In The Heights!!!

On Wednesday I met up with my sister and a few friends to eat dinner and see a play. We saw


It’s a play that’s based on the stories of people who live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in a neighborhood known as Washington Heights. It’s the area located right by the famous George Washington Bridge. It’s also the Neighborhood where I grew up and was raised most of my life. I had been wanting to see this musical since I saw an interview of Luis Miranda on PBS. I was amazed to see that someone from “the wash” had kept his love for our streets. We didn’t grow up on the same block, The Heights covers a huge area of Upper Manhattan. However, its like he saw my family, or rather I saw my family in this play.
My grandfather sold piraguas when I was in middle school and I remember seeing Mr. Frosty parked right outside of my school everyday in the warm days. I remember walking home with my friends and seeing my grandfather selling piraguas on the corner of 160th and Broadway. He use to play dominoes outside all the time and then he became to weak to walk on his own. His sister my who we called Tia Nena then would visit from Puerto Rico for months at time and play Dominoes with him. I graduated early by a semester and I spent a lot of time with them. I love older people, I love seeing how long God has preserved them. I took these pictures of them for a photography assignment.


Tia Nena playing Dominoes with Abuelo

While I was seeing the play I starting remembering my grandfather and then they showed Abuela Claudia. I remembered my abuela Lydia who was just like that. She was a woman of patience and she also was a woman of faith. No matter how sick she got she never asked why, and still believed. The night before she passed away she was at home. She had just gotten released from the hospital. Our last conversation was about how it was snowing in Mexico, how she liked the W.W.F, LOL. Then she said do me a favor please take that plastic bag and put it in that cabinet. I took the shopping bag and just like threw it in there not thinking what was in it. She said thank you, but that thank you was very memorable cause she looked like she meant it. Me and my sister went home. The next morning we got the news that she was not well. She passed away right before Christmas and I remembered that bag. When we went to look for it, inside we found all the pictures she kept of us. I have this picture of my grandmother. I thought about it when I saw her with Usnavy.

The play was so on point with everything I experienced in the neighborhood. The blackouts! We had numerous blackouts in the summer, sometimes all night and the block would be lit up with candles. Everybody would open the windows and the music would be on all night. The Fire hydrant would stay open all day. My father owned a Bodega for most of my childhood. Oh! The Dominican hair salon…so true…I miss it. My people know how to do hair. I remember the lady who did my hair for many years…I don’t have a picture of her though 🙂 . I liked going cause she always made my hair straight and MCdonald’s was across the street.
The play is awesome I think anyone can relate to it because of the people. It really captures the heart.
We also went to Little Saigon and I didn’t eat the food. I ate a heaping plate of rice beans and chicken before I left…so I only ordered the chocolate cake. It was so pretty and it tasted like rich creamy chocolate. I wanted to take a picture of it but…I’ll do it when I go back. I will blog some more later!
I get on You tube everyday.
Here’s something…

2 Responses to “In The Heights!!!”
  1. Monica Cely says:

    wow!!! I cant even imagine what seeing this play was for you. You describe you being able to relate to the play in soo many ways and I could imagine the bitter/sweet feeling you experienced. As a Colombian, I also was able to relate to many aspects, the people, being latina in the USA, immigrating, the music etc. But you lived right there, and so like I said in the beggining I cant imagine how you “hairs” must have been standing in the scnene when you first here the word: Piraguas, the hair salon, the chismes, Abuela Claudia, her singing, her love for everyone, when they are looking thru her pics after her passing…

    I just saw it for the second time here in MD and it was a great. I plan on taking my kids to c when I visit NYC soon. I want them to c so much of our culture, and since they are fans of Cordon Blue I think he will also keep them in their seat.

    I enjoyed reading your blog, and Im so happy for you and what this play has meant for you.

    • jaylasplenty says:

      It was Amazing!!! I was holding back tears right after the Opening number. If Lin would have been singing it I’m pretty sure I would have been crying through the whole thing. It was so real for me to the point that my sister was sitting next to me and right after the Black Out scene, I was like if Abuela Claudia dies I am going to loose it. And what do you know? It was like WOW…I was talking to God in my mind. Just saying Lord you are mindful of me…I was so far from him then, but he allowed me to get to this play. ITH was a play about a place God had me at one time, and I’m not there anymore. God is my home. It doesn’t matter where I am, he sees me. So yes, that play ran deep.

      Thank You for your comment. I just noticed it a few minuets ago. You’re going to NY…Oh how I miss Colombian bread from Jackson Heights in Queens! 🙂

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