Cognitive Dissonance: South Bronx vs. Hell’s Kitchen

I was born in the middle of Manhattan. The money per capita in the area is dense. I obviously don’t know what that means, if it means anything. I’m poor, you see.

I’m trying to get out of the mindset of being poor, but I grew up poor in New York City, I can’t really change this about my life, and it has had a huge impact on me. My mom was on Welfare. I lived in a shitty neighborhood. The streets aren’t shiny in the South Bronx like they are by Columbus Circle, which is near where I was born.

I can’t think of anything more disparate than how where I was born looks and where I grew up looks. For some reason I feel this really innate need to make the distinction that I wasn’t born in the Bronx, only raised there. As if where you first breathe really matters.I can’t think of anything more disparate than how where I was born looks and where I grew up looks

But I also can’t think a more perfect metaphor for what growing up poor in NYC feels like than that it feels like being born in the richest part of town only to not get to experience any part of it. This eternal tease and lure. The way the stores on 5th Avenue are perfectly aligned with the typical walk to work for a minimum wage worker in NYC (I’m talking from personal experience!).

What’s the point about writing about growing up poor? What’s the point in trying to exist in a world where it’s not just okay that I’m building myself up, getting rid of negative programming so that I can be someone who isn’t poor.

What kind of insight could be gleamed from looking at the experience of someone who’s gone through struggle in one of the richest cities in the world. Who does my story benefit? Does it benefit anyone while I’m still in Da Struggle? Today my struggle was that I had too many Paid Skill Opportunities and I didn’t buy any alcohol. But that probably would have made that phone call from my ex a lot worse so it’s good that I didn’t have booze.

One thing that has been hard is seeing more and more people come to NY. And everyone who was in NY before is also still here. I’m suffocating and now I want to get out. Something about… colonization?



  • what makes someone attracted to something they’re not supposed to be attracted to
  • the left brain interpreter and how there is a part of our brain that just makes stuff up to justify everything
  • doing things opposed to what we know is the right thing; how do we know the right thing?

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