One-Way Ticket: A Must See Exhibit at MoMA

20150628_112117[1]So…the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is opening in about 10 minutes.

What do I suggest you do if you’re in NYC today?

Go see the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series exhibit.

For real.

It closes tomorrow.

I found time to see it while in NYC this summer for an amazing professional development session at Teachers College (that’ll have to be another post I realize).

Between TC classes; meals with friends; missed subway stops as if I hadn’t lived in NYC for five years; and just fullness, I took a breath when I entered the exhibition hall…and teared up.

Clearly, I’m obsessed with (im)migration. My vision got blurry with tears looking at photos from a NYT article about the ongoing (im)migrant crisis in Europe.

Why people choose to stay, why people go, why people are in transit is something that I think about every day.

This exhibit addresses why the largest movement of Black bodies the US had ever seen began in the first place. We, my ancestors and I, chose to leave the South and our homes for numerous reasons.

And with this decision we changed the course of a nation. We spread the blues to Northern cities, made Harlem a literary hub, created a Detroit that would birth a Motown, and just did the damn thing in the face of crazy odds.

My ancestors faced brutal violence and oppression when deciding to leave the South. Isabel Wilkerson’s beautiful book The Warmth of Other Suns details just how much.

I faced a 20150628_112628[1]need to see more than Houston, Texas. My diaries and college papers tell me that much.

I explain away the pitiful photos I took at the exhibit with a I needed to be in the moment, not documenting the moment.

All the more reason for you to go if you can.

It’s worth it.

There’s a justification as to why Museum of Modern Art is my favorite museum in the world. They brought together this entire series under one roof for the first time in twenty years. Thanks, Tracy of The HeSo Project, for introducing me to it all those years ago with your museum pass.


Must See New York Sights: Brooklyn Bridge, Juliana’s Pizza, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Brooklyn Bridge Park

Whenever in New York, I try to visit the Brooklyn Bridge. I used to be within its vicinity about once a week (I’m winking at you Brooklyn Heights), but did not visit the bridge on a regular basis. This time around, I was there three times in two weeks.

The Brooklyn Bridge is the perfect example of architecture as artwork. Whether driving across or walking across, I always feel my spirit lifting as soon as I see the suspension chords and the iconic arches.

I suggest walking the bridge from Manhattan (get off at Brooklyn Bridge City Hall from the 4, 5, or 6 trains) to Brooklyn.

When on the bridge’s Brooklyn side, make an immediate right on Tillary and a right again onto Cadman Plaza West. Follow the road to Old Fulton Street as it veers to the left. There you’ll get some beautiful views of the bridge and hit the iconic Grimaldi’s pizza.

Though I have wanted to I, myself, have never eaten at Grimaldi’s. Juliana’s Pizza, a couple of doors down from Grimaldi’s, accepted cards (Grimaldi’s did not), had no line when I went during a weekday lunch hour (granted, neither did Grimaldi’s), and wonderful pizza that I know had Grimaldi’s ownership glowering into their pizza oven.

You can read about the rivalry between Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s thanks to it being plastered on Juliana’s front door or here.

If you don’t get Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory’s ice cream for dessert at Juliana’s (you know I did), just head down the street past other popular eateries, such as Shake Shack, to get to the place yourself.

It’s only natural that the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park will call to you when there’s margherita pizza in your belly and a peaches and cream ice cream cone (or cup as I prefer) in your hand. You can easily walk along the water for unobstructed views of Manhattan and The Brooklyn Bridge. If you go on a Sunday, you’ll run into the food lover’s paradise known as Smorgasburg.

You can also walk to Jane’s Carousel which, naturally, was full of children and their parents. I didn’t ride on the carousel as planned (wasn’t in the mood), but I did avail myself of its benches and large, metal ceiling fans.

I can’t stress it enough: visit The Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park when in New York City!

Brooklyn Called Me Beautiful Before Anyone Else Did

By the time it was all said and done, I somehow managed to gain weight while visiting part-time lover, AKA New York City. I started visiting NYC when I was a senior in high school. Ten years into our “relationship,” this is literally the first time I’ve managed to put on weight while having to walk as much as New Yorkers walk.

Who does that?

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Brunch in Harlem

This is the music that drew me and two other people into Jacob’s Restaurant Soul Food and Salad Bar (129th and Lenox location). Can you blame us? The woman’s voice was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. The food was delectable and cheap (you pay by the pound), just like no nonsense soul food should be!

Smorgasburg, A Brooklyn Food Market: Where Self-Control Comes to Die

I have about as much self-control when it comes to food as a toddler. No, I don’t reach and grab food from other people’s plates (yet…when I’m old I’ll pretend that I’m senile and do just that), but I will eat almost anything.

People often doubt my love of food because I’m small (thanks to a mix of genes, the gym, and being on my feet teaching).

But then they see me eat for the first time. Somewhere throughout the meal someone always comments “you really do eat” as if I had lied to them before when I said I enjoy food.

Smorgasburg,a food fair in Brooklyn, is heaven in what can be a hellish city. On Sundays, it’s at the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park.With the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge filling your sight, it’s only right to fill your belly with good food too.

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J’ouvert in Brooklyn, NY

I wanted to get more sleep, but my fifty-something year old Guyanese neighbor was tapping my shoulder and telling me that it was time to get up and head to the parade route.

Three years prior to “playing J’ouvert,” as my neighbor called it, I had moved to Flatbush, Brooklyn from the American South. Unbeknownst to me at the time, moving into an apartment I adored in Flatbush meant moving directly into the heart of a Caribbean neighborhood that wasn’t Crown Heights.

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