a piece of inspiration


I always felt as though this picture captured perfectly a stereotypical immigrant family's first arrival to the states. Probably because that's exactly what it is: this picture was taken just a few months after my parents first came here, on their first visit to NYC to the World Trade Center. The blue of my mother's dress reminds me of an airline attendant. We flew here on United, 21 years ago.

It's funny, most times the song "Take a Walk" by Passion Pit comes on I think of this picture and my own family. I think of the narrator as my dad, standing right outside Penn station with his red and white carnations. He’d have never done that. He doesn't really like flowers or standing around. Before that song existed, I tied this picture to "American Names" by Sebastien Grainger. It’ll be apparent quite quickly if you follow me that the music I’ve run across always has and always will have a huge influence on the connections I make and the way I think.

So anyways—this picture is probably the most symbolic of my family’s "American Dream," the kind you read about in books and write about in grade school essays and grow up living in. Snaps to whoever snapped it at this ideal moment, with my crazy hair billowing and my brother’s pouty little face and my dad’s wide smile and his shiny leather shoes. It is a little piece of inspiration for this journey back to their home. Though when I asked my mother what she thought of this picture, and what it meant to her, she simply laughed and said “You were such a heavy baby. Look at your big butt. My shoulders hurt all day from carrying you.” Guess it really is all about perspective…

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