February 2008

I lived on the Upper West Side when I first moved to NYC. The pretension and elitism got to me immediately, and within months, I knew I had to move somewhere else.

One overt display of white upper middle class entitlement and superiority in particular caused me to snap.

“I’m moving to the Bronx next week,” I told my fat JAP roommate later that day. She almost dropped her Godiva chocolate bar as her face twisted in horror.

The Bronx was a pain in the ass. Besides being seriously disadvantaged as a non-Spanish speaker, I’d spend up to four hours a day on the fucking train to get to and from work and school.

I loved Harlem even then: the incredibly rich history, the stark contrast between the old buildings there and the sterile high rises that dominate the rest of Manhattan, the people…I’ve been fucking enamored since I saw it from the back of a cab the first time I came into Manhattan over the Triboro.

But I knew all about the evils of gentrification, and I wanted to avoid contributing to it by moving in. The gorgeous, historied buildings bulldozed to make way for rows of identical brownstones (my boy Jelani affectionately calls them “crackerboxes”). Families who have been in Harlem for generations forced to relocate because of rent increases. Two New York Sports Clubs and a fucking Starbucks on 125th Street. The part of Harlem west of Broadway renamed “Morningside Heights” because it doesn’t carry the stigma that “Harlem” still does.

Eventually, I gave in. I found a shitty little studio that my landlord had previously used as an office, and I deluded myself into thinking that since I wasn’t pushing anyone out, I wasn’t part of the problem.

Harlem has been great to me.

I’m so tight with the owner of the West African bar down the street that he introduces me as his family. I know almost everyone on my block, and the closest thing I’ve come to danger in recent memory was when the owner of another area bar, PJ’s, chased my already-wasted white ass across Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. to try to get me to drink with him at his joint.

As a white woman living by herself, my experience is obviously different than that of a white man or a white couple…but I’m not exactly typical.

At 2:00 am the other night, as the clerk at a deli that only keeps the window open at night for purchases rushed to unlock the door to let me in (after turning away a black man as I approached), I realized that I am directly contributing to the decline of Harlem.

Because from a macro standpoint, it doesn’t matter that I can hold my own in Haiti or that I visit my boy in Jamaica twice a year. It doesn’t matter how much I like Mobb Deep or that I was in a Stop Snitchin’ video. The family of rats living in my defunct oven can attest to the fact that my building hasn’t been gut-renovated to make it more appealing and valuable…but that’s irrelevant.

The reality is that I am a white girl.

And the next time an investment banker and his bitch venture up here to check out the million dollar condos they built on Lenox Ave., they just might see me walking home from the train. His bitch’s grip on her man’s arm will loosen and her trembling will slow. “See, honey?” he’ll say, “Harlem really IS coming up!”


See, told you Redman wasn’t dead.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from blogs.sohh.com posted with vodpod

After watching him command a crowd of people like this who wouldn’t vote for him? He has these Laker fans eating out of the palm of his hand….

Look at the intensity in his eyes…the intensity of a champion..

What they call this is a license to print money.

A long time ago, I was a co host with this Rosenberg guy (more will be explained later, it’s not that interesting of a story). But with the legendary Pete Rock releasing a new album I had to post this link to his interview.

Album is dope too. Long live PR!

I mean to say this last week, but I got sidetracked (and lazy).

That my friends is a picture of a liar and a cheat. Last week I was baffled by all of the articles that came out in praise of Andy Pettitte for standing up and telling the truth. A veritable ticker tape parade of praise. I didn’t understand it then, and I still don’t. Sure it’s great that he admitted to using HGH. 90% of the people in the MLB who are using or have used don’t own up to it. And I would have been fine lauding him for this, if only he didn’t make comments about not considering himself a cheater.

In his opinion, the fact that he didn’t use HGH to gain a performance edge means he wasn’t trying to cheat. He says he used it to come back from injury and thought they might aid him in that effort. (more…)

“…………………………..” Marcel Marceau (world famous mime)

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