This past Saturday, I walked up to 125th and Lenox to meet with Haitian actress, Gessica Geneus. I thought it would be a great idea to hang out in my favorite New York neighborhood since I’m sure she had already been to Soho and all of the other intriguing districts. She stopped in New York City for a week on her way to Haiti from Paris, and I was really excited when she messaged me to meet up with her. We got connected through our favorite Haitian musician, Belo. He mentioned her to me in a message, and I got in touch with her from there. Since I’d never met Gessica, I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt comfortable the minute we met.
She saw me first and tapped me on the shoulder while I was glancing around the crowded intersection looking for her. I was kind of surprised she recognized me right away since I wore a hat that covered my hair and maybe even my features. Our first stop was an African store because she tweeted that she needed a place that sold African style jewelry. We didn’t find anything that really caught her eyes, so I brought her over to my favorite vintage shop in Harlem, JB B.O.R.N.
We tried on several hats and talked about the vintage stores she loved in Paris. She laughed at my enthusiastic attitude about playing dress-up. Within half an hour, she was already calling me silly. I guess I can’t really help my goofy attitude even around people I barely know. We posed in vintage hats, and tried out glasses, shoes, and other things that caught our attention. I also remembered to give her the message my mom told me to pass on to her: My mother told me to tell you that she loves you. She laughed and responded, “Tell her I love her too.” She’s my mother’s favorite Haitian actress.
After we left JB, we headed to a MAC store because makeup is always fun. We had the poor makeup artist give Gessica a mini makeover although the store was crowded, and other customers needed assistance. After our fun time burning a hole through Gessica’s wallet at the MAC store, we continued on our Harlem journey.
We stopped by some vendor’s tables because sometimes you can find the best gems there! And my favorite thing is that you can haggle with the vendors with no shame. That’s right, I like haggling. What can I say? I’m Haitian.
We ended our meeting with a couple of cups of hot chocolate over an amazing conversation about arts, Haiti, and our dreams. I learned that Gessica has been writing a lot. She told me whenever she needed to get in her creative zone, she listened to Belo, which I thought was sweet. I was jealous when she told me she would be in Haiti for over a month. I felt better when she told me she would send me some pictures. I’m even more excited to see pictures of her trip to India. I’m happy I reached out to Gessica. She’s an amazing woman!
And remember, there’s always time to smell the flowers.