A Macco experiences Labor Day

 Entertainment Macco experienced their first Labor Day and we have to tell you guys it wasn’t what we expected at all.  When you live and experienced Carnival in  T&T for so many years it is hard to even consider comparing it to any other carnival especially to Labor Day in New York where only some of the population are west Indian, so who knew what to expect.  It was quite an experience that we very much so enjoyed.

Monday 29th August 

We got to JFK  Airport that morning, had some food took a rest and  our first order of business  was Mas camp hopping we wanted to shop around before deciding who we should play with, because we ain’t fly all the way  to Brooklyn to not play mas: 

First stop Elegance Mas Camp, beautiful costumes, small group but creative with determination. Then it was off to Sesame Flyers, There costumes were again beautiful  and very much like what we see in Trinidad.

We visited quite a few mas camps, Borokeets USA, Ramajay, Exotica and we were really impressed and we were almost certain who were going to play mas with, then some close friends suggested we visit KARMA, we were like Nisha B and Ravi B have a mas band? (inserts confused face) but apparently a group of  St. Lucians started a mas band 3 years ago and let me tell you, I loved them the minute I stepped into their camp in Brooklyn, the group was so eager to help, answered my million and one questions, they were friendly and offered me refreshments (I is a Trini so free drinks We dey!). 

Please note we never identified ourselves to any of the camps we visited as we wanted to get the real deal. 

First thing were noticed was how organized they were, like WOW, we have to make notable mention of Claude, who we later learned was the designer of the costumes, the brother knew his stuff and before we left the camp, KARMA carnival band was it, we chose a section called Silver Lining, frontline of course, 1st time we had to be in the best of everything.

So now that we chose the band..... time to fete. 

Tuesday 30th August

We had dinner at Sugarcane Restaurant on Flatbush, now since we reach we went by the lil take out spots, Ali’s on Flatbush,  Island Burger on Utica, but, Sugarcane Restaurant was it and the place popular too, cause we had to wait to be seated. Of course we make friends wherever we go and the staff was so friendly; the manager Wendell was so nice, he took good care of us, and the food… the food was amazing; the callaloo, macaroni pie and stew chicken was bess…. 


So after eating up a storm we headed to Casym panyard on Church Avenue. It's the first time in Brooklyn so we were behaving never-comeseeish like we never see a pan yard before but being in Brooklyn watching the youths on the pan and watching the folks who were just enjoying the music because they love their culture was wonderful.

Wednesday 31st August 
(Happy Independence Trinidad and Tobago)

The lime was by the Pagwah Mas Camp on Nostrand Avenue cause as you know that was August 31st Trinidad and Tobago independence and this J’ouvert mas camp advertise Lord Nelson so we headed over there to enjoy the festivities. This was a J’ouvert Band with a difference yes; the J’ouvert costumes were designed to look like a Minshall mas, nice nice pieces, how you go play J’ouvert and get them nice outfits dirty. 

Lord Nelson at 80 looked great in his signature body suit and boy was he was ready to give us a stellar performance. However the DJ for the night (who shall remain nameless) messed up a good time, this man was wheeling Nelson's tune over and over again in the middle of the performance (WTH!).  Something Positive (Dance troupe from NY) also took the stage accompanied by the great Singing Sandra, but again DJ Mess-Up let everyone in the yard know he didn’t know what he was doing. We were so mad, because we were trying to enjoy independence as best as we could (Since it ain’t have curfew in Brooklyn) with some of the living legends from our country and this man just kept playing music while they were performing, we had to leave when Dane Gulston took to the stage..... we love that pan man and DJ Run-Crowd ran us home! (rolling my eyes).

Thursday 1st September

We had to hit Sugarcane again and had a "Maracas" (a fancy Bake and Shark) and checked out Karma to make sure the costumes were ready. Then it was off to the yard at the  Brooklyn Museum (The New York version of Queens Park Savannah) for old mas and party... it was nice, the crowd wasn’t big but we had fun anyway. 

Friday 2nd September

We started the day off kinda early, we didn’t want to miss anything as we heard Kes the band was performing on Fox 5 morning show. So we were in nightgowns still with the TV on waiting from 8 in morning to see the band...then at 9:50AM it happened... Kes the band graced the Fox 5 morning show, not singing there alternative material but hit Soca songs “Where yuh From" and  "Wotless”. I real smile at the huge T&T Flag that was hanging on the speaker box throughout their performance. 

For the Friday night we went right back to the Museum for Brass Fest....yes....they have a Brass Fest and talk about people which made sense cause Machel Montano HD and Kes the Band were headlining along with WCK, Lyrikal, Skinny Fabulous and Soca princess Devyn.

