An Uptown Portrait: Patrick
An Uptown Portrait is a bi-monthly photo series by journalist Amaris Castillo (@AmarisCastillo). The portraits capture those who reside in upper Manhattan and their candid quips on their side of town.
As a baby, Patrick Tolbert moved to Harlem from the Chelsea Projects. A few decades have passed since then – he is now 60 but has the energy of a young boy. Standing shirtless in Fred Samuel Playground by W. 140th St. and Lenox Ave., Tolbert describes his neighborhood. “It’s like stepping on a landmine,” he says. “Watch your stepping.” Friends will backstab you, he adds. Tolbert’s friend, sitting on a bench nearby, nods his head slightly. Under the shade of his newsboy cap, Tolbert’s eyes still twinkle. He smiles. “Don’t trust nobody but yourself – and don’t trust yourself that much,” he says, his smile growing wider. “Because we make mistakes – don’t we?”
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