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1636 University Avenue, Apt. 1A -

My Room, Bronx, NY 2002

Roaches were the bane of our existence. There were various methods which were supposed to kill them: boric acid was popular for a while. This white powder was sprinkled in every possible corner, and along every wall. The powder stuck to our sneakers, and we would track it on the carpet.

After a while we noticed roaches with little spots of white powder making similar tracks through the rooms.

There were periodic roach bombs when everyone had to leave the house. There were old wives tales, and stories of success from uptown that never worked for us.

And of course, there were waterbugs which was three times the size of a roach and scared the hell out of us. I sometimes wonder whether the producer of "Fear Factor" hadn't come out of the Bronx.

And my last night at 1636 was the worst.

My father had finally gotten around to packing his hundreds of books, and every one contained at least one roach. I didn't sleep at all that night because either they were crawling on me, or I imagined they were crawling on me. Our biggest fear was that we would take these roaches with us to our next home at 208th street. Every book had to be check and shaken. Every piece of clothing was examined. And I think it worked, because at 208th street we were finally roach-free.


I offer several Bronx photographs as Note Cards here

All photography copyright Dave Beckerman.