Archive | September, 2014

Steppers Stomping the Streets of Harlem in Style

25 Sep

Westsider High Steppin'

Westsider High Steppin’


Billed as the largest African American Day parade in the country, this past Sundays salute to African American heritage, culture and contribution to America was alive and kicking in high gear. Although the parade was competing with the largest People’s Global Climate March in the world, the streets were still lined up with thousands of revelers looking to see marchers, dignitaries, and some of the best steppers from around the country. The 45th annual parade always sends positive messages to the community and more importantly brings awareness of injustices that have happened. Banners demanding an end to police brutality and a demonstration set for October to protest police tactics were prevalent. This was also a day for celebration as many unions participated to show unity and strength in the face of a wave of efforts to block and weaken workers on a national level. Mayor deBlasio was well received for his efforts to reach contractual agreements with union workers, one the previous administration had difficulty doing. The Rev. Al Sharpton and Mayor David Dinkins were applauded for all their hard work to bring a voice to those that have suffered some injustice.
IMG_4843
Bonnet Ladies Doing It Up in Style

Bonnet Ladies Doing It Up in Style

Getting ready to Step

Getting ready to Step

Then the fun started when he first of several steppers arrived. The Baltimore Westsiders showed off their moves to the grandstand at 125th and Frederick Douglas Blvd. The Yoruba African group danced their way up the parade group with some unusual costumes. Ironically they were followed by the Christian Warrior Marching band. They were pretty good. One of the steppers with the cutest kids were the Mission Drum and Bugle Corp. The little girls in their 50s throwback costumes brought smiles to the faces of many in the crowd. The various motorcycle clubs roared up the parade route while the ladies in bonnets brought some fashion to the party. Getting the crowd warmed up some more were the Citywide Goldstarz with their energetic leader and the Marching Elite with their jazzy style. A new addition to the parade were a hometown stepping group that really worked the crowd with their tight moves. The Marching Cobras set the tone for the rest of the parade and were the benchmark for other groups to follow. The acrobatic FAO-TOR group kept the energy level on high showing off their cheerleader moves. The Baltimore Showstoppers lived up to their billing and gave the crowd a thrill with the great choreography and booming marching band. They tore it up. Closing out the steppers was a dynamic group from Baltimore…Mass Destruction, yeah they killed it. Their high energy and focus was unmatched. Once again the parade was a major success and was a fine display of African-American pride, culture, unity and strength.
IMG_4670

IMG_4677

IMG_4679

IMG_4682

IMG_4683

IMG_4684

IMG_4687

IMG_4694

IMG_4699

IMG_4703

IMG_4704

IMG_4707

IMG_4711

IMG_4712

IMG_4715

IMG_4720

IMG_4723

IMG_4729

IMG_4736

IMG_4745

IMG_4757

IMG_4762

IMG_4764

IMG_4765

IMG_4770

IMG_4773

IMG_4776

IMG_4777

IMG_4779

IMG_4780

IMG_4791

IMG_4803

IMG_4805

IMG_4806

IMG_4815

IMG_4816

IMG_4819

IMG_4824

IMG_4830

IMG_4832

IMG_4834

IMG_4839

IMG_4848

IMG_4851

IMG_4857

IMG_4858

IMG_4862

IMG_4863

IMG_4868

IMG_4869

Come back and see me next year

Come back and see me next year

Germans Score Goals at the Steuben

24 Sep

IMG_4378 Fresh off their dramatic World Cup victory, the Germans that came to NYC to participate in the 57th annual Steuben parade on 5th Ave. were still riding high with the fever of a big win. The parade typically kicks off the fall season with a display of traditional dress (and beer), some well seasoned German marching bands (and beer), and revelers dressed in the German Karneval costumes (and did I mention beer). The parade traditionally is a tribute to Baron von Steuben, the Prussian General responsible for training the first Army during the Revolutionary War. But it has morphed into a display of fine German culture and tradition including many youth celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. With over 20 marching bands shipped in from Germany to march in the parade, the crowd was sure to be treated to some good marching tunes. As usual the mounted police signaled the start of the parade followed by one of the marching bands. It was great to see representatives from both the German police and fire departments sharing some special moments with their NYC counterparts. Many local German affiliated clubs and organizations marched their way up the parade route from 63rd to 86th Sts. including a crowd favorite, the Long Island Volkswagon Club.
IMG_4402IMG_4354IMG_4334
It’s always great to see the German marching bands and compare them to some US High School marching bands. One of the more notable bands came from Nienborg and played a loud brass filled tune while the marching band from Ebersberg was more airy with flutes and chimes. Both were a treat to see and hear. A perennial crowd favorite are the karveval groups dressed in their funny costumes while some viewers enjoy the more traditional “Tracht” attire. Even some dog owners got in on the parade showing off their Dobermans and Hovaworts. All the build up was for one of the best marching bands the city has seen this year as the Schutzenkapelle Holzheim marching band made their way up he parade route. It’s always great to see the tradition passed on from one generation to another and to see the youth embrace traditions passed on from the Motherland. Although the parade was shorter than previous years and missing a crowd favorite, the maypole, it was still a fun parade to be part of.
IMG_4291

IMG_4298

IMG_4300

IMG_4304

IMG_4306

IMG_4312

IMG_4314

IMG_4320

IMG_4333

IMG_4337

IMG_4342

IMG_4347

IMG_4349

IMG_4350

IMG_4353

IMG_4356

IMG_4358

IMG_4362

IMG_4365

IMG_4370

IMG_4372

IMG_4373

IMG_4379

IMG_4383

IMG_4389

IMG_4390

IMG_4391

IMG_4392

IMG_4396

IMG_4404

IMG_4406

IMG_4407

IMG_4408

IMG_4411

IMG_4412

IMG_4417

IMG_4418

IMG_4431

IMG_4432

IMG_4438

IMG_4447

IMG_4448

DSC00032

DSC00036 (1)

DSC00038 (1)

DSC00041 (1)

DSC00045

DSC00046

DSC00053

DSC00055

DSC00181

DSC00318

DSC00321

IMG_4451IMG_4423

Sehen Sie im nachsten jahr.
Photos by Annette Kuehn

%d bloggers like this: