As I mentioned briefly in my previous post, being a white girl living in Harlem puts me in the minority. I know this because it’s rare that a week goes by and I’m not informed of this fact- usually via catcall- by a neighbor. Note(s)- Being complimented by a stranger in a sexually explicit way is usually very uncomfortable, but can occasionally make an “I’m feeling fat and ugly” day somewhat better. Also, it should be known that I consider anyone my neighbor if they’re walking, sitting, eating, etc. within 5 blocks of my apartment.
This has not significantly changed my personal perception on life or made me one of those crackers who thinks their residential location gives them the ability to know exactly what it’s like to be a latino or black person living in the United States. My NYC neighborhood has simply caused me to become the most bad-ass, awkward, white chick you probably know. Here are 10 reasons why I thoroughly enjoy being a minority in Harlem-Town.
The full extent my bad-ass, awkward, white chick status can be seen here.
#1) I can easily be found in a crowd.
#2) I get to be one of the only caucasians who can properly eat, appreciate, and discuss GOOD soul food. Being raised in the south and having grandmothers who, among other things, specialized in lard based vegetable dishes gave me a legup on this one.
#3) Because of the regular “you’re white” reminders I receive, I have many opportunities to help people better themselves by simply mocking and giving negative reinforcement to this rude behavior.
Sender: “Hey there, white girl…”
Recipient- “Hello, man with dark hair” [awkward glare or eye rolling should follow]
#4) Throughout my life, being white has always put me in the majority, so this living situation makes me a slightly more well-rounded person.
The Royal Tenenbaums House- easily found by walking around my neighborhood.
#5) I have a new way of making ignorant and/or pretentious assholes feel awkward by simply telling them where I live. [While I know my area is awesome and completely safe, people who aren't familiar with upper Manhattan usually associate Harlem with the 1970's-80's Crack Epidemic. So this statement will usually cause such a person to make an involuntary look of concern. I then give them a confused stare, sit back, and watch/listen to them ask questions or make statements that only result in them appearing to be ignorant, judgmental, and impertinent.]
#6) My bad-ass gangster status has gone up exponentially.
#7) I’ve been filling out a lot of job applications lately and it’s good be well aware of which race category you fall under for the “optional” background survey found at the end of such documents.
#8) Being different is a good thing, according to what most of us were taught in elementary school
#9) The house where Wes Anderson (director of some of the whitest movies ever made) filmed The Royal Tenenbaums is in my neighborhood. That fact alone makes me WANT to be a white girl living in Harlem. Note- Wes Anderson films are my favorite and arguably the most under awarded in the movie making industry.
#10) My language skills in Ebonics, Spanish, and cursing combinations have greatly improved.
Post Summary: I am a caucasian female.