New York State Of Mind

Guadalupe Astorga

This month Natural Selections interviews Maria Encarnacion, Customers Service, Weiss Café, The Rockefeller University

How long have you been living in the New York area? 

37 years.

Where do you currently live?  Which is your favorite neighborhood?

First I lived in High Manhattan for 22 years and I recently moved to New Jersey. I like this city, it’s really calm compared to The Big Apple.

What do you think is the most overrated thing in the city? And underrated? 

Overrated: the rent prices, they are just too high, also the transport. Underrated: the salaries, they are not high enough to compensate.

What do you miss most when you are out of town? 

To be honest I don’t miss anything because I like to go out and relax and forget about the stress of the city.

Has anything (negative or positive) changed about you since you became one of us “New Yorkers?”

I feel really happy to live in this city and in this country, and I am lucky to have all these opportunities, but I think I have not changed.

If you could change one thing about NYC, what would that be?

I would decrease the poverty and crime in some neighborhoods. I would like that people respect each other more.

What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?

I like to walk, visit the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Rockefeller Plaza on Fifth Avenue. I think it’s a nice place to go.

What is the most memorable experience you have had in NYC?  

I’ve been working at RU for 17 years, and I love working here because people are kind, comprehensive and inclusive. It’s been an honor for me to work here.

Bike, MTA or walk it?

Good question, I love the bicycle and I have always ridden since I was a teenager. However, here I don’t have a bike because it wouldn’t fit in my apartment. I use the subway and the bus.

If you could live anywhere else, where would that be? 

I belong here, but I also miss my country. Unfortunately, there are two social statuses there: rich and poor. So, I prefer the life quality here or in Florida.

Do you think of yourself as a New Yorker?




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