Anna Steegmann teaches writing in New York. She has an article in the New York Times about being an illegal German immigrant in New York, scarcely able to speak English.
It was a Saturday afternoon, a time when German cities turn into graveyards. But in the park, blasting radios battled one another for dominance, elderly men played speed chess with youthful contenders, and dope peddlers, fire eaters and aspiring folk singers competed for the publics attention. Children on the swings shrieked with delight, while hyperactive small dogs engaged in rough-and-tumble play.
I was 25, love-struck and delusional, and I decided to stay. Ignoring all the illegal immigrants red flags (no health insurance, no green card, no work, no savings), I cashed in my return ticket.
Those Saturday afternoons are not as bad as they used to be. They are a bit like that, but the feeling of deep depression and everything dead has gone. Some shops here stay open till 8 p.m. It’s not New York, though.