The last time I went to the Puerto Rican Day parade was maybe 11 years ago with Mike, Tom, Jose, John P, Angel, and the rest of the crew. We are somewhere in Central Park avoiding the main crowd and things were going well until un boracho decides to grab Tom’s snake by the head and have an encounter session-
Como estas culebrita?
I then grab said drunk’s wrist and twist it back-
Let go of the snake.
(To add context, you have to remember that for the most part, Tom has always enjoyed the company of his pets over the interaction of say 99.9% of the populace he meets up with.)
El boracho lets go of the snake and it all happens so quickly that nobody really notices the incident. We get to maybe 57th Street when the realization that I could have set off something bigger hits me. It is not crazy to imagine that this brother was rolling with a few friends and the chances that he was hanging with a deeper posse is probably closer to the truth and here I am, manhandling him, like if its all cool and sheet.
That’s when I knew that the claustrophobia that I get around large crowds was getting to me. Don’t get it twisted- I can have fun with a score of my friends or at least friends of friends but once strangers are added to the equation, it’s kinda over.
Yesterday marked my first ever foray into the fabled 116th Street Festival. Let’s just say that it was a true prelude to most of the depravity I’ve encountered on the day of the Parade.
-A girl handing out free condoms getting surrounded by six dudes on a corner. She looked like Richard Todd against the Raiders defense.
-Commenting on the skimpy outfits
o.b.: If I want to see these outfits, I could just really go to the beach
Caroline: Or just go online
-Seeing some of these outfits up close. Good from far… but far from good.
-The lines of guys waiting to pounce on women walking solo
-The cops looking down on everybody
-The masses pressed against barricades
– Commentary from a young teenager as the ladies pass by: Da devil dun made that azz!
-Hanging at Carlitos for a minute
– Commentary from a young teenager as the ladies pass by: Da devil dun made that azz! (Yes, it is a highlight AND lowlight!)
-Hector Rivera and Ray of the Welfare Poets, Flaco Navaja & Tato of Yerba Buena and crew getting down with the drums
-Rich: Where can I get a Boricua flag?
o.b.: you stoopid!
-What else- The Food! Arepas, emanadillas, arroz con pollo, arroz con damn near everything (Quote the Maven , ever more), mangoes, maduros con queso blanco(!), nectar Goya,
Sorry but I still can’t get down with this display of pride. Maybe it’s cuz I aint Potro Rok but most likely cuz I am a true introvert but I would just rather hang out at the roof of a brownstone with a grill and a set of binoculars alongside the
peeps. My real tribe. Ya know?