From Harlem to 96th Street
The adventure continued as we boarded the train to New York 125th street in Harlem. Mama Rosa was born in Harlem. There was a sense of uneasiness for me about walking in a place so long known for violence and decay. To my delight, we met the nicest people. Everyone there was engaged with life and with each other. Constant conversation on the streets created an instant social connection to New York. The shopping for men there is right up Paul’s alley and he found several “Paulo” outfits there. I think that these must have been the stores that inspired his fashion sense. We took pictures in front of the Apollo Theatre and walked two miles to the subway.
With a gigantic suitcase in tow, I struggled down the stairs to the station. A man grabbed the back of my suitcase. At first I thought someone was stealing it. Then a kind and cheerful voice said “I will help you, we can do this together.” He carried the bag down for me. The train took us to 96th street. What a totally different experience! As we walked along the quiet sidewalks passing a few conservatively dressed individuals with cell phones in their ears, I could not help but notice the contrast to Harlem. Here no one seemed engaged. They all seemed to live in their own private worlds connected only by cell phones. One such person we passed held a banana from his ear to his mouth like a telephone and was actually having a conversation with the banana. I laughed out loud as I passed him and realized that he had a Blue Tooth in his ear and was holding the microphone with his banana hand.