New York City


August 2018 — This is a snap shot of my life growing up in the Bronx, New York in the 1980’s . You can say if was pretty rough in my neighborhood. It was a pretty sad area as most of us lived in low income housing. I was pretty young and was brought up with two other siblings. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with my siblings, mom and dad. We were always well taken care off, hot ample heat and hot water, food on the table and clean clothes to wear. My parents took really great care of us, given the environment in the neighborhood around us. I just remember there being so much crime outside and hearing the sound of occasional gun shots and drug dealing hustling on the street. I never really felt afraid but we were always on guard just in case of a violent situation outside. The 80’s were also tough because it was at the height of the crack epidemic and unfortunately some of our streets and parks were littered in crack containers. I also remember loud music, car that were broken in, some abandoned buildings and extreme poverty. But with all of this , I had a wonderful family who cared about our future. They stood by me as I became a college grad, got a successful job in a non profit and started my own family. I currently am raising children in a middle to upper class safe neighborhood that I love. The children are growing up in a completely different time than I did, and I am grateful for that.


August 2018 — I’m still growing up in NYC & it’s a unique experience. I was born and raised in the Bronx and it’s quite different from growing up in Manhattan. I heavily rely on busses and trains and can’t just walk to my destinations. You can walk to the bodega since there are 3 on every block. There’s 3 on my one block alone, a 4th that’s about to open up, and they all make money for different reasons. We got your Spanish bodega that sells pastelitos and alcapurrias and has self serve coffee, your classic ock loosie store, and your duo 99cent/deli store. The Bronx couldn’t be equipped without a liquor store every few blocks

Jackson Heights

August 2018 —My hometown is Jackson Heights, NY. It’s in Queens County, which is a borough of New York City.  I remember growing up here in the 90s, there was barely anything around. No big name clothing stores, what we had was very old or tacky. Not a lot of good restaurants, they were pretty much the same and very greasy food. No places to hang out, no one ever wanted to come here. It was poor and dirty looking. It was a loud neighborhood, all it had werenild grocery stores and vegetable stalls. Now it has changed so much. It’s become very urban, there are lots of restaurants, bars, clothing stores. I live there now, and have been back since the early 2000s. I love it now because it has such good food choices. We have so many amazing ethnic restaurants here, Indian, Columbian, Mexican, Thai, Brazilian, Italian. It’s amazing. Some of the best pizza and steak anywhere. It’s very close to Manhattan so I can hop on the train and be there in 20 minutes, if I want the nightlife. I love how everything is close by. We have a lot of the well known stores now, GAP, OLD NAVY, CHILDREN’S PLACE, STARBUCKS. We have many more health food stores, fun bars and cafes.


August 2018 — I live in sunnyside, New York and that name may be the most perfect name for any city ever. Sunnyside is a suburb of new york city and yet it’s only 15 minutes away from manhattan. The people here are all friendly and the streets are lined with amazing trees and greens instead of 50 story tall buildings. I’ve lived here my whole life (basically all of the 1990’s and 2000’s) and it’s always felt safe and comfortable and I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to have lived here. The food is great and diverse. In a span of only 10 blocks there are restaurants that cover the range of food from spanish, to thai, to vietnamese to nepalese. There are over 30 different cultures in the restaurants in my vicinity. The one thing I did not love about this area is that there isn’t enough green parks. There are asphalt parks but I wish there was a park where it felt like I could put down a picnic blanket and just relax for a sunny day. Still I love the town I live in and as long as I live in NYC I will definitely always live in this town.

Staten Island

August 2018 — Staten Island, in New York State, in the country of the United States. I grew up in the mid 90’s. I lived on a relatively quiet area, very family oriented. Right near our house was a large forest and during the fall it would be covered in leaves. Staten Island is like that, full of forests and trees. It makes you keenly aware of the seasons changing in the best possible way. I used to spend many a winter just lying down on the snow covered grass in my backyard looking up at vast array of leafless trees. I was one of the only Catholics who lived in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood so I often felt a little out of place and left out. Unfortunately the most noteworthy memory I have growing up in that neighborhood is 9/11. We renamed one of the streets in the neighborhood after someone close to our family who had passed away. Other than that my time in Staten Island is characterized in my brain as a generally peaceful and happy time but not a noteworthy one. I haven’t been back since I moved away ten years ago. I hope it hasn’t changed much.


