The New York Times asked residents in community districts that were highly divided along racial and ethnic lines to describe what they liked and didn’t like about their neighborhoods.
Washington Heights, Manhattan
Community District 12; 70 percent Latino
Jennifer Celadilla, 27
A middle school teacher
“In the ’80s and ’90s it was really dangerous to live here. Shootouts were a normal thing. I remember my mom used to tell me, ‘Don’t stand in front of windows’ after a certain time.”
“Now it’s fine for the most part. There is high poverty. It’s very common to have two or three families inside one apartment.”
“If you go on 181st, you notice there’s a lot of bigger businesses coming in. We started first getting the Starbucks. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. It brings jobs into the community. At the same time, we do feel the effects of gentrification. Rising prices, rent. We have people who had to move out from here. It’s not so much segregation that I’m worried about. It’s really the livability of the area. Can I stay here?”