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Asterisk Monthly: About New York City [Oct, 2020]

Writing Prompt: New York

Asterisk Project: International Creative Writing

Blame it on Hollywood, American soft power or 90’s sitcoms — we can’t deny that New York City is deep in our collective imaginary. Don’t matter where you’re from, you probably heard tales about the Big Apple. So here are some of ours — even if some of us have never been there.

Beatriz Cunha

“When I was younger, I used to dream about NYC, like it’s a magic place. I used to loved how tall the buildings are, how fashionable the people are, how the snow and the lights made christmas seems like a fairytale. I used loved how in the movies, the country gir would move to NYC and be so happy about it. Oh… New York, New York! And then, I grew up. I don’t see NYC as a magic place anymore, neither dream about it. My adult perspective doesn’t let me dream about it anymore, but it’ll always have a special place in my heart! Oh… New York, New York.”

Regiane Folter

Last year I got married and my husband and I decided to travel to New York on our honeymoon. Everything was decided: we bought the plane tickets, booked an Airbnb in Brooklyn and started to get tickets for things we wanted to see, from Broadway plays to Madison Square Garden matches. It seemed like a dream! Sadly, just a few days before our trip, we realized that the weird disease that got started a few months back in China was just around the corner from us in South America. It was March and the pandemic was endangering our continent. We had to postpone the trip.

It was the right decision, but we didn’t feel less disappointed. Both of us love travelling, and this would be a fantastic experience. But, well, this was the kind of situation we couldn’t control and it was important to let things go. Let the disappointment go. Let the frustration go. Let the sadness go. Let it go.

2020 has been a year to remember, and for the majority of people I know, not for great things. But it has also been a year to learn, in my opinion. An opportunity to identify the important things in our life, the things worth fighting for. In my case, this year I learned to be much more thankful for my health and privileges and for having such a loving family. If my loved ones and I are ok, if we are healthy and well, it’s all that matters. Other things, such as a postponed honeymoon, are not that big a deal.

Besides, as I have been to New York some years ago, at least I have my memories to treasure. Today I look at my pictures in the Big Apple and smile, already happy because I know one day my husband and I will be there together, re-creating pictures and memories.

Ana Azevedo

It’s Wednesday and if you could look outside my window
You would’ve known I’m not in NYC
You know I’ve left Rio too soon and I never made peace with Santo Domingo
Even though they’ve got nice subways.
She says she wants to move to New York soon —
NYC is not the place for me and I know that ’cause I’ve watched too many films
Are the cops nicer in NYC?
I wish we could burn NYPD cars together on a Wednesday night
Cops are never nice —
I’ll watch one more film and look out for the bodegas and picture us there, ok?
I promise I’ll think about the filthy subway with love and care.
Still inside of me I know that there is filth everywhere and we might not need to move so far away
We can still ride subways and burn police cars somewhere else
Anything but NYC, please.
I don’t think I can deal with all the sirens,
Fat rats,
Hopeless immigrants,
And wild dreamers.

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