Street Action – Uptown Illuminated

BY Rainey Skates (@raineyskates)

Photography collage using photography by M. Tony Peralta and ArtForStrangers

Something incredible occurred this past week, Uptown locals started a fire. No – not the traditional kind, and no, not anything like during the ’92 riots. This “fire” was different. It was in reaction to a new resident.

Nestled on Broadway, between 191st and 192nd Street sits bar and lounge, Apt 78, fire-starter and host to last week’s Uptown Collective holiday bash. And believe me when I say this, never have I ever partaken in an establishment’s gathering of such eclectic, professional, and culturally familiarized peers. What a hit it was! There were artists speaking to owners, photographers capturing scenesters, and myself, a skater, mingling with movers and shakers! I couldn’t help but to think about the brilliant place and the power behind its magic. Then it hit me–collective illumination, duh!

What Apt. 78 and the Uptown Collective bash proved in application is only a modern rendition of a timeless saying, something along the lines of, “light it and they will shine!” It’s 2010 folks, and the result of years of socioeconomic limitations and bureaucratic obstacles is this new awakening. The 80’s Babies and Hip-Hop-Generation professionals and patrons of the Uptown “New School” have come full circle, and we’re here to reclaim our businesses, our nightlife, and collective “bonfires.” Clearly, Uptown is illuminated.

And now, a toast to the NEW swag!


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