I feel so privileged to have her on my blog, an incredible poet and writer Ladies and gentlemen Naima Lyn:
Date: June 23, 2011
Written by: Naima Lyn
On a sultry southern Florida night, I sought out a place to go and have fun. I was looking for something that would tease my senses, toy with my heart and leave me floating on clouds of merriment. I had no expectations whatsoever and sought to go out and have fun. Mind you, I travel alone, by necessity if not by choice. I reached out to Ms. Corhinn Brunot, one of the most trusted reviewers of the Florida party circuit of Haitian descent whom I have been following for close to a year.
She referred me to this event. The flyer, in all its beautiful colors was eye catching but what attracted me most was the word “poetry”. As a writer and blogger of mainly free form poetry, I love to support fellow writers and am often in awe of the skilled spoken word artists.
I arrived at the site at 9:34 pm. It was supposed to be a laid back night for me and as Haitians are known to be proud of keeping the custom of CP time, I took that into account and presented there 2 hours and 34 minutes than the advertised time of 7pm. For a show at a cost of $7 before 10pm and $10 after 12am, the menu seemed worth it: poetry, comedy, songs by local Haitian artists and up-comers. When I reached there, the restaurant was not yet done with a private function and attendees of the show mingled with them, sitting on the beautifully arranged tables with red and white coverings that the hostess Ms. Marlyna Torres and a friend were busily arranging. I took it in stride, positioning myself at the bar to await the opening of the event.
The restaurant, Casa Chanpet, decked with caribbean flair of bold golden colors, beautiful artwork and an eye catching bar, is located in Pembroke Pines, Florida(www.casachanpet.com). Part of the menu was available for consumption throughout the night and the offerings were a mesh of
Caribbean, Spanish & American Cuisines. A full bar manned by a pleasant Latina was there for us to enjoy. I ensconced myself on my bar stool, sipping my Bailey’s, an affordable price of less than $8, to the sound of a fluid and versatile house deejay. My ears regaled in some soukous, konpa, zouk renditions.
At 11:20 or so, the hostess took to the stage to welcome us all and start the night. If you are a stickler for time, this is not the place for you to go out with friends for a night of poetry. But, if you want to go out to enjoy good food, decent drinks with a bit of laughter I highly recommend going to this poetry night as the artists from singers, to rappers, poets and comedians, though unknown were skilled, holding you in their tight grip the entire night. The audience ranged from as young as the late teens to upper 40s on average, a nicely mixed crowd, decked from dressy casual to late night party accoutrements.
There were two artists, Saskya a young Haitian American singer with the cutest tilt of American accent to her creole speech mesmerized me that night with her strong voice, high self confidence and love for her craft. She sang 3 pieces, one with her guitar, performing soulfully. Her best was the Konpa song to which she danced and snaked through to the delight of us all. Another artist I enjoyed was Sardy, a poet with a comic streak, he enthralled, regaled and tickled our funny bones twice during the show. There were a few more artists but these two were the best in my book. I left around 1 AM and they still had more artists that had yet taken to the stage. The segue between each act was wonderfully done by the house deejay who kept a spirit of fun throughout the night.
Although I attended alone, it was nice to see the friendly atmosphere and be a part of it. Ms. Torres kept watch on her guests, in her beautifully crafted gown designed by Ms. Guerda Pierre from Lordana Designs (www.lordanna.com) as did one of the restaurant owners and staff. I met a few nice folks with whom I chatted with. They all made me feel welcomed. All in all it was a pleasant evening that met my request of a laid back fun night.
Plenty of parking but the fact that the full menu was not available was a downer. I would suggest they have an evening menu to serve that purpose instead of using one menu
Although I wished for a laid back night. I abhor false advertisements. The show was advertised for 7 pm and starting it 4 hours later and more in my view, warrant a change in the ad and maybe a refund to those who did show up on time
As friendly as she was, I felt she used too many fillers “uhm, are you with me? etc..” Those showed a lack of preparation and a poor knowledge on how to move the crowd. With time, I am sure she will improve
I only had the “akra”. One of the best Haitian finger food with some pikliz. The pikliz was good and the akra crispy, a definite 8 in my book.
Courteous, friendly and full of life.
Variety is the name of this game and the offerings showed that in all its glory. Ms. Torres sure knows how to pick her guests performers and I hope it stays this way and gets even better.
Thank you Corinne for this referral!