August 2018 — Brooklyn, Kings County. The period of time that I am writing about is time frame of the 1980’s. That was a period of time between my 10th and 20th birthdays, so it is definitely easy to say that it encompassed a great deal of my formative transition from childhood to adulthood. The Brooklyn of that era was far from the antiseptic, curated, hipster paradise that Brooklyn is presented to world in 2018. It saw the rise of the crack epidemic, that substantially disrupted many individual lives. This led to the dysfunction of families, and the dysfunction of neighborhoods that were already challenged by lack of economic and educational advancement and opportunity. Despite that fact, I was blessed to have a family that was supportive and encouraging to me, despite the challenges. The one thing that I liked about Brooklyn then is that despite whatever obstacles and problems existed, there was a more communal feeling here. Many people, of a variety ethnic backgrounds, faced similar challenges, but were doing all they could to move forward. People appeared to be more genuine and upfront, compared to now. The fashion culture, the music culture, especially hip-hop, was an integral part of the vibe of Brooklyn, and New York City. A lot of the seeds that were sown at that time have obviously go on to have great impact nationwide and worldwide, with just about every industry leveraging that vibe. 2018 Brooklyn is a place where gentrification has had as much of a negative, disruptive economic effect now, in my opinion, as the crack did on those who were here in the 1980s. And, it has brought with it, for the most part, a new type of Brooklynite. One who is aloof, self-centered, not willing to recognize that there were people here before they arrived, with a culture of their own that was worth something.


August 2018 — Brooklyn. The county of Kings, and the largest of the boroughs of New York City, located in the State of New York. It has a population of over 2.6 million people and where I live, 20 minutes from the borough of Manhattan, known by the empire state building, World Trade Centers, Wall Street and other well-known landmarks. Many people have fled the high priced Manhattan to Brooklyn and have made neighborhoods like Williamsburg trendy. My own neighborhood boasts tree llined streets, nearby college campuses (Pratt institute and St. Joseph College) and historical streets close to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Diverse cultural restaurants run along the avenues giving impressions of walking from one part of the world to another in just a few steps. It is largely residential where streets are quiet at night where stars twinkle in one direction and colored lights shine brightly across the Brooklyn Bridge towards the empire state building. Half a mile away sports major shopping areas where well known stores such as Macys sell the best of wares to the public. Each season brings out a beauty to my neighborhood. A white blanket of snow turns streets into wonderlands, the fall shows bright color from the abundance of different trees. Summers are shaded by them, but Coney Island and the Atlantic Ocean is always a good respite from the heat. Spring teases by poking green sprouts through the soil pointing upwards to the budding trees and bursts into flowers. I love my neighborhood and have lived here practically all my life. To consider moving would be a unheard of.

The Bronx

August 2018 — The Bronx, NY is an iconic place that many people recognize when you mention it. For me, I am talking about the time period of the early 2000s all the way up until the present. In many ways, the Bronx has stayed the same over the past 15 years and it is awesome. There are people from all different walks of life who converge into a small area outside of Manhattan. There are some parts of the Bronx that are very dangerous and not very friendly to outsiders. These areas are full of gangs and drugs and things of that nature. Other than that, teams like the Yankees and NYCFC are staples within the community. Bronx people rep their city hard and they love to be from the Bronx. Growing up there was great for me because I developed an ability to talk to people of all different shapes and sizes. I am good with any group of people and I speak Spanish well enough to get by in any conversation. The only thing I did not like about the Bronx growing up was trying to find parking on the streets. It did not bother me all that much but over time, and when you are in a rush, it can be really annoying. Going to Yankee games and spending a lot of time on Fordham Rd are some of my favorite memories and I still very much enjoy doing this.


