On the snowy morning of Saturday, February 27, 2010, David Regis and Gwenaelle Lardenois, who were visiting New York City from Paris, France, were treated to a unique walk through the life of the famous Josephine Baker, who took Paris by storm in the 1920s.
This special Greeter for a Day event was hosted by Josephine’s son, Jean-Claude Baker, owner of Chez Josephine, a restaurant in the Theatre District that celebrates the life of his mother, and the author of Josephine Baker: The Hungry Heart. Greeter Chantal Lawrence and Paul Margolis, a volunteer photographer, accompanied them.
Mr. Baker met his visitors in front of 232 W.138th Street. The basement of the brownstone was the location where Josephine Baker would rehearse her role in “La Revue Negre,” the show in which she made her debut in Paris in 1925. Mr. Baker spoke of the history of Harlem and that although many African-Americans were victims of discrimination and prejudice in Harlem they were able to blossom financially and artistically. It was Josephine’s work during the Harlem Renaissance that led to her success in France. The visitors stopped by the Apollo Theatre and the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, where, they were surprised to learn, former President Bill Clinton has his office. [Read more…]