzio, Michael Schulson and Mathew Levin…….just a heads up.

  • Shola

    I think I messed up on the last post. It turns out the real Anonymous restauranteurs who contributed to this story were Marc Vetri, Stephen Starr and Georges Perrier. Or possibly Jose Garces, Leonard Bookbinder and Abner Silver, co-owner of Jim’s Steaks. I am 80 percent certain.

  • J

    Who brings a man’s innocent family into an article about a failed business deal? In doing so, you have given away your bias and probably hurt completely innocent people.

    Seems like way too high a cost for an only vaguely interesting story. You might consider being terribly ashamed…

  • Mike

    The writer didn’t “bring” Shola’s “innocent family” into the article. Shola’s sister volunteered the information, happily from the sound of it. Learn to read before you comment, Anonymous.

  • walter

    To me, as a Shola fan, it seems one-sided and unfair that you should quote negative comments by his sister, then write about her totally unrelated personal legal difficulties and omit exposing the mor

  • Barkeep

    Guys i’m one of those center City bartenders Sholas been torturing for the last ten years. I was EXTREMELY happy to read this great expose on Speck. Its about time. Shola is one world class a-hole to resto personnel and always has been. In my place hes called Showoff. The idea that Blatstein comes off smelling like a rose in this story is plain loco. Yeah After reading this I felt sorry for the guy. But because He’s as big a fool as Shola and really got taken for a ride.

  • nicholas

    To my mind Shola has no call to whineabout this story to bloggers. The key paragraph explains how Shola not only ducked an interview but refused to identify any the dozens of statements he claimed were inaccurate. Is he so naive that he believed this story wouldn’t be published if he refused to cooperate? What a crybaby. Shola blew it bigtime.

  • Holly

    What obligation does any individual have to respond to a writer doing an article on him? Absolutely none. Not cooperating with a writer takes away an individual’s opportunity to influence the story. The individual also risks a petty writer extracting vengeance for making his job more difficult. Once the article was completed Shola informed the fact checker that many of the statements in the article were inaccurate. Shola has no obligation to correct the errors. That onus is on the writer, the publication and their legal counsel. Another consideration – what if the article is about a business dispute that has the potential to evolve into a legal action? Comments by either party become public record. Perhaps that is why there are no direct quotations from either Blatstein or Shola?

  • nicholas

    I never said Shola had an obligation to answer the writer’s questions, merely that it would be in his best interests to stop whining about the story’s “fictions”. To accuse the writer, a veteran Timesman, of exacting vengeance is a sad commentary on Shola’s apologists. As another NY Times writer stated above, the writer apparently bent over backwards to air Shola’s side of the story. To my mind that suggests your vengeful writer had no agenda. You obviously do.

  • Tommy

    @nicholas. If there was any question Holly’s getting paid by Shola there ain’t now.

  • Holly

    Nicholas, if I am Shola’s apologist, by your definition you must me one of Mr. Lidz’s. The fellow Times writer that you refer to said, “I know first-hand that his original intention was to write this piece from Shola’s perspective. He gave up when Shola bailed on him on five separate occasions.” It was then that Mr. Lidz elected to write this article and slap Shola around some in the process.

  • Daytime

    The only things to be concluded from this story is it as useless as the comments. Who cares people. It is just a restaurant. You have anonymous idiots commenting and cry baby bartenders whining. FYI if you are a restaurant employee and you want better treatment, go to college and get a real job instead. You are a service employee. Customers are not there to serve you. Do your effing job.

  • Daytime

    The only things to be concluded from this story is it as useless as the comments. Who cares people. It is just a restaurant. You have anonymous idiots commenting and cry baby bartenders whining. FYI if you are a restaurant employee and you want better treatment, go to college and get a real job instead. You are a service employee. Customers are not there to serve you. Do your effing job.

  • ari

    We did work for Speck and have not been paid. We have emailed Shola at his personal blog and there has been no response.

  • nicholas

    @holly. I’m with Tommy on this one. Anyone who insists that a respected journalist will, ipso facto, wreak “vengeance” on a subject just because he continually ducks interviews knows nothing about reporting. That is one seriously nutty accusation, Holly. Perhaps that’s the way it works at your website, but not in the newspaper world. Why not check out the writer’s credentials before you libel him. Jeez!

