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Introduction to My Neighborhood Project

            Hi, my name is Marlin Nunez and I live in Richmond Hill, Queens.  I love my neighborhood - its beautiful scenery and peaceful environment.  Although located in one of the five boroughs of New York City, Richmond Hill is very family conscious, resides many elderly, and is conveniently located to the necessary places.

            Certain parts of my neighborhood have a special meaning to me.  I moved to Queens at the age of eight.  I attended grades three to six at P.S. 90, an elementary school located four blocks away.  Going to school became pleasurable as I anxiously met my friends and friendly teachers.  At age twelve I went to J.H.S 210 located a few more blocks away.  When I look back, I have very fond memories of both schools.

            The Woodhaven Library I frequently visit.  It has everything I need as well as friendly librarians who have seen me grow up.  The United Artist Crossbay II movie theater brings memories of the funny, scary, and dramatic movies I have seen with friends and family.  Both places create a feeling  of comfort and security, a pleasurable feeling.

            Bill's Stationery, located at the corner of Jamaica Avenue two blocks away from my house, is where I run for birthday cards and quick trips of school supplies which run out half way through a project.  The Atlantic Mall is one of my favorite places.  It has everything from food to shoes.  I love the delicious donuts at Dunkin Donuts, electronics from Radio Shack, novelties from Hallmark, ice-cream at Baskin Robins, household items from Service Merchandise, shoes from Parade of Shoes, and videos from Blockbuster.  Everything is just five minutes away, a short walk away.

            In very few words; I love my neighborhood and adore my house.  I am just 40 minutes away from the bustling Manhattan city life.

Observational, Descriptive Journals

Entry #1:
           The date is November 1st and I am sitting on my front stoop.  It is late afternoon and I am observing my neighborhood and the appeals to my five senses. The descriptions I present ahead are only visual as if I were looking through the viewfinder of a camera.  The visual observations I recorded were the bare tree branches and fallen leaves. I see my little brother's friends running home from school with their book bags hanging from one arm.  Mothers walk close behind.  I see my neighbor across the street raking his front yard.  My landlord arrives in his small red car ready to paint our fence.  Paint brush in hand, he greets me.  Although it is the middle of the fall, the winds are very sharp and bitter.  The sun is blazing but it is about to set.  The street lamps light up and the evening arrives.  The smell of my mother's food is causing my stomach to growl .  I hear silence and occasional sounds of passing cars.

Entry #2:
           The date is November 30th and I am recording a descriptive journal.  Unlike the first entry, I am taking a walk around my neighborhood rather than sit in one spot.  I walk two blocks toward Jamaica Avenue.  I hear children play, merengue music from the Spanish American Restaurant, and cars honking their horns.  However, it is incomparable to the noise in Manhattan.  Winter is a few days away and Christmas is just around the corner.  Christmas lights decorate the shops and house windows.  Christmas jingles are blasting from blow horns set up on every block creating a pleasant environment to walk by.  People are walking gleefully, chatting with each other.  Richmond Hill is a very residential area. There are pleasant smells of flowers from the various flower shops and the delicious smell of pizza from the mom and pop type pizza shops. As you can see, my neighborhood is very tranquile and sort of like a safe haven in this chaotic city.


            As the writing about my neighborhood project concludes, I reflect on my work and new insights learned.  Through my research I encountered things I probably would not have paid attention to had it not been required.  The most pleasant experience during the process was the trip to the Archival Library.  I had never visited the library prior to this assignment.  The exhibits of New York City were amazing and depicted important historical events which structured today's society.  We looked at old maps of our neighborhood, dated to the year 1939.  The most amazing thing that I found were pictures of my house 60 years ago.  Its physical appearance looks very different, however its structure is very similar.  I felt proud of myself and my house.

            The part of the neighborhood project that worked the most were the observational and descriptive journal entries.  They made me really analyze my area.  Prior to the project, I used to walk somewhat blindly through my neighborhood without paying any close attention to its special features.  I now see my neighborhood in a whole new light after taking the time to observe its places, people and structure.

            I feel that what did not work during the process was reading stories about New York from the Anthology.  I personally did not enjoy reading all of the pieces.  Some had language very difficult to understand and analyze.  Although I did enjoy reading a few of the stories such as O. Henry's "The Duel" and Damon Runyon's "Sense of Humor", for the most part I disliked this part of the project.  It was very time consuming as we spent over a week reading different stories.  I wish we would have had more time to actually compose in class.

            The most difficult part during this process was analyzing and sorting out the information I collected.  I enjoyed researching and obtaining information, however I found it difficult to gather my thoughts and construct well written pieces.  There were so many different techniques to use that I was unsure of how to sort things out.

            For the most part I enjoyed working on my neighborhood project.  It was a new experience for me to look beyond the usual and really analyze my neighborhood.  Not only did I learn about my neighborhood but I also learned about myself during this quest.