ENG 1141: Intro to Creative Writing, Fall 2020

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    Jason Liu

    Where I’m from is Brooklyn, Bensonhurst to be exact. In my neighborhood most people know each other by a couple things. Some of the things include basketball and handball. If you were good at either of those, people recognized your skill from almost every park; Sethlow, Dyker, Bay 8th are just some of the parks. There’s also a lot of stores and shops if you ever just wanted to walk down 86th street or 18th Avenue. But for me, nothing beats walking towards Belt Parkway and walking along the coast during the day, or even at night. Just walking by the coast, hearing and watching all the cars drive by is a great feeling, but the best feeling is doing this during the night sky.

    Alex Cheung — I liked the way you described about how it could be dead quiet at night, and once in a blue moon you’ll hear blasting music. I know I would get in trouble for it if I did it in my neighborhood, but I do hear people blast music from their cars from time to time at night.



    The place I never left may not turn heads if you look at it now, but if I told you what it use to be, you’ll won’t believe it was the same place. The old days of Clarkson Avenue was “the person that’d seen me but never seen you”, (A line used from Death Grips, On GP). Where I use to live, invisible people who won’t bat an eye when there’s trouble. Where every gunshot was routine within every evening and every night. Where every dead person was just number. Where every gang member ruled their part of their road. Where every drug was a gang’s code. Where every good kid was at home of their mother’s womb and every bad kid was out to roam that cold road. Where every building had their own story to tell. Those were the old days, like how I remembered them. Where I live now, the gang’s all washed away. Where I live now, the old buildings have all fell and rebuilt anew. Where I live now, we all know each other, help each other and not kill each other. The redevelopment of Clarkson Ave was a pill that cured the disease that plagued our street, and now the sky is no longer gray, but clear enough to see the sun.



    When I first came to the USA, I used to work at Dunkin Donut. I worked hard and always tried to arrive at work on time. My manager was impressed with me. He always wanted to know where I was from.
    I’m from one of the city which is the ninth-largest, and the sixth-most densely populated city in the world, with a population of 8.9 million residents within the city limits, and a population of over 21 million residents which is Dhaka city, the capital city of Bangladesh.
    Where I’m from, take a rickshaw ride with the hood down on an open road on a rainy day before you die; if you don’t, you will have died without living. There are millions of rickshaws in my city and the art on the back represents how most people in this city live their lives – colorful and cheap. Speaking of cheap, public transportation is the most efficient mode of travel you could think of.
    Where I’m from, where you see dogs and cats roam the streets as they own it, littering where they want. These animals are stray not because the people are too heartless to take them in, but because animals need to be free and the confines of assured care and food will destroy them, which the people of this city understand. Then there are crows. These little angels clean up our city by devouring the garbage we produce.
    Where I’m from, people can find food there no matter what the state of your purse/wallet is. The mama haleem, the chotpoti fuchka, and the jhalmuri are few of the things that define their street food scene.
    Where I’m from, where people usually can’t see the sky because of the factory air pollution. Where a large number of children, street children, local streetwalkers, and rickshaw pullers are at particular risk from air pollution.
    Hernan Marquize, I like the way you describe the people and the food around you.



    Where I’m from there’s always people running for the public bus and subway. Where people insert a empty metro card and give a confused look to the driver so they’d let them in. Where people are racing their cars at midnight, and set fireworks around 2 am. Where every deli you walk into before the sunrises someone’s always ordering a bacon egg and cheese sandwich. Where I’m from people are walking down Ocean Parkway many sitting on the benches and others walking their dogs. Where Uzbek people are always eating shawarma and partying all night long in Emir Palace. There’s always little kids running around near the streets unsupervised, chasing a ball or each other. Where I’m from there’s nothing you can’t do, like Alicia Keys says in her song “Empire State of Mind.” Where I’m from I see my friends every day as we go out to grab some lunch and review for our classes.
    Hernan- I like how you gives a very vivid description of your neighborhood it’s quite similar to where I live in Brooklyn. I like how you included that there many hard working individuals running to work with a coffee in one hand, it’s the same with my area, there’s always a long line in Dunkin’ Donuts at 5 am.



    Where Am I from Murray Hill, Manhattan, where people walk around the block every day with coffee and don’t care about each other and talk on the phone. People wear suits every day, and they start the day very carefully. The other side of the prosperous street reflects a completely different life, the tramps who are on the ground, every day eager to get some food. There are malls everywhere and the people who shop are different from day to day. Without any familiar feeling, everyone’s face was very busy. Of course, in the evening there is also our own peace, you will always see different people in the restaurant chatting and eating. You will often see many tourists, who look at every place and every person with a curious eye. The car runs non-stop every day, even late at night. The quiet of the night feels quite different from the hustle and bustle of the day. When the first light of morning came in, it was busy again.
    Hernan Marquez-I really likes what you said that in a busy area you always have something to do. I feel very much the same way I do every time. If I don’t keep busy, I feel like I don’t belong.


