New York Moments

New York City Marathon

Image via Wikipedia

Dear ING,

Thank you for the experience of the New York City Marathon. I stood today on the corner of 121st street and 5th Avenue so that I would have an equal view of the Marathon runners in their 22nd mile and the performance J-Harris of Maschil Entertainment was doing at 1:30 pm. It was a definite New York Moment and I loved every moment of it.

I started the crisp Autumn day off by going to brunch at Ristorante Settapani with a couple of friends and was delighted with what was simply on the menu as “Harlem Favorite”. We were able to track our friends running in the marathon and watch the winners as they crossed the finish line on television. Even as I watched the first man and the first women winner and then the first American winner on television I couldn’t help but be in total awe of the realization that this was also happening right outside the door of this small Mediterranean Ristorante. They went their way and I went mine, all of us agreeing that we would meet at the finish line and I walked a couple blocks over to where J-Harris would be performing. Here’s what I like about Harlem, I know it’s only a village of Manhattan and that most New Yorkers would actually refer to it as Uptown but it has so much of what I love about my favorite borough (Broooookkklllyyynnn!). There’s such a strong sense of community, of culture and of positive energy. The people there are like family and the support that comes from this neighborhood is one of solidarity. It’s truly a beautiful area. In fact, I had no idea where to watch the Marathon from but definitely knew I wanted to watch it and then due to J-Harris I ended up in what Harlem World dubs one of the best places to watch the Marathon.

Just know that when J-Harris hit the Mount Morris Park stage the people around me gave me a wide berth because I was screaming so loud and I did not care. Not in the slightest. His performance was an uplifting celebration of the runners while pumping an energy into the crowd of supporters that had us clapping and dancing (well, I REALLY danced) and just embracing the good time that could be felt inside this New York moment. A few years ago when Leen and I were traveling with Jagged Edge we used to attend a lot of really fantastic concerts and used to make up stories about how people like Joe, Lloyd and 112 would sing directly to us. We got a kick out of excitedly exclaiming they “sang that song just for me” or “he pointed right at me” during each song. But, I kid you not, totally promise that J-Harris dedicated “I’ll Make it Up To You” to me today, called me out by name during his performance. I PROMISE! Get the tape, I’m sure there is one.

J-Harris had his LoveJonesNYC dancers with him on the stage and it was the most amazing thing. You really have to see it for yourself but here’s the summation. There’s this small area of space that includes J-Harris, his back-up singer Kristin Stennis, a keyboard-playing-man (would you call that a pianist, or no?) and some other equipment. Then, in the space that is left is this beautiful dancer with beautiful hair splaying her body in perfect rhythm to J-Harris’ song, spinning and doing pirouttes and tours en l’air as if she has all the space in the world. Think Anika Noni Rose in the opening scene of For Colored Girls cause that’s exactly what I thought of as I watched awestruck at the way she used her space and performed for this audience. Such talent and both of his dancers bring such an energy to the crowd as they clap and sing and dance and bring up the momentum. It was a truly great New York Moment.

Love Always,

Sunny

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