From the August 2014 magazine.

Raised in Loisaida

On New York’s Lower East Side, she did it her way and drank like the boys

I grew up on the Lower East Side of New York City, in a traditional Hispanic home with three brothers and two sisters. The boys were allowed to come and go as they wished, but the girls had to learn how to be housekeepers, in order to become good, submissive housewives. Well, I wasn’t having any of that, especially after I had my first taste of alcohol. I just aspired to drink like the boys.

At the ripe age of 12, during a holiday dinner, my mother, feeling a bit liberal, gave each of my sisters and me a glass of sweet sangria. Oh my God, it was euphoric. For the first time in my...

-- Vicky B.

New York, New York