Alyssa D. Metcalfe was born in the early 1960s in the Washington Heights section of New York City. At the time, the area was mostly low to middle income, with a large population of immigrants from European and Latin Countries.
She and her older sister were raised by her British father, American mother, and German maternal grandmother, who conveniently lived right across the street. Her father was a jazz pianist who played in a band on a Cunard cruise ship that toured the Caribbean Islands.
By 1970, the Metcalfes qualified for affordable housing for artists in the West Village. The building took up an entire block and was full of families with children, in what was considered a relatively safe neighborhood. Given the times and the community, it wasn’t unusual for people to share a hands-off style of parenting—something that’s currently referred to as “free-range parenting.”
Her free-range beginnings as a child in Manhattan serve as the inspiration for much of her writing today.
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