  • Holly

    @Nicholas You really believe I am being paid by Shola? Kind of like asking me if I stopped beating my wife. (Full disclosure: I am not married, it is only a saying). Unworthy of any further response.

  • Tommy

    @Holly, @nicholas. You are too playing Holly and you just got shut out. Good game Nick.

  • Tom

    The story was just poorly written even if you care or don’t care about the characters. What is obvious however is how Blatstein is painted as a Saint. If Franz Lidz comes off in the story as an unethical tool. New York Times writers are focused, they have a story with a point. This was just a gossip rant besides what kind of douchebag names his daughters “GOGO” and “DAISY-DAISY”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Lidz
    Blatstein is a low life, his father Harry Blatstein was a convicted criminal and everyone knows he is a good friend of David Lipson. With all the good stuff going on in the city it is just embarassing for Philadelphia. I don’t even understand the logic. Does it promote the city in a good light and why the hell would I want to goto the piazza after reading this.

  • Johnny

    @Tom. Just got the photos you e-mailed me of you having sex with that mule on the steps to city hall. I’ll post them this afternoon at SexWithMules.Com. What a great way to promote the city!

  • Wilbur

    @Johnny. Yo Johnny. So cool that he’s the same Tom whose into mule love. Gotta say tho from the shots I seen of him and Mister Ed, Tom should headline his posts The Smaller Picture. Tom’s packin one tiny mule.

  • Carl

    What a confederacy of dunces. Shola, Bart and the contractor were made for each other. A really hilarious story that made me laugh out loud. Thanks for running it.

  • nikole

    interesting that I had all of the counter seats reserved for my birtday, yes about $900 fronted and I was the one to have to ensure my reservation as the date neared and no updates on the restaurant were visible. My funds were gladly refunded, never anything above and beyond done thats for sure. The whole ordeal is a shame and I hope Shola is able to continue on with a reputable career.

  • Kemi

    I have nown Shola for many years and Iam angry with the characterzation of him in these postings. Firstly, I would like to say that I do not disagree with the article. I followed Speck from the beginning and everything in the story is accurate. What I object to is the idea that Shola would run away from the interview. Shola is not a scared man. But he does not what happened to Wesley Snipes happen to him. Wesley Snipes did not ever pay income tax either and wound up in prison. Wesley Snipes is a great actor and Shola is a greatcook. Both are idealistic, and a spiritually motivated artists unschooled in the science of law and finance. Why should Shola make himself a public figure and have the taxman look thru all his financial records? The saying goes that there are only two things guaranteed in life and that’s death and taxes. But if your Wesley Snipes or any black person with money, you might want to add jail as a third defnite. Before turning himself in to begin serving his sentence for tax charges Wesley Snipes appeared on Larry King to plead his innocence and to say…

  • Kemi

    that the government targeted him because he is a celeberty. Shola is a celeberty chef. CASE CLOSED!!!

  • John

    I used to work at Philadelphia magazine, the big secret is 75% of this comment thread is BS. Whenever we did a polarizing story the magazine has 2 or 3 interns who add comments all day to support the point of view of the magazine. It is just like YELP.

  • Shola Fan

    Outrageous that the GOVERNMENT goes about Snipes and Shola. Snipes has been persecuted simply because he went PUBLIC with his acts of defying them. They wanted to make a “public” example of him to the sheep. There are MILLIONS of people in the US that SHOULD be filing each year that simply Don’t bother. MILLIONS. The IRS lacks the resources to even come close to dealing with the problem… short of a consumption based national tax to replace the income tax these people will never fall into compliance. 99% of the people doing this, that are quiet, are not even bothered with because the cost to collection effort is not worth it. Most of these people have shunned credit, work for cash, don’t hold large amounts in banks, don’t hold property in their names and instead use trusts or other simple structures… it simply is not worth their time. Someone that owes $50,000 – $500,000 in taxes is NOTHING. Remember, govt goes 5 BILLION dollars in the hole each DAY. It is easier for them to pick on people that are easy targets and don’t avoid collection efforts. Snipes was a victim of his own fame and public display of…

  • A

    The income tax is a Zionist extortion racket. It is the duty of every American to resist Zionist Power by non-compliance with this anti-American stealing of our wealth by the most treacherous and merciless aliens in history, the Zionists. The “Internal Revenue Service” is a collection agency for the private, profit-making corporation that calls itself the Federal Reserve System. The fools who still send money to this private company can prove this by examining the backs of their canceled checks to the IRS. It will say “Pay to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.” It doesn’t say, “Pay to the US Treasury Department.” Why do you suppose that is? Your hard-earned money goes to a private company that has never been audited, that was created by foreign Zionists for their own gain. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a private company, just like Goldman Sachs, both owned by pretty much the same people. See Lewis v. US (1982).

  • Rodon

    We installed a sign for Speck and have not been paid. We even emailed Shola directly through his blog and he has not responded to that either.

  • J

    I love the recent direct these comments are going…

  • Tommy

    @Rodon
    U shld team up w/ the IRS. Doesnt look like they were paid either

  • Diane

    If half of this was written by interns I’ll bet my house the other half was written by Shola. Sure reads that way. In any case its very entertaining. FREE WESLY!

  • flakey

    oh

  • flakey

    oh

  • Objective

    My wife and I have been to Studio Kitchen on a few occasions we are not “foodies” and still have had nothing short of a fantastic experience each time. Shola has always been a decent and POLITE person. Knowing him personally, I can honestly say that this article is heavily biased against Shola and that is wrong.

  • Dante

    Taxes and “The Man” are taking advantage of everyone, regardless of race. I don’t see a link between Taxes & race other than the fact that living tax free would be a good and “fair” reparation for slavery/oppression. Something that many racist whites argue against. Blade Trinity flopped for these exact reasons. “Ryan Reynolds as a quirky vampire hunter…Duh. Triple H as a goofy ass vampire…WTF? Jessica Biel + clothing = no $$$” Snipes should have turned down Blade 3 when he saw the cast and script. Color has little to do with it…Will Smith seems to be doing just fine and is probably the “token” sexy Black Actor that has replaced him and Densel Washington. Shola should just man-up and pay the dam money.

  • KITCH

    I worked in the kitchen with Shola during one of his guest nites at Blackfish. Biggest primadonna I’ve ever seen in a galley, and I’ve been all over the city & burbs. Due to Shola’s habit of loudly pointing out the flaws of the staff in the rudest possible way we unanimously declared him to be a 24 karat allstar asshole. I’m happy to hear he’s nice to paying customers.

  • kimberly

    We all do stupid things. As everyday folk we can toil in anonymity sharing our missteps with close friends and family but celebrities aren’t so lucky. As much as I want to talk about Flava Flav’s latest business ventures: a fried chicken franchise and a line of vodka, I’m going to give him a pass and get right to Wesley and Shola. Wesley was convicted of three counts of willful failure to file a tax return and was sentenced to three years in the slammer. I used to be a Wesley fan. Though not handsome or even nice looking by my standards, he had some undeniable sex appeal going on until about 1997. In the now infamous interview he gave to Ebony magazine, he made some unflattering comments about women which many black women thought were directed at them.They were probably right.I don’t think Wesley hates black women, he just doesn’t want to come home to someone who is “mean and aggravating and unkind”. He prefers the docile, more subservient type. At the time of the Ebony interview, Snipes’ partner was an Asian woman and his current wife is also Asian. His personal views no doubt influenced the casting decisions…

  • kimberly

    Black women were Wesley’s fan base. I don’t think many of them are even checking for Wesley. Three years in prison is a long, long time. He will have plenty of time to reflect on his life and his bad decisions. I hope he got his money back from those “financial” advisors who told him not to pay his income taxes. Black women might forgive you Wesley, but the IRS won’t.

  • khem

    Wesley is trying WAY HARD to play like he didn’t TEST THE SYSTEM.
    He is LAME
    Do your perp walk, do your time …
    This brother has “3″ do do.
    stfu already.
    The IRS is a mofo — been there done that.
    Not what we GAIN, but what we GIVE measures the WORTH of the life we LIVE!

