Culture

If You Grew Up Playing In The Streets As A Kid You’ll Relate To At Least Half Of These

Spending the first 21 years of my life in New York City gave me an experience that I now know is unique. BK, all day, y’heard? My favorite part of growing up Brooklyn? Summertime. Long days. No school. Smelling like outside at the end of the day when mami was yelling at me to make it home before the street lamps came on. Man, summer was the shit. Here are 15 of the summer things that defined my NYC summers.

1. Those frozen 25¢ ices in the sharp plastic wrapper that gave you mouth-paper-cuts.

2. Tired of having a sore mouth? The Piragua Cart Man was there for you.

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Sticky hands be damned. This guy knows his stuff.

3. But when the ice cream truck song played, you’d lose it.

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Even though you only had enough for a cone with no sprinkles.

4. Man, Mr. Softee Ice Cream trucks had everyone wildin’ out.

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There were other brands, but Mr. Softee was the only one you really trusted.

5. But by the end of summer, the ice cream man knew to run from you and your pre-teen crew.

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When you didn’t have enough money, you’d haggle for better prices. At the end of the summer he even let y’all inside to make your own cones for free. You were basically ice cream pirates. Argh.

6. You’d wait all summer for the block party.

Credit: The Get Down / Netflix / Giphy

Blocking off the street, grilling on the sidewalk, arroz con gandules, speakers blasting Big Pun and turning up without anybody calling the cops. It was glorious.

7. The fire hydrant was on all day long. In some neighborhoods that meant 24/7.

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Fire safety be damned – we’re hot, yo!

8. Then, of course, you had to blast it at everyone.

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And give out “free carwashes” to any vehicle passing by.

9. Everyone had to run out of the public pool during a poop sighting.

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Then you’d have to wait for an hour for them to clean the pool. Come on Marvin! I know it was you, it’s always you.

10. Then illegally diving into the pool one last time after the final whistle for everyone to get out.

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We’d get banned for weeks, but come back the next day with disguises on. ?  ?  ?

11. Waiting in the heat of the subway tunnel for your train.

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Five minutes feels like an eternity in there – unless you’re at the back of the platform on the Union Square L station, where the fan is literally a life saver.

12. Feeling that sweet kiss of air conditioning when you finally get on.

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*Priceless.*

13. Seeing the Wonder Wheel pop up over the Coney Island horizon.

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The lights were so bright you thought you’d died and gone to Times Square.

14. Fireworks all summer long.

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And you’re like “Damn, Tito, I got work tomorrow… Can you tone it down?” And he’s like “Oh, sure, no problem…”

15. And you immediately regret complaining about it…

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Because that’s when Tito would whip out the biggest fireworks ever to teach you a lesson about complaining about the block. Don’t.

What shaped your childhood memories of summer? Share in the comments below!

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Summer, summer, summer-time!


READ: Get Ready To Feel The Nostalgia In This ’80s Remix Of Demi Lovato’s “Cool For The Summer”


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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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