25 - September 1, 2003
time again for my world famous weekly thought.
The place where I tell you everything that is going on in my head
and stuff thats happening with me.
Day Weekend Jump Start
Club Tobago - Queens, NY
was the Labor Day Weekend in New York City. Last
year this same time I was in Orlando and was just making the
decision to move to NYC. I don't even think I celebrated the holiday
because I wasn't working at all. This year however, I have so much
people to party with and explore the festivities going on here.
The Labor Day Friday came. (Aug.29) My cousin, Jazmine, invited
me to go to Club
Tobago where we'd dance up a storm. I had no idea what was in
store there, but from my time there before,
I figured I'd have a good time. When we get to the club around 12am,
the line up was huge. While I was waiting in line, I meet my friend,
Vinny, who I know from the Bronx. He told me that
he'd meet me in the club later. After I pass the security check,
we find that the cover charge was $12 before midnight, $20 after.
Oh well, so I pay the jacked admission price and go in. My cousin
goes on to meet some of her friends while I get a Guinness Stout
and chill by myself as the DJ plays.
Jai and Double D
12:30am, famous calypsonian Rikki Jai and his
partner "Double D" take the stage and
open up the show that was going on that night. I'm not sure if
they were originally scheduled to be a part of the show, they
were not on the flyer,
but huge stars like that I guess get to do whatever they want!
They sing a few songs to warm up the crowd. That they certainly
did. Later in the night, they started giving away free glow sticks
and Trinidad or Guyana flags. I ran up to the front of the stage
and stuck my hand out hoping that they would pass me a free glow
stick. But, by the time I got there, they stopped handing them
out. This really attractive woman to my left saw what had happened
and was kind enough to give me one of the 7 glow sticks she had.
I stayed there by the stage and danced by myself when the music
played. All of a sudden, as I am dancing, this beautiful girl
dressed in black with light skin, short curly hair and a cute
smile approaches me and starts to dance. I thought that this was
nice. Then she started dancing closer... and closer... and closer!
So close to me that a breeze couldn't pass between us. Then her
3 other friends came along and started dancing with me too. I
guess they liked the way I moved or something. Some other guys
saw what kind of action I was getting and tried to get a piece
of it. They were out of luck when these girls rejected them and
danced even more closer to me! The night went on and on with me
not even getting a chance to run and get a bottled water. I had
this one girl glued to me. I wasn't going to let go because I
was having so much fun. I remember "Double D" coming
down to the dancefloor and I was able to talk to him for a little.
He was really cool. Eventually, the music's pace died down. Around
4am, the DJ slows the tempo and the house lights slowly begin
to come on. I had to go... I said goodbye to my fun dance partners
and went home to sleep.
Zippin In an '03 Volkswagon Beetle Convertible
my ZipCar monthly
membership, I can rent any car that they carry. So since I didn't
get use any of the cars that I was entitled to this whole month,
I thought that I should just rent one before the month is over.
I chose the Labor Day Saturday to rent a VW Beetle Convertible.
When I picked it up, I was first confused on how to open the top.
Its tricky if you don't read the manual. The car was in Reflex
Silver paint and had black leather trim. I had the top of the
line model with the 6 Speed Automatic/TipTronic Transmission.
The same stuff found in Porsches. So my cousins, Andrew and Jazmine
come along for a ride with me. We decided to drive out of Manhattan
and head for a spin to Brooklyn around the Eastern Parkway where
we could catch an early glimpse of the West Indian Labor Day Parade
route. I found the car had great pickup, nice speed and drove
really smoothly. So many heads turned as we drove around with
the top down. As we got onto Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, the
streets were crowded with cars and traffic. Our choice of cruising
ride was top notch as the car's sound system easily carried distance
because there was no
car roof. After driving this car for about 3 hours, I immediately
fell in love with it. Would I buy this car? Certainly. But it
would not be my main vehicle to get around. The trunk space is
very minimal. My carry on luggage alone would have trouble squeezing
in there. Other than that, the car is spectacular. This car is
very nimble and because of its tiny size, easy to park. Some of
the cool features I liked was the display above the mirror when
the roof was coming down or going up. It had a little digital
beetle with the roof animated going up or down. I have to admit
I was a little sad bringing the care back. This is a car I would
rent again and look forward to saving up for the $21,025 US price
tag for the base model.
That I Took
cK Drive Pose
Andrew Showing His Colors
Time At New York's Labor Day Parade
In May, I was at the Bermuda Carnival. In early
August, I didn't make it to the Caribana Parade in Toronto, but
I did go to a lot of the afterparties and Caribana events. Now,
this past Labor Day was my first time in New York to see their
Carnival. It is officially called the 'West Indian American
Labor Day Parade'. I heard that it was huge, but I had
no idea. The parade route goes down the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.
Its not exactly a highway, but a really big stretch of road with
four lanes. Being my first time, I wanted to go with my family.
So I went with my cousins, Jazmine and Andrew. My uncle lent me
his black Hyundai Tiburon to drive to Brooklyn, where I parked
at a relative's house near Avenue H. From there we were given
a quick ride up Utica Avenue towards the Eastern Parkway where
the parade started. When we were let out, we walked up Utica in
the rain where lots of people were walking in the parade with
umbrellas. The rain wasn't coming down hard, it was just drizzling.
I wasn't going to let that bother me, I came here to party and
a little few drops was not going to make me turn back and go home
now. So we walk towards the loud music coming from the trucks
on the Eastern Parkway. Loud calypso and reggae blasted through
the streets as carnival people wearing their home island's colors
and waving their flags in the air celebrating the big day. I always
have a whistle to blow and make noise, but today in the rush of
getting here, I totally forgot it. So I had to buy one for a $1.
