My mother is NYC born and raised, the grand-daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Poland. They immigrated here around the turn of the last century to escape the anti-semitism in Europe. My great-grandmother and her sister dropped out of school in the 4th and 6th grades respectively to work in sweatshops in downtown Manhattan. My great-grandmother lived with her husband, sister, mother and two girls in the Bronx, near Yankee stadium in the 30s and 40s. Coincidentally in the building behind my current building. After moving about 31 times in my life, I'm now back in my personal old country. Her sister, pictured here, my great-great aunt Kay (or great-grand aunt?), stayed a "spinster" and became a milliner and had a store on 5th Ave. She had a ton of gorgeous photos, I just had to share. She was born in Russia and she used to teach me curses in Yiddish.
My grandmother got married and moved to Queens and Long Island, Great Neck, where my mother was born and grew up. When my grandfather died, they moved to the upper west side, where my grandmother lived, as did my great-grandmother & great-grand aunt, until she passed in 2005. I had my great-grandmother and her sister in my life until I was 18-19. My mom got her first apartment a few blocks away on 93rd & Columbus, where I was born. Well, I was born at Lenox Hill, but that was her apartment at the time. My mother was originally an art history major but turned to linguistics and became and ESL teacher to be practical. That decision also enabled us to travel to Mexico when I was a child and why I speak Spanish. I have no Latina heritage. My mother now lives in Brooklyn.
My stepfather is of Italian descent by way of Brooklyn. His grandfather remembered Brooklyn when it had farms. His family has been my family since I was 12 and I've enjoyed adding Italian culture, and really, really amazing food, to my family experience.
After being born Manhattan, as a kid we moved to Port Jeff, Long Island, Tennessee (the Farm), Philly, Mexico- Pachuca, Hidalgo, time in Cuba and Columbia, Brooklyn, Portland, OR, back to Brooklyn. Then as an adult I've put years in all four of the boroughs except SI, also lived in Albuquerque, NM, Leesburg, VA, upstate NY: Claverack, Athens-Leeds, Coxsackie, and Hudson. I love travel and I have also been to France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. Its funny how when I go away people think I am from there, but when I'm in my hometown of NYC, people ask me where I'm from!