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September 08 , 2008

Fish Out of Agua

My Life on Neither Side of the (Subway) Tracks


A voice from the loudspeaker blared, "Will the family who brought the little redheaded white girl to the Puerto Rican Day parade please come to the bandstand to pick her up." I looked around. Wait a minute. I am at the bandstand. I am that lost girl!
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Michele Carlo, a redheaded, freckle-faced Puerto Rican raised in the Polish section of the Bronx, grew up as a permanent outsider. Too white for her proud, Spanish-speaking relatives and a mystery to her schoolmates, Michele braved a search for identity that was a long, rough and tumble ride. . .

By turns heartbreaking and humorous, she recalls the family calamities, fumblings of first love, and all the people and events that shaped her. From her "playground battlefield" in the not-so-wholesome summer of '69 to many adrenaline-fueled, graffiti-filled afternoons and her emergence as an artist with a unique and alluring voice, Michele's story is an homage to a New York City gone by. . .and an iconically American, unforgettable portrait of growing up.


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