105th Street

Good morning!! Waking up to the sounds of chirping birds….and kids yelling, sirens, car horns, school security yelling “let’s go, let’s go”, car doors slamming….did I mention, birds chirping? I think I hear them….or maybe it’s pigeons? Do they chirp? I know they shit…. lmao

As I stare outside what use to be my childhood home window, I am quickly reminded of my youth. My elementary school, my friends (many of whom I still have a relationship with nearly 30+ years later); my teachers; Ms. Tilson (who sent me to the principals office for sticking my middle finger out at her…lmao – still remember seeing my mother walk up the block to get me), Ms. Rivera (the sweetest and most caring 1st grade teacher ever), Ms. Balmaseda (who often used a ruler to smack your hands when you mis behaved – my friend Ernie always got his), Ms. Velasquez (I remember spending the night at her home with her kids; she was so amazing. This was her way of getting inner city kids out and exposed to other areas of the city – she lived in Brooklyn..lol), Ms. Phillips (toughest teacher yet – no words for her, just tough), Ms. Figueroa (2x)….flawless! Funny how I remember all my teachers but can’t remember to finish my taxes!

The park – while it’s had it shares of makeovers to cover up graffiti stained walls & steel swings & slides (I received about 4 stitches in my forehead because of those damn swings), I can’t help to remember the 105th Street Jams. A close family friend would gather up his equipment and with the help of the street lamp post & an extension cord, he’d plug his equipment in. “Let the music play”…..and the break dancing & battles begin! Those were the days! My 1st exposure and new found love of House Music and R&B!

Then there’s Grosvenor Neighborhood House! This is where my love for sewing began. I learned to make dresses, skirts, and to organize fashion shows. I took dance classes with the amazing Denise – i remember her saying: point & flex! I took photography classes with Chuck who quickly gave me the nickname “cheeks”! There was so much to be learned and I embraced it all!

People often ask, would you change anything in your past! My answer is always NO! I truly feel that your past, your upbringing, your experiences, the people you meet along the way – all of it shapes and mold who you are today; and I am a pretty amazing woman if I should say so myself! Why the hell would I want to change that?

#NYC #105Street #mamadukeshouse #myelementaryschoolisrightacrossthestreet #pigeons #memories #childhood #fun

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