EL BARRIO

I came up outta the subway at 103rd, El Barrio, on the Lexington Avenue Line. The streets were festive and music filled the air. Old men were playing cards and socializing on the sidewalk while kids sat on steps watching a deranged man with a bloody head being escorted into an ambulance by a policeman and a paramedic. There were shouts and laughs cascading down from open windows, and people hanging from fire escapes. It was almost like some sort of twisted festival as knarled men pushed shopping carts to a recycle center by the Park Avenue Viaduct where the whoosh of a commuter train rumbled by out of Grand Central like a rocket blast. The brick walls around the neighborhood were all lined with the art and wisdom of a man by the name of De La Vega. He depicted angels slaying devils and scrawled things on the sidewalk like, “The Rich control the Destiny of the Poor, but an intelligent man controls his own.” Traveling by subway is great and all, but you gotta step up out of the underground every once in a while to see what’s up…