It doesn't get much better than "free," as in a free Public Enemy concert at Wingate Park in Brooklyn. As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. concert series, Public Enemy teamed up with Salt n' Pepa and brought some old skool noise to shake up the Brooklyn borough on July 30th.
After riding the subway for about an hour east from Manhattan, Yuko and I arrived anticipating a fun night. But after winding our way through the line up under the heavy stares of New York's finest, we were stopped by neighbourhood security at the entrance. We couldn't enter the park with our camera. What?! We pleaded that we'd come all the way from Japan & Canada to see the gig, but they still refused. Our only chance, it was suggested, was to find some decent person to take care of our Canon EOS 50D for a few hours. Hmmm... Here we were in an area of Brooklyn once known as "Pigtown," not far from where Ebbets Field once hosted the Brooklyn Dodgers. We didn't know a soul.
We walked up a few blocks to Nostrand Avenue, found a Chinese restaurant and asked the woman inside if she would take care of our camera. Without blinking, she agreed. We hustled back to the park and settled in for an awesome gig, right across the street from a hospital and what might have been a crematorium.
Salt n' Pepa were fine and put on a great show, working the crowd by giving shout outs to all the "pretty ladies" in attendance. But I was there for Public Enemy and when the lights went down and the siren call went up I was ready for the terrordome. Chuck D and Flav were solid and the Bomb Squad was tighter than a cat's ass. The PE flame not only burns, it illuminates.
(c/o Public Enemy)We returned to the restaurant a few hours later, picked up our camera, bought a large dinner and left a tip. So if fortune ever delivers you to Wingate, Brooklyn NY, be sure to drop in at the China City Restaurant on Nostrand and have some delicious grub!