  • khem

    What trips me out is to find out that he is not going to prison for not paying taxes like everybody, including me thought, he is going for not filing! And folks that are not in the know need to know that people go without filing all the time, it doesn’t mean they don’t pay up. He as not charged for owing the government money, if he had it would have been more serious charges filed against him. And if this is his first misdeamenor offense it is typical of the court to allow the convict to serve them concurrently or make available to the accused the chance to become community spokes person about the advantages offiling on time. But no! He was in cohorts with a person we hate and we gonna make him pay! Not back taxes, but pay nontheless.

  • Brother Wes

    To My Fans, Friends and Family, I would like to thank all of you who have sent in messages, mailed and called wishing me good health, spiritual support and speedy return. Your messages and letters have deeply touched me some many unexpected ways. It’s humbling and encouraging to learn there are so many supporters from around the world; willing to take time out of their day to make such an effort. Please understand that I can’t respond to you all at this time, but will in the future. It will be even easier and sweeter when all of our prayers are answered and I am free from this location. Please continue to write and those of you who have expressed utter disappointments in the system and unfair treatment issued to me, feel free to direct your concerns to the Attorney General’s office, your state Senator and Congress person or any other venue capable of assisting me, my legal team and our cause in righting this wrong. You are correct, every man and woman in this country deserves and and is entitled to a fair trial and due process under the law. Those who have forgotten or…

  • Brother Wes

    What a ride! Fellows that have done bids…smart ones… say, “just take it one day at a time, focus on the past and present, the future will come.” Well, that makes sense some of the time. I’m down with living in the present, that’s really all you can do, but focusing on the past, sometimes is too painful, while focusing on the future can be scary as hell. For the man “locked down” there is sound value in the saying though. Another “saying” is, “you’re gonna learn a lot while you’re in.” Well, that is the TRUTH-RUTH! You learn a lot… about the system, people, yourself, and the survival spirit of man. Each topic deserving its own blog, but since space & time is limited for me at the moment, I’ll just share a couple of insights. Let’s start with TIME, more specifically the VALUE OF TIME. I now believe that people in the military and people locked down in prison would have a greater sense of the value of time than those on the “outside”. Most of “Insiders” at where I am fully understand what it means to be accountable…

  • Brother Wes

    The penalty for neglecting this area can be often swift quickly and costly; that the price can be more than they anticipated to pay. Those on the outside, the so-called “free people” seem to miss this often times. Whether it’s due to distraction, delusion or lack of discipline, or whatever the reason may be, “outsiders” often seem to waste a lot of valuable time. Only when the shit hits the fan, or they are informed “their time is up”, do they have that “come to Jesus” moment, realizing how much they’ve lost, or about to loose. It’s then they KNOW how limited the time they have, how valuable time is and how much they’ve wasted. Another poignant saying here is “you learn very quickly whom your friends are, who’s really down with you”.Over 100 days in and I can already bear witness to this. The crazy part about it is, you don’t see it as clearly when you’re on the outside (not just in prison). We live in a selfish, self-serving, shortsighted society, where I and ME trump WE seemingly every time. Having travelled internationally, I know this is not the “way of the World&#8221…

  • Brother Wes

    The inmates say, “Watch, Wes, all of your so-called friends & family are gonna start dropping off like flies”, ” They will break their promises, stop calling, stop writing, stop coming and stop caring… in just a matter of time, you watch”. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m seeing the truth in their words. “Outta sight, outta mind.” It’s raw, but it’s real. Sad but true. So-far, I’m THANKFUL & BLESSED. I still have love and supports from the ride-or-die family and friends…and all of you fans who have been sending cards, notes, letters of prayer with loving supports and encouragements. I’ve heard from people I’ve never met and those I haven’t seen in years. Guess it’s easier, because now they KNOW where to find me. People form all over the world, every continent, country and near every county showing a lot of love…and haters, too! lol Some of my fellow inmate are not so lucky… everybody has left them; girlfriends, wives, husbands, parents, sibling and all those so-called friends are …GONE! For those who have release date to return to the “outside”, what will they do…

  • Brother Wes

    What do they have to look forward to, who will be there to hug them and say “welcome home, we love you”? Sadly, I don’t know the answers. Oh, yes. You learn a lot in prison; microwave cheesecakes, chicken wraps, halal pizza, slurpies and etc. 20 guys farting in the same range at the same time is a “chemical warfare”. And if you don’t wear your shower slippers or else, you’ll be stepping on all kinds of babies when you wash. That’s about it for the time given to me here… for now. I just wanted you all to know that I’m well, not contemplating suicide in a grate shop and that I am thankful to the divine creator for blessing me with one more day. Please send pictures with the letters for I’m a filmmaker.

