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Alfred Kazin - the Neighborhood Case

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Sasha L. Santiago

Business Communications

10.4.2012

Group 1

Alfred Kazin (1950- )

My Neighborhood

Understanding

From his old neighborhood, Kazin remembers seeing vegetable gardens in the park and the old warehouse next to the pool parlor. He remembers smelling the sweaty sweet dampness from the pool during the summer and the brine from the delicatessen store. Remembering the taste of beer and Eskimo Pies were very fond to him. Sounds that he could never forget were the gravel crunching under his feet and the clocks ringing in the fire station. Textures that danced in his head were the harshness of goldenrod and the heavy bat that he used to bat a ball down Chester Street. The details that I read helped me experience the place that Kazin wrote about because he was detailed about what made his home "his home". It made me feel like I was the little boy running around feeling the emotions that he felt when growing up. Personally, his neighborhood was not the safest neighborhood out there, but it was just as safe as the schools are in this present year. I could tell that his neighborhood was rough, but somewhat quiet. The words that I would use to describe Kazin's city block is rugged.

In the second paragraph when Kazin said, "We worked every inch of it", the context that he used it in meant that he controlled every inch of whatever he was working on.

I felt that Kazin felt trapped at times. From the way he said certain things like anything away from the block was good; the odd successiveness of things in myself almost choked me; and only to see something new, to get away from each day's narrow battleground between the grocery and the back wall of the drugstore showed his feelings of confinement.

Three games that Kazin remembers playing are regulation handball, hard ball or bat a ball, and one-o'-cat. These games were an important part of Kazin's life because they were a rite of passage to him. I think that Kazin and his friends played these games with such passion because they probably had no other games that were available to them. They were the only games that kept them from getting into problems. I find that every kid learns certain games at a certain age giving them the knowledge of how it is like in the world. It doesn't give you all the knowledge you need but it starts you off at a young age to give you a head start of how something's in life are going to be like.

Kazin's childhood memory of the monument works is a poignant memory for him because it was oppressively mysterious and remote. He filled the monument with his fears. The magnitude of the city being an urban graveyard from which he wanted to escape was

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