The Red Light



117th Street and Third Avenue, 10035

Neighborhood: Harlem

One March afternoon, I was at my neighbor’s house on the balcony. I was excited because it was a nice sunny day, and there were a lot of people outside having fun and listening to music. At the time my neighbor and I were listening to Elvis Crespo, Suavemente, eating nice juicy mangos. She was making her own scene, by singing, and let me tell you she cannot sing at all. The streets were packed with a lot of people, mostly Puerto Ricans. All of a sudden I heard a woman scream, and of course I looked down, and I actually saw a man fly across the street on top of the sidewalk and he landed in front of my building. I got worried because the man looked like my uncle so I ran downstairs to see what had happened.

What happened was that a girl from New Jersey was speeding and she took the red light and the man was crossing when all of a sudden she hit him. She got scared so she left the scene. Meanwhile the ambulance came, people kept touching him and moving him around to see if he was alive, but it was too late, he was already dead. He had a broken leg and his head was swollen, and very bloody. This scene took place at 117th Street and 3rd Avenue, where there is always something tragic happening. There are a lot of stores there and it’s just a happy place to be in. When the ambulance and police arrived, they were questioning everybody to find out how the car looked but everyone was so scared that they couldn’t identify the car. All they knew for a fact was that the car had a broken window in the front.

Around 9:00 p.m., I was once again on the balcony and I saw three cop cars and another little car. I quickly went back downstairs to see what was happening. I noticed that the car they had stopped was the one that hit the man because the window was broken. It turned out to be the girl that ran him over, she was speeding and was drunk as well. She and her three friends got arrested.


This essay was written as a part of a HREF=”” TARGET=”_new”> workshop.

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