Tenement Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
already-my-life-was-not-mine-now-someone-has-made-my-dreams-tenement-i-have-no-way-other-than-to-love-patron-mh-rakib
i-was-brought-up-in-tenement-house-in-working-district-we-didnt-even-have-bathroom-we-had-gaslight-in-hallway-blackwhite-tv-annie-lennox
like-east-side-tenement-our-house-was-seldom-without-sound-music-laughter-questions-being-asked-stories-being-told-harpo-marx
upon-clothes-behind-tenement-that-hang-like-ghosts-suspended-from-lines-linking-each-flat-but-to-each-indifferent-incongruous-strange-moonlight-shines
i-inhabit-weak-frail-decayed-tenement-battered-by-winds-broken-in-on-by-storms-from-all-i-can-learn-landlord-does-not-intend-to-repair-john-quincy-adams
my-mom-dad-are-new-yorkers-who-left-tenement-streets-bronx-came-to-los-angeles-when-west-side-story-was-real-they-have-scars-to-prove-it
in-house-in-beverly-hills-where-our-four-children-grew-up-living-conditions-were-few-thousand-times-improved-over-old-tenement-on-new-yorks-east-harpo-marx
houses-housetops-like-human-beings-have-wonderful-character-the-lives-housetops-the-wear-seasons-the-country-is-beautiful-young-growing-things-the-majesty-trees-the-backs-tenemen
That was our first home. Before I felt like an island in an ocean, before Calcutta, before everything that followed. You know it wasn't a home at first but just a shell. Nothing ostentatious but just a rented two-room affair, an unneeded corridor that ran alongside them, second hand cane furniture, cheap crockery, two leaking faucets, a dysfunctional doorbell, and a flight of stairs that led to, but ended just before the roof (one of the many idiosyncrasies of the house), secured by a sixteen garrison lock, and a balcony into which a mango tree's branch had strayed. The house was in a building at least a hundred years old and looked out on a street and a tenement block across it. The colony, if you were to call it a colony, had no name. The house itself was seedy, decrepit, as though a safe-keeper of secrets and scandals. It had many entries and exits and it was possible to get lost in it. And in a particularly inspired stroke of whimsy architectural genius, it was almost invisible from the main road like H.G. Wells' 'Magic Shop'. As a result, we had great difficulty when we had to explain our address to people back home. It went somewhat like this, '... take the second one from the main road... and then right after turning left from Dhakeshwari, you will see a bird shop (unspecific like that, for it had no name either)... walk straight in and take the stairs at the end to go to the first floor, that's where we dwell... but don't press the bell, knock... and don't walk too close to the cages unless you want bird-hickeys... '' ('Left from Dhakeshwari')

Kunal Sen
that-was-our-first-home-before-i-felt-like-island-in-ocean-before-calcutta-before-everything-that-followed-you-know-it-wasnt-home-at-first-but-just-shell-nothing-ostentatious-but
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait-there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.

Frank H. Wu
as-i-became-older-i-was-given-many-masks-to-wear-i-could-be-laborer-laying-railroad-tracks-across-continent-with-long-hair-in-queue-to-be-pulled-by-pranksters-gardener-trimming-s
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