July 2018 — Brooklyn is turning into a melting pot. It seems that every year we get more and more immigrants from all over the worlds. You can go to Bushwick and find amazing Trinidadian food or you can go to Brighton Beach and try NOT RUSSIAN but Eastern European (Uzbekistani and Tijikstani) food. But the food isn’t all that’s amazing in Brooklyn. You can go to Brighton and hang out by the Atlantic Ocean and stop by Coney Island for some hot dogs and amusement park games. Or you can visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and view the beautiful scenery that is Prospect Park. If that’s not your fancy, you can go to Dumbo and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and see a beautiful view of Manhattan. You can also walk by the shoreline. If you’re into the local bar scene, Williamsburg is great. Bars open and close with the blink of an eye, so don’t be surprised if you get the slight feeling of Deja Vu. Hipster music, cool food is the name of the game. You can also visit the many clubs in Williamsburg as its become a musical culture center. It all depends on your tastes and goals for having fun!


April 2018 — People who live outside of New York City and have never visited the city often picture Times Square and New Year’s Eve wildness, but I love the quieter side of the city that can be found in the outer boroughs. New York City is divided into 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx. Tourists tend to stay in and visit sites in Manhattan and, while Manhattan is fun and exciting, you miss a lot of the charm of this city when you ignore its other boroughs. I love the outer boroughs, particularly Queens where I live, because this is where people and families live in quieter diverse neighborhoods that are rich with the history and traditions that immigrants bring with them. Queens has restaurants representing every culture and cuisine imagineable, from Peruvian restaurants in Forest Hills and Rego Park to the Russian places near 108th Street to the Latin restaurants in Jackson Heights. Queens offers other exciting New York City attractions. You can check out the Unisphere and other sites from the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on your way to Citi Field for a Mets game or the US Open that is held in the park every August and September. In addition to the standard bowling, movie theaters, and pizza joints of daily life in New York City, Queens also boasts several fine museums. The Louis Armstrong House, a treat for fans of the jazz legend, is open in Corona, there’s the Queens Museum with its famous diorama of the city, and, for science aficionados of all ages, there’s the New York Hall of Science that has IMAX movies, interactive STEM activities, and an annual Maker Faire that draws people from all over the world who show off their maker skills. The Queens County Farm Museum, the Queens Botanical Gardens are perfect for nature enthusiasts, and don’t forget the magnificent Forest Park. With its ample acreage and wooded trails, the park rivals the better-known Central Park as a beautiful natural resource-although without the overcrowding that often takes away from the charm of the Manhattan park. Tourists miss so much when they only stay in Manhattan. Queens and the other boroughs offer so much and are the major reason I love the city!

New York City

March 2018 — The city is like a giant machine trying to chew you up and spit you out. You have to be rich to live here. If you are not rich, then you will have to work 60 hours and more usually hard jobs. With that much time working and 15-20 hours a week commuting, there is no way you can improve your life. People are cold and hard and proud of being not soft. It’s hard to find friends. It’s hard to find people that will be kind to you. Everything is very expensive. There are many homeless people on the street, thousands and many of them are ex prisoners. They are dangerous. Poor people and tourists take subways. Rich take uber and taxi. There are huge tall buildings everywhere. You feel suffocated by these buildings. Hardly any trees. The people are mostly ugly. Even the rich who have money to look good and are not tired, looks so hardened that the women have nothing soft left in them. Lots of bad plastic surgery. It’s an awful city that promotes bad values and steals people’s youths.

New York City

March 2018 — I love my town. New York City is the greatest city in the world. Its probably the biggest city you’ll ever experience. The buildings are huge, and the culture is extremely diverse. My favorite thing about New York is the food. The food is excellent. You can eat virtually anything here. You name it, we have it. If you like to eat you come to New York. Over the years NYC has definitely changed. It is a lot more expensive to live here now. You need to make a lot of money if you want to live in a great neighborhood. Otherwise you will probably not live close to the city center. But for many the trade off of high cost of living is worth it, because new york is very rewarding city to live in. New York has also changed in how there are more people living here. So many people are coming into this city, that it has become a lot more crowded. Compared to 20 years ago, the difference is highly noticeable. Even still, with more people living in the city the culture is a lot more rich. The more the merrier.

