XXXVI: Doug Chang and Paula Puhak Chang (performers)
140st St. btw 7th and 8th Aves. (Manhattan)
HAPPY FEET: We read aloud the plaque on the spot where the Savoy Ballroom once stood, did an about-face and walked west to the waltz block. Flanked by boulevards honoring Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass, this stretch of 140th Street doesn’t exude a maverick’s fire.
It is the model mellow neighborhood: two rows of light brick walkups with fire escapes all painted hues of teal blue and light green, the blues and greens echoed in a community garden mid-block fronted by rows of chairs, the chairs full of neighborhood residents reading the newspaper, debating the news of the day or nodding to music from unseen radios...boricua and jazz and hiphop making perfect sense together.
Seemed emblematic of this block that it could meld those sounds into the opposite of a midtown cacophony. Perhaps this really is the product of men as passionate as Messrs.
Powell and Douglas --- a neighborhood that fought for and earned the right to this much content serenity.
*We hummed “Stompin’ At The Savoy” to ourselves, got back to the plaque, and shut off the camera.