KENSINGTON BLUES

City Hall


City HallCity Hall, 2011.

Audio Transcript

CITY HALL: Alright, my name’s City Hall, and I first came up in Kensington, 1990, that’s when I was going to Kensington High School, started hanging up in the neighborhood and stuff but I didn’t really get caught up in the drugs and all that, just being a bad kid and everything. But as the years went on, about 97, I started dealing and got caught up, y’know what I mean, on Tioga, with the wrong people and stuff all at a young age into the prostitution stuff, a lot of gangbanging. You get used to that type of stuff being around you so I was like hey what’s another way to get some quick money than being up here, but it was the wrong choice I made so I fell back a couple years later but, you know, now I’m back up here and um it seems though, it seems though it just got worser.  As me living here, they just see me nothing as selling drugs or doing something wrong. But other than that, like you know, it’s hard, it’s really really hard out here like some of us that’s all we got, you know, that’s all we know.  But everybody up here is not a bad person or struggling to do drugs but that’s what they look at us as, as selling drugs or just gangbanging but no, that’s where we at this is where we live in Kensington, and I’ve been here and I’m not going nowhere. And I go back to court in October for a case for locked up for my own prescription because I’m on the block and I live down the street it doesn’t make any sense.  You know it’s, it’s really hard for us, like I cry every morning when I wake up knowing I gotta come out here and be around this, but this is all we know.   And so if you, if you gonna get locked up when you ain’t going on something and so, what is you going to do now? Now I need a lawyer like I really was doing it, it was my prescription! I can’t have my prescription drug on me? Cause somebody else threw some pills out here? You mark me up with them and grab the wrong dude because the person who sold you the pill, I know who did it! And I’m caught up for it you know what I mean and nobody’s helping me with bail money and now they taking me straight to trial, so how should I feel? I feel hurt finding out yesterday I went to court last week I didn’t even get in nobody’s explaining my case and why am I hiring a lawyer to pay him $1500 to go to preliminary knowing I’m not even going to get in? Now they tellin’ me I’m going straight to trial some people say because your case is weak it’s your prescription I just don’t know, no I don’t know anybody could tell on you these people they buy drugs and then when they get sick they tell on you, what can you do? And it’s not a black and white thing up here none of that plays. It’s about money and who’s doing wrong like I jump in the car the other day and kept riding and kept telling him to stop you’re drawing heat up here, but he kept going.

They calling the cops down there, I’m about to get out of here, but I’m here with you. POPO!  Walk that way, bro.

Flo

131031- 010Flo, 2009.

Mike Sweat

Picture 012Mike Sweat, 2011.

Mike_Sweat_JournalJournal Entry by Mike Sweat, 2011.

Untitled

Untitled, 2009.

Maria

Jeffrey_Stockbridge_Maria-02Maria no.2 , 2009.

Danny

Jeffrey_Stockbridge_Danny-02Danny, aka Hinnky, 2010.

Shannon

131031- 036Shannon, Harrowgate Park, 2011.

Journal Entry by Shannon

Jeffrey_Stockbridge_Journal_Entry_ShannonJournal Entry by Shannon, 2011.

Teri

20100109 002Teri, 2009. (see also Teri, 2008.)

Azlyn


Jeffrey_Stockbridge_AzlynAzlyn, 2011.

Audio Transcript

JS: Alright, so what was your name again?

Azlyn: Azlyn.

JS: And how long have you been working out here?

Azlyn:  I just started, only like 2 months.

JS: What I’m doin is, what I’m doin is trying to make photographs uh that kinda communicate that we’re all human beings and that the people out here are still people. They just need help. Um you know, that they just have circumstances that no one else really knows about.  You started to tell me a little bit about those circumstances.

Azlyn: I was raped by my stepdad.  What is there to say?  That like, I guess that’s why like a lot of people say that like I do drugs, is to cover up like the pain and the feeling of being abandoned.  Not being abandoned but basically it was because like my mom let it happen, my dad knew about it; it started when I was 7 years old with him raping me, beating me, and it continued until well the raping stopped because I was old enough- I was strong enough to fight it off, but the beating didn’t stop until I moved out.  So, I just feel, felt alone, like nobody was there, so I guess that’s one of the reasons why I use is to cover up that one of feeling dirty and disgusting and unwanted.

JS: Um did you find it helped escape the other things that were bothering you?

Azlyn: For a little bit but not you know.  I don’t know.

JS: I mean now that, I mean that pain never really went away, did it?

Azlyn: No, that pain will never go away.

JS: And doing drugs is a, is like a temporary thing, right, just to keep your mind off it?

Azlyn: Temporary numbness, yeah.

JS: What do you think that you would actually have to do to, to um feel better about your past, to try to get over it?

Azlyn: Well, I go to counseling, but I don’t really like to talk about it as much; I like to keep it bottled up inside.  That’s what one of my problems is; I keep my emotions in because I don’t really trust a lot of people cause the people who were supposed to be protect me were hurting me, so it’s hard for me to be able to trust anyone.

JS: Who do you trust?

Azlyn: I trust my boyfriend, Vinny, but that’s basically about it.

JS: And how do you and your boyfriend survive out here?

Azlyn: Make money.  I do what I do, and he does what he does.

JS: And, how much, um you use Heroin?  Um what is, what is your habit?  How, how much do you use it?

Azlyn: Well between me and him, only in a couple hours cause I told you how I got out of jail last night.  I spent like $200 in, like, 3, 4 hours, but we also were doing coke, too.  But we also ate like I don’t, I try not to spend all my money on drugs, like I try to do like normal things too.  Like we went out to eat and stuff like that also.  But I try not to have drugs as my main focus in life.  I mean it is a focus in life because I don’t want to be sick.

JS: Have you tried to get off?  Have you tried the methadone clinic?

Azlyn: I did go into, I walked off the methadone, off 160 mg.  I’m going upstate New York either tomorrow night or Monday morning for a couple weeks, gettin’ Suboxone going a change of scenery.

JS: What does your boyfriend think of that?

Azlyn: He’s coming with me.

JS: Oh, wow.  You guys are doing it together.

Azlyn: Yea.

JS: And he’s, he’s been using Heroin too?

Azlyn: Mmm hmm.

JS: Do you have any other friends out here on the Ave?

Azlyn: I do, but I don’t really talk to people, you know people get shady.  It’s all about themselves. I help out people, help out so much, like buy people stuff and everything, and when I need it, they’re not there so I just.  But I don’t like seeing anyone sick, so I try like I can’t help but help them, but I guess it’s me being too kind.

It’s a disease you know like it’s not something that we want; we don’t want to be drug addicts; we don’t want to have to find a way how to get money; we want to be like normal people, and it’s just a disease like anything else.

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