Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer In Yonkers

Yonkers, NY is my hometown that I visit every summer. Even though I've lived in Florida for five years I still call New York home. My aunt, uncles and cousins still live there so I always have a place to stay. I noticed each summer how Yonkers is changing for the better and sometimes unfortunately changing for the worse. Nevertheless, as long as I'm hanging out with family and friends it will feel like old times before I left.

Last summer, in Yonkers I noticed many of the low income homes were knocked down and replaced with by a big empty lot. It was very devastating because the government kicked out the people who have been there for years. Their apartments were filled with generations of memories. Now these memories are lost in between the rocks, ruble and dirt. Down the street from this empty lot are new apartment buildings; it was like a sore thumb. It looks like it doesn't belong because of the infamous Ashburton liquor store.

People who are broken and lost still trying to find their way must feel like their home was ripped from underneath them. The government is rebuilding Yonkers street by street and kicking out the people that so called "don't belong" or match the new image of Yonkers. The remodeling started at the Downtown Waterfront, which I admitted is wonderful because it's in front of the Hudson River. They built a boardwalk with apartments along the Hudson; people are walking their dogs and having picnics. It looks beautiful to watch the mountains and feel the breeze.

During the summer I picked up a brochure of events held at the waterfront.    
The remodeling truly brights lights to certain places within Yonkers but the people of Yonkers are in need of guidance especially the young kids. There are programs like the YMCA, and Y.T.I.(Youth theatre Interactions). I used to be a member of Y.T.I. and it truly helped me interact with kids my age that wanted to perform and better their life. Y.T.I. is a performing arts school for ages 5-18; I was there for five years until I moved. There are not enough programs for the youth or outlets for the youth to expression themselves. So, many Yonkers teens ride the trains to NYC to relieve the stress of the boredom and the stress of the streets. There are areas in Yonkers that are upscale but some of the kids don't get exposure to these areas.

Sometimes people say Yonkers has a black cloud over it and that was an expression I never did understand. I was always busy in school and occupied with sports or dance; I never felt the cloud but this summer I did. When I was looking for internships and applying for jobs it was rough; I fell into a slump. I named it the ID which I think some people in Yonkers go through, to dwell on negativity. When people around the neighborhood look broken, it's depressing. It puts a damper on your psyche and your thoughts change, your light is taken away. I feel it being taking away each day until I only had a little light left and I knew I had to leave.

My mind told me, I couldn't do it anymore so I changed my flight back to Orlando. that's how desperate I was, I paid about $200 to change  my flight. I would take a bus to White Plains, New York everyday just to escaped the dreariness. It was a great relief especially since I was volunteering there at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. It just felt great to be near more positive people who spoke about their goals. Most of my friends were working and we didn't get a chance to hang out which really meant I was just bored by myself most days. I started to actually miss Orlando because at least the sun was shinning and I could see the birds.

It's funny when you're moving so fast and in your own world you don't notice your surroundings. Until I left and came back to Yonkers I noticed people's comments about New York looking dreary. New York is a place where you're moving so fast and you're time is limited; it's do or die. Some people never stop and look at the sky or gaze at the stars; there are too many tall buildings covering the sky. I've come to the terms with not regretting moving anymore. Everything has an expiration date and memories are memories. Everything is a path and on each path you should never see the same thing twice. It's great to explore a new place and have multiple places you call home. New York will always be in my heart as a place that provides timeless memories of childhood and teenage years. I wonder what Yonkers will look like ten years from now because there is already a casino at the racetrack.

Links to Y.T.I. (Youth Theatre Interactions)
Links to Learn More About Yonkers

The "Nostalgic" Phoenix

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  1. It was a good read. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I thought it was porn.. sorry for reading :\