Bancroft between 66th Ave. and Havenscourt

ov lacsado neighborhood reflection

By Tiffany Lacsado

It is a Sunday mid-morning on Bancroft Avenue between 66th and Havenscourt. People are milling around going from one place to the next. The “saved” are in cars circling the block, praying to the parking angels so they can park not too far from the steps of their houses of worship.

Colorful church outfits weave in and out of the brown and grey suits. Lil Jon’s Turn Down for What? blasts from across the street. I feel the song’s vibrations.

Boys on “scraper” bikes ride by, their oversized tires covered in spokes decorated with neon pink duct tape and silver foil, while an elderly lesbian, with her iguana on her shoulder  and rolling her chickens in a cage down the street, stops to say hello to my toddler son who immediately runs from the gate when he eyes the “monster” on her shoulder.

I close my eyes and inhale a mixture of scents – car exhaust, freshly cut grass, the trees – but it’s the aroma of Ms. Genny’s wood-smoked barbecue billowing out from her restaurant on the corner that wins out. I open my eyes on the exhale and realize I’m hungry.

My thoughts of food are interrupted by the cries of a new born baby coming from an open bedroom window in the dirty, pink ,art deco apartment complex next door. I hear the laughter and trash-talking from the guys playing dice on the other side of the gate.

Author Profile

Tiffany Rose Naputi Lacsado was born on the island on Guahan (Guam) to a native Chamorrita and a Filipino contract laborer from Bohol, Philippines. As a child her family island hopped from Guahan to Hawai’i before settling and spending her most formative years in deep east Oakland, California. She is an alumni of Castlemont High School and has spent over a decade earning her bread and butter working in HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual and reproductive health promotion for LGBTQ youth and young adults. She is the founding member of One Love Oceania, an indigenous Pan-Pacific Islander Women's performance group and mother to Buhay age 2 and Shola - coming soon in October 2014. In the fall she will complete the University of San Diego Lactation Educator Counselor certificate program.

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