New York, NY-New York City is known for its many aliases, The Big Apple, The City that never sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, though one that authentically describes its trademark is The Melting Pot.
From 1898-1945, New York was labeled as the capital of national communications, trade, finance and, popular high culture. Coincidently, that was also when the five boroughs were formulated and have since exceedingly evolved.
New York’s flavor and robust culture still remains embedded in its roots but as the world suffered the blow of the wicked global Covid pandemic, the city was caught rapidly in its destructive path with 2.24 million confirmed cases and a death toll of over 50,000.
Countless businesses were forced to shut their doors, people were mandated to their homes and what was once the city that never slept was now turned to an exact replica of the Will Smith movie “Legend”-lifeless.
Now over a year later, the reopening of The Big Apple became a reality with the citywide celebration “NYC Homecoming Week” that showcased festivities throughout the five boroughs featuring free outdoor films screenings, cultural activities, public art, and iconic concert series including the world famous “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert in Central Park.
The Great Lawn’s aura was nostalgically euphoric Saturday evening as massive fans weathered the coming of hurricane Henri to catch a glimpse of the star studded line up produced by the one and only Clive Davis and Live Nation.
The New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra opened the commemorative concert with all time classic “New York, New York”, performing with Italian Tenor Andrea Bocelli to “O Sole Mio” and the incomparable Jennifer Hudson on opera inspired “Nessun Dorma”.
Impresario producer Clive Davis took to the stage with warm sentiments on the comeback of New York’s resilience as the rock fest continued with the funky sounds of Santana blazing the stage with Rob Thomas in Latin themed “Smooth” and Wyclef Jean in “Maria, Maria” hitting those jolting notes.
Country pop singer Kane Brown took to the stage with catchy tune “Be Like That”, Julia Michaels and JP mellowed the mood on duet “If The World Was Ending” and veteran rock band Journey brought it full circle performing “Anyway You Want It” and their nation anthem “Don’t Stop Believing” spreading the inspirational message to the sea of New York fans.
Then Hip-Hop royalty took over the limelight with the Father of Hip-Hop DJ Kool Herc performing timeless classic “The Message”, virtuoso Rapper Busta Rhymes smashing the podium with “Put Your Hands where My Eyes Can See”, Fat Joe, Remy Ma & French Montana firing up their set on “All The Way Up” and “Lean Back” as pioneers LL Cool and Rev Run brought the house down with “Tricky” and “Mama Said Knock You Out”.
Multi instrumentalist John Baptiste went to town on “Freedom” and trailblazers Earth, Wind and Fire performed impeccably on “Can’t Hide Love” and sing along classic “September” validating to the nearly 60,000 music lovers in attendance, they still got it.
As the effects of hurricane Henri began to hit land fall on Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You”, the remainder of the concert was forced to shutdown to safely evacuate the park. Although the show was unable to go on, it was refreshingly amazing to re-experience the beginnings of what we hope will be the type of normalcy the vigilant people of NYC can resume back to.