I would have to say that Harlem will remain a part of me no matter where I live now. It is where I landed when making the west to east coast transition 17 years ago. I was leaving an idyllic black bourgeois existence, looking to open my eyes to what city life is. The relationship was long done. If you weren’t into anything TV, the conversations lasted 5 minutes. I hate to knock LA, but hey I am a native who needed more depth.
What better place to immerse myself and learn women’s health but Harlem. Let’s just say I got that and then some. For the record, as a resident doctor in OB/GYN, you live at the hospital. 135th and Lenox was my home. I didn’t pursue medicine to ask what insurance you have. I am a doctor to serve and empower my patients, plain and simple. The bulk of my Harlem women had a lot to deal with outside the hospital and for that matter their babies would as well. I became committed to providing the best care for them to tackle those injustices outside. I learned the power of women, the resilience of new life, the dedication of servants, like me and the joy of the 2/3 train with even its live entertainment at 652am. This was way before Starbucks and H&M, but of course Sylvia’s was happening and the Lenox Lounge was truly a lounge.
MGM and Culver City were oh so far away. It was a pretty crazy move with no relatives, a couple of friends here, but tons of possibility.
I would come to really know what urban means and, then some.