Where I Found My Community
July 2, 2015
Summer Program Intern, Sallishah Ali, calls The Bronx her home. She decided to share what exactly it is like to commute from The Bronx to Harlem. If you have not met Sallishah as yet, read her interview here.
There is an old saying that goes like this: “Home is where the heart is.” Growing up in the Bronx and shuffling down sidewalks past my neighbors and my neighbor’s neighbors, makes me think: if home is where the heart is, then where is the community?
There are two routes for catching the same train that will get me into Manhattan. Option A is the quiet alternative, but just a little too quiet. While I walk past other homes on my street, the sidewalks are empty. This location isn’t near a school, a place of work, or a major residential area. The path is also quite narrow, so even if I do run into someone we never stop to say hello.
Option B is shorter, but it takes me just as long to reach the station, mainly because I do get to stop and say hello to my neighbors. I am also not alone en route to the station. I walk amidst parents towing children along to school early, so they can get to work on time. Students make their way to the high school, taking in the last few moments before they go in to start exam season. One cannot forget the early morning dog walkers.
It’s also really nice to get off at this stop when coming back home. Students have shed their uniforms for Yankee jerseys and Nikes and all pile up around the bodega. Nearby, the old-timers have gathered for another round of checkers. Oh and of course, the “I just got home from work, but I need to walk my dog before I start dinner” crowd is out and about.
While home is where the heart is, a community runs in the veins of a neighborhood: on the sidewalk.
Sallishah Ali resides in the Bronx and attends architecture school at the City College of New York. Her current interests include urban design, creating sustainable public spaces and historical preservation. Outside of the studio, she enjoy sketching in museums and writing in her journal.