My Home

This is an attempt to describe my home in the Bronx. My love for this modest little corner of the Bronx remains with me, even though I left it long ago. The neighborhood has changed; it ain’t the same. Nothing’s the same. There’s no going back. Anyway…..

My Home in the Bronx

By Bumba

My home in the Bronx sat at the bottom of quiet street – alongside the trestle of the IRT Bronx Park East station. It was Sagamore Street, a short but wide block that ran from Unionport Road and the border of Bronx Park at one end: down one block, then under the train station, and then one block more until it ended at White Plains Road. I always see the neighborhood as a forgotten little pocket.

Together with three apartment buildings on Unionport Rd., an old farmhouse, a large empty lot of weeds behind the apartment buildings, a couple of stores up the block under the trestle, and a newsstand, we formed a self-sufficient neighborhood. It was a wonderful place to grow up. Today it looks a bit different. They’ve built on the lots, torn down the farmhouse – as well as the one in the back, old Mrs. Yates’ place – and built small houses, which extend into the open area behind the park.

It’s still recognizable though. The park is still there, although the terrain has shifted a bit over the years. The three apartment buildings still stand, as well as does my house, 662 Sagamore St. – still alongside the trestle and sided now by five little houses instead of two. The street is still wide, and remains ready to host a stickball game. But it looks like they’re not playing much; the plate and bases aren’t marked like before – by chalk and by etchings from sharp rocks.

It’s much quieter now.

What it used to be was the greatest place on earth. For me at least. Those stickball games on the long summer nights, those endless days of playing ball, wasting time, sitting on the benches, being on the block. It was eden. The memory of that neighborhood, my block , still burns with so soft a flame in my heart.

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Posted in: Short Pieces

14 thoughts on “My Home

  1. I hear you Stephen! And remember your words that I responded to in my post on my childhood home:
    “My memory of that time – of the ball games, the friends, the sitting on the benches at night, the catching of fireflies in the park, the joy we all had just to be kids and not to be wanting anything more in life than to play in that next stickball game”

    1. Thanks Madhu. I’m going to post a story on the stickball games later today, but that’s all I’ve written about my childhood. Just a few simple pictures.

  2. A lovely homage to your old stomping grounds. Sinclair Lewis (and you, here) said “You can’t go home again,” but I don’t think that’s always true. I did.
    I’ve never been to the Bronx, and like Vanessa above, had for many years pictured it as a blighted hellhole the way I pictured much of New York. However, a few years ago I had the opportunity to go to Brooklyn, which was very different than I had imagined, and allowed me to reconsider those other parts of NYC that I haven’t seen. Would like to go to the Bronx some day, if just to catch a ball game.

    1. Thanks. It really was nice on our block. Tomorrow I’m going to post something I wrote about the stickball games. It’s in the same vein.

  3. …and I think it will go on burning for many many years to come! It’s a shame places change so much, but at least we have our own images/memories and they can never change or fade.

    1. Yes. It’s interesting psychologically to go back. I used to dream about those streets, but when I saw them again, it was nothing special. Pleasant, but nothing special.

  4. I looked at each picture……enlarged.
    You are right you just can’t go back. But the memories are there.

    When I go back……….I always wonder ….what was so great about this place? But then the area changes so and sometimes I am sorry I even went back. lol

  5. Over here in England, whenever we hear about the Bronx, we always imagine it to be some terrible dangerous place where people don’t dare set foot outside their front door. So it’s nice to hear an account of it like this – a normal special place you called home.

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