The Real Brooklyn's Finest

The Real Brooklyn's Finest
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 05, 2010

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We love the confident swagger on photographer/graphic designer Darren Laing. His NY fitted leaves no doubt as to where his heart belongs.

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Um… wow. Model/personal trainer Paul Arthur didn’t come to us. We hunted him down after peeping his loveliness in ads for Nike and Jordan. Those abs? That V? Heaven, help us!

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Paul Arthur looks like he’s about to pass out. Um. honey, so are we! Like seriously, it should be illegal for one man to look this good.

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Michael “Mancini” McConnell was ESSENCE’s very first “Single Man of the Month” in June 2009. When we spotted him at a birthday party, we couldn’t keep our eyes off this sexy gentleman’s bright brown eyes and charming smile.

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As the owner of marketing and brand management company Team Mancini Lifestyle Inc., McConnell is always on the move. Check him out at

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It was love at first sight when we spotted Courtney Castro at Brooklyn’s annual MIH picnic in Prospect Park. The basketball hottie with a 45-inch vertical leap has played ball in Quebec, Taiwan and with the Globetrotter-esque Harlem Wizards.

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Producer Wes Mapes landed on our radar when we spotted him standing outside the Brooklyn Museum. This tall drink of water is as sweet as he is sexy.

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We ran into this deep-dimpled cutie, Alejandro Clabiorne on a rooftop party in New York City’s best borough. Our first reaction? We could fall in his dimples and die. swoon

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This Jamaican hottie, Travis Sylvester, made us do a double-take when were introduced to him at the Brooklyn Museum. He’s a marketing guru who owns The LifeStyle Architect Group and splits his time between Miami and his beloved Brooklyn home.

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We bumped into Brooklyn rapper Sha Stimuli at our favorite Flatbush bar. We offered a smile, he offered his latest CD, “My Soul to Keep”. He had us at hello, and after the first song’s hook we made him an iPod favorite. Follow him on Twitter at

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This gorgeous Haitian hunk popped onto our radar when we blocked his car in a couple summers ago. Bikens Pierre is as single as he is lovely. When he’s not investigating fraud for his day job, he can be found organizing charity drives to collect food and clothing for the people of Haiti.

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With his piercing gaze, plump lips, and perfectly smooth brown skin, Shadner Ifrene, was certain to catch our eye. The actor will make his big screen debut later this year in the independent film “Chess Boxing.”

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That pretty smile and that pouty bottom lip first caught our attention in 2007 when Emiliano Styles was featured as an ESSENCE “Do Right Man.” These days the high school special education/literacy teacher is directing and producing a romantic mystery feature film, “Pour Aimer, Encore.”

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We stumbled upon this NY-born, Haitian lovely at a screening party for “Let’s Talk About Pep,” (no, he wasn’t on the show, but he should have been, right?). Turns out Eric Nicoleau is a model/actor personal fitness trainer… with washboard abs we’d like to do next week’s laundry on.

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Need more Eric in your life? Yes, we do too. Check him out at or follow this chiseled chocolate cutie at