Monday, August 30, 2010


atm Pictures, Images and Photos
I've been spending a lot of time in a very Italian neighborhood in East Williamsburg. I really enjoy it. I come from a big Italian family myself (on dad's side), so I find the site of biscotti thru a bakery window, fresh pasta, well kept nails and eyebrows, lots of arm movement/hand gestures, and gaughty interior/exterior decorating very comforting as I adjust to my new life in Brooklyn.
There are several friendly faces I see almost every day, I even get a wink from some of them and I smile warmly in return because it's so nice to interact with people in a neighborhood where they at least make some effort to make you feel welcome.

My friends in the neighborhood who didn't grow up here always talk about the presence of the Mafia around these parts, but I'm not one to speculate even though some of them claimed to have "heard this" or "seen that" supporting they're around. I told these friends of mine about a strange experience I had and they were certain I had interacted with a couple of gangsters, but who knows.

here it goes:

I was meeting my friend Jasmine for a BLT at 6 pm. As we met up on the corner, I realized I needed to get cash. We spotted an ATM right accross the street at this bar I've always passed walking to the train. Usually there are 4 or 5 guys sitting in lawn chairs out front and they're always friendly and give a wave and a wink in my direction.

As I was about to put my card in, I felt a shadow of a small group of men from behind.

"don't put ya card in sweetie. you don't wanna do that"

"oh is it broken or something?"
akwardly smiling as I waited for my card deets to register

"no. no. your account number is gonna go don't want that sweetie"
he said as he pulled out a HUGE wad of cash in a money clip - speaking in a soothing tone.

i said half laughing/half gasping

"Here. How much ya need? I just wanna give you some money. You don't need to give me nothing for it. I just.....ur a beautiful girl and I ah....... I ah..... wanna give you some money - thats all."

"OH- I'm really flattered........"
pondering for a moment, wondering what the right play is and what would happen if i did or didn't accept the offer.

mouthing "DAMN" to myself as I walked away with my friend and $60 less in my bank account, but who knows what the outcome would've been if i would have taken it.

I've had other offers over the last couple of months to buy food, drinks, even shoes. I decided to accept my first offer last week. A nice older Italian man insisted on paying for my Italian Ice, and I let him because I'm really trying to save money right now. and of course - it would have been rude to refuse, after all it was only $2 and that felt ok.

Hope you are enjoying that early fall weather :) - ARX