Uptown Legends: Historia De Lo Nuestro


Uptown is brownies served around the clock, the Uptown way,
the smell of chicken wings when I walk around La Casa De Mofongo.

Uptown is cars winking at me, pots whispering,
beds jumping around, rocks swimming.

In my city, purple cats eat pizza. A white bunny eats carrots
with an energetic pig.
Uptown is like soda popping out of a bottle, fun at first,
but also a big mess.

Uptown is coins running away from kids.

My city is kisses and noises, stinky socks and Captain Skeleton.
Uptown is dinner served on time.
Uptown is a dog in the pool going crazy.

We are a chocolate city that I eat entirely with sprinkles.
We are the speed of sound.
In my city, candy is rushing to us.
Books are playing and jumping with me.
We are books singing, we are paper talking.

Uptown is pancakes with syrup. It is rice and beans and
singing hippos on 181st street. It is my building on 179th.

Uptown is people laughing all around the city, people rushing to work.
My city is a butterfly that helps the flowers grow.
Uptown is like orange tigers running to fight a lion on a big rock.

Uptown is girls. They are on their way to school
with pink sweaters and yellow shoes.

Uptown is dirty birds taking a bath, cars singing,
people praying in churches.

We are construction workers, we are superheroes flying.
In my city, aliens are pranking, angry birds are attacking,
wolves are howling, Reggaeton is blasting.

Uptown is a pizza. Well not really, it is a great place
where people hum to tables.

Uptown is brownies falling down the sky and all the people
eating them.

We are the sounds of cars, we are the sounds of airplanes.

My city is basketball courts dribbling all around Manhattan.
My city is earrings praying for Gold. 

Uptown is a pool of rice and milk with animals swimming and eating it.
My city is a unicorn that sings all over town and dances with maracas.

We are turkeys coming alive, we are books reading themselves,
we are basketballs singing. 

Uptown is a place where people buy chicken from all over
the world, and where cows and ducks and horses fly.

We are rainbows, we are clouds roaring when there is a
storm, we are the wind when it is singing.

My city is a map, even the North Pole can see the whole world through us.
We are dogs barking for some love, the train screaming for freedom,
people sleeping like wild animals in the sky.

We are Uptown
We are New York City!


A letter from the students’ Teaching Artists:

Dear Young Artists,
We are grateful to have spent this 3rd grade year in Ms. Estades’ class at P.S. 132. We spent it laughing, growing, and learning with you. Your memories, your traditions, your history. Your hope inspires us. We are honored to work with enthusiastic students, avid learners eager to participate.

You told us about the legends of your names. You created city masks through the eyes that you see your city. You told us New York is a hot pizza, a dirty dog, and a train screaming for freedom.

You schooled us on Uptown. You used personification to sign to the moon and pray to puddles. You told us about the tree within you like Octovio Paz.

We took part in the grand tradition of quilt making, wrting our memories of Onion Cakes and Christmases gone by.

Never stop creating, young artists! Always believe in your gifts, your power, you voices. Though our ride on this ship comes to an end, keep sailing through new creative territories and reaching new lands. Share your wild dreams. Share your eternel legends. Always honor the still voice within you.

Love and Respect,
Bianca Garcia, Teaching Artist
Felipe Galindo, Teaching Artist