Salpicon of ideas

by Pablo Álvarez

Dear CNY Latino readers, first of all, I want to wish you a good start to the year, hoping this is better than the one that just left. I understand that with 1,721,979 fatalities from coronavirus (as I sit down to write these lines) it seems like an easy task. But I do not know; after such a terrible year I don’t dare to claim victory. Let’s remember that 2020, paradoxically, was a year that nobody saw coming. But hey, time will tell; and speaking of time, I think it’s time to introduce myself. My name is Pablo Álvarez and I have the privilege of joining the family of writers for the CNY Latino newspaper.

As in any first date, my nerves tie my tongue, or in this case my fingers. I imagine it will be a matter of getting to know each other. So, let me tell you a little bit about myself. Like many of you, I am an immigrant who came to this great country looking for a better future; and surely like many of you, I soon realized that that phrase is easier said than done. In the twenty years that I’ve been living here, I’ve been through countless jobs, from dishwasher to Spanish teacher (and everything in between).

My academic background is almost as varied as my work experience. I earned an associate in Human Services from the Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY), a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from the City College of New York (CUNY), and an MFA in creative writing in Spanish from the University of New York (NYU), where I graduated with honors (Summa Cum Laude). I am currently in the final year of the bilingual journalism graduate program at Craig Newmark J-School (CUNY).

My column will try to reflect the same degree of diversity as my academic formation, which is why I decided to call it “Salpicon of ideas”. I will address current issues with a varied approach, that I hope is also of interest to our community. Although it sounds a bit strange, I’m proposing a more or less open relationship. Let’s just say that I don’t promise to be exclusive in my content, since I also write fiction. However, I faithfully commit to you that I will give my best in these monthly meetings. I hope you do the same. Read as much as you can, since knowledge does not take up space, but try to return every month to this corner of the CNY Latino newspaper to continue cultivating this friendship.

Sincerely,

Pablo Álvarez