03 Jul First Memories of Brooklyn: The Origins of a Dubious Luxury
First Memories of Brooklyn
I was born behind the fabled iron curtain in a country known for losing to the Germans. It’s somewhat of a national pastime, along with drinking vodka and developing neuroses. I remember the Panam Air 747, a dull white, and the flight to Manhattan. The in-flight dinner had a Milky Way bar for dessert, which my mother forbid as I had not finished my salad. I had never seen a Milky Way before, or eaten airline salad since. We found the bar in its fun-size wrapper many years later, going through photo albums of my mother’s trips to East Asia.
New York was overcast that September day, light drizzle falling from the aluminum sky. Darius borrowed a dark green Jeep Grand Cherokee to pick us up from JFK. The power windows were a novelty, like the Milky Way bar, and I keenly observed their function as we rolled through the submerged sections of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to my new home. It was a shared bedroom, with a window that looked onto a street where a car once burned through the night. As a 6-year old used to grandma’s borscht and feeding pigeons in the park, I was shook.
The first electronics I remember owning was a radio, picked up from a garbage heap. It was wooden, and small roaches lived inside, backlit by the phosphorescent dial. I would turn the knob back and forth, to see if I could trip them up. The first song I remember boppin to was Kool DJ Red Alert dropping Biz Markees T.S.R. It was fresh then, and still worth a chuckle today.
This website has been on my mind for over a decade. At the tender age of 16, between jumping turnstiles and bumming cigarettes, I longed to make art for a living.
Wait. At the tender age of 10, my mother brought home a fabric dying kit, and I made a shirt covered in smiley faces, happy black eyes oblivious to bullet holes, knives, and other mortal wounds. So maybe it was then, in the sunny days of 5th grade, that this sinister seed was sown.
With the advent of the internet, never have so many had so much to say about so little. So add your voice, it will likely resonate with someone, somewhere. Do not defer your dream for risk of failing. Instead, calculate your risks and make incremental progress. As Oddisee wrote, I think I’m ready for tomorrow today.