It was like any other childhood...

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Living in Los Sures during the 90s may've been identified by others as hazardous and unsafe...but to Christopher this wasn't always the case. When I met the 29-year old artist and undergraduate in  he didn't hesistate to reveal the details of his childhood. Lindsay Park, 71, and South 5th's sidewalks were used as havens of expression for children of Los Sures. "How did we have fun?....We went outside". The community within South Williamsburg's Los Sures is what allowed kids to feel safe and explore the streets. Everyone knew eacother. 

 

" See the weird thing is when you know it’s not safe but you’re safe because it’s YOUR community. This is your home, this is the lifestyle that you always had."

 What I enjoyed the most during my interview with Christopher was his notion for expressing the paradox of being safe in a community identified as poor and unruly. He mentioned Los Sures being a No Man's Land. "Aesthetically..it was pretty run down". But the ruggedness of Los Sures was viewed as beautiful to the families living there. Families like the Quinones family of apartment 2. Christopher shared a memory of playing baseball on the side of an abandoned building. "I mean it’s not very big, so it’s just one lane. So if you’d get it up to the second window, that was like a double. If you get it to the third window, that was a home run..." Being outdoors was promiment to adolescents of South Williamsburg. These were times where you can walk with friends openly to parks in the neighborhood and take agency of the day's journey. I spoke to Christopher about the youth in his community today and where he sees kids of Los Sures playing 

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If you were growing up in the Los Sures area of Southern Williamsburg, you most likely went to PS.250. Right on the corner of Montrose avenue, P.S 250 is a public elementary school that over 700 students attend. Christopher was one of those students.

"My mom, you know she was a teacher. So she was always about us..on learning and school... I used to actually go to 250." 

Christopher revealed how many of the children in his community went to PS 250 as well. Though his attendance was short, the small public school of his community still is part of his identity. Christopher graduated first grade from PS.250 then lived in Puerto Rico briefly. When Christopher returned he didn't re-enroll in PS250 but due to his mother's profession as a teacher and being passionate about education, she made Christopher become a tutor later in his adolescence at the Beginning with Children Charter School. Located a little further outside of the Los Sures jurisdiction..Beginning with Children Charter School is on Kent Ave and is a charter school designed to support children in under-priviliged communities. Christopher spent a lot of his childhood at Beginnning with Children.. he tutored other kids there with their writing and spent many of his afternoons in the neighborhood. Christopher and I revisited the Charter School, unfortunately it was on a Saturday and was closed but this didn't stop Christopher from peeking through the school's entrance to spot any changes. 

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It was like any other childhood...