At The Puerto Rican Day Parade!

 Cover Photo by: Playthell

 Fifth Avenue Becomes Borican Boulevard!

 

A  Borican Celebration!

Every year near the end of spring, just before the first burst of summer, Puerto Rican New Yorkers turn out on Fifth Avenue for one of the largest and liveliest ethnic parades in the nation.  Actually I believe this celebration has only two rivals: When the Irish takes over Fifth Avenue on St. Patrick’s Day and The great West Indian Bacchanal on Eastern Parkway during Labor Day in Brooklyn.  Although it is hard to ascertain which parade is actually the largest, it is commonly agreed that all of them attract over a million people -which, of course, is no picayune achievement.

What do these great ethnic celebrations tell us about America, and why do they happen in New York?  Well, this phenomenon obviously speaks to the poly-ethnic and multi-racial character of the United States – although the dominant political institutions are Anglo-Saxon and its culture Anglo-African – there are other cultural inventories that are shaping the character of contemporary American society. And among the most influential is the Hispanic community.  The Puerto-Ricans along with the Mexicans have the longest tenure in this country. Hence they have well developed American identities: Tex Mex, and California Chicanos out West, and Nuyoricans in the Big Apple.

I cannot imagine New York without the Nuyorican Salsa sound. When I first started coming to the City regularly in the 1960’s one of my favorite things to do was to go out and hear these bands perform.  I had a beautiful Puerto Rican girlfriend who was a dancer, and she introduced me to the conga drums, which I had begun to seriously study.  And since the roots of Salsa is the Afro-Cuban Son, I eventually fell so much in love with the music I married a Cuban woman.  So when I go out on Fifth Avenue to celebrate with my Puerto Rican peeps, it’s straight from the heart. I got nothing but love for these beautiful, soulful, rainbow people.

     

 Representin!

 

Photo by: Playthell

 

It Was An Outpouring Of Love!

 Photo by: Hakim

A Rainbow People Celebrate Their Heritage 

 

Millions Turned Out

 

 To Represent On El Cinco!

Photo by: Hakim

They Were All Ages

 

 

 And Colors

Photo by: Hakim

The Politicos Were There

 Photo by: Hakim

Adam Clayton Powell III Salutes The Crowd

 

And Queens Of All Ages

Photo by: Hakim

Waved The Puerto Rican Flag

 

There Were Spectacular Cars!

Photo by: Hakim

 

And Fly Bicycles Too!

Photo By: Hakim

 Music Filled The Air!

Photo by: Hakim

Zon Del Barrio

 

 

The Great Oreste Rocks The Congas

Photo by: Playthell

Set It Off!

 

 Sammy Gets Down    

 Photo by: Playthell

 Partying With A Purpose

 

 

 

Aurora Droppin Science and Enlightening the Crowd

Photo by: Playthell

 

Children Frolicked About

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by: Hakim

And Grownups Danced In The Street!

 

 

Photo by: Hakim

The Cat Lady Prowled!

 

 

Photo by: Playthell

The Cat Lady In Hindsight!

 

Photo by: Playthell

A Swirl Of Gold!

 

Photo by: Playthell

Jubilation!

 

 

Photo by: Playthell

A Dance Of Magic!

 

Photo by: Playthell

Latina Alchemy!

 

Photo by: Hakim

Seeing Is Believing

 Photo by: Hakim

I Believe She Can Fly!

 

Photo by: Playthell

Up, Up and Away!

 

Photo by: Hakim

 

There Were Pretty Little Girls

 

Photo by: Playthell

And Big Beautiful Women!

 

Photo by: Playthell

 Borican Beauties

 

 

Photo by: Hakim

Were Everywhere!

 

Photo by: Hakim

 

Salsa Dancing in the Street

 

Photo by: Hakim

Or Just Struttin Their Stuff!

 

 Photo by: Hakim

In High Heels and Daisy Dukes!

 

 

Luscious Gams

 

Photo by: Hakim

Bouncing Boobs

 

Photos by: Hakim

And Jaunting Derrieres

 

Photo by: Hakim

Photo by: Playthell

 Were Ubiquitous!

 

These Beautiful Borican Babes

 

Photo by: Playthell

Proudly Display Their Assets!

 

Mui Caliente!

 

Photo by: Playthell

Well, If you’ve Got It…

 A Latin king and his Queen

Photo by: Playthell

Flaunt It!

 

The Civil Servants Turned Out

 

 Photo by: Hakim

 While Jesters And Queens

 

Photo by: Playthell

Floated By

 

 

 And In Spite Of The Rains

 

Photo by: Hakim

 We All Had A Ball!

 

 Singing In The Rain

 Photo by: Hakim

 

Vaya!

 

Photo by: Hakim

 Things Got Mucho Loco!

 

But Stalwart Men On Spirited Horses

 

 

Kept da Thugs In Check!

 

Photo by: Hakim

****************

 

 Viva La Musica!

 

One Of My Favorite Things

 

Playthell “”El Chocolate Caliente” Benjamin

Harlem, New york

June 16, 2010

* It was a great pleasure to collaborate with Hakim Mutlaq, a fabulous photographer, my  mentor, and  a member of the New Harlem Renissiance photographers.

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