The spirit of Jah was in the air Monday, as the annual West Indian Day Parade made its way through Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.
But even before arriving, you could feel the Caribbean love from people on the Brooklyn-bound A train in South Richmond Hill, a neighborhood known for its mass Guyanese population.
Watch a float from the parade here:
“I guess it’s all in the motion. When you get there, that soca hits and you get that nice feeling, like you’re back home,” said Michelle at the Lefferts Blvd station, proudly wearing her Trinidad & Tobago flag.
“It’s part of our blood; it’s part of our culture. So everybody is always excited to go to [the parade].”
The parade route itself was filled with the usual fanfare: heaping slices of jerk chicken and ox tail on the grill, scantily clad women twerking and, of course, marijuana scents abound.
All of it exciting to a Rasta Man, a vendor selling incense at the parade section near the Brooklyn Museum. “The energy is right,” he said. “And being a Trinidadian in this is something real, real positive and joyous.”
With this being an election year, many politicians overtook the route with floats, something that didn’t sit well with Rasta Man. “What I’m looking forward [to] today is seeing more art,” he added. “More bands, more masquerade, instead of these set[s] of politicians that they have. I don’t want to see them! Enough is enough at some times.”