Category Archives: Best Of

The First 72 Hours in New York (With Photos)

In case you missed it amid all the holiday partying, I moved to NYC last weekend.

Here are some highlights of my first 72 hours as a New Yorker:

Dec. 16, the first night:
I successfully drove a 10-foot moving truck on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. My friends and I moved all my stuff into my apartment without incident, despite the fact that it looked like an obstacle course because it had just finished being repainted earlier in the day. Before the sweat had dried on our brows, we head up to the roof with one of my roommates to toast with champagne in rocks glasses. We take in the view of the Manhattan Bridge from my amazing rooftop. Continue reading


Diary of a Decision, Part I

The following are excerpts from my handwritten journal, along with explanatory notes.

April 4, 2006
I was born to do this. I was born to do this. There will be blood on the paper because this is the only thing I know beyond myself. It is myself.

That’s it. Do you feel the tingling? Someone sitting in another place, doing another thing, is having an impact on your life. The moment before the pendulum repeats its arc. No stopping now. Do it. Continue reading

Emma’s First Florida Christmas

(Note: If you are new to my blog, read these two stories first; Slow Pirouette for the Dancing Girl and The Baby Powder Incident.)

Caption: Christmas with my first foster mother, 1 year old.

Caption: Christmas with my first foster mother, 1 year old.

Caption: Christmas with my first foster mother, 1 year old.

Twenty years ago this Christmas, I had recently moved to live with my grandparents in Florida. I left my foster home with Pearl in Boston with just the clothes I had on. I arrived at a house on the water with gardenia bushes out back with no toys and nothing to wear. I was starting over in the Sunshine State. I turned eight the month before Christmas. Continue reading

The Rule of Thirds/A Memory, Photographic.

I have a photographic memory. It’s flawed, but remarkable nonetheless, at least to me. People ask me several times a week, “How did you know/remember that?” The answer is always because I saw it or read it once, somewhere – scrawled in the borders on the page of a book or driving by a billboard. I can’t remember birthdays unless I write down the date on my agenda or unless someone shows me their license – tying the letters of their name or their likeness to that important string of numbers. Continue reading

The Importance of Being (John) Ernest

Prof. John Ernest with me and Kristin at our college graduation

Prof. John Ernest with me and Kristin at our college graduation

I went to college with a mission: I wanted to learn more about Being Black. Problem was, $10,000 of my scholarship money for New York University had fallen through on the day of my high school graduation. I wouldn’t be attending school in the diverse Mecca-lekka-hiney-bro Melting Pot known as NYC.

Nope. The University of New Hampshire would be hosting my education in Being Black. It was as unlikely a place as one could find for increasing cultural awareness. There were 78 Black students out of 13,000. If you were counting me, there were only 77.5 Black students. We do what we can with what we have, though, and what I had was a course catalogue listing a 500-level course for Introduction to African-American Literature.

Any time I’ve ever wanted to understand anything, I’ve turned to books. From cooking to interior design to tarot card reading, if there was anything I’ve wanted to understand, I just buried myself in every chapter and verse I could get my hands on. I thought if I could read about other Black people, their history, what they had been through . . . maybe I would understand a little bit more about myself. Continue reading