  • Brother Wes

    Peace and Love,
    Wes
    Send to:
    FPC McKean-Satellite Camp
    c/o Wesley T. Snipes 43355-018
    P.O. Box 8000
    Bradford, PA 16701

  • Jason

    This is so friggin cool to see Wesley Snipes write in. If your reading this Wesley my favorite movie of yours was The Fan. I would say the first half of the movie had the potential to be right up there with Oldboy but the plot jumps the shark due to the fantastic (unbelievable) elements of the script such as De Niro’s character Gil killing Juan Primo in a sauna and kidnapping your son, or him impersonating a MLB umpire. However, I didn’t let the plot detract from my enjoyment- its a popcorn thriller and you have to watch it through the end if you start. The Fan was not a traditional baseball movie at all- it’s a psycho movie. It’s a weird film in which you see the signs that De Nirol was always crazy. It’s tough to sympathize with him or you since you both play heels. That’s my review. I hope you get out soon.

  • J

    Where did the “IRS=Zionist aliens theory” go? I miss those comments…

  • Enitan

    Are u all done? My mom was contacted by Frank Lidz asking to interview her about “her” fascinating career when she turned him down that she does not do profile interviews. Lidz then asked her about a story profiling the works of Sola and his family background. Lids claimed his dad went to school with my grandpa. This was supposed to be a profile about Uncle sola’s career and his family. I have all the questions my mom forwarded me that lidz sent. Shocked that this story was about another agenda, convicted developers etc. FYI, Lidz never asked my mom about a case in Georgia and wrote in the article that she is wanted for threatening a judge. Since 2003? My mom works as a Toronto Police volunteer, helps murderers turn in themselves @snitchlady, role model, Journalist etc. It helps if Lidz will not use shady means to obtain a story. Shame on the Philly mag. Our family names are all spelled wrong in the article too. Shola is NOT the last name of my stepgrandma and my grandma.

  • Enitan

    Are u all done? My mom was contacted by Frank Lidz asking to interview her about “her” fascinating career when she turned him down that she does not do profile interviews. Lidz then asked her about a story profiling the works of Sola and his family background. Lids claimed his dad went to school with my grandpa. This was supposed to be a profile about Uncle sola’s career and his family. I have all the questions my mom forwarded me that lidz sent. Shocked that this story was about another agenda, convicted developers etc. FYI, Lidz never asked my mom about a case in Georgia and wrote in the article that she is wanted for threatening a judge. Since 2003? My mom works as a Toronto Police volunteer, helps murderers turn in themselves @snitchlady, role model, Journalist etc. It helps if Lidz will not use shady means to obtain a story. Shame on the Philly mag. Our family names are all spelled wrong in the article too. Shola is NOT the last name of my stepgrandma and my grandma.

  • Enitan

    Fran Lidz also told her that his father had died in Nifgeria and left her an inheritance of $25 million. All she must was open a bank account in Canada and he would deposit the money into her account. We have waited 6 weeks and no money has ever arrived. Lidk also said his mother was queen of Uruguy which we have found also turns out to be not true. All lies and more lies about my uncle sola. He is no chef but runs a bicycle shop in Philadelphia. My mom saw him before she left Georgia. She did NOT kill a judge as the story says. And she is only wanted by the fasist police because she is tall and more beatufil than the ugly cop who arrested her. More lies! I have proof that I will release someday when we are allowed to return to the United States of Hate-Emerica.

