There really isn’t anything flashy about Jersey City. There are a few parks around my neighborhood: Washington, Persian and Palisades Park. I don’t really visit them as much as I did when I was a kid.  The simple pleasures of childhood seem to melt away with age. What was once fun, no longer lingers in our minds.

When I was seven, I used to go to Palisades Park every day with my friend Ronald. I first met him in first grade; we were in the same class and then we were in the same class for second grade.  We were the best of friends, he was a bit older and much taller than I was. I was such a tiny seven year old, but my imagination made up for size.

Ronald and I  were normal children.  We'd play on the jungle gym, go on the slides, run around the park and play tag. But we also did something not expected of children our age. We contemplated our futures. We knew we were here for something bigger and better than just playing games. We wanted to be important, to be big shots, but most of all we wanted to be successful.

There was a portion of the park that had a variety of trees and a big green gazebo. This would be a scene unto itself, but it wasn’t as powerful as the view it led out to. It was our favorite spot to go to when we would contemplate; it was the view out into Hoboken, but beyond that was a view to New York.  The skyscrapers always left us awestruck.

We didn’t know much about New York, but we knew that if you wanted to be somebody it would eventually take you to New York.  The sky has never been as beautiful as when we saw it with childish eyes. We grew up. With age came adulthood, with adulthood comes responsibility, but also a new pair of eyes.  Now when I look across Jersey City and Hoboken, to the New York skyline beyond, I think about escape.