New York City
What can’t I say about New York City? The city that never sleeps and has lighted avenues for days. I’ve traveled to New York City plenty of times through my adolescence. Once with a theatre class as a freshman in high school then again as a freshman in college. I love the traffic in the streets, the high-rise buildings that block the sunlight even garbage pick up day when businesses throw gigantic trash filled bags on the side walks. Who wouldn’t love it? New York City with its rich history for our nation, African-American culture and possess symbolic realism. Each time I’ve visited the city I learn more about it. I remember walking on Broadway with my theatre class looking at each theater sign lights. I remember my first play I attended on Broadway, Little Shop of Horrors. The show was dynamic! The cast was full of vocal and acting talent. The set design was unbelievable and had a mechanical plant that moved. At the end of the show the plant sprang out toward the audience hovering over the first two rows. It was spectacular!
Equally amusing was the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The Apollo Theater was a staple in African-American folklore and history. Many great musicians, singers, rappers, comedians all have graced this one stage. The stage where if you were great… you shined but if you were not so great.. you were booed off stage. Some of the greats like the Jackson 5, Richard Prior, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Steve Harvey all got breaks after appearing on the Apollo stage. I remember arriving at the theater. When we walked in we headed to the souvenir shop were they had memorabilia, collectables, and signed autographs. Outside of the theater masks this large mural of many of the talented artists I mentioned before. They were painted on the wall as a constant reminder that true talent was discovered in these very walls. I recall in the Jackson 5 movie, the actor that played Michael touched those very walls in which I now stood. We took a small tour of the backstage area and the green room. It was a great feeling to be in the very place of many legends and musical icons. The stairs toward the stage were a few flights and once we graced the stage we got to touch the infamous stoop. The stoop was a piece of tree bark that a person would touch before performing. As a symbol of good luck. I touched the stoop and took pictures by it. Once on the stage I looked into the audience. The seats were red but the house seemed quiet smaller than my recollection. Billy Mitchell, was the director of the theater at the time. That was such an experience to grace the stage at the Apollo Theater.
One of the bitter-sweet memories of New York City was visiting the World Trade Tower monument. Just shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks our school visited the site. Across the street from where the towers previously stood was a church. A Catholic cathedral that we were told was untouched by the damage and debris from the towers. Many of the buildings that were near-by experienced light to sever damage from that day however the church was un-moved. The site where the towers [previously stood was now a large empty hole. Filled with construction trucks, men and women workers. There was a large fence blocking tourists and pass byers. Along the fence were photographs of people, children, firefighters all demonstrating national pride. Images of workers covered in debris, a father carrying his baby girl, a muslim woman staring up at the sky. It was a silence when we were at the site. Many of us felt solemn sympathy. That day it was foggy and cold. There were many tourists visiting and taking pictures. You felt like the tragedy was not over. I left feeling unsettled and uneasy. I couldn’t believe how many lives were lost in the very place I stood. New York City served a greater purpose in uniting a national pride.