The Apollo Theater has become NYC’s unofficial Michael Jackson mourning spot. Soon after the King of Pop’s death, heartbroken fans transformed a makeshift wall next to the theater into a shrine covered with scrawled remembrances and photos. Yesterday, thousands of mourners attended an MJ tribute at the venue that included music, dancing, and a eulogy by Al Sharpton. Tonight, the Apollo’s Amateur Night will be dedicated to Jackson.
My gym is in Harlem, right across the street from the Apollo, and I stopped by after my workout. It was only 9 a.m. but people were already writing messages on the memorial wall; others were lined up outside the theater. Nearby, TV vans waited by the curb and vendors unloaded Michael Jackson merchandise onto folding tables.
It was hard to look at the makeshift memorial and not feel a little choked up. No matter how odd or freakish Jackson has been in the past years, there’s no denying the impact he had on music — or the impact his music had on the world — and an incredible amount of talent has gone to waste.