On June 30, 2009 I headed uptown to the NYC Business Solutions Center . We were a few weeks into our marketing class so I was focused in thought on business as I rode the subway. Not for a moment did I connect the dots to what had happened five days prior and how it would impact the next few hours of my life.
The class was located a few doors down from the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. As I climbed the stairs from the station to street level, I was hit by a wall of people. It took a few moments for the activity to resonate and then clarity! This was a celebration of Michael Jackson’s life. The sidewalk was packed. People were lined along the parade barriers on both sides of 125th Street. Cars were not allowed to pass. The road was empty except for police in bright orange rain gear monitoring the crowd on either side. Stores had their doors wide open; mobile music devices were set up everywhere sharing the amazing music of Michael Jackson. People of all ages were singing and dancing in celebration.
At first I was focused on getting to my class as I was already a few minutes late. Going against the flow of the crowd was a foolish idea, so I walked east on the south side of the street trying to find where I could cross. The police would not let anyone through other than the designated openings further down. So onward I went.
With each step I began to engage more and more with the activity of my surroundings. The longer I was part of the crowd, the more I felt the energy of the moment. The life celebration of such an amazing performer. And I too began to sing “Billie Jean…”
Events happen throughout NYC every day. And if you are fortunate to find one, stumble upon one, the experience will match no other. Being part of this celebration connected me to Michael Jackson on some level knowing that he and his brothers performed right here on this street so many years ago.
This is also the day I came to realize the power of the small camera I carry. The amazing (in my opinion) iPhone. A celebration that would never be repeated again. A celebration that needed to be documented. A celebration that happened on 125th Street.
Until next time.
adventure is life, live it! ®