9, East Village
Do you like your neighborhood?
Well, my street is kind of dangerous.
There are a lot of drunk people. They just pour alcoholic stuff on themselves and smash bottles on cars when nobody’s looking.
What do you do when you see them?
I kind of just look away and then run.
Are you proud to be a New Yorker?
That sounded more like a question than a statement.
I am! Even though sometimes New York is kind of crazy, I think it makes me who I am.
I noticed you were doing some martial-arts moves.
I practice by myself. I taught myself.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A Power Ranger.
Have you ever seen a Power Ranger in real life?
7, West Harlem
What do you tend to do on the weekends?
We go to the Film Forum a lot. I love old movies.
What’s the last movie you saw there?
King Kong. I like musicals best though.
Like which ones?
Easter Parade, with Judy Garland, and Footlight Parade, with Ruby Keeler. I love her. I know all her tap routines.
So you tap dance?
Yes, at Smalls Jazz Club. When I grow up, I want to be a singer-dancer in the movies. Just like Ruby Keeler.
4, East Village
How do like being 4?
I am going to be 5 soon. My birthday is April 4.
What will you do to celebrate?
I want a Top Gun jet. And a space shuttle. We’re going to the top of a boat called the Intrepid. There’s a little rocket thing in there that I want to fly solo.
Phoenix Del Alma Cortes
7, Prospect Heights
What’s the best subject in school?
Science. You get to discover so many things that you never knew, and when you hear it, you just gasp.
What has made you gasp recently?
Cool creepy insects! Like cockroaches and lice. They creep me out. One time in kindergarten, they gave us this oil because lice was in our hair. It was terrifying to me.
5, Forest Hills
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
East Ocean Palace. We go there for dim sum, and I eat the pork buns. They’ve got tanks with fish and lobsters.
Do the lobsters scare you?
Nope. I’m not scared of anything because I’m a superhero!
You know, Spider-Man is from your neighborhood, Forest Hills.
Wow, that’s great! He’s Peter, and I’m Peter. And we’re both superheroes!
7, Clinton Hill
What’s fun to do in your neighborhood?
I always go to the Halloween Festival in Fort Greene Park. There’s a dog costume contest. And Ample Hills has good ice cream. They give you samples. I always get the banana.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
An actor. Like in Annie on Broadway.
Have you seen the musical yet?
Yeah. My favorite thing was the song “Tomorrow.” I know all the words. And the locket. I have a locket with pictures of my mom and my favorite stuffed animal.
9, Sugar Hill
What makes New York special?
I like that we have the American Girl store and that there are lots of parks where people can play. I also like that we have good food.
So I take it you don’t want to live in the country?
No. I went on a school trip once to a farm. I tried to milk a cow, but nothing really came out.
What would you change about New York?
I wish we didn’t kill so many animals. Why can’t people just be vegetarians?
12, Little Neck
Have you ever been to a Broadway show?
Yes. I just saw The Book of Mormon.
Your parents took you?
Was it weird sitting next to them when the actors were saying bad words?
A little. I like the end when they were trying to describe Mormonism with Star Wars.
Have you seen any Off Broadway theater?
There’s one I really want to see, Avenue Q.
What do you like about living in Queens?
That it’s not the city.
Yeah, it is!
No, it’s not. There are hardly any pretzel stands, there’s not many skyscrapers, and there’s no Empire State Building.
8, East Village
Do you ever spend time outside of the city?
Yes. New Jersey.
Which do you like better?
Would you like to move?
Yeah … and we are.
But you’ll always be from New York. How do you feel about that?
8, Prospect Heights
What do you think about Brooklyn?
Well, it isn’t exactly the best place in New York City because it’s never quiet. It’s always dirty, and your eardrums are always about to explode.
Where in New York do you think is less dirty and noisy?
Have you been to Queens a lot?