Sunday, April 12, 2009

Night Time

It's growing on me, slowly, like the beat of a song that your feet refuse to ignore. Last night was Lapa, a niche just west of downtown, and I couldn't get a single picture that wasn't blurry, but the scene was like nothing you've seen before. Kids wait, in two block long lines, for a chance to dance drug induced steps to Bali funk music in a tent. Men walk the sidewalks and streets with trays of tequila, boasting their commodities, like we all haven't had enough to drink already. Piss-water beers overflowing everywhere, how could you not? Hip-hop shouts through every window we pass, piles of young men in those same windows, beckon to the girls below. Cigarettes, tamales, skewers of meat, street kids, dogs, bored police, and finally we make it to the club we're looking for. It's a loud relief from the youthful streets behind us. A twelve piece band on stage, horns, mandolins, soft and steady voices, and a beautiful wooden dance floor that steadily calls the light feet of random couples. Strangers take the hands of strangers, gently rest their heads together, and hand in hand they feel the pull of the samba, if only for ten minutes, they dance as one. It's a restored school, and we are piled into a gymnasium. It's what I imagine West Side Story to be, without the Hollywood. It's 2am, and the night has just begun for all those who walk and dance with light hearts. My friend Jeremy says to me, "I love this place because it makes everyone look beautiful, even if they're not"

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