The corner between our buildings and the barrel park had a special secret passage way wide enough for all of us to slip under until one day we were suddenly almost too big. And then shortly after that it was cemented up and we had to walk around to the gate like all the adults.
Before lobby doors were locked and kids were imprisoned inside their apartments for all their play dates, we ran wild from building to building a hide-n-seek game that spanned the entire housing project, almost peed on ourselves giggling as we hid under all the stairs.
And then one day this corner stopped us all when jumping rope B. called "leaders allowed!" and jumped in backwards on a Spay and I followed, not going to let her get the best of me I catapulted myself through the air to jump in on the "J" and when I hit the bricks they all thought I was laughing but the sound didn't stop and people came running from the other end of the courtyard and someone ran up to tell my parents who never ever got interrupted ever about our playing outside unless of course we did something really really wrong like go on the roof or make fun of A. until she cried. Even though Florence thought an ice pack would make my left arm better, finally my father realized it was serious enough not to take the bus but actually take a rare taxi ride to Beth Israel where they put my arm in a sling, and which I quickly slipped out of because I didn't want to ask anyone else to tie my shoes. So the following week they put me in a sling wrapped to my body and I spent the next two months looking like a one-armed lady with a big lopsided tit, being forced by Florence to practice all the right hand parts of my piano lessons, and made to learn cymbals for the stupid student orchestra performance of "Love of Three Oranges" which of course at the big concert I screwed up and just slammed the right cymbal into the left crash crash crash because I didn't know where we were but I knew it was the end and there were many cymbal crashes at the end and Mrs. K the conductor couldn't stop me for all the glaring she did.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.