That was a good deal as some people were charging $3 for them.
I know that when I want to buy a flag at Toronto's Caribana, they
ask for $5 for it... and that's the small flag! Here, you could
get that same small flag for a dollar. That was real cheap! So
we are walking and walking in along the southern side of the Eastern
Parkway trying to find a float that was playing some good calypso
and then follow it. To our surprise, we found 4 of the Haitian
trucks blasting the creole calypso. As much as it was nice to
dance to, we still wanted some good carnival tunes to jump up
and wave with.
we continued walking, and walking. After walking so much, I got
hungry. Well, there was so much food there I wanted to try something!
So what better to buy that's cheap and easy to eat on the go?
A Jamaican Beef Patty. So I stopped by this one stall where I
saw a dozen patties in an oven. I asked for one. That cost $2.00!
The lady there made me wait for about 4 minutes, telling me that
the patty had to heat up. Like a fool, I stood there. I should
have just left. But I waited. Then she gave me the patty.. I bit
into it and it was ICE COLD
in the middle. I gave it back to her and she put it back in to
heat up. Or so I thought. She gave it back to me 5 minutes later
and it was the same result. I went over this about 2 more times
until I just gave up. My cousin Andrew already paid her so I had
to keep it. On the other side of her table, a guy was roasting
corn in this big bbq barrel. I told him my situation and I asked
if I can heat up my cold patties. He put them in there with the
corn for about 4 minutes and then gave it to me. It was finally
warm! After going through so much trouble, it was still the worst
beef patty I have EVER tasted. I don't want to blame the Golden
Krust Bakery for it, but who can I blame? Their name is on the
Walking Down Eastern Parkway
carry on walking around. By now its getting pointless. We have
to find a float to follow or we are gonna waste our day here.
So we cross to the northern side of the parkway and walk up looking
for a float. We find ourselves at the Brooklyn Museum - which
is the end of the parade route. So we walk down heading towards
Utica. Again we see about 4 of the Haitian floats. There was one
reggae float that we saw, but we wanted to hear some good soca!
I can hear reggae on the radio, the calypso is what this parade
is all about. So we are walking and then we see the END of the
parade! The garbage clean up crew follows right at the end cleaning
up. Oh boy.... its over. It was about 6pm and things were wrapping
up. We spent 90% of the time squeezing through people and walking.
Actually, I still had fun even though I didn't break a sweat!
Maybe its because I wasn't dancing at all!?!?!? As we walked with
the masses of people that were heading home, I saw 4 people walking
above the crowds. Well, they were on stilts. They were wearing
flags from different island nations. I stopped and took a picture
of them. ( you can see that below ) We got to Utica Avenue and
waited for a dollar van so we could get back to the car. We waited
a good 30 minutes, maybe more.
Walking Tall Above The Crowd
Begins After Parade
we were waiting, we were thinking about what we were going to eat.
Then, all of a sudden this guy came up to my cousin, Jazmine and
invited her and all of us to a free post-parade house party with
free drinks and food. It sounded too good to be true so we thought
we'd head out there after we picked up the car. The party was located
not to far from the parade route on a street called Montgomery.
So after we caught a dollar van, we got back to the car. I had no
map with me so I had to wing it looking for Montgomery in between
Brooklyn and New York Avenues.... in the rain! I eventually did,
and I found parking too! So we go up to the address. It was about
8pm and I didn't hear any real loud music or anything indicating
that there was a party. I did see 2 girls sitting on the front porch
just with an exhausted look. I went to the door and saw the guy
that invited us out. His name was Rob. He offered me food and drinks.
(non alcholic) When I walked into the kitchen, I met this girl named
Nikki. She was there to make sure I didn't take the food myself.
She brought it out for me. Shawn was there cooking it and a more
older lady named Dee was just there to make sure everything was
going okay. With my plate of food and pineapple soda, I walked out
to the front porch where I met 4 other girls who were in New York
for the parade from Washington D.C. They were really cool, but it
was obvious that they were exhausted. After a little chatter with
them, they were asking on how to get to the nearest train station.
They had to get to 42nd Street to return to Washington that night.
They left. I stuck around and Rob showed me the basement area where
the DJ set up and they had lots of dancing space. Apparently we
arrived too early, and more people were coming later. The basement
was empty, and it was raining. As much as I didn't think anyone
was coming, there was a good number of them that did show up around
9. Problem was that it was all guys. I'm sure that more females
were coming, but I didn't have all that time to wait. Jazmine was
starting classes the next day and she had to be home in good time.
So I waited a little.. danced for a bit.. then let Rob know that
I was heading out. If there were some hunies there at that moment,
maybe I would have stuck around for 10 more minutes. I thanked Rob
for inviting me and for his hospitality. Then we all got in the
car and started driving to get back. As we headed towards Flatbush
Ave. we were going through this one street where they were having
a party in the street! It was crazy! People from opposite sides
of their street look like they were having this dance off. I drove
right into it and everyone came up to the car. I honked my horn
to go along with the partying. Carnival people started cheering
louder and blew on whistles beat on drums with more excitement that
I acknowledged their party. I soooo wanted to park and get out to
join them, but I had to get my cousins home. There was easily 500
people outside. So that was it. That was my first Labor Day Parade.
I have always heard about it, but this is the first time I did it.
I had a great time. Next year, I'll be on a float!
cK's Cuz Jazmine Who Is Callalloo
cK At The Basement Party
Pictures Taken By Jaz's Kodak
This is the best
digital camera I have ever used. The pictures came out
so clear and the functionality of the camera was excellent.
Sleek and stylish, this is a good buy for someone looking
for a good digital camera.
If you have
any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org