14 December 2007

A true New Yorker at heart?

Place is define in the dictionary as ; Place is a term that has a variety of meanings in a dictionary sense, but which is principally used in a geographic sense as a noun to denote location, though in a sense of a location identified with that which is located there. Even though most people recognize that place is about location but they don’t dentifrice with the idea of a “place”. By this I mean they do know where on a map it is but to them place is more about what it looks like, sounds and smells like. Place is not just a point on a map it’s a feeling, its family, its home.

I was born and raised in New York City, the Bronx to be specific. We lived in a good neighborhood and rented a house, which if you are familiar with the city is not easy to come by. The city had a lot to do with the person I have become; how I deal with people, things and most importantly how I view the world. My perceptive isn’t so small or closed I would say. A large part of that is because of my mom wanting me to experience all the city had to offer. On my block we were the only young family for many years, the neighbors were all older, some retired. They love me and my family, to them we were family. I can remember one time my baby brother walked away from home at got lost, then we started running around the block looking for him, and the neighbors hear us yelling and instantly jumped in their cars to go look for him. We found him in ten minutes, but that’s how it was for us. I always knew I was welcomed in their homes, could walk down the street and feel safe and just as if I belong. It was like having the best of both worlds, I was safe and loved in my little community but at the same time I saw so many different things. I felt so full of life, so ready for anything, just so alive.

I think it was because outside of my little safe community was this big bad world and I was living in it and a part of it, soaked in it. I would take the subway to school in the morning or just walk down the street and think way “wow”. There is always so much going on, so much to see. Whether it’s waiting for a taxi, watching the newspaper stands get ready for a long day of sealing chips and soda to kids before school or men and women rushing for that first slip of great New York coffee.

Also growing up I was surround by so many diversities I tend to more open about many political and social issues. It is so normal for me to see two men kissing on the train, or a Muslim woman dressed in a burqa, or debating the battle of abortion with my grandmother before Sunday mass. I’m not saying that if you never visit or are from the city that you are ignorant or a tight fitted bible thumper from the south. I am trying to state that more people come to the cities for jobs, for their different lifestyles, entertainment, transportation, this then can lead to a more expressiveness and comfort ness of cultural and a willingness to share who you are with the world.

The Bronx to me is home, even though my family now lives in Dunkirk, NY. I used to go to school in Manhattan and was there during 9/11, after that my mom said “no we’re leaving the city and moving to the country.” I had a cousin who lived in Dunkirk and said it’s great up here, good for the kids and what not. So the next thing I know we’re moving from the only home I ever knew, moving away from my best friends and leaving an amazing high school that I loved so much. My life was never the same, not even now in my adult years.

In the future I would like to live once again in the city or a city similar to New York. It’s like the old saying “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl”. I need the fast pace people with your true New York attitude and rudeness, the fast talking mean girls in the line to use the dirty restroom. It truly doesn’t sound too appealing, but to those true hearted, New Yorkers it’s everything.

No comments: