132 Jamacians vs. Steel Drum Band

I love my neighborhood for many reasons, but one reason in particular is that it is brimming with Caribbean culture.

This coming weekend is the Labor Day Parade (West Indian Carnival) and the neighborhood is gearing up with feathered costumes and Caribbean vibes in anticipation.

Last Wednesday I was coming home from meeting a friend for drinks, and I heard loud carnival music coming from down the street. It was 10:00pm, and I decided to investigate.

The music was coming from a vacant lot on my street, and there were around 65 people playing steel drums with a crowd of onlookers. It was amazing.

I stood there for 30 minutes dancing with the crowd and marveling at the enormity of the thing. I also recorded the audio above. People were hanging out of their apartment windows listening to the music and smiling. Everyone was having a great time.

As I was getting ready to leave, one of the slower songs ended and I heard a group of Jamaican men yelling from across the street. In their thick Jamaican accents they were yelling, “You suck! Play some Reggae! Play some roots! Stop the music!”

I laughed so hard. I guess you can’t please everyone…


Picture by Brian Lin.


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