An Uptown Portrait: Patrick

Uptown Portrait Patrick

As a baby, Patrick Tolbert moved to Harlem from the Chelsea Projects. A few decades have passed since then – he is now 60 but has the energy of a young boy.

Standing shirtless in Fred Samuel Playground by W. 140th St. and Lenox Ave., Tolbert describes his neighborhood. “It’s like stepping on a landmine,” he says. “Watch your stepping.”

Friends will backstab you, he adds.

Tolbert’s friend, sitting on a bench nearby, nods his head slightly.

Under the shade of his newsboy cap, Tolbert’s eyes still twinkle. He smiles.

“Don’t trust nobody but yourself – and don’t trust yourself that much,” he says, his smile growing wider. “Because we make mistakes – don’t we?”

(As seen in Uptown Collective)

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