Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
So who's crossing?Looks like some Alphas steppin' (Hey Rashid...How You Doin?) people standing around milling, wanting to be apart
If you blink, you'd miss it. Astor Court is one of those hidden gems that make life in Manhattan almost liveable. It's a postage stamp-sized sliver of grass that only city planners here would call a park. Down south or back home in Chicago, you might call it a sculpture garden. But this was an oasis of peace on East 51st, tucked between the Ukranian Permanent Mission and a reformed synagogue. As usual, lunch time meant the several benches were filled with young diplomats, sales analysts, commuters and anyone else with a laptop and brown bag.Then they arrived. Two gorgeous 20-something brothaz. Black shirts, black slacks, beautiful spring neckties. "They're cops," someone said at ear level. It was my coworker Tina Landau, who sometimes invited herself to keep me company during lunch. Not that two manuscripts and a stack of unedited-letters-to-the-editor weren't enough of a distraction.I laughed at the suggestion. "Cops. In Versace?"She frowned at her egg salad sandwich. "Fashion police maybe. Why else would a black man be on the Upper East Side." Tina caught my look. "Okay, okay. They're also editors at a trendy fashion publication on their lunch hour."It quickly became obvious why they were in the park. The two handsome young men in black were pledges, practicing the Omega Psi Phi step. "OMEGA! PSIIIII" cried the taller, darker one."PHI!" shouted his shorter friend. "PHI!"For the next five minutes, they wordlessly stepped in motion, perfectly in sync. Their performance was good, not as disciplined as the Q-Dawgs from my undergrad days ... but they had potential.Across the mini-"park" at the gate, another handsome clean-cut chocolate drop was also clad in black. He looked at the two performing, snapped his fingers and they stopped on a dime. The pledges silently marched away.Tina tugged at my shoulder. "Now that's entertainment!"
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