Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, was my neighborhood during my first year in the United States. The family that hosted me for a few weeks before I moved into a house on South Linden Ave, welcomed me into their home with a warmth and generosity that made me love the country before I even knew it. Squirrel Hill is the place where I learned to speak American English, where I handed out my first Halloween candies, and where I marveled at the deliciousness of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans, and turkey with cornbread stuffing during my first Thanksgiving dinner. It’s where I developed a crush on Jim Morrison, smoked my first joint listening to Jefferson Airplane and to The Pretenders, and thought Jennifer Beals’ outfits in Flashdance were the height of fashion. Squirrel Hill Café was where my roommates taught me to drink beer with vodka chaser, and where I learned to accept that I’d never be good at playing darts. It’s where I first went contra-dancing and learned you could make music with two spoons. If it hadn’t been for Squirrel Hill, it wouldn’t have taken me thirty-three years to return to Europe. It lives on in a snow-globe deep inside my heart. At a time like this I take it out and shake it and watch the snowflakes settle on its brick houses and tree-lined avenues to reassure myself that in spite of everything, there still is magic in this world.
A little about myself:
Hello there and thank you for visiting my website! I have lived in Spain, Mexico, France and the United States, but now make my home in Germany. I have a Ph.D. in Literary Studies and a Master's in TESOL, and have published several books for children, among them El Loro Tico Tango and El Fandango de Lola, a 2012 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. As a writer and an artist I'm in constant conversation with my own anxious mind even as I celebrate the joyful possibilities of our crazy, incomprehensible world.