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Alfredo Alvarado as a boy

Born: New York City

Editor-In-Chief, New York Latino Magazine

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The first time I went to Puerto Rico, I must've been nine or ten years old. And we also lived there for like almost a year. And, you know, one of the things that I liked about it was that--as a child was that we had uniforms. So having uniforms meant that we all blended in. So even though there were kids from the town itself and kids from the rural part of the town, where in most instances there weren't paved roads and some of the kids went around barefoot, everybody had a uniform. So nobody knew where people were coming from economically. And I remember I enjoyed that because when I came back to New York City to go to junior high school, it was the opposite. And all of those kids were fascists--fashion conscious and, you know, we didn't have the money to buy all the latest clothing. And you were kind of like trying to keep up with the other classmates. And I remember thinking: Man, you know, I really enjoyed having a uniform 'cause all you had to do was wake up in the morning and put the uniform on when you rolled out of bed and go out of the house. And when I came back to New York, you know, the only thing kids cared about were leather coats and suede shoes and sharkskin pants and I should have been paying attention to the schoolwork but I was caught up in that also. But that's one of the things I remember about Pueto Rico as a child--the uniforms

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