Jersey City Photographer

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olympus xa2 // snapshots

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my parent’s convenience store. It’s in the heart of the east end, and they’ve been there for a little over a decade now. A lot of change has come to the area, for the better? who knows yet. I owe everything to the neighborhood—my education, my shelter—It has clothed and fed me. My parents tell me to thank it every time I turn to go home. I do. Thank you.

I remember being eight years old, sitting in a circle at school. One by one, we had to tell our class what our parent’s ‘did’. Doctor. Lawyer, engineer, nurse, then me, me who has photographs of herself as a child next to racks of Playboys, riding Princess Jasmine-themed bikes down aisles, running tickets through the lotto machine, me, me who didn’t know what to say, me who replied, my mom is a cashier so fast the words blurred together.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself never to be ashamed.

 my cousin in the kitchen of her convenience store frying chicken

my cousin in the kitchen of her convenience store frying chicken

 my tired father behind my mother behind a lotto machine behind a dirty plastic wall

my tired father behind my mother behind a lotto machine behind a dirty plastic wall

 batman smoking and my mother making sure I get to my car safely

batman smoking and my mother making sure I get to my car safely

 my father smoking in the shadows of the empty seafood restaurant

my father smoking in the shadows of the empty seafood restaurant

 theodore hanging off my father’s leg because he wants to go home

theodore hanging off my father’s leg because he wants to go home

 the place my aunt was murdered

the place my aunt was murdered

Alyssa Ki