Tag Archives: New York City

Come See Me At The Queens Book Festival!

Screenshot 2016-08-01 at 2.24.27 PM

For you New York area folks, come out to the Queens Book Festival to see a million brilliant, diverse and famous authors do their thing at Kaufman Astoria Studios next weekend! I’ll be on the 5pm publishing panel talking about DIY culture; reserve your seats here. It’s free, just a first come first serve type thing. The line-up is incredible; I’m personally *mad* excited to see Edwidge Danticat, Nicole Dennis Benn, Daniel Jose Older, Taye Diggs,  Ibi Zoboi, JP Howard and Zetta Elliot, among others. If you’re not in NYC, you can follow the fest on social media at #QBF. I’ll be tweeting as much as I can from @bani_amor. And if you are in NYC, come say hi. See you there!

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Expats and Legends

hey people, last week i mentioned writing for Nowhere’s Magazine’s blog, and i just wanted to expand on that, ’cause i know some of y’all will be down to hear it! i’m working on two different series: Expats, a series on diaspora that focuses on places foreigners form communities, stories about displacement and profiles of people who lived between identities. Legends is a series profiling personalities and places that have left a mark on our social landscape but are on the verge of lore, like communities at risk of endangerment, people with obsolete skills and explorers whose stories ended in mystery.

Photo by By Alejandro Linares Garcia
Photo by By Alejandro Linares Garcia

Here are two examples and excerpts that were recently published on the site. Feel free to like, comment, share & shit. Legends: Flying Circus Balancing a reed flute in one hand and beating out an ancient rhythmic prayer on a small drum with the other, El Caporal stands 150 feet above the ground atop an erect pole, overseeing the flight of four young dancers gliding counterclockwise around him, like a human pinwheel. The acrobats, known as “bird men” among the Totonac of Veracruz, Mexico, are connected to the pole by a cord of rope wrapped around their waists, and slowly uncoiled from the top, the acrobats descending upside down, with arms outstretched, to the High Priest’s unrelenting tune. Expats: Babble On Jackson Heights began to draw in a boom of enterprising immigrants when reforms loosened New York immigration laws in the 1960s, and today represents the city’s second-largest population of foreign-born residents. One can walk through streets like Kalpana Chawla Way, where bearded vendors canvass gold bangles and spangly saris over a soundtrack of Bollywood hits beating from the nearest shop window, while the IRT # 7 “International Line” rattles overhead every few minutes. And a few blocks away on Calle Colombia, you can order a cafe con leche from a Beijing native in the neighborhood’s most beloved Chino-Latino joint.

Year of the Bum

on january first, 2013, i woke up on a couch in quito, ecuador. i was a newbie writer, newly illegal, completely broke and with nowhere to live. i won’t pretend to have had any epiphanies. like life, it was fucked up and awesome all at once, and not a ton has changed, except for me. probably.

i chased stories: through valleys, up volcanoes, across lakes, down jungle rivers, on beautiful beaches, into the pacific. spent the rest stoned in hammocks, swinging on ziplines, sleeping on floors, drunk in bars, dancing at shows, camping alone, touring hospital emergency rooms, talking to strangers, doing nothing, and writing everything down.

it all seems like someone else’s life right now: working full-time hours on a saturday night back in my hometown, watching a snowstorm freeze new york city outside the glass doors. i’m going through all my photos from this past year, and thought i’d compile the best of them into one of those top ten lists i’m always complaining about. it’s a two-parter.

are you a creative-type bum like me? share in the comments the best and worst times you had in 2013!