I was walking in the Met when I noticed Ms. Edwina sitting on the bench in the Greek and Roman Art wing. She wasn’t doing much. Just watching people walk back and forth. It was a Friday and the place was packed with children.
I had just bumped into one of my former students, Syriana, who was roaming around with a summer camp decked out in purple tee’s.
Syriana! Is that you?
Hi Ms. Hurley!!!
I was surprised to see Syriana because I never saw someone who I knew in the Met. When I looked ahead and walked closer I couldn’t believe my eyes. Ms….Edwina?!
When I saw her, I waved excitedly. I couldn’t believe I ran into someone from my own community! Not only that, but an elder! Ms. Edwina (who I blogged about before) has the persona of Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. I met her while attending Fordham University. We crossed paths so much she started to talk to me. She would compliment me on my outfits and how I carried myself – every time she saw me. Which meant a lot. She didn’t know her words meant so much. She was always cheerful. She spoke with hugs and each hug went a long way.
Once we crossed paths and she complimented me on my black and white outfit – that I felt totally good in. She got to me before my secret crush got to me, who didn’t think I looked great at all. Funny, I can still remember his words.
Really, Lilly? I can’t believe you are even wearing that.
What do you mean, Really, Lilly? What’s wrong with my outfit?!
He stopped talking to me when I demanded what was the matter. Not that what he thought mattered anyway.
I sat next to Ms. Edwina.
Omg, what are you doing here?
I come every year, Child, to check out the Met Gala.
The Met Gala?
Yeah, The Met Gala. She looked me in the eye. Surly you know what the Met Gala is?
Yeah, I do. (I wasn’t about to say no- after she said, Surely you know…)I had clips of news paper images in my head. That was what knew of the Gala.
….Well, every year after the event is over, they showcase the outfits for the public to see. Did you see the exhibition?
No, I noticed the ad in the phamphet but never thought about seeing it myself.
You should go! It is so good!!
Okay, are you going back-
Nope. I am resting these here legs chile.
I sat beside her and asked if she saw any other exhibition. I had just gotten emotional in the Afro-futuristic Period Room and wanted someone to share my sentiment with. But she hadn’t.
She continued, I walked into a wrong room by mistake!!
Oh, which room was that?
Her response was so funny, I asked her if I could record it it share with you!
This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to take my aunts to the African American Garden exhibition at the New York Botanical Gardens. For years they have visited New York, however, never went to the NYBG. They were surprised when they came and kept commenting on their views of da Bronx and The Bronx.
We only heard of the Bronx Zoo!
Wow! Trees in the Bronx and Flowers!!
Previously, I visited the exhibition and while I was there, I saw families walking though and sharing stories. This lead me to wonder, what stories my aunts would be provoked to tell once they too were at the exhibition!
After we got our tickets (which were given to us for free!), I told them there was a special exhibition I really wanted them to see and started the journey by walking ahead of them. But it didn’t matter because they didn’t follow me nohow.
First they stopped to talk to a mother and her one year old baby boy. He sat pulling up the grass, starring at them with big eyes. I just wanted to go! But- they had to tell Mom how cute the baby was…which made her day.
The baby was right next to the children’s garden where I usually would take my nieces and nephew but this day, I was being lead into it by my two aunts.
I wanted them to enjoy their visit so I didn’t complain. I went along with their agenda.
However, I had to stop them because I knew the walk to the African American garden was far and there was no way we could keep making detours. So, I told them there was another garden I really wanted them to see.
Ohh, Sorry, Lystria, we got carried away by the flowers and plants here!
This is what old people like! Never take old people to a garden!!
But, sorry, We’ll follow you!
I straightened my back and started to walk down the path. But I only took about five steps before Aunt Diane broke her promise.
Ohhh, Annie, look at the huge pink flower over there!!
This time they crossed the street and begin to look at the pink flowers. I decided to take pictures but as you can see, they aren’t really paying attention to me nor my camera.
Next, they took me to a space in the garden I have never been. It was too full of tranquility to complain or tell them how long our walk was getting. I must admit I started to worry that we would never make it to the spot I intended on taking them. Nonetheless, I sat and enjoyed the rushing water.
