BY Carolina Pichardo (@c_pichardo)
Q. Finish this statement; Uptown is…
A. Uptown is where I was born, raised, and currently reside. It’s my hood and yours. It’s anyone’s.
Q. How has living here influenced your work.
A. Each person, on both sides of Broadway, offers different perspectives on life, issues, and art. Before one offers their own perspective on something it’s greatly valuable to have many others’. Uptown has that. It’s Inwood’s unique blend of cultures that adds to my work and it’s identity.
I’ve taken many pictures and filmed many videos Uptown from the dense apartment buildings to the “Top of the Rock” to all the beautiful people here. As a musician, growing up here has been filled with inspiration. With musical inspiration there’s nothing better than exposure to different sounds. Uptown has that. The following video is Uptown. Below is my cheesy video of my girlfriend and I frolicking in Inwood Park.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/4040165 w=524&h=295]
Q. Through the years, what changes have you witness and disliked. Liked?
A. It’s hard for me to truly dislike anything about a neighborhood. Even when my younger brother got stabbed on 207th St., I didn’t look at anything or anyone differently. I’ve had great times with people capable of stabbing and have had some of the worst with great people here.
That is Uptown.
I dislike seeing places go and seeing time pass. Don’t we all? However, these things happen in all communities and neighborhoods. I can say that I like the new places and faces that have appeared here regardless of the “get out my hood” movement.
I’d like to think the things I’ve witnessed here happen because it’s Uptown but they are probably pure reflections of the times. I’ve watched my Irish friends move away as I gained new Dominican friends. I watched the Native American festival go from a small intimate gathering into a full-on, massive extravaganza. There is a very popular gay bar on Dyckman St., Columbia University soccer is only minutes away! I enjoy these things and experiences. There’s a whole world just a few steps beyond that filled with likes and dislikes, that are well worth the acquaintance.