One of the most interesting things that New York City has is the metropolitan train line, better know as the subway, and I say interesting because it has a mix of local and international that makes it unique; that fusion between the characteristic chaos of the big city and the familiar and routinely of a space that opens itself and takes part in the individual stories of newyorkers and visitors alike.
In the sub terrain line is where New York City melting put is evident and the lives of citizens intertwine in that universe but that are miles away once they come out of there. That’s how on any given day I am sitting next to two Wall Street executives and to my left to a couple of dominicanas going back home at the end of their daily shift.
That’s one of the experiences that I will miss the most from New York, the surreal feeling of closing my eyes and see myself sitting at a bus in Santo Domingo by listening to the upbeat conversation of my paisanas, their unique slang and color. Despite the fact that I emigrated eight years ago, living in New York has given me that dose of dominicanism needed so the voluntary exile does not feel so estrange, foreign and distant.
Coinciding on the subway with Dominicans, even though many times there is no opportunity of interacting, always makes me smile. Feeling inside that conversation that even other Spanish speakers cannot fully understand and feeling them so familiar, gives New York the local sense that I mentioned. In those minutes I transport myself to my half island, my home city and my people.
I don’t think there is any other place aside from Dominican Republic in which this phenomenon happens, despite the fact that there are Dominicans all over the globe, the way this city has adopted us is very special.
I always enjoy it, I love that New York and the subway are so Dominican. That doses of cultural closeness to the Caribbean spirit help me so the minutes I spend there, packed between the masses, go by faster. More than once I’ve gotten off laughing out loud and intrigue to learn the rest of the story.