seven days in new york: observations.

here are a few observations i’ve made since i’ve made this city my new home:

– there are train routes that are solely ugly, solely short, and solely smelly. (i see you, D train!!! no eye candy at ALL.)
– people in this city really don’t go anywhere they don’t have to. this includes to other sides of their very own boroughs. i am slightly perplexed by this. (aka, if i move to bay ridge, don’t fucking complain about coming to see me. either do it or don’t. i’m not opposed to traveling.)
– the ‘neighborhood’ supermarkets, in most areas, are shit.
– if you speak a little spanish when you move here, you’ll leave here speaking a lot of spanish. win!
– too many kids are selling candy on the train to feed themselves. it stings a little.
– there are too many train stations without elevators and escalators. too many folks w/ strollers are navigating these stairs alone, w/ impatient & inconsiderate assholes rushing them down the stairs. no bueno.
– the 4 train, once you hit the bx, is WAY FAR ABOVE GROUND. geez.
– there’s more to life than brooklyn. you can’t tell the brooklynites that, though.

i’ll be missing philly in approximately 6 weeks when i have a cheesesteak craving at noon on a saturday and realize that i’d have to make a 3 hour trip just to get one. oy.

for michael + courtney.

seen @ borders last night, captured w/ my cell phone.

i can’t wait to visit y’all!

i don’t think it’s okay

that i went all the way to 140th and brook to find the best peaches i’ve had all season, probably in years.

but i had a wonderful day.

i’ve got to know why

touring the favelas of rio is some new cute tourist activity. i need to know what the deal is. is it just an issue of cheap lodging? is poverty simply so fascinating that the visitors have to go see how the other half lives not in their own nations, but in latin america? are people actually working in these communities to change them, like grupo cultural afro reggae?

i ask because i’m black. & i come from salt-of-the-earth, hard working black folks who worked hard as hell to get everything they’ve ever had — just like most of the world’s poor folks. i don’t know what it is, but i don’t see a whole lot of these same do-gooders trying to stay in the states & help folks in the hood here. i don’t. i do, however, tend to see folks with purportedly activist & altruistic leanings trying to get me to sign up for save the children while i’m on my freaking lunch break. i bristle at the mere notion that organizations like dialoguedirect are hiring young folks here & putting them to work to raise money. it bothers me that direct action doesn’t seem to be an option for folks anymore. & maybe it is; perhaps i’m not in the right circles. i could be kind of removed from the activist community by virtue of my day job. i’m not certain. maybe the widespread notion that white folk just cannot be trusted is really ingrained in my head & i have yet to shake it off.

but touring the hood? like that shit is cute? i really, really hope that’s not the case. the police maim & kill however & whomever they want to. it’s not a secret. it’s a lot harder for police here to get away with that shit. & i’m not implying that the lack of safety in favelas (or any slums, or squatter communities anywhere) should be a reason withhold help or to stay away altogether. but, let’s be for real: some of these same folks (nicknamed ‘poorists‘) are not tryna crash in or near the now-defunct cabrini-green homes when they go to chicago. they were never trying to hang around the 4th ward of new orleans. never.

some of these same folks will just gush about the humanity of the people, & the beauty, etc . . . then make a nasty face at the black kids sitting near them on the subway. come the hell on. hell, when they come teeming from gringolandia into the city where my family lives, it’s not about anything other than shopping & maybe picking up a hooker or running some drugs. but you go into a store like marti’s (btw, a white man, i believe an american, owns that store) & hear all the cooing about what’s so cute, how _____ is so authentic, and goddess knows what else. it makes me sick.

i try my damnedest not to be that woman, the one who gives kids money because they’re just so cute & it must make their day to get coins from an american. i don’t want to be the lady who loves la raza so much when i’m there but shuns the dude who’s bussing my table at vietnam palace.

i dunno. i’m rambling.
but my original question still kinda stands: what’s up w/ that?

when i wrote that i’d update on monday

i was lying.

because i am too gotdamn tired to even think about recounting the whole trip.

i’ll get w/ y’all on the retro tip as soon as i can get my thoughts together. first, i need food, sleep, a bath & some prayer.

bklyn discoveries:

– the city is easier to handle in sneakers. real workout kinda sneakers. nike shox stand up.

– white boys get it IN when it comes to tattoos. the body is a canvas to them. period.

– it pays to be able to stick all my shit in one bag and walk around w/ it.

– bed stuy can be as magical as it can be tragic.

– bay ridge is slept on really hard.

– the goodness of a frozen mojito is wonderous.

– malik yoba really is that fucking fine in person. & he is a spiffy dresser.

– nobody ever expects me to speak spanish… but in new york they’re less likely to assume that i don’t.

– drinks don’t taste better because they’re free, but they’re still tasty as shit.

– the swagger that comes from having a secret reason to smile is priceless.

– pathmark is overpriced every where you go.

– old navy is fuckin up.

i had a great weekend.

pics soon come…