Afro Punk is something everyone should experience once in their life.The carefree atmosphere is swirling with creativity and great vibes. I could go on and on about how lit it was to see Sza float across the stage while simultaneously possessing the energy of the Energizer Bunny, or hear Princess Nokia announce that this was a place of love and healing then proceed to rap over Ratchet songs like “Bruja” (I mean ratchet In the best way possible) and have the crowd turn into a moshpit, however…you’ll have to experience that for yourself because this is a recounting of all the events that ensued After the excitement was over.loll
In the beginning of the Summer me and my pledge brothers, (I’m a member of Alpha Kappa Psi) decided to embark on this trip to Afropunk. As the date got closer we all figured out our best mode of transportation and lodging. Me and a few others decided to just make a day trip leaving early in the morning and taking the Megabus back to D.C. at 3am….I know, it seemed like a good idea at the time. So As the festival came to a close we realized we were all left out of power ,out of a charger or out of data. Smh Even the portable charger I bought for $25 there they swore would last all day was out of juice. So we did what any other red blooded American would do. We headed to the nearest Starbucks. However only to find that they were locking up and turning the lights off to make sure we wouldn’t try to come any closer. Then we got really desperate, checking trees with outlets that were all turned off. Thank goodness one of us was smart enough to ask a concierge if we could sit in the apartment lobby and charge our phones. And that is where the squatting began. We had to be there for atleast an hour. We stood out quite dramatically, our brown faces, colorful dashikis and Afro prints against the white wall and marble floors of the swank NYC apartment lobby. I’m sure a few who walked in wondered who the rif raff was sitting there charging phones and bickering about where to eat while sprawled out from post festival exhaustion. In the midst of a seemingly endless purgatory of regrouping I saw a very well dressed woman glide through the revolving doors of the lobby, IT WAS SHIONA TURINI !! If you don’t know, GOOGLE HER! I was awe struck, staring at her and wanting to say something but the only thing I could think of was “ Your So Bomb” and “I like Crop tops too” L.O.L. but my Icky all day festival grime just didn’t seem like the best first impression. So she flounced passed with a look of confusion and haste. It just goes to show you Afro Punk and NYC, really, can bring people together from all walks of life from the thrill seeking College student to the established Fashion editor and Stylist. Soon after we were asked to leave because the nice concierges’ shift was soon ending but not before he offered us donuts for our travels. And I’ll always remember him for that.
The place we settled on was Skylight Diner. A no frills spot in manhattan near our Megabus pickup spot. By that time it was around 11ish and our bus didn’t leave til 3:30 am. Needless to say we would take our time eating. We ate our food and joked a bit as we got our second wind of energy and the fatigue of the day didn’t feel so apparent. But for some reason when it was time to pay and leave around 12:30 everyone suddenly got so tired we just fell asleep on the bill. All four of our heads down in unison. I figured we can’t get kicked out if we’re all knocked out at the table and it’s not like the place was packed anyway. I mean if you can’t squat at a diner, Is there no safe place to squat?!?! The answer is Yes, NY is void of 24 hour Walmarts with soft furniture so we were really out of options at that point. Thankfully they left us alone, and there were a few groups in there catching Z’s before their Greyhounds. After we woke up and made a blanket run to Duane Reed time flew by and we were suddenly on our way back to D.C. I got home around 8:30am and stumbled in bed soon after. All in all It was a great weekend spent enjoying music, seeing avant garde melanated people and avoiding my responsibilities with people I can’t live without.But next time, I’m getting a hotel room!