This is another reflection piece for a school assignment for a Intercultural communication I took ( I think 2010).  The assignment was to pick up a local newspaper and write about your community. A reflection piece, nothing specific.

Sighing, I tossed my local newspaper, the Queens Chronicle, to the side. It was no better than the Daily News or New York Times.  It contained nothing I couldn’t find elsewhere-except maybe the excessive advertisements. Well, those were quite fun.  I’m not completely pessimistic though. I respected this newspaper for the sole reason it’s a stepping stone for aspiring journalists. I saw great potential with the actual authors. This newspaper was an easy and engaging read. Just, I simply wished for more substance in its contexts.

A typical day in Woodhaven is nothing like the community support you read in the Queens Chronicle. Rather, it’s a secluded, lonely day.  Although you see the same people every day, the look of disgust and distrust never fails to appear on the faces of people in the street. No friendly smiles or welcoming fuzzy comforting feeling will be found here. In fact, you’re lucky if you get an apology when a passing person bumps your shoulder. But, October 19th, is a day the Queens Chronicle’s tales of community support holds truth and all the animosity is forgotten.
Police barricades are put up sealing Jamaica Avenue for 15 blocks. Vendors and gift shops set up on the street, rides and games are mounted here and there and finally people come together as community spending the day in the streets having fun as one.

I anticipated this day for weeks. The day of this street fair, the thought of funnel cake awoke me way before my usual sleeping schedule. I could almost smell the funnel cake even though the fair was four blocks away.

I left my house in haste, anxious, to go down to the fair. As I emerged myself in the already crowded streets, I was surrounded by people whose face mimicked mine- peaceful and excited.  As I went stand to stand conversations sparked up and guards were let down. No skepticism today. Just people enjoying kebob on one block, Italian sausages on another and candy apples on another.
Diversity is welcomed and encouraged on this day. A band is playing jazz on one block, rock on the next and country on the one after that. People stopping to listen to each and every band. Children of all backgrounds bounce around in the big blow up play pin and ride ponies together. Everyone is welcomed in the streets…no questions asked.

But as the night sky falls, the stands pack up shop and the rides are dismantled and barricades removed. People return to their homes and ponies led away. Before you know you it, you’re alone standing on a curb scraping pony shit off your sneakers and cars start filling up the once inhabited streets.

As I left for school the next day, almost all signs of yesterday’s community unity are gone. Not even trash in the streets as a reminder of yesterdays gathering.  The mask of disgust and distrust are strongly back in place on the very same faces you saw the day before.
There is a smell though.

Not a smell of food or charcoal from the vendors that puts a smile on your face. But a smell that makes you scrunch up your nose and walk away. It’s the smell of pony shit that lurks in the air. For the next 2 days at least people wear a mask of disgust for the smell and not for unjustifiable mistrust.

*I edited this to add two pictures after i posted it 🙂 Images plucked from google


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