Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chess Lessons in NYC

(Proph absorbing ideas during a lesson at the Village Chess Shop)

Beyond meals, what would you be willing to spend about $50 on during a visit to New York City? A watch? Shoes? Clothes? Ok. Well, one of our travelers, Proph (Dometi Pongo), decided to spend about $50 for a chess lesson.

May 9, Sunday evening, as I was moving around the East Village with a few of our travelers, I got a call on the cell from Proph: “Yo, Professor H, I’m in the Village at this cool chess shop. You should come through.”

It took us some blocks of walking from where we were, but we finally arrived at the Village Chess Shop. J. Long and I entered, and there were about 12 or more chess games taking place. Tucked away at a table in a corner, we saw our man Proph with an older black man, Nahshon, engaged in a game of chess.

When we got closer and took a seat, we learned that Nahson was actually giving Proph a lesson. The chess shop offers paid lessons from some of its masters, and given his interest in becoming a better chess player, our man Proph had decided to pay for one. The lesson lasted about an hour, and we sat and listened and as a result, joined in on the lesson as well.

Late into the evening that night, we talked about how the chess lesson seemed more like a lesson about life: how to think before proceeding, how to make thoughtful and purposeful moves, how absorb the lessons of a master teacher, how to strategize our approaches with black studies.

Black Studies @ Strand Bookstore
The Wright bench in Brooklyn
Walking and Exploration in NYC
Photography and the City
Filming in New York

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