The Artist has his easel and brush; I have my fingers, furtive on the cases of a laptop or running an eager pen on a piece of parchment. To this day, a blank sheet and dark ink remain my image of freedom.
I am leaving for New York tonight, at 11:30pm. I will not give details about all the trouble that comes with booking a trip with more than one person. Originally, we were 4, possibly 5. We planned on getting a little room in the city, so we can be close to everything & not lose time travelling from New Jersey. Then, that number dwindled to 4, then 3, & now, only hours away from our departure, we are uncertain if number 3 is coming or not. This is the summary, without all the extra details. I am very excited, as New York has the ability to erase all my cares & worries. New York is my breather, it's my 'get away from this mess', it's my 'stress, what stress?' or 'job, what job?'. It's a well of creativity, scents and sights colliding at such speed, when I think of New York, I imagine; a flurry of lights red, blue, green, Drummadics performing on 125th station, The drummer beating on Paint buckets whilst his band mates rally around him in Saxophones & Djembe. I imagine a city that never sleeps...
Brooklyn, we go hard; nail shop & Hair salon at every end of the street, where my ex spent 7 years of his life, where there's Caribbean food everywhere, where I gorged on 'Doubles' & 'Patties'.
Manhattan, ice queen; Statuesque high rises, stilettos that cost more than a year's rent, where I accompanied a model friend from agency to agency for audition day, feeling like a dwarf. Manhattan, the beautiful shops, the sweltering crowds, the yellow duck cabs.
Time Square; Broadway ads larger than life & Amsterdam hotel, where we paid 177$ a night for a room the size of a closet during dead season. & where I ate a Portobello sandwich at Friday's, that cost me 17$!
Harlem the renaissance; How I love thee, Harlem. Soul food at 'The Rouge', a quaint little resto with a bathroom that is pure art, food that is heaven to palettes, & a waiter that made us blush every time he looked at us. Yes. Harlem, where you find 7$ shoes, an old man sitting on a cartoon in the middle of the sidewalk with gangrene running from his toe nails to his knees, where you see homeless amputee after homeless amputee, Harlem where i learned the story of a 24yr old girl that's been struggling with HIV since she's been 19.
New York is a hustle, 24/7; men selling hand bags out of cars, immigrants with their peanut & halal carts, a woman in Harlem selling poetry for a 1$ a pop, self published writers marketing their books on street stalls, dope boys standing on their corners. New York is a dream; everyone is trying to be rich. somehow, in all this turmoil, I find solace. New York is 8 million people, living on top of each other, their stories intertwine. It's History, it's Poetry.