Sunday, February 14, 2016

Every Sunday growing up


Every Sunday growing up we would go down to my grandparents apartment on west 98th street and Amsterdam, in upper manhattan. The soundtrack of that time was car horns blasting “La Cucaracha,” and the telenovela on the TV. The building hall smelled like urine but the apartment smelled of the best food in the world, fried, garlicy and latin. The couch and chairs were covered with plastic that stuck to your bare sweaty legs when you wore shorts on a hot humid day. The tin ceiling was painted a million times and the green linoleum with big pink roses curled at the edges. The bathroom sink had two faucets with tinny handles, one side was scalding water, the other icy, so it was really hard to rinse your hands. My grandmother would squeeze me way too hard and smother me against her, my face pressed into her garlic smelling sleeveless house dress and her loose fleshy garlic smelling arms. I was afraid of the hug but thrilled to be there and see my cousins and eat her food and candies and cakes and cafĂ© con leche with sugar. We stayed all day, usually watching The Wonderful World of Disney, hoping it would be an animated episode. Then we took the Westside Highway back up to Inwood as the sky blackened and the orange glowing highway lamps lit our way along the Hudson.

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