Hello! Welcome to my blog.
You’re probably wondering what a site called “White Ghetto Lady” is going to be about. Truth be told, so am I.
The name comes from an experience I had in a subway station a couple of months back. I’ll tell you about that in a moment, but first, a little background…
At the end of this past September, I moved to the Williams Bridge section of the Bronx. I’ve worked close by here since the beginning of the year, and I’m able to walk to and from my job from where I live now. It’s sweet.
I’m the only white person I have ever seen in the neighborhood. This doesn’t bother me in the least; it’s never been important to me to be surrounded by people who look like me, or share my background. The area I moved from – Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – was full of people who looked like me, and I couldn’t stand it.
The Bronx is like nothing I have ever seen before. Now, I’ve lived in New York City for nearly 25 years, in Queens as well as Brooklyn. That’s over half of my life. The Bronx is…different.
I came up with this blog largely to write about the unique features, qualities, and goings-on here. I’ve never done a blog before, and I have a couple of other websites in the pipeline (one of my 2018 goals is to develop a strong and multifaceted online presence); I have a feeling that this one will be my online home base, as much personal journal and “blog about nothing” as it is collection of observations and reflections on my current neighborhood.
Back to the subway station. Gun Hill Road #2 train station, a Sunday morning, about 8:00 a.m. It was one of those productive Sundays, the kind on which you’re up and at ’em at 6 in the morning lugging laundry bags around and getting all sorts of little things done that you’d been putting off for weeks. I’d had an issue with my MetroCard the previous Friday night, and I was at the station to obtain one of those envelopes they give you to send the card off to the MTA in hopes of eventual reimbursement.
I use a lot of words. My parents both use a lot of words, the people around me in my hometown of Danbury, Connecticut all used a lot of words, and I learned at a very, very young age how to squeeze the maximum amount of words possible out in every conversational situation imaginable. Where I come from, saying exactly what one means, in extreme and vivid detail, is a prized skill.
In New York City, this is not a prized skill. Native New Yorkers, hearing me speak like this, have sometimes expressed the desire to squeeze the maximum amount of crap out of my windpipe so that the words…would…just…END already. It’s torture to them. I’ve learned how to edit myself and get to the point more quickly as the years have gone by, but I’ll never lose the wordiness entirely. It’s like an accent – it’s always gonna stick a lil’.
So I’m in the Gun Hill Road subway station on that Sunday, telling the clerk in the booth what happened with my MetroCard, in detail, trying to make sure I don’t leave anything out…and unbeknownst to me, a line has formed behind me…
“YOU KNOW PEOPLE HAVE TO GET TO WORK!” a female voice shouted. I look back, and want the concrete to open underneath me: there are like six people in line behind me, all of whom actually have to be somewhere, while I have all the time in the world and am going on and on about the four different swipes I made Friday night and what happened after each. Beyond embarrassed, I immediately step back, apologizing profusely and of course with as much detail as possible.
And that’s when I hear it:
“WHITE GHETTO LADY!”
One of the young men leaning against the wall over by the machines yelled this out, obviously referring to me. Oh, was I devastated. After the line cleared, I went back to the clerk, wound up my interaction and got out of there.
The next day at work, I told a couple people about it and they cracked up laughing. So did I, eventually. One thing led to another, and that, readers, is how this blog came to be.
Talk more soon!