Slums

After college I wanted to learn about ‘the downtrodden victims of society who lived in abject poverty’.  I lived in Spanish Harlem and the lower eastside – both in New York, in the late 60s and behind the capitol in Wash. D.C. in the early 70s to learn about urban problems.

Rather than ‘the pitiful and oppressed poor held down by the establishment’, I found something different.  Cars were benches – people sat on them, which ground the grit into the paint.  Some stood or walked on them. Occasionally a car found itself up on milk boxes in the morning with the back tires off.  The next day the front tires and engine parts disappeared, and later kids used it as a jungle gym.  Some were set afire.

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