Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Hoorah! All of my hard work through the year has paid off. All those Block Minutes, that one pot luck that the crack heads invaded, the Community Affairs meetings and of course the taping flyers on neighbor's doors in two feet of snow has all been acknowledged by Community Pride of Harlem.
Last week I found in the mail, a very Paul Smith invitation to attend a reception to receive an award for Community Leadership on August 21st, 2007 (my grandmothers birthday to boot)
The award is Most Active Block Association!
The event was supposed to be held on the elegant terrace of the Community Pride building on 125th and 5th Avenue but due to the deluge it was held in the cafeteria. I arrived and met my liaison at Community Pride, Lane who introduced me to some great people including the Block President of 123 Street one block north of me. We already have a meeting set up to get the wheels greased for next year.
I also met the most fabulous character named Dallas Lee Simms from Pittsburgh who informed me that he was NOT related to Naomi Simms, the first major Black model, but they DID indeed share the same birthday. He proceeded to speak the native tongue of whatever passed hors d'oeuvres was being served. He said 'Gracias' for the crispy chicken quesadillas, 'Merci' for the cheese quiche and 'Efharisto' for the Spanakopita. AMAZING!
The awards were doled out and everyone was acknowledged with a kind and personal speech about what they had done with the community. When I came up they mentioned that I had the best communication of any Block (via email of course) and that we were responsible for the renovation of the police precinct through our involvement with www.publicolor.org.
I love the award and I wish the entire block could of attended with me. After a massive photo of all of us was orchestrated I headed over to Rods for congratulatory champagne. Did you have any doubt?
But earlier today I had an 'I love Harlem moment' and took pictures of some of my favorite spots in my hood on this rain day. Included are some old, some new, some being torn down and some about to be inundated with newcomers. I just hope anyone who moves into this world, this rare enclave and this thriving bastion of culture comes to appreciate its quirks, eccentrics, wide boulevards and low buildings.
Can I get an Amen?