Once upon a time there lived a little girl without a penthouse or a college fund. She played hopscotch on the sidewalks and tried her best to jump double-dutch; however, getting her little feet to step in time to the pounding beat of a double rope was tough.
She lived in a land called New York, foreign to most, but home to her. Every day the voices of a dozen languages would fill her ears and she would become intoxicated with the smells of exotic foods. People were bad. They fought in the streets and filled her kiddie pool with glass. Once she stood outside the fence in the photo blowing bubbles when giant bolts of lightning glass started raining from heaven. They were called flourescent lightbulbs.
A great movement pushed through New York, scalding souls and leaving families homeless. She wouldn’t know that these flames were named until she became an adult and a fireman mentioned to her the ‘areson wars’ he fought in her very neighborhood. She just knew that during the black of night, smoke filled the air, choking life and clouding her dreams. She would wake to watch another building burn.
Don’t feel sad for the little girl in the picture, because she didn’t know life could be any different. She thought all the world was New York. One day she moved to a neighborhood with a park waiting right at the mouth of her street. It had grass and swings and she thought that in an eight minute ride, she moved to the country.
After she was nearly grown, she went away to college and found out that all the world wasn’t like New York. It shocked her to learn that grocery stores close at night and that McDonalds doesn’t always serve fries 24/7. She learned the definition of ‘subdivision’ and found out that most people cannot parallel park.
She discovered that there is life beyond New York and it is very different.
Today she is thankful that her children don’t play around crack vials littering the street, but knows that if it were necessary, it’s not a death sentence.
Some are curious about what it was like to grow up in New York. I guess I could tell a million stories of my childhood, but I don’t think they’d be so different from most. Some places just have more grass.
I didn’t grow up in New York City, I grew up in Yonkers. Yonkers boarders the Bronx, was home to the Son of Sam, and is considered upstate to all city people. It is the picture of suburban life. I guess.
I’ve linked today’s post to Mylstones’ Flashback Friday. Click the photo below to read more great stories!