Thursday, May 7, 2009

Taboo Anyone?

by today's Urban Chameleon contributor

I had attended a dinner party on the Upper West side that a friend of mine was throwing who I had grown up with around-the-way in Brownsville. It was her coming out, "I've made it out the 'hood thank god almighty free at last!!!" party. The lobby of her new sexy pad included marble flooring, a live plant, chandelier and a doorman to announce you- even push the button to your floor in snazzy white gloves. The post Obama white people in the elevator wished you good evening as they exited and you had to chuckle at the fact that your twenty-sumptin’ girlfriend was 2 floors higher than them. I used the couple of seconds I had alone in the elevator to check myself out in the mirror adjust my Dior top and Afro then looked around noticing even the fancy details in the elevator and thought ahhhhh this is what money buys you, peace and quiet not a gun shot in sight. I have got to rework by business plan. The Zen sound of a "ding" alerted me that I had reached my floor. Just as I was looking up at the sign trying to figure out which direction was apartment 21R, the blaring sound of Jamie Foxx’s “Blame it on the Aaaal aaaaal allllcohol” was there to point me in the right direction. You really can take us out of the 'hood but you damn sure can't take the hood out of us. After having to ring and knock on the door multiple times because god-forbid someone opens the door while "their song" was bumping. I can't even front though I know I've been guilty myself of letting my cell phone go to voice mail because I was jamming to the ring-tone. When my friend finally did opened the door I was greeted with an overwhelmingly pleasant aroma of rice and peas, Jerk Chicken, Rotti, Calaloo, baked macaroni and cheese, red velvet cake all right there on 58th street and Lexington Ave.

The crowd consisted of other Manhattan islanders who cab'd it across town having too bought their ticket out the 'hood, those of us who were still trecking from the 'hood on a metro card and Prada heels and those who love the ‘hood and don’t plan to leave the hood. We were all chilling, enjoying her small but impressive balcony over looking the city as we gnawed on chicken bones being washed down with watermelon martinis (oh the irony) and grooved to the delightful tunes of Fela Kuti. After some time went by my friend announced that she bought Taboo and that we should get a game going. And just as a throw back to "Black people’s ridiculousness" we divided the teams into dark skinned verses light skinned. Now the funny thing is I don't think I've ever played a game of Taboo with a room full of just Black folks. Have yall? Cause it damn sure is a different kind of experience.

For instance some of the rounds went something like this


The thing you buy in the barber shop




My Drug Dealer




First Black man


White House


Jewish version of the ‘hood


Anne Frank

Just mixing the intellectual with the common knowledge tip. It was an Urban Chameleon moment indeed. I just had to sit back and chuckle and shake my head on some, "My people, my people"- gotta love ‘em.

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