Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The Bronx is Home to Me
Sean Baez enjoys traveling to places such as Puerto Rico, but he considers the Bronx home.
In the First Person
The Bronx is Home to Me
By Sean Baez
A 26-year-old Nuyorican, born and raised in the Bronx, I have traveled many times outside of my barrio, but I always end up coming home. I ask myself why.
I have been to different parts of New York State. I have visited about 19 states. I have gone to four different countries. Despite all my travels, I always return because there is so much more out there to explore and to learn about my hometown. There is so much to grasp and to teach others who live in the Bronx and New York City as a whole.
It is astonishing to see that many urban young people have not really experienced what this Mecca of the World has to offer, including in their Bronx backyard.
Many Bronx young people don’t stop to take in the beauty all around them and don’t know about the existing treasures. For instance, many people, including adults, don’t know that the Bronx is home to the biggest park in all of NYC: Pelham Bay Park, which is a real gem.
Historical sites are located all over the five boroughs and many are free of charge or low cost. But many people don’t take advantage or don’t know about these enriching resources.
Many of our young people have not even visited well-known New York City landmarks. Why is it that some of our young people have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State building? That is puzzling.
We must get to know this metropolis better and educate our youth that there is more out there.
Sure, it isn’t easy to take time off from our busy schedules in this hectic city. But it is worth taking a little time to relax and not ignore all the beauty the Bronx and this city has to offer. After all, this is our home.
Isn’t it amazing when you are around Pelham Parkway area in the Bronx around the Christmas season and you see people from all walks of life stopping to view the glamorous dolls decorating the front yard of a local family’s house? You can’t help but wonder why this Bronx family continues to decorate their Christmas House every year. While this house is not even a NYC landmark, it is known to many Bronxites as a popular place to visit every Christmas. It is an annual Bronx tradition in community spirit.
It’s OK to explore the world but remember to take the time to explore your hometown too and share what you know. I will continue to document my memories and take snapshots of the wonders I encounter.
I hope that many others will continue to open their eyes and see what the Bronx and this great city has to offer. And, I hope they also go beyond the Bronx to see many of the places they have only been reading about or watching in the news.
Always accept an invitation to open your mind and never reject a new learning experience.
Sean Baez is a Bronx-based freelance writer who contributes to Bronx Latino.