If you grew up in New York or any big city and now live somewhere else maybe you can identify with the feelings of my thought for today.
I miss the fire hydrants; opened and spraying it’s cool relief across the street on a HOT summer day.
I miss the dude on the corner selling books or ties, 3 for $10.
I miss the pork smell from the cuchifritos restaurant with no-name entertainment on Sunday nights.
I miss the Bodega with its .25 chips, .50 honey buns, $3.00 40-oz beers displayed neatly in the cooler. If you speak to Juan or Marisol at the counter ask, “When’s post time?” or “What came out last night?” They will tell you to go in the back where you find Louis who always has a 40 oz in his hand alternating between a chug and a sip no matter what time of day it is. Louis can give you the lowdown of the number that came out last night-he is the ghetto numerologist he can tell you the dream it comes from, it’s meaning and when it last hit. Louis can take that bet you want to make-make sure to tell him if it’s straight or combo though. It’s the ghetto lottery. Good Luck!
I miss the BX3 bus coming from 181st Street-Washington Heights across the bridge that can take me to Fordham Rd. It’s on Fordham Rd. where I could shop, eat, and watch the newest action-flick or just girl watch. It’s on Fordham Rd where you can see some of the flyest women east of the islands. They walk across the street with all their beautiful gifts just jiggling, jiggling, jiggling baby!
I miss the hopping the turnstile to take the #4 train to Yankee Stadium, where I could sit in the bleachers drinking a Bud watching the Yankees march towards another Fall classic.
I miss riding the elevator down to the deepest depths of New York to catch the #1 train at 181st and Broadway and riding it to 86th street and watching the bourgeois buying their tofu and soy milk at the Korean grocery. Then I cross the street to see the movies of the day. You know what I mean, buy 1 ticket see 3 others for free.
I miss the old 42nd street with all its seediness. Who really wants Mickey Mouse in New York?
I miss the summer movies in Bryant Park. Laying on the grass, smoking some grass watching Planet of the Apes. Absolutely bugging because I am going to the zoo the next day, wondering will I get jumped in the future by some monkey or will I be able to hide out Armageddon with a beautiful woman like Nova? Damn, this is some good cheba!
I miss the Puerto Rican, Dominican, and West Indian Day parades. The excitement and everlasting bonds of multiculturalism!
I miss going to Puerto Rico or the Caribbean for a quick vacation. Two to Four hours instead of eight hours travelling is always best.
I don’t miss Atlantic City. That is what Las Vegas is for!
I miss 174th Street, Sedgwick Houses, Featherbed Lane, Burnside and Jerome Avenues. It is there where true ingenuity prevails, where a brother can hook your car up with a hanger and twenty bucks. If he’s really desperate your cost maybe only what a 40-oz Old English costs. When he’s done it’s a show car. New rims, banging sound system with deep and powerful bass, GPS, and above all a new alarm system.
I miss Holy Spirit School!! The values I learned and the lifelong friends I made there. You maybe gone but will never be forgotten!
I miss meat patties with coco bread, pizza by the slice, shish kabob, soft pretzels with salt & mustard, and coco ices. I don’t miss the belly bombers hot dogs and sausages. Hey you don’t know where it came from or where a homiez hand has been?
I miss chilling out in Crooklyn err, Brooklyn on Rutland Rd drinking some ginger beer or coconut soda, firing up some nice ganja listening to some Buju or Marley sitting playing dominoes till a late hour.
I miss getting my groove on at the hottest club of the moment. Catching the funk on the dance floor, sipping my drink and not having a drop hit the floor while doing the latest freestyle moves. Doing the rub-a-dub with a honey like it’s never been done before in a hot after hours spot. Dropping it like it’s hot all night till the early dawn then looking for a spot that serves a good breakfast to feed the liquor and my hangover.
I miss being able to play basketball anyplace and anytime without having to jump in a car and drive for 20 minutes.
I miss the crazy sales. I don’t care where it can be Macy, Rite-Aid, Pathmark where ever! I miss Alexander’s Department Store on Fordham Rd where many a child (like me) got their first experience of getting the crap smacked out of them for misbehaving and learned a valuable lesson about public behavior!
I miss being able to ride a subway at four and a bus at five. I don’t miss the dude who panhandles on the subway saying he’s had HIV for 10 years, been in rehab for five years, and hasn’t taken a bath for 3. The same dude I have seen doing the same thing on the A, 1, 2, 3, 4, D, 5, and 6 lines for as long as I can remember.
Above all I miss my brothers, my friends, my compadres who has always had my back and I theirs.