I saw the sign…Crown Heights LOVE
I moved into Crown Heights almost a year ago (uhmmmm hmmmm) and I love it. I didn’t think I would love any NYC hood more than Bed Stuy but it has happened. While I have professed my love for my newish hood to most of my friends, I am proclaiming it to all of you OUT THERE!! See it is Labor Day Weekend. For anyone who knows anything about Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Labor Day, they know that this is the weekend of the infamous West Indian Day Parade. Ironically, I have a certain opinion formed about this parade and really was looking for any and every way to get out of joining my sister at this years festivities. Now don’t get it twisted, I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good carnival celebration. I realized how much I loved them when I traveled to Antigua and Barbuda a little over 2 years ago to visit (slap some glitter on it & A SMALL PLACE). I even remember ear hustling (some say overhearing) a group of folks at a BBQ in Antigua talking about their plans to attend the festival.
I can’t quite explain what it is about the festival that just makes me want to avoid it. I love Carnival celebrations but sometimes have to be in the right mood to deal with the foolery that is presented to me. I know that the festival has been “shrouded” in controversy with violence, police trying to “wink up” just a little too much and whatever else happens when too many people are in a space when it is too hot and humid. The overall thing that I love is the fact that this is a festival that celebrates so much of what I love about Brooklyn and better yet life: CULTURE. This celebration from what I know is an essential part of many folks lived experience. It’s a time to come together, get some awesome food, celebrate beautiful bodies in all shapes and sizes and in many ways celebrate LIFE and all that it brings us.
With all of this in mind and all of my hesitancy to actually attend the festival, a simple sign changed my mind. Apparently I love on the pre-parade route and realized that I am ok with attending some of these festivities with my friends and family. I am happy to travel to another place where time and space don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that I am with the people who I love ENJOYING LIFE and all the CULTURE has to bring to me.
Peace B. Still,