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January 2, 2011 / Neurotypical Me.

Get the Spirit!

Okay, I know….I did go back to Harlem with the Dizzler. The boys wisely slept in. When we got there we discovered that the one and a half hour service was really going to be two. We left after two and and three quarter hours. Will is going to fill you in on the details but before he does, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all the wonderful experiences I have been lucky enough to have due to his pursuit for ‘roots’ music. Sigh….with that off my chest, here he is:
Can I get  a witness? A-men! The Convent Avenue Baptist swung into action at 10:45 am with a group of church elders warming up the congregation with “Your grace and mercy brought me through” (in 3/4 no less!) – no harmonising but certainly spirited. Robert Wilson on organ and leading vocal was smooth and soulful and skilled in his segue for the call to prayer. The Sanctuary Choir up above the pulpit (in blue smocks) were led by an old school organist – they were well-rehearsed but sounded a tad white, singing as they were from the standard Baptist Hymnal. The offering music was the real highlight though where The Voices of Convent Choir (in mauve smocks) from down on the floor gave us two classic gospel songs,  “God is” and “Bless me” Great lead singers and velvet harmonies from the rest of the choir – well worth the more than 2 and a half hours of sweltering in the awesome heating of the church. Hallelujah!!

Thanks Will. May I add that the theme for the day was ‘hospitality’, which I think explains why we were there for so long!

West 144 and Convent Avenue, Harlem

One Faith, One Church, One God.I want to also say that there were some seriously well dressed people in that church, which included feathered hats and red suits – and I am not just talking about the women.

We bought lunch back for the boys and then we all went up to Lee’s Art shop to do some damage and then went to Lincoln Plaza for some boring shopping. Will hadn’t see the Dali’s there yet.

A new idea for posing next to that sculpture.

In closing I want to add that all the spirit we absorbed in church this morning got literally blasted out of us by a very large and loud man in the train on the way home. We all got onto the carriage and the doors shut before we realised that the voice in the carriage was not a friendly voice over, as all public transport has, but a guy absolutely ripping into this woman and being racist and sexist and horrible*. It went for the entire trip from Lincoln to 66th. When the woman got off the train, the people who got off with her, which included us, gathered around her to see if she was okay. It was very intense. We got the spirit pushed into us at the beginning of the day and then almost ripped out on the way home.

* I need to add here, due to the concern people have shown, that the woman had been engaging this out of control man and trying to get him to stop abusing people, which is why he turned on her. The people who got off the train with her showed support for her and two guys actually went with her to the cop at the station. There is usually a cop on most stations. I have seen them step over homeless people and pull up young African American men to check their ticket – so what they will do about our Chinese American woman’s situation sits under a very large umbrella.


One Comment

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  1. Ronni / Jan 2 2011 11:52 pm

    Ya cant just stop there…..was she OK???? Did he follow her….did you call the guards??? Did you get stuck into so nice red to calm down? How do I make a puzzled face on this blog?

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