  • enitan

    Here is the one of the shady email Lin sent to mom::
    DEAR SISTER, CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
    HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE NIGERIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO AWARD YOU INHERITANCE FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $25,000,000 INTO YOUR ACCOUNTS. THE ABOVE SUM RESULTED FROM AN OVER-INVOICED CONTRACT, EXECUTED COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS (5) AGO BY A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR. THIS ACTION WAS HOWEVER INTENTIONAL AND SINCE THEN THE FUND HAS BEEN IN A SUSPENSE ACCOUNT AT THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA APEX BANK. WE ARE NOW READY TO TRANSFER THE FUND OVERSEAS AND THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT AS A CIVIL SERVANT, I AM FORBIDDEN TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT; THAT IS WHY I REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE. THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SHARED AS FOLLOWS: 100% FOR YOU, 25% FOPR US AND 5% FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER. THE TRANSFER IS RISK FREE ON BOTH SIDES. IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

  • Darnell

    Damn Enitan, That IS shady. He’s been spamming me too. another reason you can’t trust the lamestream media.

  • A

    Consider this: who’s buying ads in Philly Mag, and who comes out looking like the good guy in this article?

  • A

    Consider this: who’s buying ads in Philly Mag, and who comes out looking like the good guy in this article?

  • Arnold

    Also consider this: who doesn’t pay his taxes and is a legend only in his own mind and comes out looking like a bad guy in this? I guess I just answered my own question.

  • ShawnMC

    I would just like to point out a small little piece of information about Shola’s sister, if you google her name you will find she is being deported to face the crimes she is accused of.

  • Toronto Police 43rd precinct s

    ShawnMC is a Canadian pedophile and person of interest in 2 murders. Check him put my googling Shawn McQuaid. Shola’s sister is not facing deportation and was currently here in philadelphia on vacation. Shawn McQuaid murdered a woman in Canada and Shola’s sister blew the whistle on him. He is very obsessive and his DNa was just collected by the state police.

  • Bureau Of Immigration & Custom

    To anyone who sights “Kemi” Olunloyo in the Philadelphia area: Please call Michael Grieco at the Bureau Of Immigration & Customs Enforcement,
    Federal Protective Service-Region 3
    701 Market Street #4200
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-1532
    Phone: 215-521-2150

    Ms. Olunloyo is a fugitive from justice in the state of Georgia, which has four outstanding warrants for her arrest. She should be considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend her on your own.

  • Bureau Of Immigration & Custom

    To anyone who sights “Kemi” Olunloyo in the Philadelphia area: Please call Michael Grieco at the Bureau Of Immigration & Customs Enforcement,
    Federal Protective Service-Region 3
    701 Market Street #4200
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-1532
    Phone: 215-521-2150

    Ms. Olunloyo is a fugitive from justice in the state of Georgia, which has four outstanding warrants for her arrest. She should be considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend her on your own.

  • Bureau Of Immigration & Custom

    To anyone who sights “Kemi” Olunloyo in the Philadelphia area: Please call Michael Grieco at the Bureau Of Immigration & Customs Enforcement,
    Federal Protective Service-Region 3
    701 Market Street #4200
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-1532
    Phone: 215-521-2150

    Ms. Olunloyo is a fugitive from justice in the state of Georgia, which has four outstanding warrants for her arrest. She should be considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend her on your own.

  • Bureau Of Immigration & Custom

    To anyone who sights “Kemi” Olunloyo in the Philadelphia area: Please call Michael Grieco at the Bureau Of Immigration & Customs Enforcement,
    Federal Protective Service-Region 3
    701 Market Street #4200
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-1532
    Phone: 215-521-2150

    Ms. Olunloyo is a fugitive from justice in the state of Georgia, which has four outstanding warrants for her arrest. She should be considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend her on your own.

  • Bureau Of Immigration & Custom

    To anyone who sights “Kemi” Olunloyo in the Philadelphia area: Please call Michael Grieco at the Bureau Of Immigration & Customs Enforcement,
    Federal Protective Service-Region 3
    701 Market Street #4200
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-1532
    Phone: 215-521-2150

    Ms. Olunloyo is a fugitive from justice in the state of Georgia, which has four outstanding warrants for her arrest. She should be considered armed and dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend her on your own.