My first apartment in New York was in Bedford Styuvesant, Brooklyn. I picked it because it’s near Fort Greene, where my New Orleans friends live, and I paid just $645 a month for my own (tiny) bedroom in a three-bedroom share. It felt a little more run-down and sketchy than Fort Greene, but it was the best I could find after moving to the city with no job.
I was staring at my computer a few months after I moved into the place when I heard the familiar sounds of a marching band outside. The drums were thumping, and suddenly voices boomed out on a microphone. I couldn’t hear what the guys were saying, but I heard a big crowd yell back in response. It sounded like a huge outdoor concert, and I was tempted to go out in search of the fun. But the skies were filled with thunderheads, and the rain had been coming down all day.
“Who in the world is giving a concert in Bed-Sty in the rain?”
Now I know. Next time I’m curious about something like this, I won’t let a little rain squash my interest. I watched the movie last night, and the whole thing seemed a lot like a rap version of Woodstock. People traveled from other states to see the show, even though they didn't know who was playing or exactly where it would happen. And I was just a few blocks away. Dammit!