The other New York that’s never reblogged, the one removed from the fashion of Soho, the nightlife of the meatpacking district and the glamour of Fifth Avenue. Chris Arnade shows life in its rawest New York form. I avoid the topic of ‘moi’ like the plague, but here goes, I try to make it to the Bronx at least once a week to motivate teens and recovering drug addicts into ‘a wholesome’ lifestyle so as to reclaim custody of their offspring and their lives!
Cynthia, forty six, starting prostituting at the age of thirteen. She turned to the streets after battling her mother, a single mother in Brooklyn. “I didn’t want to listen to her, she didn’t give me any time.” Cynthia is now the mother of fifteen children, eleven of which are still alive. Her “baby” is sixteen, her oldest child thirty.
We talked about the child prostitutes in Hunts Point now. She told me “Hunts Point isn’t what it used to be, when the girls would stick together. Then came crack and heroin, that fucked up everything. A girl out there at that age. She got no choice. It ain’t right.”
Cynthia claimed to be drug free, but she was clearly on crack, agitated and slurring. When I asked her how she wanted to be described she looked me in the eye, thought for a second, then said “An honest person. Thats what I am. An honest person.”