Growing up in Brooklyn in the late 80’s and early 90’s was quite the experience. Thankfully I had a twin sister to help share in the craziness of a childhood surrounded by brownstones, Mets baseball, and a burgeoning Hip Hop scene. We moved to the borough when we were eight from the Lower East Side (Delancey Street) and it was like a whole other world. It seemed like every kid on our block already knew each other and it was difficult learning the ropes of life in a borough of the city. We’d only ever known Manhattan but at least we were in it together.
Now I have a twelve year old son who loves to watch repeats of Everybody Hates Chris on TeenNick. Bedstuy (Chris Rock’s old neighborhood) was similar to Bushwick (my old neighborhood) in a lot of ways — many of the jokes and running gags about the people Chris Rock grew up around makes me smile because I can totally relate. My son asks me if my childhood was anything like Chris Rock’s and I have to laugh at that. My mother was old country – super Spanish as they come. I tell my son what my mother used to always say: “America stopped at the front door.” Once you crossed over into my mom’s house, you were officially in her country. I guess in some ways it was a lot like Chris Rock’s childhood (anyone who’s seen Rochelle on the show knows what I mean!).
Either way, this picture reminds me of a childhood spent reading on the stoop, playing in fire hydrants, eating icies, and going to watch movies in a theater that no longer exists today (though I have never had a better hot dog since). I miss my sister but these memories we share still inspire. I may be far from my hometown but Brooklyn (like sisters) stays in your heart forever.