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Castro: Hunts Point Bronx | by Chris Arnade
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Castro: Hunts Point Bronx

Close to midnight, in the pouring rain, I saw Castro running down the street towards the shelter where he lives, followed by two men. They caught him in front of the Monestary and beat him. A police car, slowed, then pulled away, while the men continued to punch and kick Castro. After high fiving each other, they ran back to the corner bodega. When I got to him, Castro picked himself up and asked for another beer and a cigarette. I gave him a smoke and walked him back to the shelter.

 

Natalie was outside of the shelter, smoking. She took care of Castro, cleaning his face. I gave her a copy of the picture I had taken the prior day. Castro, seeing it, insisted on having one taken of him. When I asked him what had happened outside the bodega, he laughed and said, "nothing, nothing, everyone is nice to me." Natalie said Castro had bumped one of the men.

 

Born and raised in the South Bronx, Castro lived most of his life in a small space underneath the Bruckner overpass with his cats, before being brought to the shelter. He still walks everyday to his old space to bring food for the cats.

 

I post people's stories as they tell them to me. I am not a journalist. I don't try to verify, just listen.

 

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Taken on March 3, 2012