Monday, July 25, 2011

An Evening With Miguel and Friends

How wonderful. Indeed a late afternoon and evening very well spent. I am left with an undeniable feeling of want for more.

It was roughly two years ago when I and my wife walked through the door of the East Harlem Cafe and were quickly met by two individuals whom I had only met on Facebook.The cafe was crowded and not much room was left for sitting but it was these two individuals who promptly made sure we were seated. This simple action left an impression on me and, today, I am glad to call Papo 'Swiggity' Santiago and George 'Urban Jibaro' Torres friends.

What that evening led to was a peek into a world I only thought existed within the pages of books. Poetry, spoken word and free verse have since become a very important step forward in my attempt at self discovery and expression.

The late afternoon and evening which left me for want of more was one that paid homage to poet, writer and founding member of the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Miguel Algarín. The early gatherings, for poets and artists, in his apartment living room in the early 1970's paved the way to renting what is today the Nuyorican (affectionately called) on East 6th Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The evening was indeed for Miguel Algarín, who even as a man of his stature, had recently lost his lower East Side apartment, an apartment where he had lived since the '80s. Such is the case in the city of dreams but when writer and poet, Charlie Vasquez, heard of Algarín's plight, he quickly organized an amazing event to help benefit him.

This is what great stories are truly made of. A huge thank you to Charlie and to all the performers for making it an outstanding event.

You can still make a donation. Just click on the photo of Miguel Algarín below:

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