By Bohemia Agent Thomas Rodriguez
What makes you happy? What does happiness mean to you? Is it wealth? Is it good health? Or could it be a great relationship? For some, happiness is watching their favorite TV show on the couch with their significant other. For others, it may be shopping all day until your credit card explodes. For me, happiness begins at home. It begins with waking up in the most comfortable bed next to my beautiful wife and the sounds of salsa blasting out of a speaker at 8am. Yes I said it, 8AM…and that's just for a funeral for a lifelong salsa lover (RIP Jose Luis Enrique Miguel Alzate Ruiz)
Why would I enjoy that? Why would anyone put up with that? Why is that something I like is something most people would hate? Well, because it's my neighborhood. It's MY neighborhood. Not yours, but mine. Something as wacky as salsa at 8am makes me happy. I enjoy the craziness of a wake up call filled with Tito Puente and Joe Arroyo. I have to wake up at some point, why not wake up to the soundtrack of my little block?! I enjoy saying hello to everyone I recognize but have never met. I love conversations with complete strangers about the neighborhood changing and not once someone mentioning how bad it is for us. And when you're getting your haircut you don't have to say anything because he knows exactly how you like you hair (uptown fade). How could you not love your neighborhood? It's YOUR neighborhood.
While on a long vacation, have you ever thought to yourself, "I can't wait to get home." Why is that? Why is it when you spend all day on a beach, drinking margaritas and eating grapes, the first thing you say towards the end of your trip is "I can't wait to sleep in my own bed." A 5 star all inclusive hotel with flowing drinks and a bed made of gold with a diamond-encrusted backboard and mattress built for king–yet, you still want to come back to your 400 square foot studio in a fifth floor walk up. It's because you love your neighborhood. You love everything that isn't perfect about your neighborhood. I moved to this area 6 years ago, and fell in love with it 6 years ago. And when I got married to my wife I brought her into our neighborhood. When we have kids I want them to grow up in this neighborhood. When we're old and gray and sitting outside watching our grand kids play in the water spouting from the fire hydrant, I want to tell them about our neighborhood. I hope you find your neighborhood!