I am decades older now than I was on that visit to Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island but fundamentally I am the same. I am still the hopeful romantic about my city, albeit now a warmer one with different flora, mountains, tastes and accents.
Dasha Koltunyuk graduates Princeton University this year. Her journey opens up to new vistas. Dasha's story is uniquely American. She is a first generation American. And that is precisely why her path could unfold nowhere else but here.
I extend my arm and he drops a pile of sticks, sand, broken shells, seaweed, and what looks like straw into my open hand. Admiring the offering, I smile and close my hand gently around his gift and give him a wink as I walk towards the boardwalk.
When you hear someone talk about how we can't afford to have any more immigration to this country, why not remind that person of the talents, love and commitment that new immigrants bring to our culture?
Mikhail Prokhorov, the 6'8" Russian billionaire, and first foreign owner of an NBA basketball team, wanted a "Brooklyn blogger" to interview him. Somehow his people picked me -- plumb out of the blogosphere.