Below is the hill they refused to walk up…
Instead they sat and watched others walk…
They sat down for a while and even closed their eyes. While I starred at the water and people passing…then we started hearing noises.
O-ho! That’s a bull frog!
What you say Annie?
That’s a bull frog I hear!
Aunt Annie Bell got up to inspect the waterfall. She not only heard a bull frog but she saw snakes.
This created a small stir and soon people were joining them to see the snakes frolicking in the reeds.
Aunt Annie Bell was good at pointing out the animals and their sounds. She even knew the size of the animal before we saw it. She told us how huge or small it would be.
Aunt Annie Bell turned to me and said, Snakes are in here? It’s time to go! It’s time to go!!
I got up and begin to lead them to the African American garden.
But we didn’t get too far before we saw the trolley pass us which meant they wanted a ride. (I asked them at the beginning if they wanted to ride it but they both told me about the long walks through the woods that they take in Virginia…).
We waited for the trolley to come. And while we were waiting, we starred at the boulders across the street. It was very satisfying, listening to them talk about how marvelous God was in all his beauty. I had no other choice but to relax with them.
I never thought boulders could be so magnificent until I listen to my Aunt Diane.
Lystria, those rocks are just so beautiful. Look at how big they are! I never thought New York even had places like this. God is so good.
Aunt Annie Belle was sleeping but every time I looked at her, she was looking at me. I guess she had enough of the rock watching.
Aunt Diane soon took out her blue berry waffles which woke up Aunt Annie Belle. She didn’t offer though. She smacked her lips and told us how delicious they were. Then Aunt Annie Belle went back to sleep.
The trolly looked like it would never come so….
I asked a passerby to take pictures of us in front of the boulders.
And while we were smiling, the trolley came and left us.
They told me if it wasn’t such a beautiful day, they wouldn’t be sitting out there like that. So, I thanked God for the amiable day. And we sat down again and waited for the next one.
Finally the tram came and we were so happy.
The man who was driving us, told me he would first take us around the entire garden. None of us complain. After a while we began to nod off. Until we hit a bump and Aunt Diane sat up and said:
My Lord, he’s going to drive into a tree! Much prayer is needed!
A little while after that, we made it to the African American Garden and I got out my journal and pen. I was ready to document their stories about food and culture…
But they smiled and walked right pass the three types of sugar cane, the nutmeg tree, the small cotton field, all the rice grains, the peppers, the scraggly apple tree (that I shook until apples dropped ) and right out that garden. They told me to stay away from sugar cane because it’s bad for you and nothing else.
Prepping for the school year is arduous. Especially if one does most of everything on foot in New York City!
When I went to the Library to pick up books for the school year, I had more than I could handle.
The librarian looked at me and I looked at her.
I’mma go and get a cart. I can’t carry all of this.
Yeah, girl, I was about to say. You can make two trips.
I know but I should get them now because when school starts I won’t be able to get over her in time to pick them up.
Okay, then, I’ll hold them for you.
I left but really didn’t want to go all the way home to get a cart.
When I got the end of the block, I thanked God for the Bronx! There was a huge orange cart full of recycling items without an owner.
I felt bad about littering but I didn’t want the owner to come back to the spot and not see the cart and their bottles! So, I put all the recycling bottles on the ground along with the decorative cigarette lighter and took the cart.
The librarian was surprised to see me back so fast.
I found that cart on the street.
She looked outside and we shared a laugh.
You got to move fast now because I don’t want the owner to return before I return it! The paranoia is already kicking in!
She placed the books in bags and Jabari, the security guard, placed them in the cart for me.
While I was walking home, I looked at the cart handles and noticed that the cart was really a neighborhood cart! Somehow it traveled all the way from Home Depot which is a hour way on foot and once belonged to the neighborhood Supermarket, Fine Fare. Someone had put Fine Fare stickers all over it covering Home Depot.
Of course after my long walk and laborious journey, I left the cart on the block.
The next morning, someone had moved it around the corner and when I got back from Brooklyn, It was parked outside the chicken spot.