Category Place of Origin

Daniela

Hugging her two boys on the back of a bus laid Daniela, as she stared out the window and digested her last few moments in her home country of Kosovo. In Kosovo she would leave not only the frightening memories… Continue Reading →

Mariel

Mariel from Ilo-Ilo, Philippines Abigail Calumpit MHC Seminar 150: People of New York City “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to New York! In roughly twenty minutes, we will begin our descent to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The local time is… Continue Reading →

Rebecca

    As the cars honk and the ambulances screech, Rebecca crawls out of bed and gets herself ready for the day. She remembers when she first arrived in America, she loved all the noise that came from the city…. Continue Reading →

Ferdous

The first thing Ferdous notices as she walks out of the Church Avenue subway station at 8 PM is the reddish hue of the sky as the sun begins to set. More people are mingling on the streets, and she… Continue Reading →

Hayet

Hayet put her hand to her face and thought, struggling to put how she felt about New York into words. After a few moments, she said, “It’s a dream.” She nodded and repeated her assertion. For her, this new land,… Continue Reading →

Lev

It’s a quiet afternoon in the Macaulay Honors lounge of the Hunter College library. Students are gathered in groups studying for exams or conversing in the minimalist white and blue room. Down the hall, Lev, the director of Macaulay Honors… Continue Reading →

Rose

Rajwinder is currently 44 years old, but she was only about 24 when she decided to move from Punjab to New York City. Punjab is a state in Northern India, and, much like the rest of India, it boasts a… Continue Reading →

Joy

BROOKLYN, New York — It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, but inside Didi Fresco Tortilla and Chinese Restaurant, Joy is hard at work. She greets every customer who walks into the small storefront. Joy recognizes many of her return customers, and… Continue Reading →

Helen

It is a cloudy, unseasonably chilly day in the sleepy village of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester County, New York. Helen Zhang scurries around the kitchen, busily preparing an assortment of small snacks, despite my numerous pleas that there is… Continue Reading →

Grace

BROOKLYN, New York — The sun is just beginning to set in Midwood, and the streets are beginning to grow quiet. Parents are exhausted from a long work week and gather with their children for Sunday dinner before the work… Continue Reading →

Karim

Karim situates himself in a quiet, air conditioned corner of the Hunter College library where he is currently a freshman. Finally, after years of unpredictable adjustments, he has a stable environment where he can focus on his studies. He begins… Continue Reading →

Yogini

In Queens, there is a neighborhood consisting of a small ethnic enclave of West Indians, more specifically Indo-Caribbean Guyanese and Trinidadian people. This neighborhood is South Richmond Hill, which also spreads into parts of Ozone Park. Guyana is a country… Continue Reading →

Jiahe

New York, NY —  It is 3:35pm. The bell rings and students rush out of 615A, home to Ms. Fletcher’s 10th period freshman composition class. While some head up to the 9th floor to grab their jackets from their lockers,… Continue Reading →

Pimbii

New York was not meant to be permanent. Back home, life in Africa was simple and beautiful: it consisted of cattle farming, safe streets, and fascinating wildlife. So when Pimbii decided to move to New York City at the age… Continue Reading →

Betty

On a little block in Sunnyside, New York, from the basement of a small row house, an array of noises can be heard: the unfurling of heavy-duty packaging tape, the sharp snip of scissors, and the rumbling of a sewing… Continue Reading →

Ishtiaque

    The alarm screeches and Ishtiaque Mahdi opens his eyes and looks at the clock, 6:00. It was just 3 hours ago that he finally allowed himself to sleep after studying all night for a calculus final. Pulling himself… Continue Reading →

Yana

Some people are meant to put everything on the line. They are willing to risk losing what they have or what they’ve created for themselves in order to go somewhere they could have more, create more, and be more. Immigration… Continue Reading →

Shakeela

It is another calm Saturday night and Shakeela follows her nightly routine of reading the Bible and praying. She sits in dismay of having to go to work in the morning, knowing that she will miss church because of it…. Continue Reading →

Liezl

For many immigrants, the promise of opportunity is one of the greatest motives for coming to America, and for some immigrants, they were dragged along in this quest for success as children, which was the case for Liezl, a Filipino… Continue Reading →

Jenny

Sitting in the cafe section of the Barnes and Noble in Union Square, looking around the room was like looking at a microcosm of New York City. The students, the nine-to-fivers, the tourists, the homeless, the young, and the elderly… Continue Reading →

Ilona

1989: Baku, Azerbaijan. Tanks patrol the neighborhood that young Ilona, 20, resides in as a medical student. The streets that were her home and childhood are now overtaken by guards in military uniforms, enforcing their anti-Azerbaijani regime on the citizens… Continue Reading →

Jane

“Shanghai, China was a quiet place. It was sometimes too quiet, too boring. Everyone wanted to go away to America, if not, at least to Japan, Australia, Spain or France.” Jane was one of the few people from her neighborhood… Continue Reading →

Gerald

The conversation lulled. Gerald paused and shifted in his seat, as if he were anticipating another question about his life back home. The battery of his hearing aid had gone out again. I watched curiously as he plucked a tiny metal… Continue Reading →

Their New York: Chaia

As she sat sipping bubble tea on her stoop in Elmhurst, Queens, Chaia welcomed me to join her. She began to tell me all about her experiences moving to New York City from the Philippines, and how the immigration has… Continue Reading →

Filia

A few days into her two preteens’ spring break, Filia sits next to me. Across the street from her house is P.S. 184 Flushing Manor, the elementary school that both of her children went to. Occasionally she returns to the… Continue Reading →

Mark

Amidst the crowded hall on the seventh floor of Hunter College West, I sat down with a distant acquaintance of mine. Clad in plaid with a beige wrist watch decorating his arm, Mark told me his story of immigrating from… Continue Reading →

Inna

An arc of seagulls amassed against a gust of wind high above Brighton Beach towards the Atlantic Ocean. Lowering the frame of focus will reveal a boardwalk littered with shops, restaurants, and a powerful Russian cultural influence. The series of… Continue Reading →

Nancy

“Why New York?” This is the first question I ask Nancy Nagourney. She contemplates at her desk thinking about how she should respond. In her office the plain white walls are easily ignored by the beautiful view of New York… Continue Reading →

Dominck

For a lot of immigrants coming to the United States of America for the first time, the sight of the Statue of Liberty and the lights of New York is an emotional, joyous occasion, as the prospect of obtaining a… Continue Reading →

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