I was running around Harlem is this fun get-up this past Saturday. A cropped Batman Tank-top purchased at RenaReborn (a thrift store located in the East Village) paired with a red pencil skirt. To complete the look, I wore a black and white printed headwrap. You know how I love my headwraps. I was thinking… Afro Batgirl? Who knows?
I remember when I used to get so frustrated walking on 125th street. Countless women would solicite their hair braiding services to me. “Miss? Want braids?” And I would either ignore them, or give them an unfavorable look. Tables line up both sides of the street with vendors selling, “I love Harlem” t-shirts, bold afrocentric accessories, oils, butters, and art. I used to try to get to my destination as fast as possible without looking. I would get interrupted by a guy screaming about discounts in a megaphone, or someone trying to sell me a cd while I was trying to have a conversation. I just tried to avoid the street as much as possible. Now that has all changed, and I’ll tell you why.
Confucious said that, “everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” I completely agree. You only see what your eye wants to see. What once used to frustrate me, now gives me life. I now walk by slowly, taking a good look at the vendors’ goods. The art work is absolutely amazing, and it’s really hard not to stop to get beautiful, rare looking earrings from these vendors. People smile, laugh, dance, and hustle. They’re trying to make a living just like everyone else. They make Harlem what it is. I also think about how I walk in Soho, and the streets are crowded too. Harlem on 125th street is no different than any other busy streets in New York City. I would even argue that it’s better. It’s just so full of culture, good finds, and interesting people.
I also noticed that I’ve been shopping a lot more up there. I love supporting the small businesses because they are the heart of Harlem. You also wouldn’t believe some of the fun things I’ve found there!