If you don’t already know, Labor day is a BIG deal in Brooklyn. We have the Annual Labor day Parade and J’Ouvert.
On Monday, the Labor day Parade kicks off at about 11am and ends at 6pm. Basically, a bunch of trucks play music down the street and millions of people follow. You will see everyone dance, eat, drink and just have a good time. There are more details that I am missing but it is a HUGE West Indian parade. The biggest in NYC. Anyway, I didn’t go this year. I did go last year at the very end of the parade. I just wanted to walk and I did. Then, I just my walked my ass back home.
I did go to J’Ouvert this year though. We pronounce it “Juvay” around these parts. That is a pre-parade that takes place on Sunday night annually. Trucks are out playing music and people are out having a great time. I used to love to go to J’ouvert. It was so much fun! We followed the trucks and danced in the street into the wee hours of the morning. J’ouvert doesn’t really get going until about 3am. So, you figure people do that for a few hours and then go straight to the “Parkway” Easten Parkway in Crown Heights for the parade. Or, you can go home and take a nap and shower and hit the parade a little later. I usually go home and shower and sleep. That way I have enough energy to hang all day.
I decided to walk to “Juvay” with a girl who lives on my block. I will tell you more about her later. Anyway, there wasn’t a lot going on. There were people out, but it just wasn’t how it used to be. I think that is mainly because they changed the parade route a few years back and the police block everything. I mean everything! But, I can’t be too mad about that because people have no damn sense. It just isn’t as fun as it used to be.
There were a lot of people out once we found the trucks and the music. People were having a good time. I, on the other hand, not so much. It was okay, I guess. I am just over it. I think that I had my time with my Brooklyn Labor Day festivities. I know for a fact that I am not missing anything. The night was beautiful and my apartment was hot, so a walk was in order. But, once I got to where the people were, I didn’t feel safe.
I was sober and I mean all the way sober. That means that I was watching drunk people carry on. You know how it is when your’re sober and everyone else is drunk? It is not fun. I didn’t want to drink though. I wanted to be alert. I am sure I would have had just as much fun as the other folks had I been drinking. I have come to the realization that I can’t be carefree in that kind of crowd. I did not want to be in the thick of the crowd either. I wanted to stay on the side of the crowd. I just can’t help but think of what I would do if some shit popped off. Where would I go? How would I get out of that damn tight-ass crowd?
The girl that I was with wanted to be dead smack in the middle. If we walked ahead of the music, she wanted to stop and wait for the truck to catch up. Why? We could still hear the music, the shit was right there. She wanted to be “squooshed” in the middle. I did not; I am on some been there done that shit these days. When we did end up in that position, I just kept looking for exit routes. I was looking at people’s faces to see if they looked aggravated or aggressive. Getting out would have been almost impossible. That was some stampede type shit. I heard some one actually did get trampled that night after being shot in the leg.
I kept thinking, I need to be home with my kids. I am clearly on some mom shit. What if something happened? What would they tell my kids? “Mommy, just had to go to ‘Juvay’ for labor day” Really? Nah, they can keep it. Damn, I must be getting old. I will be old as hell and alive hopefully.
A lot of people were shot that weekend. Almost a hundred shootings were reported. This 57-year-old woman was shot in her head in front of her house. That is just sad. The saddest part about the whole thing? She was afraid of the parade. She told her family that she didn’t want to go, because it is not how it used to be. She was right, it is not the same. People these days are ignorant and live like they have nothing to lose. I, however have a lot to lose.
I am thinking I will start doing a family getaway at the end of every summer.