Easter In Harlem, New York 2006
So I see this lovely couple walking home from church on 128th St. and Fifth Ave. in Harlem. Mr. Gant is the Deacon Emeritus of his church, a title he proudly displays on his jacket.
I asked how long they lived in the neighborhood - like any long married couple they answered simultaneously - him "52 years!", her "51 years!". They spent the next few moments arguing the dates. He then turned to me and said that the neighborhood had always been nice, "People watch out for each other in our building-it's a family building. When one of us gets sick, we do the best we can to care for that person." Of everything he could have told me about living in Harlem for over fifty years, the first thing he mentioned was taking care of others.
Friends and family back in Indiana sometimes ask me how I can live in New York with so many people piled on top of each other. My answer? Neighbors like Mr. Gant.