Monday, August 23, 2010


If you've seen the Broadway show, Fela! then the space those in the know call Bloom in New York City is like going to see Fela! every time. Difference is instead of sitting down and watching all the colors and Afro-Jazz dancing, you the visitor become part of the show with talismanic figures standing by to paint your face and body if you're moved to indulge in creating your own personal markings. Practically everyone seems to want to express their inner glow as the beat and rhythm of House and tribal music call out the ancestors. And that's just when you walk into the zone!

Some call it a playback to the now gone and forgotten Paradise Garage. The 1970s discotheque that had in it a terrace, a movie theater (where I first saw the film, The Rose), and a clientele that ranged from your average nobody but soon to be somebody to the likes of Prince, Ashford & Simpson and Chaka Khan. Others say it's more like a church without the judgement calls where everyone is welcomed and where the road to God is not up to the minister or priest but you alone, and that the tithes are what you pay to get in. Whatever you want to call Bloom, it's a kind of setting that, much like its name, offers a space for africentric peoples--no matter what their skin shade--to celebrate their shango without the typical euro-American interferences. In this place, a kufi is as normal and appealing as a Panama hat. In this place, Black is good and yes, beautiful. In this place, there are no gender, ethnic and sexual barriers. A utopia, if you will where the one and only language is love. Might sound a bit simplistic; naive, even. But it's something you can't just read off a page. Much less, a blog. You just gotta be there to get it. For Black people, especially, it's one of the few spaces left in the City to get it; where nigga, bitch, dog, ho, faggot, dyke don't make the radar. It's clean air here. Room to breathe and bloom, even if you have to wash your glow off come Monday morning!

1 comment:

Etaniel said...

Greetings! Yes, I was involved in the 'Bloom' experience in Fall 2010. At first, I was like "I hope this party doesn't disappoint me, too!" The party scene in NYC has become too safe and an imbalanced thinktank. Not much freedom or excellent music. Minus the couple of drinks I had, I was raptured by the music in my 2nd hour present. FINALLY, I had been transported by the elements of energy and sound!!! Honestly, I don't remember leaving because I was still existing in a higher, distant plane!