Now that I Live in His Country, My Reflective Images of Nonno in New York

Feb 04, 2019 713

BY: Robert Ponzini

When I was a graduate student at Columbia University, dad bought you a ground floor apartment in the tenement walk-up on East 61 Street, where first you lived with Nonna for over thirty-five years and then on your own for another thirteen. Your emphysema no longer allowed you to walk up four flights of stairs, but before you could even move in, your condition worsened and you had to go into the Mary Manning Walsh nursing home on East 72nd Street.

In the end, I moved into the apartment with my girlfriend, just down the street from your sister and brother and other members of the two-square-block diaspora of Northern Italians, where language and culture continued to resist the corrosive effects of a bustling metropolis.

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