In the Country of the Other

In the Country of the Other

The legacy is invariable—a brief pang of guilt followed by overwhelming relief at my own escape from the northeast Bronx. I come off the Henry Hudson Parkway and where the traffic light flags me down, at the pocked and rutted joining of Gun Hill Road and Mosholu Parkway, I feel myself sucked back into old wars that seem so permanent a part of my memory. Only this is not my Bronx, I remind myself, as I stare at the massive battlements of Tracy Towers Houses, a state-subsidized medieval fortress built in the 1970s. My gaze shifts to the classical spire of De Witt Clinton High School, illuminated by the blue March sky and the unusually warm sun. Erase the concrete brutality of Tracy Towers and the landscape is fit for Constable. As the light changes, I gun the motor and my eye catches a cluster of students charging across the road.

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Lima