I went to visit a place from my past,
which was unrecognizable to me now.
All the stores had changed
and the buildings looked differently to me.
maybe everything looks different to me now,
especially the way I view myself or life; therefore, everything has changed
either physically or at minimum,
our life has changed on a cellular level.
Therefore everything has changed
because of the way we’ve adapted to it.
Nothing about us is the same as we were.
We have replenished our bodies
into a different spectrum of life.
We’ve evolved from the roots of our soul
to the center of our pleasure systems
to our taste buds
or even to the way we process sounds,
such as our music, like jazz
or such as our common or uncommon rebellions;
I say that all of this has changed
I walked near 116, East side.
This was a different place in 1989.
I was here to take a class
and the class was to keep people
from being the person I was.
Yet, I was a different person then.
The world was a different place but hey,
this is life.
The bump and grind is different now
The push and shove has changed
and so has the rat race.
I wonder though . . .
I wonder if the youth of today would understand.
Would they know
what it means to live the way we used to.
I am grateful to have lived
before the technology boom; in which case,
everyone has a camera
and everyone has a cell phone.
Everyone has too much access
to information and misinformation;
in which case, no one takes
the effort to learn about the truth anymore.
And why would they?
I don’t think this is about our sameness
I don’t think that we’ve changed so much;
at least, not at the core
I think that I am simply older now
and uncomfortable with today’s
I think the hurried rush to “Know”
has become a disservice
and like the older one
warning the younger,
I see mistakes on the horizon.
But will anyone listen? No
Then again, did we listen when the elders warned us
No . . .
I think that I am no different
from my Father before me
nor was he different from his father before him.
I think that the world constantly evolves
and it’s us who struggle,
it’s us who battle
to keep up with the times
Safe to say that I want to believe.
I want to think that chivalry is not dead.
I want to keep my childhood heroes alive –
even if none of them are alive today;
still, I want to keep my heritage alive.
I want my culture to be seen and known.
While I am not interested
in forcing my views on anyone,
I would like to offer an invitation
to drift back down memory lane.
I’d like to share a moment in time
from a mid-afternoon walk in Central Park
to a scene in the nightlife or
on a rooftop extravaganza.
I’d like to share a feeling
which stems from a moment of nostalgia,
which comes from two people
when they connect as one.
I’d like to open my chest, so-to-speak,
and allow a view from my heart
which is not to say that people cannot see this
on their own.
No, I’d like to offer a simple view
of an undecorated time,
without any technology or intrusion.
And all there is to see is the moment at hand.
No harm. No threats. Just peace.
Safe to say that I don’t think
the world will change enough in time for part two.
If there is such a thing.
Safe to say that I think this generation
is missing out on the great beats
and the feelings of what it means to be “In the City.”
I think that this is a great time to be alive yet
I see people who are face down
locked into the screen on their phones,
texting or typing away.
Meanwhile, there’s a great big world
just waiting to be enjoyed.
And dig it, I understand that there’s technology.
I understand that texting
is almost like the ease of math
and emails are quicker than a phone call;
which, by the way, the phone still works –
it’s just that (whew)
no one picks up the phone anymore –
just to talk.
Safe to say that I think technology
has separated us in a way.
It’s made us lazy because
there’s an app
that can do all of our tedious chores for us.
I don’t know if the youth of today knows what it’s like
to walk outside and feel the essence of the street.
I don’t know if they know what it’s like
to share a meal (the way we used to)
or sit at the Cuchifrito in Spanish Harlem
and taste the nostalgia of a life which has gone by.
And okay, I’ll play along.
Life changes. Songs change.
Fashions change too and so will the games we play.
And that’s fine.
Safe to say that I’ll have to evolve.
Safe to say that as I evolve, as the old man,
I’ll make the same face at my new smart phone
that my Father used to make
when he looked at the remote to our new VCR . . .