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Showing posts from 2011

I Got it So Good - Gospel Music in New York

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Summer’s come and gone and with it outdoor concerts in the city.

Summerstage in Central Park and Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park are the season’s marquee events.

Less well known is the Martin Luther King Concert Series, held on Monday nights every summer for the last 30 years at Wingate Field in Brooklyn, near the end of the 2 train in Flatbush.

Though these concerts are the product of the same city government, they take place in almost an alternate reality.

I heard about them in an unlikely way. Before budget cuts, the New York Philharmonic performed one night every July in Prospect Park. Like any event in Brooklyn with more than 50 people in attendance, Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz appeared on stage, sounding off one-liners in his Sheepshead Bay accent.

“Last night’s concert in Central Park was a warm up for tonight’s show in Brooklyn.”

Markowitz went on to mention the various musical events taking place throughout the borough. The Celebrate Brooklyn concerts at the …

A New Coat of Paint

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The A train to Queens. The car I’m riding consists of tourists headed to JFK, surfers with their boards enclosed in carrying cases headed to Rockaway Beach to catch the swells from the latest tropical storm, and black folks headed to areas of Brooklyn left blank on the tourist’s guide book maps.
This trip is an epilogue. After four generations of New Yorkers, I am the last of my clan living in the City. The house I’m headed to in South Ozone Park was once the home of my grandmother, grandfather, great aunt, and great uncle.
One by one, they have all moved to the hereafter. And now the family is selling the house. Before it’s market-ready, we have to clean it out, paint the walls, and sand the floors. Erasing history so a new one can be made.

If you’ve been to New York, you’ve been to South Ozone Park, Queens. The neighborhood’s most defining feature is the planes flying overhead to JFK located next door.
These are the rows of non-descript houses you see in their miniature size on takeoffs…