As soon as you drove into East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem, you knew you were in a different world. The Puerto Rican culture was strong here. You could feel its rich history ingrained within its streets and its proud residents. The scent of authentic Puerto Rican food flowed out of smaller restaurants like Cuchifritos, and blew throughout the area, making the rest of us realize how long it has been since we've eaten something homemade.
I was twenty-three when I received the keys to my first studio apartment at Three-Forty-Seven Manhattan Avenue. No kid my age could afford such a thing. Especially with a record under my belt. But with Willie’s help at the time, he managed to get my record expunged and forced me to use the certification I gained during my two year stay in jail to get the kind of job that could help me pay the bills. Who knew learning about how to fix computers and shit would come in handy. Of course just fixing broken screens and replacing dead batteries weren’t enough to sustain the rent alone. Willie helped me get into a city program that paid for at least half and the rest I had to cover. Hence where RideShare came in. I’d heard about it one day while grabbing a quick bite to eat downstairs at the corner store and managed to get the details from the store owner who frequently used the ride service. Not too long after that, I was part of the RideShare explosion and picked up passengers from the airport almost every weekend when I wasn’t working at my other job.