Showing posts from January, 2011

A New Coat of Paint

The A train to Queens. The car I’m riding consists of tourists headed to JFK, surfers with their boards enclosed in carrying cases headed to Rockaway Beach to catch the swells from the latest tropical storm, and black folks headed to areas of Brooklyn left blank on the tourist’s guide book maps.
This trip is an epilogue. After four generations of New Yorkers, I am the last of my clan living in the City. The house I’m headed to in South Ozone Park was once the home of my grandmother, grandfather, great aunt, and great uncle.
One by one, they have all moved to the hereafter. And now the family is selling the house. Before it’s market-ready, we have to clean it out, paint the walls, and sand the floors. Erasing history so a new one can be made.

If you’ve been to New York, you’ve been to South Ozone Park, Queens. The neighborhood’s most defining feature is the planes flying overhead to JFK located next door.
These are the rows of non-descript houses you see in their miniature size on takeoffs…