Chapter 2 – DOS CIUDADES

TABLA DE CONTENIDO

Dianelys Martínez Rivero

Posted by on Jan 1, 2013 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 4 comments

Dianelys Martínez Rivero

UNFORGETTABLE DAY –  It was the morning of December 31st, 1995 in Camaguey, Cuba and like every morning since I can remember, my mother prepared our Cuban expresso. We usually sit at the table to enjoy our morning coffee but on this day, the coffeemaker exploded and scared us badly. I remember seeing my mother shaking as she cleaned the dark stains off the wall. I couldn’t help her because I was too petrified. As I watched my mother clean, I had a strange feeling of dread. It was also the day of my father’s fifty-fifth birthday. He was...

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Gabriel F. Cruz Pérez

Posted by on May 23, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 2 comments

Gabriel F. Cruz Pérez

A RIVER INTERNAL – No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s not the same man. -Heraclitus- 1. Stones in the River I always liked picturing life as a flowing river, with its turns and twists, rocks and waterfalls, calm streams and sudden rapids rolling from pleasant valleys to dark lonesome forests. And how suddenly it can trickle down to nothing. Like life, it’s wild, untamed and unpredictable. Like a river, with every passing second, we cease to be who we were, only to become someone else,...

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José A. Colón Vega

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 3 comments

José A. Colón Vega

AMÉRICA – She always gives away that she likes her name, América. Once in a while, she chuckles at the unexpected grandeur of such a name. Every so often, she also takes to shouting “Washington!” with her sneezes. To this day, it has never failed to catch people off-guard. She looks like my mother; young, full-lipped, confident, her raven hair in a characteristically sixties’ bouffant. Her double-breasted trench coat hangs slightly shorter than her “mod” length dress showing off shapely legs, accented by stylish leather pumps. I imagine...

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Zoraida Ortíz

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 1 comment

Zoraida Ortíz

EAST 138th STREET – We are excited to be given permission to go outside and play. But I no longer join in on the usual games of “kick the can,” “break the chain,” or “tag.” I have discovered a whole new world in books, and carrying the latest novel, I go downstairs to sit on the front stoop to watch my baby brother running down the sidewalk screaming “Batman!” at the top of his lungs. My sister, who is two years younger than me, joins up with the neighborhood kids to start a game. Apparently it’s “kick the can.” As I sit on the stoop...

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Marisely De Jesús Vega

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 4 comments

Marisely De Jesús Vega

FROM CUBA – On June 23, 1966, the same year of the end of the Cuban Revolution, my mother was born. My grandparents, Miriam and Rafael, were very proud and happy with their firstborn. They called her Marisol and baptized her in the local church when she was about two-months-old. November 13, a year later, Marjorie, their second daughter was born. They lived in the second floor, above the bakery that Rafael and Miriam owned in a province of Cuba called San Pedro. They were a happy family and very close to their neighbors. For fun they...

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Marisel De Jesús Vega

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 3 comments

Marisel De Jesús Vega

YOU ARE THE AIR FOR MY LUNGS – Miriam Pérez Montes de Oca was the prettiest girl in the town, slim with thick, black hair. Rafael Vega Llanes was tall, handsome and a baseball player. They were neighbors in a little town called Santiago on the island of Cuba. Santiago was a poor town but a nice place to live where the typical activity was the townsfolk gathering in the city plaza to socialize. He fell in love with her when she was ten-years-old, just a little girl playing with dolls.  He used to pass in front of her house and just to...

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Kelly Cari

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 4 comments

Kelly Cari

FAMILY PORTRAIT – Being half “North-American,” as Americans from the mainland are called here, and half-Puerto Rican has complicated things for me. My mother is Puerto Rican, born in Brooklyn, NY, yet she was raised in Lares, PR. My father, however, was born and raised in the little town of Southington, Connecticut. They met when my dad was still in the Air Force, stationed at the Ramey Base in Aguadilla, PR. They were neighbors and my mom would check him out each day as he commenced and terminated his early morning jog past her house....

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José Troche

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 7 comments

José Troche

ON 911 – This will not be a sob story. This will not lament lives lost. This will not lecture about the violence of that day. This will not discuss conspiracy theories or condemn politicians. This will not be edited. This is straight from the notebook to the page. This is just the story of a boy and his love for a city. When the World Trade Center was attacked, I lived in Puerto Rico, studying at the UPR, Mayagüez. I was sitting in my Intro to Humanities class when I heard the news. There were people running through the hallways...

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Rocío C. Rodríguez Miranda

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 3 comments

Rocío C. Rodríguez Miranda

As-Salāmu `Alaykum – Giorges Nassar Matar was my great-grandfather. He came to Puerto Rico from Palestine in the early 1900’s. He learned the Spanish language and little by little made a name for himself. He started out selling clothes, handkerchiefs and jewelry. He did this by traveling house to house and selling his goods. This was how he met my great-grandmother, Lola or “Lolita” as everyone called her. My great-grandfather called her, Flor del Mundo, or “Flower of the World.” He visited her house frequently under the...

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Eva Rodríguez Rosas

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 9 comments

Eva  Rodríguez Rosas

ROOSTER – The White Rock rooster steps into the sun, And burns his chicken skin.   “Dress to impress as if money doesn’t matter” That same blue flux I wore for my communion, Was mended and fixed for my high school graduation. Adding length with scraps and a few new buttons.   Protected by the Gregorian Jesus reflection, I kneeled over the blessed pillow. With mother’s rosary on my left hook, I posed, impeccable for posterity.   I should have drunk the holy water, And stocked up on “God’s Bread.” For I was clueless, Of...

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Sara M. López

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 3 comments

Sara M. López

  A MEMORY – This photo was taken in my great-grandmother, Maria Luisa’s house in Santiago, Cuba. It was one of the biggest mansions in Santiago.  Currently, the government of Cuba has the house and has turned it into a famous restaurant. In this picture from left to right you can see Armando, Maria Luisa’s son. Next to him, Maria Luisa.  Sitting in the chair is my Maria’s Luisa’s daughter and my grandmother, Nancy, who is holding my mother, Sara. On Nancy’s right is her brother, Carlito. My grandmother actually later changed her...

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Emily Cristine Kelly Castro

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in 1.02 - Dos Ciudades | 1 comment

Emily Cristine Kelly Castro

HOW IT ALL BEGAN – This picture is almost fifty years old. It is a portrait of Fidelia Chalas and Inocencio Kelly. All of Fidelia’s children have a copy of this picture framed and displayed in their house, either on the wall or sitting on a shelf, which is where I found it – in my mother’s house. “I don’t know why you all insist of having this picture in places everyone can see it. If you really cared about me you’d put that picture away somewhere else no one can see it,” said Fidelia to Martha, one of her daughters when she saw...

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