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Topics: Family, Mother, Father
Eleventh Street was the longest, narrowest, and oldest street in the town. It had lots of potholes and rifts. Eleventh Street was a busy street where I spent most of my time. Both sides of the street were lined with stores and restaurants. There were many people walking on the street. There were a lot fun things to do, all within walking distance, and no matter what time the year, the stores were opened to the public, except on major holidays. Eleventh Street embodied to most of my childhood.

Eleventh Street was a buzzing street, and it was the main street of the town. The first place I lived on in my life was Eleventh Street, for the reason those two months before I was born, my dad owned a salon on Eleventh Street. Therefore, my family and I lived on the second floor of the salon. Eleventh Street had the oldest and the biggest movie theater in the town. When I first walked in there, it was stinking. All the seats were neat but some of them are broken. When I was in kindergarten and elementary school, I had a lot of fun in the movie theater, because I was nervous but happy to perform a couple of times there. For instance, I remembered in first grade, our school celebrated Children’s Festival on June 1st 2001. My mom bought me a pretty sparkling, pink dress with a butterfly ribbon on the waist; thus I was too excited to sleep the night before the Children’s Festival. My mom did my hair early in the morning, made my hair fussy on the top and put two-butterfly headdresses on it. My class was to perform a dance that five people and I were standing in the front of the first row, and the other 10 people were standing on the center of the stage surrounded into a big circle. We were slowly dancing lightly and nimbly, holding beautiful flowers up on each hand while spinning our bodies and hands. Similar to Ann Hood's essay "Street Scene", her mother entered her in Little Miss Natick Beauty Pageant, "My Great Aunt Nuneen set my hair in rags to make perfect banana curls" (239).

Every time there was heavy rain, because the channels on the two sides of the street were choked up, Eleventh Street became a tiny river. Sometimes I loved that this happened; because I can wear my transparent flip-flops or green with cartoons rain boots to school. On my way to school, my friend kicked the rainwater to each other that made all our clothes got wet. Even though made the teacher punish us, thus standing outside of the classroom for an hour, we were still happy.

There was a volleyball playground at the corner of Eleventh Street. The volleyball playground was an outdoor playground, and had two small entrances. The volleyball playground was in the center surrounded by seats made of cement, looked like ladders. Every Chinese New Year, the playground had a volleyball competition for three days that participants and audiences were came from all over the city. It opened for free, so it was crowded over 2,000 people that some people only can stood on the side of the playground. Because I was tiny, so I could not see the game, so sometimes i sat on my dad’s shoulders. I was only eight years old, so I didn’t understand the rules of the volleyball games. My friend and I were jumping around the ladder seats; we also played rock paper scissor to see who could get to the top of the ladder first. Additionally, my dad always went to the entrance to buy some sunflower seeds to eat while he was enjoying the games.

Eleventh Street was a busy street which people came from all over the city. The police office was on Eleventh Street; also every time the police car rang continuously, my heartbeat accelerated, feeling nervous about something that happened. I remembered one time my mom brought me to the market at 8 o’clock in the evening, and it was freezing and raining in the winter. On our way there, I knew something was going on in front of the bar, because a lot of people were surrounded in a group. My mom tried to keep me away from the group; however I was curious about that; I ran up to the second floor of the market to see what was going on over there. I was surprised to see two strong and tall guys who wore black jackets one had a moustache and the other one was wearing an old navy blue down jacket; they were fighting to each other. They both had big knives in their hands like the one people normally use in the kitchen; they pointed their knives at each other. I saw the down jacket guy pushing a woman down on the ground; the woman was wearing a long, red, as sparkling dress who was sadly crying. I was so scared to see the fight, and I was trembling embraced my mom. After a minute, two police and one ambulance came and they arrested the two guys and brought the woman to the police office. That night, i couldn’t sleep, because when I got home, I still kept thinking about the fighting scene.

After second grade of elementary school, my mom went to the US and my father sold the salon. I found out about this the night before she got on the flight. I didn’t cry at all, because I thought she was going to the US only for a month, but she wasn’t. After a week, my family started to tell me about my mother, and then I started crying. I was sad for a month that I did not go school and did not eat well. I moved to live with grandparents, which was my mother’s parents in a small village close to town. Even though I no longer lived on Eleventh Street, I still passed by there every day; because I went to the same school. It was hard for me to adapt to a new environment without my mother. However, my grandparents took good care of me and cooked for me, showered me, and dressed me; I was pretty much like a new born baby. The most memorable thing is my grandfather driving me back and forth to school every day. He drove me to school in a shabby bicycle, with me seated on the back seat, my legs on each side of the tires, while holding in his waist, passing Eleventh Street as early as six o’clock every the morning, to be picked up in the torrid heat of noon. After lunch, he drove me back to school and picked me up again. That means I passed Eleventh Street four times a day; however my grandfather passed Eleventh Street eight times a day that I feel embarrassed that sometimes I was always in such a rush to go back to school, that my grandfather didn’t even have time to eat his lunch.

Eleventh Street was part of my life. I realized I do love Eleventh Street, because it embodied to my childhood which I will never forget. Similarly, Ann Hood loved River Street, because her childhood connected to River Street. Ann Hood says, "River Street, which used to point to my future, now holds the connection to my past" (240). Eleventh Street was not a beautiful street, however I am glad it brought me most were happiness and a carefree childhood.

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