Tasha Nguyen

August 3, 2013

State Street, Hudson, NY


Maija Reed

Maija Reed
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Tasha is a 20-year-old resident of Hudson. Tasha has a daughter almost one year old, and said they may stay or may move away. She has lived here her whole life and seen many changes. Warren Street has more trees now, Club Helsinki is new, and the house by TSL (Time Space Limited) is a real house. There are new houses built on Columbia Street by the High Rise. Since Tasha was young Union Street used to be a quiet street but now there are new buildings for rich people where there was nothing. There are lots of antiques on Warren Street and so much noise now on 5th Street with cops, fighting, and more people. 

Growing up on Union Street felt safe back then. She could be playing outside without parental supervision; jumping rope, playing tag. She stayed on the block and had a nice backyard with a great garden. Their house was large with old paint on walls, and old newspaper for insulation, and inside an antique house! It was furnished with antique sinks, a bathroom with a clawfoot tub, and a balcony. As a child she was never bored. She loved to draw and played house, school, and doctor, and friends came over to the “Adventure House.”  Drawing and art have always been important to Tasha. It has been like a story that is calming and meditative, generating feelings of beauty and structure. Even though it is not easy and [it’s] time consuming it keeps boredom away. In high school Tasha was one of the best students in drawing. 

During earlier times on Union Street Tasha recalled her sisters and family. She said that her Mom was always working but Dad only worked in the morning and came home to cook. Tasha and her younger sister Kayla played; the other two older sisters weren’t home much because they were usually at people’s houses. Dad was usually with his friends in the kitchen. Her mom put the children to bed. Her parents didn’t play with or talk to her and her sisters, which made them independent from a young age. Tasha bonded with her two younger sisters, but her older two sisters didn’t bond with the younger sisters. The changes are that people have moved away. Tasha wished for bonding with family, missing that. 

Dad insisted on moving to State Street from Union Street. Tasha remembers the packing and workers busy there while they moved in and lived there. In the house on Union Street she could hear everything people said, the smell was different too, and scary at night because of squeaky wood floors.  

For 20 years - she is almost 21 years old now - she has lived in Hudson. She is always in the house. She reads, draws or eats and finds it boring, she doesn’t have cable. Tasha said that there is trouble outside on the street so she stays away because it is safer. She does enjoy the beauty of the riverfront, trees, and the changing seasons. Tasha said back when she was younger, things were different. Today parents don’t seem to have control over their children. Hudson is a good place but the people are the problem. Her mother grew up in Hudson, so she has stories like in school you could be paddled, there was less teen pregnancy, drugs, weapons, violence, and less trouble. Tasha discussed seeing young people on the street with a lack of manners. She would try to help by talking to them about being respectful, having manners, not littering, etc. Tasha would voluntarily interact with someone to be respectful. 

She sees 14 and 15 year olds running the streets late at night and worries. If that was her child, they would not be out so late. But now there are no curfews in Hudson and parents don’t seem to care to teach kids otherwise. Tasha imagines in the future Hudson will change for the worse because of social networking, drama, bullying, and suicide. She said that people need to be more focused on their own life. She sees Hudson as different. There are so many alley cats and so few birds. 

When asked if there are positive points about Hudson she mentioned the after school programs, the nonprofits that are helping, the school, and the library. Tasha wished that there was an arcade, and a little club or program for teens to help them stay away from drugs. She discussed how it could be conducive for seniors to graduate from Hudson High School if it was an area for fun without drugs, no drama, and it helped to encourage fewer dropouts. If she was mayor she would change things for the future; making positive things for kids; more cops, get rid of antique stores and change them to kid centered places with music, video games, and dance battles. She would help poor homeless people because DSS (the Department of Social Services) isn’t helpful. She would build a shelter with counselors, a homeless school; make more jobs, build better food places and houses that are affordable. She would also have more buses rather than cabs, which are too expensive. Tasha said that there is nothing to do in this small town. 

Tasha spoke about school in Hudson and how many kids got into trouble. There used to be less drama, and some teachers understood but others were boring. For her she said it was mostly a good experience, but she didn’t learn much. Teachers didn’t teach anything often because other students were too distracting. She wishes she did more in high school but dropped out due to personal issues. She also wishes she learned more and graduated. But now she must just go forward. She said that she will be there for her daughter. 

Why Hudson? There are very historic places, interesting: Indians, whales, Henry Hudson.Tasha questioned why there are old historic buildings that have been neglected, empty for years and wonders who used to live there? She wishes they would open them up to see inside, and wonders why they are abandoned? Some are on Union Street near the Old Church, Warren Street, and Allen Street. There are also some old houses but they are inhabited. Before the high school was built, everyone went to what is now the middle school building. Tasha also remembered that Front Street Park had monkey bars but they were removed due to injuries. She also wondered about secret doors on Warren Street in basements of buildings from the time of slavery.

Interviewer Bio:

Maija Reed

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