Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Come to New York for work, and find the Caribbean instead

So I'm on my New York adventure, seeing the sights, enjoying the sounds and smells (?!?) of the big city, when I discover that I'm staying in Crown Heights, the heart of the Caribbean in America. Imagine my surprise when I also discover that I'm here during their biggest festival of the year, the West African Labor Day Parade.

It actually started the night before, with the celebration of J'ouvert, a holiday which originating in Trinidad when West African slaves, banned from the white masquerade balls, started their own backyard BBQs and dance parties. Music, dancing and food became intrinsically linked to Carnival, and that's what I found myself smack-dab in the middle.

And what a time it was! Though the first part of the parade was simply all the candidates for New York offices (I saw Anthony Weiner, for whatever that's worth), it eventually turned into a full-on Carnival on the East Coast, with huge samba/calypso troupes in elaborate costumes dancing to ear-pounding music.

What fun, and what amazing food! I now know exactly what I want to do with my Jerk Chicken recipe, and if I can get it just right (might take a few tries), I'll let you know here how to make it yourself. It's that perfect combination of brown sugar, lime juice and spice that takes a basic BBQ'd chicken and makes it unforgeable.

Now, if I can just tear myself away from all the sights and experiences that New York has to offer, maybe I'll find some work. Stay tuned!

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