This afternoon, Jhaye and I met up with Scott and Sylvia at their apartment on 23rd and then we set out for the West Indian parade on Eastern Parkway. The train ride there was longer than most I make, but it was cool because I got to pass my old stop, Borough Hall. The train kept picking up lots of people on the way there, and that built up our anticipation of the festivities.
Before we even got above ground at the stop, we could hear the sounds of the parade! It was loud, and ALIVE! Once we were topside, the smells of stew chicken, curry goat, and everything in between hit us hard. I was instantly hungry! Sylvia and Scott had a friend that lived close by, so we stopped by to visit. Bernard was literally a GIANT. He posed for the camera with them, and then we were on our way. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
The street pulsated with music and people jumping all over the place when their country’s float passed by. It was cool to see all of them show their pride in varying ways. The Jamaicans threw up their flag just about anywhere you looked, and Haitians made cool capes out of huge flags. The Barbadians had the most elaborate outfits since the Mardi Gras Indians.
The whole walk up and down the parkway was full of color, blaring sounds, and sweet smells. Parents dressed their kids up with pride in their national colors. Old people had a kind of silent pride, and some were dressed to the nines. I will make sure to come take photos here again next year, since it was so much fun.