As an Observer of everything around me I have come to understand that to move forward sometimes you need to reflect and Move back. So as this is post 200 I would like to move really far back to 1983.
This was the first place I can remember. Everything was so much bigger but to be fair I was so much smaller also. It was the first place I ever lived and from what I can remember it was great. I have great parents and great siblings and while I don’t write much about my personal life on here I do often think about who I am and why I am the way I am. A big part of that comes from the people whom raised me. Who taught me right from wrong. Who taught me how to deal with the ups and the downs. It all started in this building so I wanted to see some 37 years later if I could find it again. This picture is proof that I could find it.
While the area isn’t even close to what I remember it being the building still stands and I am happy to see at least that much hasn’t changed. I am sure other families are being raised in this building like mine with the idea of having a great life. I am sure it’s still a comfortable place to live. Yet I wonder what type of lifestyle a person NOW must hold up to maintain such a place to live. I know it took hard work and a sense of direction to make it work. I just wonder how much that has changed in all these years?
This building was once a Public Library. I remember borrowing books on Elementary School projects. One specific book I remember borrowing was a book on drugs and poisons. It had a skull on the cover and I recall it scaring me to the point that I knew I was never going to ever take anything that a doctor or my mother didn’t give me that was a remotely drug related. It’s strange because I didn’t remember any of this until I saw that building again and the library being missing. Funny how things stick with you even 37 years later.
This was another very important place because this would be first place I ever played an Arcade game or bought a Piece of Chocolate. It was called Tommys. Lots of good memories come to mind about that place and it being the first convince store I ever really had any interest in going too I find it even more interesting that I remember anything about it at all.
Ditmas Ave was the first building block in my life. The introduction to my Family values and friendships came from such a small area in Brooklyn, New York and I don’t think I would be the person I am today without it. So let’s move forward some years and find another place in Brooklyn..
This is Avenue P which would be my 5th home but the one I would spend until recently the most time in my life in. Again with my parents and my siblings this would also be the last home that we all lived together in. I went thru my teenage years which constructively would be much of my personality in this part of my life. I learned a great deal in this home having Finished the 5th grade here.. All of JR High which was 6th – 8th Grade and part of High School here.
This was home and it was safe. We all spent many years in the back of this building Barbecuing, Celebrating Birthdays, I stored my Bike that my brother purchased for me in the back. I learned how to use my first computer here. First real girlfriend.. come to think of it.. First of many things happened to me in this home and while I reflect on it now I think it was very important that it all happen here.
Why? Cause this area was diverse. I learned that people are who they are here because of experience and because walking a block in any direction could bring you to a place so different from the next that it was important and yet unnoticed that we all have the same problems. Most of us no matter what religion or color or age are really just trying to get by. We all do things different and I think Brooklyn at the time while a melting pot of culture it also raised a particular type of person who thought the entire world was like that. Which coming up now at almost 38 years old I have learned that it’s not true. The world is much bigger but it’s also very very divided depending on the location.
My heart will always be in Brooklyn because of how anyone who worked hard and tried there best could come home and not think about any of those things. It was a question of taste and feeling… even in something as basic as a question like what do I want to eat.. ? Pizza?…Chines?.. Spanish?.. the list goes on and on.. and it worked for everything you could think of. The friends I had going to school were diverse. I had all types of cultures to learn from. Backgrounds of religion and so many different points of view to learn from. A was more of a question of comfort.
This was the first job I ever had. It was at the time a smoke shop and my mother got me the job. I was told to go and sweep, organize some shelves, doing some dusting, and stock some sodas. Pretty simple stuff and really I find it kinda funny how I am still doing the same job. At the time I didn’t have direction. Come to think of it even now I don’t have direction but I was comfortable with it then. SAME as I am now. I have grown and while that shop is no longer in business. I believe that everything does happen for a reason and that it’s time and place has set it’s purpose for me.
While not my home this was a place I spent a great deal of time at. My best friend whom my brother introduced me too lived in this building. In this place I would come to learn to love many of the strange things I do now from Horror films, to the type of music I listen to now. I have very fond memories of spending weekends at this place just being silly and myself. I learned how to keep an open eye on everything. To observe and always be aware of what others had in mind to do. I spent a great deal of time with my best friend just talking about everything. Building my own philosophy on life. It was important and it had to happen here.
Last stop on this trip is One of the happiest place I have ever been. I can’t explain the joy I got from seeing this building. I can’t express the smell, the feeling of the air, the sound and cold of it. It was Toys R Us.. sadly it’s gone. Yet even walking to this very location I came to a place that had nothing but great memories for me. It was family time for my father, Mother, Sister and Brother to gather at this place and know that a good time was going to be had. It wasn’t so much the purchasing of the toys as much as it was the thrill of getting into the car together. It was a feeling of wonder as to what we would find.
Some of the time we knew what we were looking for. Yet the younger me that was often didn’t. I just knew I wanted to go to see the building with the rainbow colored walls. The automatic doors and the feeling that everyone was happy to be in that place. Something good was in the air and it held that feeling still to this day. It was the experience that made it important not so much the why. We always went to this place when things were good. When we had it all or at least.. that’s what it felt like.