My best day of 2016.

Wednesday, August 24. It was early morning, likely before 9:00 a.m. I rode my new Trek bicycle west along Lower Road in Brewster, a mid-Cape Cod town in Massachusetts. Both the recently re-paved road and my month-old bicycle were smooth: no cratered surfaces and no grinding gears.  I guided my bike with my left hand […]

Still beautiful.

(Originally posted September 14, 2010.) La moñita is disappearing. Moñita is the Spanish word for “little ponytail” and it’s what we’ve always called the hair patch at the center of my dad’s hairline. Removing his baseball cap reveals the remaining gray strands. Back in the day, la moñita was a child’s fistful-worth of wiry black […]

How to eat ice cream.

(Excerpt from Every Last Drop, posted on September 28, 2015.) Mami and I are long-time, ice-cream eating professionals. We don’t waste a drop. We have a system: Lick around the edge of the scoop first, then continue toward the top to eliminate overhang. Nudge the scoop with your tongue into the cone opening; not too […]

In Full Color

La Nancy. Spoken word performer? Storyteller? Narrative artist? I’m still unsure how to name the latest addition to my increasing list of roles. I am sure that I was honored to have been selected for the 2016 production of In Full Color. Directed by Summer Dawn Hortillosa and staged by Art House Productions, the show […]

Top ten.

Top ten favorite things my husband B has given me. The list is guaranteed to omit many things. Items not listed in any particular order. An iPod so i can listen to NPR and my favorite podcasts (This American Life, Sunday Puzzle with Will Shortz) anywhere. A subscription to The New Yorker because a little […]

Fat Tuesday, fat chance.

(Originally posted in 2011.) My road to hell will be paved in sugar. I’ve tried to give up sweets, but can’t – not even for reasons of weight, dental health or religion. I need sugar like Easter needs Peeps. Some people remember favorite television shows from their childhood. I remember favorite candy commercials. I remember […]

Letter to the editor.

I received the text from my father-in-law around midday. “I see you got published in the NYT.” I was but had not told anyone. The New York Times published my letter to the editor in the print and online versions of today’s paper. I wrote in response to a Saturday, January 23 article on Post […]

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

I was a young girl in a land called Queens. My face was still bright and not settled into the dark map that chronicles the landscapes I’ve traveled. Papi was still taller than me and his ability to deliver on a promised trip to the movies was a super power. We were going to see […]

Snow days.

The ShopRite in Jersey City was a mess yesterday afternoon: the Can-Can Sale was on and the predicted history-making blizzard was less than 48 hours away. I stood in the less-than-15 items line and gave my meanest unibrow to the woman behind me with two overflowing shopping carts. It was in late January of 2015 […]

Three kings.

[Originally published in 2011.) When I was a child, the kitchen was my family’s world. Broadway theaters, midtown office towers, and Lincoln Center operas were only blocks away, but my parents’ island home ruled our days: from the radio dial tuned to the Spanish-language news station to the herbs my mother grew on the windowsill […]