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A tale of two cities: A different "Bronx Tale"

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

"A Bronx tale" is one of my favourite movies and it definitely contains one of my favorate quotes of all time, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent”


I remember, the first time, I ever watched it. I was living in a second floor apartment on 187th street and Belmont Avenue in the Bronx. Exactly where the opening scene was shot! It was so surreal, I had to pause the movie, peer out my bedroom window and confirm that I was looking at the exact same street corner I was watching in the movie.

“For most of us, there are moments in life that feel like turning points. This movie was filled with so many honest commentaries on society and all the stories had such a genuine human component to them, that I instantly fell in love with it.”

Awake up call

As the movie went on, I connected with one part of the story in particular. The moment when Sonny said to Collogilo, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent” was like a wake up call to me. I felt like Robert DeNero, who was playing Sonny, was speaking directly to me. I had been so distracted with lifes hurdles for so long, I had almost completely abandoned my creativity. I was no longer drawing, painting or writing. I instantly realized that I had been living the saddest version of my life. The fact that the movie had an uplifting message and was filmed right on the corner I lived on, was not lost on me either. In addition to this powerful jem of a quote, the movie also gave me a lot of valuable historic insights about our neighborhood "Little Italy". It hilighted the prejudice and social injustices that existed in this now diverse neighborhood in the 1960's and 1970's. At the time i was watching the movie, in about 2008, I could feel the risidual vibrations of this energy like an uncomfortable buzz in the background that I couldnt quite put my finger on, but I had never personally had any overt encounters with racism in the Bronx. I might also mention that the Itallian guys in the Belmont section of The Bronx nicknamed "Little Italy" were always really nice to me too.

Racism in Little Italy in the Bronx

In the last three to four years my experiences with rasism in The Bronx have changed greatly however. In fact they have changed so significantly that they closely resemble the events depicted in A Bronx Tale.

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