The Bronx

February 2018 — I grew up in the Bronx, NY, and lived there throughout the late 80s and 90s. I wasn’t from the best neighborhood, but even as a very young person, I was proud to be a New Yorker. My neighborhood had the kind of character that you’d only find in an older city. The food is amazing. Within walking distance from my house, you could get authentic Italian, Chinese, or Caribbean food. After lunch, you could take a stroll to Bronx Park, a large and scenic park. From there, you could cross a bridge and pay a visit to the New York Botanical Garden. If plants are not what you prefer, walking a couple of minutes in the other direction would leave you at the back door of the Bronx Zoo. Sometimes, though, you might want some more excitement. Thankfully, there was also a Subway stop around the corner from the house I grew up in. My mother and I would often ride this into Manhattan to go to a museum, see a Broadway show, or do some shopping. The access that I had when living here to culture, education, food, and entertainment cannot compare to anywhere else I have spent time. New York City is my favorite place in the whole world, and I cannot wait to move back there.

Rockaway Beach

January 2018 — I grew up in an Irish-American community in Queens, New York. It was a [content moderated]hole. Way back in the 1950’s, Rockaway Beach, Queens use to be called “The Irish Riviera”. After my parents got divorced, I moved there when I was six years old. Rockaway is a beachfront peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and Jamaica Bay. One of my earliest memories of the town was one day, I was walking on the beach; I witnessed a group of men violently assaulting a man under the boardwalk. The victim was being beaten to a bloody pulp. I froze and observed this heinous act from the shoreline; the group of men looked back at me, our eyes met. They didn’t care. Back to business they went. I walked home with a sickening feeling in my stomach. My elementary school was located two blocks from my apartment.

This was the nineteen seventies; the school was majority black as almost all of the white kids in town went to catholic school. My third grade teacher was a witch; I drew stick figures on the back of a math test- she furiously pulled my hair yanking my head about. Back then, even in the New York City public school system, it was common for teachers to assault students. Violence was the golden rule in town. Growing up in Rockaway, you were going to fight whether you liked it or not. The toughest guys got the prettiest girls, were praised by everyone. “He’s got fast hands”. Me personally, I never liked fighting but did have my share of tumbles.

St. Patrick’s day is a big holiday there. The town has a yearly parade; everyone gets drunk, sloppy, happy and then miserable. Circa 1970, there was a lot of support for the Irish Republican Army-with town fundraisers in local bars attended by doctors, lawyers, teachers. You would see posters of Michael Collins, IRA propaganda etc. By the time I got to high school, many families had moved out of the neighborhood-to Long Island, upstate New York, some to Florida. This would later be called “white flight”. My family stayed. At least I had the morning solace of listening to waves crashing, watching seagulls fly around. The endless horizon of the Atlantic ocean in view.

Upper West Side

January 2018 — i grew up in New York City from the late 1950s until the mid 1960s. My family consisted of my mom, dad and my two younger sisters. We lived on the upper west side between Broadway and West End Avenue. I am about to turn sixty-two years old and my memories of the years growing up seem to get stronger by the year. So many memories…My friends and i used to play stickball in an alley which was right next door to the apartment building where i lived. I’ll never forget the time that one of us hit a long fly ball, longer than any of us had ever hit a ball before, and it soared over the fence and the last we saw of it, it had flown into someone’s window. i believe the window was open. When that happened you never saw a bunch of kids run away from an area as fast as we did.

I also remember making many subway trips; some with my dad, some with friends, others by myself, to Yankee Stadium. It was a short trip…about 25 minutes to the Stadium and i enjoyed the subway rides almost as much as the games. I clearly remember the day a friend and me got on the wrong train and got lost…very lost. But some friendly adults told us what to do and we were fine. I clearly remember some of my class-mates that i went through elementary school with. I made frequent trips to a record store across the street and my dad and I went to a lot of basketball and hockey games at Madison Square Garden. Those were years i’ll always cherish.