finding childhood in New York City

“Jacob (7), have you seen Tom and Jerry?”

Jacob remained quite.

And I soon realized Tom and Jerry don’t live anymore in his mind. It’s a sort of vintage cartoon now.

Jacob played a different sport, spoke a different language and between us, we had at least two decades of time.

I feel I have nothing to connect with him. I am unsure at this point if I will be able to direct Jacob to act in my first-semester student film at Tisch School of The Art, based on my childhood memory.

However, something is super common between us. We both are kids, Jacob is new to cinema land and I am new to New York City.

He does not know how 16 mm camera works, I do not know how right-hand traffic works.

He sometimes breaks into a smile, losing the emotion of a melancholic scene. I am most of the time lost in the city-I intend going uptown and I am taking the train downtown.

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Me and Jacob on our set. Photograph: Maria Lavelle

He sometimes turns quite on the set while all of us are running. I sometimes blank out, standing on the escalator, blocking a string of people wanting desperately to walk past me.

This new city makes me feel excited, nervous, confident, blessed, hungry and bored like a kid. Does Jacob feel the same way on the film set, perhaps?

You can find anything in New York City, every fragrance, all food, richness, poverty, posh condos and homeless.

Should it be a surprise, when I found my childhood here?


We shot the film on October 21-22, 2017 and are waiting for the 16 mm film to be developed. It went awesome!

One thought on “finding childhood in New York City

  1. “For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
    Congrats, Avi, it’s bound to be a beautiful film, can’t wait to see it!


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