If you can’t make it to Africa this year, or even any time soon, New York is a pretty good second choice. We are here for the month of April, having rented an apartment at 119th & Frederick Douglass in Harlem. While our little street is pretty quiet, we’re just a couple of blocks away from either 125th or 116th Streets which abound with all manner of shops run by Africans. Here you can find unusual groceries, and the latest releases from Nollywood–the Nigerian Film Industry which floods the markets here with the latest in DVDs including the usual trash and not just a few gems. While the stories are the same as one finds in human interactions the world over, watching DVDs from other cultures provides a peek into those cultures and the ways in which the people think, speak and interact that differ from our own.
Some number of shops sell a surprising array of items from luggage to car parts to wax printed fabrics, so yes, you can expect to see new arrivals here as they accumulate. Already I have listed 7 new pieces of Tchoup–the hand decorated and dyed cotton damasks from the Senegambia region, and yes, I fervently hope to be able to find more before we return to Maine.
Unusually, I was also able to find the above…2 6-yard lengths of a printed fabric I have not seen for a couple of years, and it too will appear in the wax section of AfricanFabricSales.com We wander the streets, peering into this and that business, and have twice already been to the African Market near the big Mosque on 116th Street. Here you find many West Africans and their wares, including tailor made clothing and other similar items, jewelry, carvings and more. I’ll take pictures next time, I promise, and post them right away.
But now, time to pickup the Sunday New York Times and a few croissant and kick back.
All Best To You.,