Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Out and About in the East Village

In this ongoing feature, East Village-based photographer James Maher provides us with a quick snapshot of someone who lives and/or works in the East Village. East Village photographer Stacie Joy compiled today's post.

By Stacie Joy
Name: Ceasar Noel Soto
Occupation: 5th grade student (until June 28)
Location: Village View playground/basketball court
Time: 3:45 p.m. on Monday, May 23

I’m from Lower East Side and I was born in, I think, Beth Israel hospital.

I enjoy school. I play a lot with my friends after school and on the weekends, and I mostly play football and baseball. A little bit of basketball, sometimes. I just don’t get to play basketball that much, or that often. I play with a couple of my friends. My favorite position in football — I like to, like, run the ball, because I know I am big and I can take a bunch of hits. That’s offense. Offense is the people who have the ball. Defense is the people who are trying to tackle the people with the ball. So when that happens all you hear is big clashes and boom! Boom! Boom! And people falling, grabbing, throwing, stuff like that.

My parents don’t mind it because they know as a big kid I am not afraid to get scarred. I got scarred here and here [shows off scars], and then I cracked open this meat right here [points to bridge of nose] and it showed my bone. So I got 20 stitches. Yeah, I get hit a lot and I am used to it. That happened when I was 11, back in last summer, when a bike I was riding had no breaks. And I just blanked out and I was bleeding and I didn’t even know I was bleeding until I tasted the blood and it was just leaking out and it looked like I was crying blood.

I love playing sports at my school park at PS 140. It’s the best park you could ever play in with your friends. People know me around there, so if anything happens, they know where I live and stuff like that. A lot of my friends live next to there so if anything happens I can go straight to their house. There’s not that much drama, like at other parks. There’s not that much ruckus and you can do whatever you want as long as it’s not too loud. I haven’t gotten into trouble — not yet. But if my friends get into trouble they know where I live so I can help them. Any trouble, like if someone’s trying to attack them, or if my friend, he’s walking by himself and two people … he’s gonna come to me and then it will be an even fight. Not two versus one, which you can’t understand. If this happens, he knows I got his back.

My cousins are my best friends in the neighborhood because they live right there on Second Street. They don’t play sports with me ’cause they mostly like to hang. They don’t get to see me that often and I’m like a bigger brother to them. I’m 12 now and will be 13 next May. I do have a girlfriend but she doesn’t go to my school. We met over my Xbox and then we met up with each other inside of my school. We’ve been in a relationship for already a month. She’s 13, she’s only one year older than me. So when I hit 13, she’ll be 14. Relationship is good! No fights, nothing, she just loves me, ’cause of how I treat her.

My favorite places in the neighborhood are mostly my school and the store, Ben’s [Deli on Avenue B]. I like to go to my grandma’s house. She lives in the Baruch Houses. I also like Dallas BBQ. I love the bacon bar-b-que ribs! I also like to go Upstate New York with my dad. And he said when I hit 15, which is three years away, he’ll teach me how to drive, and when I am 16, he’ll come with me to get my driver’s permit. I’m kind of excited ’cause then when I have kids I can teach them how to drive, just like my dad taught me and my little brother. My brother has about 10 more years until he can do that.


Anonymous said...

Sweet young man. I've always loved the kids in our neighborhood, it's especially nice to see them in the summer enjoying themselves, playing games, eating ices, free from the tyranny of boring ol' school for a few weeks. Ah, youth :)

Anonymous said...

yeaaaahhh! great interview and photo! really nice to learn about the life of a kid growing up here, this one made my morning!

Anonymous said...

Ah, I remember those days of getting banged up. When you are young, nothing scares you.

Anonymous said...

First reaction, love this kid!