Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Ghetto

Today, during my lunch break, I took a walk around the Downtown area (Boston) and, to my surprise, I saw a long time friend that I had not seen in about 4 years. It was so great to see this friend because I instantly remembered all the great times we had had and also I remembered how close we were during our High School years.
After catching up on the basic things (family, life style, etc) he asked me where I was living.

"I'm still living in Upham's Corner!"

"Why are you still there? Don't you have a good job?"

"I have a great job!"

"Well why do you still live in the ghetto?"

"Cuz I'm from there. I've always lived there and I don't see why I have to leave."

"Um....HELLOOOOO....maybe because its full of crack-heads and people get killed there everyday!"

"Man, you're crazy!"

"I'm serious! You need to move out of there...."

Now, I do understand his concearn because, I'm not gonna sit here and say that Dorchester is the greatest neighborhood in Boston, but at the same time I feel like I shouldn't have to move because of a couple of assholes that live in the community. For the most part, the people that live in my community are hard working and there are many profesionals who decided to buy homes in Dorchester because of the convenience that living in the inner city gives. I have all the train and bus lines right there in my neighborhood and anything I need is always less than a five minute drive away. Plus, most of my friends live there and it is where I am me. I know I could probably afford to live in a suburb somewhere but.....why? I like it here!

It made me a little sad because, I think, people are afraid of places that they don't even know. I have been to the worst places in United States, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic and there is one universal attribute that all poor communities share with each other and that is the closeness of your neighbors. In the rich neighborhoods, people don't give a shit about each other. People live their whole lives not knowing what it is like to share a beer while sitting on the bench of a park with 20 friends and making jokes into a hot summers night. People in the suburbs don't know what it is to be walking home from a party at 2 in the morning and seeing your neighbor passed out in someone's lawn and having to help that friend all the way to his house because he can't do it by himself and the making fun of him for the next month because of it. Sure, people get shot and people get robbed and all of that...but when poor people love they do it with the whole heart. Where there is poverty there will always be a bond that no dollar can ever replace. That is why a lot of people that come from countries such as Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic talk about their home lands with a twinkle in their eye. Because when you get rid of the plasma TV's, the cell phones, the computers, and the fireplace, all you have left is that memory of the love that your friends and family gave when you were poor. And that is why I hold on to my neighborhood.....that s why I still live in the ghetto!


Nerdote said...

Sabes que? No habia realizado eso q dices. LA gente en comunidades de clkase media pa' arriba no conocen a sus vecinos. Mi papa vive en una urbanizacion cerrada en dorado y no sabe ni los NOMBRES de sus vecinos. DE NINGUNO!!!

Coqueta said...

Another good post. I love the way you express yourself, with that unique passion.
If every professional like you are, that came out of the poor neighborhoods could think about staying in their community (buy a house, open business, run a baseball team for children, etc.) after they, with effort and dedication reach to the socio-economical level they wanted to, things could be different, and perhaps, well balanced in the ghetto and all over the city.

Rebe said...

ummm quizás alla amor y blah blah blah... pero si eres una persona amorosa no veo por que razón no puedes amar teniendo chavos y una casa decente en un lugar dónde no maten tanta gente a diario.
En los ghettos es dónde el gobierno mete a toda la basura humana... y si así te consideras lleno de amor... pues... God bless your home!

Jonmicol said...

Nerdote - yo creo que eso se debe a que nunca necesitan nada. Osea, en una casa donde hay dinero si no hay azucar pues vas y compras y ya. Pero los pobres avecesn o tienen y van y le piden al vecino y vice versa. Aveces no hay dinero para salir a janguiar pero si hay un par de pesos para un par de cervezas y te la das con los vecinos. Anyways, mi simple opinion.

Coqueta - estoy de acuerdo contigo. La gente lo que hace es que cuando comienzan a ganar mas dinero se largan pal carajo y se olvidan de las amistades que quizas algun dia les dio un plato de comida cuando no tenian que comer. Ya la gente no creen en lo que es una communidad si no que ya es "everyone for themselves" y eso esta cabron que ya la gente esta dispuesta a ver que se jodan todos los demas siempre y cuando uno este bien y eso no es asi.

Rebe - no se de que hablas. En el post yo nunca dije nada de amor ni de ser una persona amorosa. El post se trata de que a mi me gusta vivir en donde vivo. Conozco la ciudad, me encantan los sonidos de la ciudad, la congestion, y todo eso. Si hay criminalidad pero a la misma vez los que tienen que estar cagaos son los que andan haciendo cosas que no estan supuesta a estar haciendo. Si tu eres tranquilo y un miembro a quien todos respetan no veo cual sea el problema. Por lo menos en mi barrio, desde los tecatos hasta los bichotes saben quien yo soy por nombre y apellido y saben quien yo soy como persona. Por eso a mi nunca ni se me a mirao mal por donde vivo.

Mofongo Relleno said...

Bueno, yo me crié en la urbanizacion/ghetto: Rexville en Bayamon.