This is Robert
Robert was sitting on his scooter with his friend, James, as I walked down Broadway by 81st. Street. I introduced my self and told him about my blog and asked if I could interview him and take a few photos to which he agreed.
Robert is 71 years old, born in North Carolina and had moved to New York City at the age of 22. He had an aunt who lived in Brooklyn and he had always liked the idea of living in the City with its hustle and bustle of life. There is always something happening and always something to do. When he first arrived, he worked in the garment district. He said the work was hard and physically taxing. He did a variety of different jobs, from packing boxes of garments to loading and unloading trucks and pushing heavy racks of clothing, frequently two at a time through the busy streets of Manhattan.
Robert has had a difficult life with many struggles. There was a time when he was in what he called the "Shelter Program." He was homeless, lived on the streets and in several shelters until he was finally able to get an apartment of his own. He pointed to a nearby building and said five years ago, he had moved there. That is where he hopes to spend the rest of his life. He loves spending time with his friend, James. James pointed to Robert and said, "he is my best buddy."
Robert told me that he loves living in Manhattan because there is always something to do. He is never bored. I asked what he dislikes about living in New York City and he took his time, but couldn't think of a thing.
Life has not always been easy for Robert, but he has landed in a good place. He loves getting out every day and enjoying life, especially with his good buddy, James.
Robert is widowed and has three grown boys, all of whom live in Brooklyn and who visit him several times a week. He is pleased that he has a good relationship with his sons and feels the importance of their connection.