I’ve been going to Braddock for over six years now- mostly to participate in events organized by my stepdaughter, Dana. Each time I shake my head in the wonder of how she ended up there and remember the first time she considered the move here from Brooklyn when I emphatically declared, “No way are you moving to Braddock.”
But low and behold as I drove down Braddock Avenue last night on my way to see my daughter, Sarah, in the Barebones production of American Falls, I understood how a vision becomes a reality. There is new housing on the empty lot that was once Braddock Hospital. The Brew Gentlemen was hopping with its beautiful storefront, food trucks and folks mingling about. There was a sizable congregation of people waiting to start The Bricolage Saints Tour. The Free Store, the library, the urban gardens, all beckoned me toward my first stop of the evening, the new home of BareBones in Superior Motors. The production was well acted and compelling, the set beautifully conceived and constructed, all in odd contrast to my old image of Braddock, but now as I think about it, that’s part of the brilliance of the thing. If you are lucky enough to get a ticket- don’t miss it!
After the play, Dana hosted a little party for the cast in her working-toward-completion project, General Sisters. When it’s open to the public, the storefront aims to confront the distance that race and class create by bringing disparate parts of the community together harvesting spices, distributing bulk dry goods and forging an every increasing path of possibilities for Braddock, for us, and for the world- don’t miss it!