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Battery Park City of the Grown Up

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Old School

 

9 years

I used to roam the halls

Cafeteria booths

Third floor recess yard

Rachel in kindergarten

Krystal in first

Sonia in second

Judy in third

Haiva in fourth

Adam in fifth

Katie in sixth

Carmen in seventh

Saeed in eighth

Gym with Jon

Elissa the nurse

Terri and Nico in the office

 

Now I check in before entering

Can’t leave the first floor

I used to roam the halls. 

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BPM

 

Battery

              Place

                        Market

 

All of the phases went    through

 

After school snacks with babysitters

 

PAID stickers

 

Butter Bagel season

 

Matt buying Gatorade for the whole football team

 

Lunch paninis

 

Gum

 

What was once a place of excitement

 

Is now just a store

Matt’s House

 

Spongebob after school

                                            Marion made snacks

We were young

                                  we played games

       Not a worry in the world


 

We grew up.


 

Sleep at Matt’s after late nights

No time for Spongebob.

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West Thames

 

Grass to turf

Bridge to no bridge

Birthday party to birthday party to

Football every day after school

I broke Liam’s nose 

Late night middle school hangouts

What didn’t happen at the park?

 

Our sacristy

Picasso

 

The pizza place of all pizza places

Almost as if Picasso himself graced the oven

Two slices had you set for the rest of the day

Hours spent sitting at the wood tables

Just being kids

 

As the story goes

We lost Picasso to the greedy landlords

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Brookfield 

 

My once daily walk

Now bi-weekly at best

Hudson Eats 

for lunch

and team dinners

Le District 

for post practice pastries

Stores

Ice skating

Warmth

 

The provider of shelter

The route home

The Ballfields

 

               FootBALL

        Base               BALL

   Soccer                       BALL

     Little                       League 

      and                        Pick-up

       Catcher,           Goalie 

                   and QB

 

It is high it is far it is gone!

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The Rockefeller

 

The swings where we swung

The court where Matt broke his wrist

The grass where the sprinklers attacked

The cement ping pong table

The playground with the red nets

The prime location for games of tag

The backup park

The Pier

The secret spot

Swings that were pushed to their limits

Fences that were climbed

Grass that fielded games of football that never lasted more than twenty minutes

Now a forgotten space

Instead of the pier we go 

Beyond. 

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The Bike Path

 

          The

                  Bike

                           Path

          The

                  Right

                            Path

 

          The 

                   Pathway

                                   From 

                                              BPC

 

                To

               The 

             Upper

West

 

         Citi Bikes

          E-Bikes

 

          Please

           Don’t

                                CRASH

Artist Statement:

With this project I focused on Battery Park City. I attended the Battery Park City School (PS/IS 276) from kindergarten to eighth grade, and I wanted to show my perspective looking back at the place I grew up in. I still go to Battery Park often, but now the way I navigate the area is much different. The subjects of my poems were decided by the places that are most prominent in my memory. The structure of some poems varied, to further communicate the feeling of my experiences. The orderly structure of Old School stems from the regulations I had to follow as a student of NYC public schools. The most memorable ones being no hats and no gum. The randomness in the beginning of Matt’s House was meant to represent us running around as kids. The poem then gains structure as I mention my experience there now. In homage to my baseball playing days and endless hours of home run derbies with my friends,The Ballfields features the text in the form of a ball and a baseball bat, with the final words "it's gone" being largest and therefore the most emphasized. The staggered lines in The Bike Path are meant to resemble a path going off into the distance. The word “west” appearing on the far left is a small flourish to further give a sense of direction. The images that illustrate each poem are pictures of the place I have written about. I utilized a drone to capture the images from above because the poems are reflections on when I was younger, and the  downward perspective underscores the idea of looking back from a distance.

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