Hamilton Heights


Almost a year has passed since I moved to the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem, a
predominantly Latino neighborhood in New York City. Hamilton Heights is much different from Mattapan, the neighborhood I’m from in Boston. Mattapan’s inhabitants are predominantly African-American or of Caribbean descent. So moving out here culturally, took a minor adjustment. Although in America, I had to learn the ways of the land. Now I’m pleased to say that I am fairly well acquainted with my new neighborhood. I am a transplant but you would believe that I was from here in the ways that I maneuver and with the contacts I’ve made. But in many ways you can tell by the way I walk or even by the way I wear my pants that I’m not from around here.

Abuela is left to raise mijo. Tio is on the stoop chatting it up with his amigo’s. Mami is loud on the phone screaming obscenities to papi or whomever. The young hombre’s straying away from the stoop speaking how the grownups do. Nigga this, my nigga that, bad bitch this, suck my that and all the astounding bullshit you can think of. It is truly absurd what is heard on the daily coming out of these kids & their elders. A generation of lost causes, I am among them, on the outside looking in. Of course no judgment is passed, just a generalized assessment. Born in the same era, but many of us were not raised the same. Values, morals, & principles were instilled in some, while others run around loosely as their mothers & fathers did. Not realizing that they were only born to remain sheltered by the government. It’s a sick cycle. It’s a vicious world and we are a product of our environments. Cliché or not, the truth hasn’t changed.

It is as if you are more entitled to an education than you are entitled to a good home training but who am I to facilitate their living. The importance of the two is underrated. The children are at school present and attentive while at home their parents are absent minded or absent and this is just what I see. What I’ve witnessed in my everyday dealings. You would think it was just copy & pasted from my sociological studies back in my baccalaureate days.

At the end of the day though, a pool of light can be found in the pocket of ignorance in this gentrified estate. The students of the world are moving in to make a difference or just for cheaper rent and that enough creates the difference in the residents. If open, one hand washes the other. One man learns from the other and education continues.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 3, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “Hamilton Heights”

  1. Are you still living in Hamilton Heights? We have a bit of a different perspective on the neighborhood, with its rich cultural history and dynamic mashup of ethnicities. Every neighborhood does have its good and bad, though.

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