Reggae on the Beach at La Marina, by Christine Scott
Early in the summer I took my father to La Marina in the Inwood section of Manhattan for dinner. He doesn’t live far from the waterfront restaurant on the west side and I was curious to see how the neighborhood where I was born had evolved. My grandparents, John and Anna Kilcooley, lived off Dykman Street for over thirty years and when I was a kid, my grandfather would walk us up the steep hill to the Cloisters and we’d look out over the Hudson River. During that time, the neighborhood was a mix of Irish pubs, bodegas, Latin restaurants and of course Good Shepard Church, which, by the time of their passing in the 1990’s, had offered more masses in Spanish than in English.
Today, Dykman Street is a vibrant mix of Latin restaurants, clubs and Friday night Bingo on the sidewalk. During dinner at La Marina with my father that first night, I learned about the Friday night “Reggae on the Beach” party and my staycation summer became a weekly Jamaican jam. I loved the super friendly crowd and meeting fellow reggae devotees. So I'm giving thanks and praise to all of my new friends, the Inner Roots band, the Anthem Band, and the La Marina staff for turning my Friday nights in the concrete jungle into a soul shakedown party on the beach.