I had a crazy weekend! I went to New York for a little work and play. I will make another post detailing what I learned about sourcing in New York soon. Right now I want to reflect on my free time in the city.
I stayed in an AirBnb in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, during the trip. While the subway trips to Manhattan were long, it gave me an opportunity to explore New York’s second largest borough. As a kid I definitely romanticized the hometown of my favorite rappers, but it had more depth then I imagined. Brooklyn is basically a city on its own. It has nicer and rougher neighborhoods, shopping, museums, families, parks, singles, bars, an oddly large quantity of churches, public housing projects and beautiful historic brownstones. I don’t think you could call this place one definitive thing, other than stimulating. Brooklyn is not boring. I met up with a childhood friend and he showed me the sights in Fort Greene, which he taught me was an actual fort during the revolutionary war. I shared with him my teenage dream of going to FIT, working for BabyPhat and owning one of those iconic brownstones the neighborhood. Refocusing on those old goals help to remember my reason for building my business.
Another experience that helped change my perspective was attending Spike Lee’s Bk loves MJ block party. The city honored him by naming the block where he shot “Do the Right Thing” after the film. For the last 6 years he has been throwing a Michael Jackson themed block party to celebrate Jackson’s birthday. Dancing in the street with beautiful Brooklynites as Sway Calloway and Spike Lee joked on stage was awesome! And more importantly it didn’t happen overnight. 27 years ago Spike released the controversial film on a small budget. Today he can use his business and celebrity to bring joy to his neighborhood. The shit is going to take the time that it takes. When your done you can dance in the sun to “ Rock With You”. Hell, I would even advise dance breaks at the beginning and middle of the journey as well, but always remember that it is a journey. It might take a couple decades to be an icon.
Lastly the intoxicating cultural experience known as Afropunk. I bought tickets to the two day festival at Commodore Barry park and it was money well spent! Afropunk is black, indie, inclusive, and creative. The loving vibes and amazing talent displayed gave me life. Below are some of the beautiful souls I met. If you see yourself pictured email me so that I can link to your work, Instagram, SoundCloud, whatever. Peace Brooklyn. Thank you!