I arrived in New York in August 1989, leaving behind my homeland, Yugoslavia, which was deathly ill with nationalism and a collective psychosis that was about to swallow the fragile Balkan sanity. I was 22 years old. I arrived with $1,000 inside my sock, having been advised that a sock was the safest sanctuary for one’s fortune during a border crossing in a heat wave; looking inconspicuous while wearing a coat with money sewn inside the lining would have been impossible.
Natasha Radojcic writes in the Times about how she came to New York, worked a variety of jobs including at a sex shop and as as a personal trainer, in order to afford the luxury of writing. In a related multimedia feature, StaceyAnn Chin, Boris Fishman, Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Nelly Rosario, George Sarrinikolaou, Sanjna N. Singh, and Suki Kim share their stories of being new new yorkers.