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2nd Annual “Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson” Party!

I’m half-deaf, my nose is sunburned, and my throat feels like sandpaper, but I’m still high on happiness following yesterday’s 52nd birthday celebration for Michael Jackson in Prospect Park. It was 95° in New York City (with zero cloud cover), which made standing in the middle of an open field for six hours akin to roasting in an oven, but no matter. The fun and joy of the day outweighed the unpleasantness of heat and sweat (and for me, that’s saying a lot).

An estimated 50,000 (!!!) people came out to celebrate together, making this year’s event even bigger and more successful than last year’s.

I have a huge amount of respect for Spike Lee as a filmmaker (including the three videos he made for MJ), and I’m so grateful that he’s put this massive—and FREE—party on for the past two years . . . and that he plans to continue to do it every year.

As he did last year, poet and performance artist Lemon Andersen delivered spoken-word pieces that honored both the legacy of the entire Jackson family and the wonder that is BROOKLYN.

This girl was so full of energy and confidence. She did a wicked air-guitar solo during "Beat It" that would’ve made Jennifer Batten proud.

DJ Spinna was amazing again this year. His knowledge and love of all eras of Michael’s career—with and without the Jackson 5—is what makes it possible to spend six hours listening to a single artist (with a small handful of associated acts thrown in) without getting bored.

AHHHHHHH!!! Snoop Dogg!!! (And yes, that’s Warren G behind Spike!) I love me some Snoop, and his appearance yesterday was a complete surprise. I like that the party is really about celebrating Michael’s music (as he recorded it, and not being performed by other artists), but a few minutes of Snoop droppin’ it like it’s hot never hurt anyone.

The Reverend Al Sharpton came out again this year to deliver a beautiful eulogy for Michael and to speak about the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. (No photos, as I was recording video.)

Lots more photos in my Flickr set. I can’t wait to do this all again next year. Happy birthday, Mike.

p.s. Check out Nubby Twiglet’s birthday tribute to MJ, too!

EDIT: Spike has posted a thank-you note on his site that nicely summarizes the day. Thank YOU, Spike!

EDIT #2: Here are a couple of clips from interviews with Snoop and Reverend Al. If you watch carefully, you’ll see me and my camera all hot and sweaty in the front row . . .

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  • Reply rifferaff August 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    amazing photos. it makes me want to take a special trip to ny one summer to appreciate this. glad to hear it will be a recurring event.

    (is that Michael K. Williams aka Omar from The Wire in that photo with the Yee-Haw sign?)

  • Reply Anna at D16 August 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    @rifferaff: I just consulted with my husband since I’ve never seen the Wire (I know…sad!), and he’s pretty sure that’s who it is. Cool. 🙂

  • Reply sofie August 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    The Wiz!

  • Reply xmoonbloom August 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    great pics. thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Tom Baker August 30, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I will be sending you an email shortly asking a small favor. This is great! I did not know anyone was celebrating like this. I live in Indiana and I think in Gary they did something but not on this scale. Michael was a genius. Thanks for sharing this with us non New Yorkers!

  • Reply Shilo August 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    WOW! What an awesome event. Thanks so much for sharing your photos of it.

    Also, those kids dressed up all Wiz/ard of oz? ADORABLE.

  • Reply Fritz August 30, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I wonder if Michael Jackson liked The Wire?
    I sure did

  • Reply Vanessa August 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Omar and MJ. I’m pretty sure you just put my two favorite people in one post.

  • Reply Deborah August 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Oh, thanks for documenting the day Anna. So happy to have been there for the first year and looking forward to coming back to another BKlovesMJ party in the future.

  • Reply avs August 31, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Yes! Thanks for documenting and sharing.
    Viva MJ!

  • Reply Jessica August 31, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    That chalk writing made me tear up.

  • Reply Jenna @ sweetfineday September 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    whoa, 50,000 people. Glad to hear that he intends to do this every year, yay! Hey, those Wiz kids were there last year too. I remember seeing them. Also, I like that photo of you a lot.

  • Reply Laura September 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    over 50,000 in attendance…only for MJ…..NY loves MJ! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Beth September 1, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I love this blog…you really captured a phenomonal event. I was there last year as well as this year and I will come every year God’s willing.

    By the way I know the person who did the chalk writing and she also write “Michaelisms” on rocks and place them in random places around NYC and surrounding areas. I think that is fanastic!!

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Beth, that’s amazing! Does she have a blog to document the rocks? I hope I encounter one someday!!

  • Reply Nubby September 1, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Wow, wow, wow. It was all so over the top amazing already….and then SNOOP shows up?!! That’s like a cherry on top for the day. Magical. And I love your shirt. <3

  • Reply Kyle September 3, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Who are you rooting for on Project Runway this season? I’m enjoying this season a lot more than the last couple.

  • Reply mari September 4, 2010 at 2:33 am

    i can’t believe i’m just now getting around to reading this, but omg i’m in love with the kids dressed up like the characters from the wizard of oz/the wiz!

    i can’t believe 50,000 people showed up (actually, for michael, yes i can). i can’t wait to go next year!

    ps – i’m falling in love with your shirt.

  • Reply decor8 holly September 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    That is MY kind of party. LOVED that snoop showed up, I would have been ALL into that. I think it’s smart they didn’t say he would be there, imagine all the people who would have showed just to see him on top of that 50K? Smart party organizers. That is so kick butt. I love that you had a good time (and you looked so nice in your MJ get up).


  • Reply rita September 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    amazing pictures! i’m curious…what kind of camera do you use, do they shoot your stills and videos?

  • Reply Anna at D16 September 4, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    @Kyle: I don’t know yet! This season is way better than the last few, though, that’s for sure.

    @mari: I know! They are so cute! They were there in costume last year, too. 🙂

    @rita: I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. It’s nothing fancy, just a point-and-shoot, but I love it.

  • Reply tamstyles September 5, 2010 at 4:39 am

    if i cant make next year…please save me something from the event…im sooo sad.

  • Reply Deidre September 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    This is amazing! I am so there next year!!

  • Reply Grumble Girl September 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I soooo wish I could have been there. *sniff* And yes, I spotted you right after the caaaaaaake… and SNOOOOOOP!! Wow. Looks like a swell time. Maybe next year, sugar!!

  • Reply Liane Allen December 19, 2010 at 7:37 am

    wow, awesome, awesome . All for LOVE. his message was about LOVE!

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