Richard Price On Growing Up In the Golden Age of Public Housing

Longreads

The New York City Housing Authority began construction on the North Bronx’s Parkside Houses in 1948. The first tenants—including the family of novelist Richard Price—began moving in during the spring of 1951. In a recent piece for Guernica, Price detailed the rise and fall of public housing in New York, told through the lens of his own upbringing. Below are some of his early recollections:

This was the beginning of public housing’s golden age. And it would last for roughly fifteen years.
Similarly résuméd couples in their mid- to late twenties found each other effortlessly, quickly forming tightly knit cliques. The men were postal workers, chauffeurs, garment factory foremen, institutional cafeteria managers, cabbies, truck drivers, subway motormen, and the odd luncheonette or bar owner. The wives/mothers did what wives/mothers did back then. Housewifing, maybe taking on a little part-time work to cut the drudgery if their own mothers could cover…

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