I currently live in the South Bronx; however, I work on 125thstreet, West side. I attend school at City Tech which is located in Brooklyn. I also pick up my siblings and son from school in Harlem. For the most part I constantly travel from within those three boroughs. With constant traveling by car, public transportation and even walking (during summer days) I’ve noticed very different things. As the writer stated, when driving through neighborhoods you can get distracted by music and the focus on your destination that you overlook things you will see if you take the time to walk and really observe. I do find that its very true, when I first started school at City Tech, I would get to school in a car. I never really took time to get to know the neighborhood around. However, when I began to take the train to school, I did get to notice that the way I saw things while in the car were different. I wasn’t able to feel the vibe and I completely missed things because I wasn’t really focused on the things around, but my destination.
As far as experiences, I don’t see much of a difference. As the writer explained, in the South Bronx people actually get together within their communities, whether it’s to enjoy the day or for a cook out in front of their building. Within this community, it is known to have poor and working-class people. However, residents within these communities do take the time to get to know their neighbors and neighborhood. During summer days, you can expect to hear loud music and children running around, yelling and enjoying themselves. Since I live in this neighborhood, it is normal to walk down the street and greet my neighbors. The South Bronx may be dangerous, and dirty to others. However, to my neighbors and I it is our home.
Do people have a right to the city? Do longtime residents and businesses have a right to remain where they are? If so, how should local governments, urban planners, and other decision-makers ensure these rights are maintained?
People do have a right to the community because they are the ones who reside there and make up the community. They are the first ones to experience any changes, small or big. All changes can affect them in many different ways. I do believe that longtime residents and businesses have a right to remain where they are because they have become an important part within the community, they have built their lives around their business. In order to own a business, it requires a lot of work and dedication to making it work, working long hours everyday 24/7. Longtime residents put in a lot of work into their homes as well, to fixing up many things that can require money out of their pockets. In the documentary “My Brooklyn”, business owners were forced to move out their locations within 30 days with no help at all to relocate. This caused owners to lose lots of money because having to look for a different location in which they think can benefit them can be difficult as well as all the customers they may lose along the way. Local governments, urban planners, and other decision-makers, should go beyond thinking what THEY think the community needs and go out and listen to the people that form the community. Often times communities are silenced without giving them the opportunity to speak on their needs. Their needs may actually be helpful and can benefit everyone else because they are the the people who first hand know what it’s like to live there.