I was born in Puerto Rico in 1953, and at the age of three I came to live in New York. We moved to a 105 Monroe Street, and lived there until 1960. It was a very small apartment with the bathrooms in the hall. It was spooky to go in that apartment, and I used to cry when I had to go to the bathroom in the night. My mother never worked. My father did, but my mother couldn't, so she stayed home sewing; she sewed clothes and sold them. I would wonder where she kept her money, I was young so I never thought about a bank. Once I noticed on the side of her pants she had a lump. It was a small pouch. She kept her money in a pouch. When she spent the money she would buy us things; candy, comic books, jacks, I also used to get cut out dolls. Little penny things she would buy for us. She would take us to Coney Island and give us a token each so we could put it in the turnstile. Back then it was 15 cents, the tokens. There were a lot of us—11 kids, and we all lived in that apartment on Monroe Street. The rooms were like a train. It was three rooms. My mom and my dad slept in one room, and my sisters and brothers in another.
– Nilda Galarca