The Infamous Afro Baby of Hughes Ave
Out here on the rough and tumble streets of the Bronx, there are plenty of shady characters to keep you vigilant. If you’re up early enough, you can find the incredibly vulgar, and equally entertaining, man known only as “Uncle Jim” (more on him in a future post) sitting on the stoop of 2488. And on summer days in the early afternoon, I could hear local kids yelling about some mythic hobo of urban legend called “Chi Chi Baloo.” But for the folks at 2488, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as a sighting of Afro Baby.
A Google image search just didn’t do the real Afro Baby justice. I would try and take a picture so all could bask in his glory but that seems creepy-ish… and probably illegal-ish. My description will have to do for now. This is his tale…
Our first sighting of Afro Baby occurred back in June, a few weeks after we had moved into the lovely estate on Hughes Avenue. Upon our arrival, we discovered a ladder in my roommates closet that led to a trap door up on the roof. That really deserves its own post as well, but we’ll get to that later. It was on said roof sometime between the hours of midnight and whenever the Candy Lounge starts emptying out that we first spotted him. From the aerial view, it just seemed like a large furry ball trying to escape from a woman with a stroller. When we finally realized what we were seeing, well frankly, we were astonished. I paraphrase:
“Holy shit, dude that’s a baby!”
“What? No, it’s like 2 in the morning.”
“Dude. That’s a baby with a giant afro. It’s… an Afro Baby!”
Eventually both Afro Baby and the woman with the stroller chasing him, presumably Afro Baby’s Mom, escaped our view. We took stock of what we had seen. It was a perfectly healthy-looking toddler, proportionate in all aspects save one: his massive afro. I can estimate conservatively that it increases his overall volume by at least 100%. Seriously though, this kid is lucky he didn’t blow away during Irene. Apparently Afro Baby’s Mom caught up with him because a short while later they came back down Hughes in the opposite direction, this time with Afro Baby fastened securely in his stroller. But nothing, I tell you, could ever secure that afro. That glorious, glorious afro.
Since that fateful night, catching a glimpse of Afro Baby has been akin to capturing a leprechaun for us. When you set out late on a Friday, unsure of what the night holds, you’d be a lucky one indeed to encounter his Afro-ness on the way. I’d go as far as saying that it is almost impossible to have a bad night after an Afro Baby sighting.
So Tribar is getting you down? Bad luck with the opposite sex? I can’t make any promises but try heading over to Hughes. Sit on a stoop somewhere between Lazaro’s Deli and E. Fordham Rd and wait. If you’re lucky, you might just see Afro Baby…
Seen Afro Baby for yourself? Let me know in the comments section below.