“The Change Takes Place at 97th Street”

The following piece first came to me a couple of years ago while I was on the way home from class. I remember that day I decided to treat myself and take the express bus from Mahattan to the Bronx since I was hardly in the mood for the claustrophobia of the 4 & 6 train. I’ve taken this bus many times before, both ways, and I always had a fascination with observing the gradual morphing of Harlem into MidTown (and vice versa). But on that afternoon I decided to place the exact avenue/street in which this change took place and that inspired this piece.


Mop Tops
become Locs…

Convenience stores
become bodegas.

Soy Chips and Clove Cigarettes
Are replaced by Pork Rinds and Garcia Vegas.

Public Assistance
becomes Welfare

And the Family Doctor
becomes Government Issued Healthcare…

The Change Takes Place At 97th Street.

Bistros become Cuchifritos
Bros become My Niggas and Mi Amigos…

Newman’s Own becomes Krasdale
Gristedes become Associates–

Sure some may find it inappropriate
but remember,

The Change Took Place At 97th Street.

“Mom” is now “Moms”
And Displaced Teens are now fatherless ticking timebombs–

Brother, The Change Took Place 97th Street.

So please, wipe the spittle from your lips
and that dumb look from your face

And try to stay hip to where the change took place.

Barack equals “Mission Complete”?
Sure that would be neat

but the inaugaration isn’t until January 20th
and The Change Still Takes Place At 97th Street.

Don’t/Do Not be fooled.
Don’t/Do Not be lulled asleep.

The fate of this revolution cannot rest
on the shoulders of just one man.

We must all prevent The Change From Taking Place At 97th Street.



About this entry