Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Streets

The streets know. They can tell where a person has been and where they’re going.

Jon Gonzalez from 183rd Street is going to school. He rides the 1 train and transfers to the 2 downtown. It feels like a million miles from Washington Heights.

“My mom says it’s a good school,” he explains. “I’m going this summer to get ahead.”

The train rattles through Times Square and Penn Station and past 14th Street and Christopher, Houston, Canal and Franklin.

“It ain’t so bad,” Gonzalez shrugs. “A-Rod went to a good high school (Westminster Christian High in Miami) and that’s what I want to do: be a ballplayer.”

He slings his backpack around. It’s blue and “A-Rod 13” is stitched in white.

“Where’d you buy it?” someone asks.

“My mom made it,” Gonzales says. “The school said I needed a bag like this for my books so she just sewed it up.”

He opens the bag and slips a ticket from inside a book cover. “April 19,” he says. “I didn’t go to school that day. It was Thursday. A-Rod hit a home run and we won. I got home late and my mom was mad.

“I said, ‘Someday I’ll hit a home run and bring you the ball.’ She was still mad. ‘You coulda been lost or dead in the street,’ she said.

“I told her, ‘I know where home is.’”


Henry said...

I hope A-Rod knows where his home is.

Todd Drew said...

That’s the point. Alex Rodriguez was born in the same neighborhood as Jon Gonzalez. You can’t judge how this city feels about Alex by reading newspapers or blogs or listening to the radio. There are too many suburban voices in that crowd. The people in the neighborhoods love Alex. There are more 13 shirts walking around this city than anything. He was born to play here.