The biggest question I get to this day is: “Do you miss New York?”
My answer is always the same: “I miss my family, my friends, good pizza and real bagels, but I don’t really miss NYC so much.”
But every once in a while, I wish I was back in the old hood, specifically the Loisaida, for things like peeping Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child at the Angelika, eating a Reuben at Katz’s Deli and catchin’ my homie Rich Villar for his Friday Spotlight feature at the Nuyorican.
To celebrate his feature, I asked Rich a few questions about his past involvement with the Nuyo, what’s going down now and how he plans to negotiate it all. Full interview can be found at the Letras Latinas blog.
Plus, a bonus question post-Nuyo feature:
Oscar: So, how’d it go last night?
Rich: I am beginning to think that “home” is truly what you make of it. I think for many years I expected the Nuyorican to be this place where “the elders” or “the community” accepted me as one of their own, and when I didn’t get that coming in the door, I was disappointed. I realize now that I’M the community. Or rather, the people I surround myself with, no matter the venue, make the place “home.” Of course this is true. It works that way with family. Why wouldn’t it work that way in the arts world? I was surrounded by people I love, who love the word, even if they’re at different places with it than I am. And we made the Nuyorican ours tonight. It was quite something. That, and Julio seems to like me. Of course, next week…maybe not so much!
Our mutual friend and partner in crime Juan Diaz recorded the whole feature, so there should be clips up before too long. I felt really comfortable with the audience, my voice, and my critical voice…I made a statement about spoken word being a lie perpetrated on poets, and I actually believed it, and so did the audience. :-)