Unfortunately, the neighborhood in which I grew up has come to carry negative class connotations for some. I’m from a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY called Park Slope. When my parents moved there from Manhattan, Park Slope was in the midst of its first wave of gentrification, which never really slowed. It is now a wealthy, safe, mostly white community in which brownstones regularly sell for millions. However, as I have learned through personal experience, guilt over a relatively privileged background is not very useful for a change-minded person. So when I look at my childhood home, I still try to see tree-lined streets and front yard gardens, the park and baseball diamonds on which I spent weekends, the Italian delis and the bagel shops, the bookstores and pizza spots, and I remember I was always a train stop or two away from some of the most diverse places on earth.
Everything born of a Brooklyn boy spending his first summer in the countryside.
Sitting in the grass in the yard; the weather is perfect, 70 degrees and pure sunshine, not a cloud in sight, a light wind sifting through the aspen in the backyard, sending the quiet riffle of its leaves whispering over; fresh-picked sweet strawberries; Midnight’s Children; no shirt, no shoes, beautiful weather, a good snack and a good book. Everyone who told me Ithaca is a paradise in the summer was right.(11 plays)