WORDS

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“In the daytime Harlem looks kinda dirty and the people a little drab and down. But at night, man, it’s a swinging place, especially Spanish Harlem. The lights transform everything into life and movement and blend the different colors into a magic cover-all that makes the drabness and garbage, wailing kids and tired people invisible. Shoes and clothes that by day look beat and worn out, at night take on a reflected splendor that the blazing multicolored lights burn on them. Everyone seems to develop a sense of urgent rhythm and you get the impression that you have to walk with a sense of timing.
The daytime pain fades alongside the feeling of belonging and just being in swing with all the humming kicks going on around you.”

Piri Thomas, Down These Mean Streets, 1967

 

 

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