Shout out to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe!
The Nuyorican is a legendary New York arts and culture salon founded in 1973 by Miguel Algarin. Started as a place for artists and cultural movers-and-shakers of color to share ideas and work, the Nuyorican focused in large part on poetry and its significance in the urban community. Fostering a positive atmospehre, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has nurtured the careers of many promising poets and played a major role in the development of the spoken word culture that came to national prominence in the 1990s. Hosting weekly poetry slams, the venue is able to bridge the gap between all cultures, ages, and walks of life who come out to enjoy the arts and get an artist's interpretation on the culture we face daily in America's urban centers.
A recent Friday night trip to the Nuyo after a lengthy absence reminded me of why I loved going there in the first place. The poets were all talented and fresh, despite their youthful faces, and host Mahogany Brown held it down! Integrating live music to bump up the audience, she lifted our spirits each time the poets' honesty and integrity brought us close to tears. Never, in my older years, have I seen such a brilliant usage of the above theme song. Growing up, I could never imagine that I'd be on my feet while holding a beer and singing along with 100 other people who all believed that "I. Can. Be. Anyyyyy-Thing!"
The Nuyorican Poets Cafe is located at 236 E. 3rd St (between Aves B & C) and hosts weekly poetry slams every Friday night at 10 pm.