If you were born and grew up in the era when Mario Cuomo was governor of New York and Ed Koch was mayor when New York experienced unexpected blackouts, this was the time when things were tough. Throughout parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx, burned and abandoned buildings occupy many blocks in those boroughs. Financial resources were scarce to completely fund New York City public schools. Many parents couldn't afford to place their children in private schools to gain a quality education. The New York City public school system was flooded with children from the five boroughs of the Empire State, indirectly creating chaos among children who had proper home training versus those who were raised right with no home training whatsoever. Growing up in New York City is more difficult than people think.
New York City had its fair share of crime. Back in the day, you had crews in Brooklyn known as decepticons, Lo Lives, Steam team, graffiti artists, Flatbush Pulley Kids, PBS from Brooklyn "Paying Back Society," ft. Graffiti artist Dinker "Dink," and violet crews in the Bronx-Harlem. If they saw you by yourself walking back in the day and you were dressed down in Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo boots, Girbaud and Guess outfits, and wearing gold teeth, you were approached by a violet crew of young men from Brooklyn or the Bronx and robbed.
If you attended a New York City public school back then and didn't have many friends and known for wearing name-brand stuff the violet New York crews wanted to get their hands on, you became their silent target for robbery. Flatbush Pulley kids and steam team + lo lives were known for running up one people taking off their Polo sweaters, North face jackets, Tommy Hilfiger shirts, polo golf tops, Polo Ralph Lauren 1992 Stadium tops, and removing polo footwear off of people in broad daylight while onlookers watched and did nothing.
6 ways most people from Brooklyn and Bronx grew up in New York and survived:
- Don't stare at anyone. Heads will try to "herb you," if they see you laying a mean stare on someone and you're walking for self. Staring is an absolute "no no." Once they run up on you, they will most likely think you're "herby" and will try to run their hands in your pockets immediately, or threaten you by putting a box cutter razor to your facial cheeks to scare you into giving up your goods. All off of the strength of staring.
- Ignoring someone when they try to say things create an argument or fight ( chances are they have a box cutter razor to/your face inside their double down goose jacket or a small semi automatic pistol to shoot you and run).
- Riding the New York City subway when necessary and sitting around groups of people.
- Never walking down main avenues or streets alone during wee hours of the morning such As Flatbush Ave., Tremont Avenue, White Plains Rd., Northern Boulevard in Queens by Queensbridge projects, Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica Queens, Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn by Albee Square mall. Walking down the aforementioned avenues and streets for self in the wee hours of the morning puts anyone in a dangerous position to be robbed or snatched.
- Traveling with family, friends, or someone trusted when using New York City mass transit.
- Walking the other way calmly when heads were seen deep standing on a corner or heading in your direction and immediately turning the corner.
Growing up in New York City was nothing nice back then. Best friends turned bitter enemies. You were sometimes robbed by people living in your local neighborhood and nothing you can do about it. If you had a determination and will to make something of yourself, you found some kind of way to beat the odds growing up in the concrete jungle known as the Big Apple. And lived to tell an awesome story about overcoming adversities of growing up in New York City.