Meet the Residents of MacDonough Street

Photo: Francis Agyapong for New York Magazine

This is a home. When that time comes, it will go to family.

—Travis Brathwaite

Tap to see price history of home

Travis Brathwaite, 26Current Owner, Freelance Film Production

Moved from: Halsey Street

My parents are from Barbados. They came over a long time ago, when they were in their young 20s, to the Jamaica, Queens, area. When I was 12, I moved to Halsey Street. The neighborhood seemed to me relatively the same as Queens. It was relatively good. You could go about your business without seeing too much trouble. I didn’t feel like things were changing much during junior-high-school or high-school years. But I guess at that age, you’re not really thinking about “the neighborhood” in that sense — it’s just school, friends, hanging out. It’s more noticeable once you’re conscience of looking to get your own place to live. 

I moved to MacDonough in 2012, to get my own place. I grew up in a house that was owned by family, so when it did come to mind, it was something that my family was like, “Go for it.” I brought it up when I was like 22. I said that since I was moving out, I might as well buy my own place. My aunt lives on this block. I had her come over and look at house. We all liked it. The previous owner moved back down South to be closer to her family down there.

At some point, I definitely started to take notice of people working more on their homes, “for sale” signs popping up. That was around college age. People were fixing up to sell, of course. But there was a lot of people fixing up just because it was time to. They were just making it look good. I think it had that kind of chain reaction. People putting in fountains, people doing their steps, painting the ironwork, redoing the façades. People became a lot more proactive.

I don’t foresee selling the house. I haven’t had any offers, other than those papers that keep getting dropped on everybody’s steps. But it’s not something I’m interested in at all anyway. If you are personally buying your own home to live in, it’s because you eventually intend to pass it down to your kids, so that they have a roof over their heads. People flipping has an effect, but not really. Really, I think what affects the neighborhood is who your neighbors are: Are they good people? How comfortable do you feel with your neighbors or with your neighborhood? What really makes the neighborhood is the people who live there.