March 12, 2012 by Andres
Jackson Heights, Queens; home to the most diverse group in all of New York City. Beneath the belly of the train, people roam around, as they are a part of the struggling middle class group working every odd job possible to get by. The train, is the heart of the city, the rumbling roaring sound beats energy into the veins of every inhabitant. Jackson Heights holds history of crime, struggles and success as few Hollywood celebrities have been raised such as John Leguizamo and Lucy Lui to name a few. Hollywood has also taken recognition in the setting and demonstrates the energy and richness of the culture in movies such as Undefeated and Maria Full of Grace. These films depict the struggle of the Latin American population: in an exaggerated way, but never the less fails to truly capture the live raw energy and culture it holds. You have to live it to know what it feels like. The sound of random yelling and loud car horns have become melodies, the lights of fire trucks and police cars blend in with the night and the inhabitants completely unbothered by it all as they continue on with their routines.
Jackson Heights feels like a person itself, its transitioning lighting and electric energy is unique on its own. As the morning turn to afternoons, the pace of the street begins to pick up. The mornings; too quiet and peaceful it feels unnatural, are often met with the never-ending sounds of the number 7 train going by. It’s the 24/7 rooster, a reminder that the city life still exist and so too does our routine that we dread to attend to. The people leave their homes with a cup of coffee still trying to shake off the bad dreams and rough nights as they are welcomed with open arms into the doors of the number 7 train, which is almost like the circulatory system of the city. The soft swinging of the movement of the train still feels like a cradle, the mornings feel too heavy and as the destination gets closer and closer, our hearts race for anticipation for what we feel will be a long day. Roosevelt avenue begins to welcome more and more people that by mid afternoon look like a colony of ants, all working and shopping or dining and walking. The voices become more lively, and the streets become so electric and lively it’s infectious, but one thing remains constant, and it’s the background of the rumbling number 7 train, the reminder of the hard working middle class and its never ending fight to make ends meet.
The afternoons run by so quick, it feels like a blink of an eye. As the evening approaches, little by little the small colony of ants makes it back to their homes. All with their arms heavily by their sides and eye bags big enough to fit coins in. The same sound that welcomed them in the morning says goodnight to them, as the 7 train still continues to rumble all throughout the night as we all begin to close our eyes and the sound fades in the back, only to whisper that it’ll be there again in the morning to accompany all the workers and inhabitants to their respected duties. The night fades, and all that remains are the swooshing sounds of a few cars, and that train that in thought is am annoying reminder, but in reality a transporter to a neighborhood that never truly sleeps, never stops struggling and never stops growing in its richness of history.
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