Where I’m From

Where I’m From

By Brandon Clarke


If I said I was from South Jamaica Queens, where police activity up and down Guy R Brewer Blvd was the norm, would you know where I’m from?

Where I’m from, there’s always some type of activity going on, ranging from a group of people hanging out in front of the Bodega on Foch & Guy R. to gunshots ringing out late at night over some pointless conflict. Where I’m from it varies from time to time whether to order take out or prepare food bought from the local supermarket and usually consists of me hearing complaints about how I never eat what’s cooked in the house. Where I’m from its common for me to eat frozen foods out of the fridge or make a sandwich because of those days that come along where you get too lazy to cook anything or do a task that involves laboring in general. Where I’m from you have to deal with a vegetarian dad who complains when meat is cooked in the house and how the smell bothers him, and on top of that my mom complaining about my dad complaining to begin with. Where I’m from the temperature in the house is always just right along with the water pressure being super powerful in the shower and having the habit of being in there too long because it’s just that good. Where I’m from you always have to be aware of your surroundings even when going across the street just to go hang out at the park. Where I’m from I started as one of the only skateboarders in a small radius of my house and just started booming with progress over the last 5 years. Where I’m from its common for the older people of the neighborhood to sit on the benches outside of the field across the street from the Baisley pond and spend a Sunday afternoon watching a game of cricket. Where I’m from the entrance to the Baisley Pond Park was the hill my dad decided it was time to let the seat of my two wheeler go and watch me go by myself for the first time on my own balance. Where I’m from people from other neighborhoods can’t tell the difference between the projects buildings and the cooperative buildings. Where I’m from you can hear the music from the basement community room filtering up through the vents when a resident of my 8 floored building decides to throw a party. Where I’m from the Q111 & 113 busses barrel down the boulevard full of people commuting to Jamaica Avenue trying to get to work on time. Where I’m from you’ll hear the LIRR occasionally roaring from a speeding train as it goes over the bridge. Where I’m from the neighborhood is deceiving… How could a place with so much scenery and nature be filled with violence? Where I’m from is where I’m from and no matter where in the world I go or how much I don’t like what goes on in it sometimes, it’ll always be my home.

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