October 10, 2021
Like millions of immigrants, including my great-great-grandparents, who came to NYC from Europe in the late 1800s to escape growing anti-semitism, persecution, political oppression, and poverty in their native countries, NYC, has always been a safe haven, a realm of possibilities, a symbol of the America Dream. Engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads Emma Lazarus’s poem, The New Colossus, a testament to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Over a century later, NYC is still the city of dreams— a melting pot of diversity where polar opposites co-exist, and people are encouraged to explore and embrace their true identity. Where “abnormal” is actually normal and misfits are revered as mavericks. Where conversations are expansive; music, art, and fashion are avant-garde; and creativity is the only dress code. Where innovation is alive, energies palpable, and authenticity is the algorithm of life.
Thank you, NYC, for the perspective, wonder, and creative insights.