Little Devyn, ain’t easy nah she perform with a band and my girl had dancers, choreographed moves and thing.. and a new song “Jab Jab Whistle”. Lyrikal did his thing as usual, we now know he could wine (blushing). 

So in true Macco Style we peeped Machel with he new “Boo”, my girl was snuggled up close before and after the show. We also peeped famous radio personality with his family Ian "D Goose" Eligon , Former BET host AJ also attended, a surprise performance from Michelle Xavier (Imij and Company). But hear this  it was quite interesting that just after she performed with Kes, he then announced that Nadia Batson was no longer with them and that she is starting her first all girl band. We were wondering and we have a strong feeling that maybe Kes was throwing hints our way, could it be that Michelle Xavier is now going to be a member of Kes the Band? Hmmm…only time will tell. 

That show was amazing, we fete till we couldn’t stand up then we crawled to back of the crowds where there were a bunch of vendors to get a corn soup and some doubles (Yes is doubles ah say Brooklyn have it all). They even had a Bake and Shark vendor (Tobago Bake and Shark to be exact) with long long lines which is the only reason we didn’t get any. 

We almost felt like we were back home in the savannah Yes!

Saturday 3rd September

We slept for most of the day and then got dressed and went to  a party titled "3 The Hard Way" at Volume 2 Mas Camp on Veronica Place, this party was definitely for the grown and sexy. The Djs were on point, especially DJ Funky Fat Boy, this man had an 80’s session of music that had the whole party moving. At about 4: 00AM me the whole crew left the party hungry and someone suggested we go to Trini breakfast shed on Church Avenue.....we ordered some doubles with tamarind sauce and slight pepper, please note we said SLIGHT PEPPER, like this young boy didn’t know the meaning of slight; pepper bun we eyes noses ears and bellies and that was from eating one doubles. 

Yeah not we again, We good! Lol

Sunday 4th September

We made our way around Brooklyn making sure we had all the necessities for mas on Monday.... Costume ready so now I can continue to fete. 

We went back to the Brooklyn Museum for the Dimanche Gras show....we were thinking they have calypso competition too! but no it was performances by the some of the greatest artistes in the biz, from Little Devyn to Kofi (10 year old from Monserrat), Red Plastic Bag, All Rounder (first in a red suit then in silver tights I had to mention that), Swallow, the Mighty Sparrow, King David Rudder, Singing Diane, Benjai and many more and they even had Kings and Queens of the band (savannah vibes we say).  

My friends then took me to KesFyah, a party with Kes the band and Krosfyah. Krosfyah was great and as always so was Kes but what we were stunned by was the location of this fete, in the basement of a church, it was huge but we felt a lil funny ordering a vodka while standing in a church, but meh friend tell me that is normal so we got over it quick fast and had a time.


Monday 5th September 
(On the Road with KARMA Carnival band)

I couldn't even get up to meet the band fuss ah was tired but we had to because this was our first time and we wanted to experience everything. So we met the band and we hit the parkway. We were feeling a lil out of place cause everyone was repping a different country,  some from Guyana,  British Virgin Islands, Haiti, St Lucia,  Grenada and one or 2 Trinis. 

So now worries kick in, what if they don’t play no Iwer, Machel or Kes, what if they only play St. Lucian Music, what if we make a mistake here. All our fears were put to rest when the Dj started to play a complete mix of all kinds of soca and let me tell you, we didn’t stop jumping yet. At one instance this girl take of a police man hat put it on her head and advantaged him on the truck, the police didn’t seem to mind at all and it turned out that one of the artistes on the truck was none other than my good friend Mastamind. 

Our band mates were friendly the KARMA crew ensured our security and made sure we had refreshments throughout the whole experience. However my new favorite tune is a song by St Lucian Artiste Crocodile titled “Ready Mixx Already Fixx”, an instruction song, we learned how to sit down and wine yes, it was wicked.   

We pranced the whole of Eastern Parkway, our family called worried because they heard there was a  shooting on the parkway. We had to tell them we didn't hear a thing, we crossed  the stage at about 3-3:30PM then pranced our way back to the mas camp on Clarkson road for a home cooked meal (yes we get food).  

All in all the Labor Day experience was quite an interesting one and my crew had a great time... For something that was not really happening in an island I felt close enough to home...for anyone who has never experienced the West Indian Day Parade I would say experience it at least once.... Shout out to WIADCA for all the hard work they do during the year and for the Labor Day celebrations...... 

 Here is a peek of what we experienced.........