Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun is Nia Simone’s first piece for Cult of Americana

Age 12

The mirror was my sworn enemy. I gave it the evil eyes as I noticed my kinky curls were growing like weeds from my scalp. The contrast between my thick unruly kinks and my thin relaxed ends made me sick to my stomach. This was not what I wanted to be.

I was six weeks out from chemically strengthening my hair. My aunt told me to “make it work” until the end of the month, until the direct deposit hit and I could return to the land of the beautiful people (a.k.a The Dominican Hair Salon).

I wore a grey beanie in the unforgiving heat of July for a week straight.

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Beyond “Second City”: A New Yorker Moves to Chicago

This piece was originally published in the February 14, 2016 edition of Write City Magazine, the magazine of the Chicago Writers Association.

After living in New York City for 26 years, I got a dream job in Chicago I simply couldn’t turn down.  I wasn’t sure what the move would entail—my initial associations with Chicago having to do with Al Capone, the Bears, house music—but some preliminary Google searching assured me that Chicago was simply a “smaller, cleaner, friendlier version of New York.”

Across the blogosphere Chicagoans compared their city to New York on nearly every level, from neighborhoods—Pilsen, the new Williamsburg—to amenities—if you like Per Se, youll love Alinea.  Deeper Web searching yielded even bolder claims to the ways “Chicago is infinity times better than NYC,” “kicking New York’s ass.”  These claims rested on the premise that Chicago offers pretty much everything NYC does but without all the stressors.  Or as one blogger put it, it’s “NYC Lite.”  What New Yorker wouldn’t love the Big Apple scaled to size and rendered livable?
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