New York City

Caribbean Descent

By Marsha Clarke

If you live anywhere on God’s green earth I’m willing to bet that you have a friend of Caribbean descent, especially if you live in NYC.  You probably noticed that by the start of every summer they mysteriously disappear never to be heard of until after Labor Day.  You may see them tagged in a photo on Facebook at a concert smiling from ear to ear with the #E.P.I.C or a video on Instagram where it looks like they and another person are playing a game of tandem leap frog. Leaving you to wonder what are they up to and why they didn’t take you with them.  Being left out has caused you to ask yourself is it because your friends are jerks or does your presence have a time limit? 

Your friend is gearing up for the West Indian American Day Carnival.  Although I will admit it’s weird that they didn’t invite you to celebrate with them seeing as how the celebrations go on from Memorial Weekend all the way up to Labor Day.  Many of the popular events like Shine XS and Moksha have already happened but with Boat Rides and various outdoor fetes at The Village NY and Pulse 48 there are more than enough opportunities for you to join in.  You can find tickets and more party information at

In order to find your Caribbean friend you have to think like a Caribbean person.  Don’t be shy about this, you have FOMO and you are stalking your friends, so ask the questions that a stalker would ask….  What do they need? What do they love? What can I give them that would make them fall asleep just long enough for me to implant a tracking device in them? You know, stuff like that. 

Caribbean people need lots of sun, water, music and spirits.  Without it they become boring and lose the ability to be the coolest people on earth.  These are the best places to find your friend.

Boat Rides – The open and closing to every carnival season is a boat ride.  Every summer Caribbeans will be at the Emmons avenue piers in Brooklyn in Sheepshead Bay and in Manhattan at Pier 83 on the Circle Line party boats. Hosted by the area’s most popular DJ’s these boat parties are legendary and are usually packed. 

Wet Fete –Think homemade Water Park for adults fueled by Soca and Reggae music. More than likely your friend is here. However, you will not find them because as soon as you enter the Wet Fete you will be hypnotized by the dozens of wet more than likely half naked people running around with drinks in their hands and smiles on their faces.  FYI there is no way to leave a Wet Fete dry, so you may as well as join in. 

Cooler Fete – If you didn’t infer from the name, a cooler fete is where you and a few people get together and bring a cooler filled with your favorite alcoholic beverages.  If you happen to find your friend, good luck getting an explanation out of them.  By the way it would be so weird if you left a cooler fete sober.

Mas Camps -This is where people who will be playing Mas for both J’ouvert and the Carnival go pick up their costumes and find out where to meet up for Carnival Monday.  This is also a place to hang out, listen to music days before the carnival starts and get to know the other people you will be playing Mas with. 

There is no culture without music.  Caribbean people love their culture just as much as they love their music so you can count on the fact that you will find your friend at one of the seven events taking place from August 28th to the 31st at the Brooklyn Museum. Featuring musical superstars from the Caribbean along with event’s for every age range the proceedings are extremely engaging.  You can view the lineup at WIADCA (West Indian American Day Carnival Association) for more details.

If you have followed my instructions you have found your Caribbean friend by now or you were smart and made new ones.  If by some chance you did not make any new friends then it’s because you don’t have a pulse.


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