    Serena Ngai

    Born in Manhattan, raised in Brooklyn in a community called Sunset Park. Where I’m from, people are free and full of diversity. The very park is our symbol and is a place where people of different color gather. Where I’m from, it is always very lively and loud. People play music in full blast and sometimes at night as well. Where I’m from, you would notice many people selling food on the streets and they are very delicious. They vary from savory, sweet foods to fruits and drinks. Where I’m from, you can easily take public transport such as subways and buses. Very convenient to travel to other places. Where I’m from, if you visit the park, you can see a good view of not only the community but also Manhattan as well as the Statue of Liberty. Where I’m from, you can see the best view of the sunset hence why our community gained such a name.



    My biggest dream is stability. A good amount of money stored. Being able to retire. A good house that’s not too down scaled, but not too up scaled either. A nice family that I could be around. Taking vacations when it is more convenient. Exploring. Having time to do the hobbies you love the most. Providing for your family. To me, this is what an American Dream looks like.

    My biggest dream is stability. Rich with fat loads of money in my pocket. As famous as the skies that hover among us. Everyone knows my face. I make more money in a a second than most of the population will. I have a family I can be around. I am easily able to provide for my family, so much that it’s the last worry on my mind. I may not escape the mob of people wanting autographs so they can sell it online.

    My biggest dream is stability. Rich or not.



    Where am I from?

    I am from a Caribbean Island of lush green hills and cascading waterfalls. Where the ocean’s breeze is a tranquil bliss. Rushing waters are so incredulously deep yet so breathtakingly inviting as the sky captivates your attention leaving you in awe. Sun caressed skin glows as your gaze is affixed on the beauty and wonderment created only by mother nature. I was born and raised in Saint Thomas, Jamaica, a minute, yet enchanting piece of paradise where heaven awaits you. Sugarcane and water coconut are delicious delicacies mother earth designed to rehydrate your parched throat and cool your body from the 98 plus degrees weather. Fishes swimming, while children played frantically in the stream is such a joy to behold. The beauty of laughter and cheer – fun and frolicking and to just enjoy a breath of fresh air.
    My homeland is also the birthplace of the incomparable Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, and one of the world’s greatest athletes. Jamaica is the backbone of Reggae Music. The Musical legends such as the late great Bob Marley and Toots Hibbert both used their influence in the music to expose the world to our music thus giving it international recognition.
    We are home to the infamous Jerk festival, one of our biggest celebrations in which tourists and locals converge in skimpily clad attire to celebrate the life and legacy of our rich heritage and to feast and expose their taste buds to “Island Jerk” a Jamaican special made with authentic herbs and spices which awakens your palate as the flavor of Jerk Chicken cooked over a special fire made with pimento wood. Whether you are a consumer of meat or vegetables, there is something on the menu for you to try.
    The love and warmth of the people captivates you. Even Rastafarians culture is sought after for the exotic aroma of the Marijuana, popularly known as sensi mania or Cannabis, a herb that is smoked instead of a cigarette which Rastas and some other consumers of this product claims that , ” it gives you a vibe.” Like any other place in this world, Jamaica has its downfalls where crime and violence sometimes spiral out of control. The love and warmth of the islanders though makes it possible for anyone to rise above the negatives.As our motto says, “We are out of many one people.” And in spite of all the challenges I am still proud to call Jamaica home. One love!



    Where am i from?
    Im from Heerhugowaard, a little village in netherlands (europe) it used to be mostly populated with white people, but now its diverse. Its calm not busy and not noisy over there. You can just walk by the water and wont hear any city noises just a few cars passing by. During weekends we go to the mall if there is any parties going on. But during week days almost every thing is closed by 10pm to go to highschool we all always used bicycles and motorcycles because its easy and quick. Because everything is close by (10-15 min), i never used busses there so dont know what to tell about that. But the trains are also nearby, but always few minutes late, its usual.


    Jennifer Sears

    These responses to “Where I’m From” were just beautiful from start to finish! Please hold onto your writing and read the writing of others to get inspired. You can use this material as one of your future poems in our Poetry assignment.

    I’m looking forward to reading your sestinas for today’s session. Don’t overthink it. Just dive in!

    Prof. Sears

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