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Perspective

A Yellow House, a Native Heart: Life in New Orleans and Los Angeles

Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House and Cherríe Moraga’s Native Country of the Heart reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities.
relates to A Yellow House, a Native Heart: Life in New Orleans and Los Angeles
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Grove Atlantic

I was raised at the laundromat in the Preakness shopping plaza in Wayne, New Jersey, with my legs dangling from the seat of a plastic chair bolted to a thick metal beam and my neck craned up to see the television set on top of the vending machine.

Down the strip mall was a movie theater where we went for matinees, a Dress Barn where I got my prom dresses, a pet store where, through glass, I looked at tiny dogs that my landlord wouldn’t let us have, a small hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant where my mother and I would get soup and fried wontons for dinner while the laundry tumbled in a dryer down the road. In the middle of a parking lot there was an IHOP, a blue roof calling out from a sea of cars, where I would pick up flyers for Cats and beg my mother to get us tickets. That IHOP caught fire and closed before I went to high school. They never tore it down, and no business ever took over the building. That blue roof is still screaming. This year, at age 28, I saw Cats for the first time, but in Los Angeles at Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.