Places | Where Are You From

Confronting the Violence of Gentrification in Your Hometown

Moving home to Newark has been a surreal experience because I have had to mourn places that once were, but are no longer.

What does it mean to mourn a place that no longer exists? 

real writer

Harriet the Spy

Though I had originally wanted to move to New York to be a writer, returning to Newark after all of those years didn’t feel like a failure so much as a homecoming. I resolved that I could also be a writer in the place where I grew up. One weekend in February, my mother packed a small U-Haul to make the drive to my new life. Moving back to Newark, after all these years.

I wasn’t sure how to process this loss, or how to name it. It wasn’t mourning, not as it had been after my father’s passing, but it still weighed on me.