I cannot think of a better place for becoming braver than in New York City. IF you love New York and you would like to move there, there are many compromises you need to make.
New York City can be best depicted as the “City of Ambition” by Alfred Stieglitz as it introduces herself like a generous offer with exciting details but unforeseen implications. Still, New York is also the same old lady labeled as “a concrete jungle where dreams are made of”, iconic statement outlining its wildness, sloppiness and carelessness.
In few words, IF you love New York, you need to be brave and embrace your changes in response to its features.
Reading Piero Armenti’s Se ami New York book totally blew my mind especially at some point when he made realistically clear that the City “may perhaps be a compromise that makes us worst, surely more selfish, incapable of making sense of friends, little things […]”, but it is still that “great, majestic, camp place to be memorable.”
Piero Armenti is a brave one and his life experience as a New Yorker says it all. He left Salerno (Italy) as one of many, but he established himself in New York as the one and only.
Publicly known as the creator of the travel agency and social phenomenon of “Il Mio Viaggio a New York”, Piero today will be my guest and a striking example of the one “who made it”, exemplary becoming an American citizen!
1. When did you perceive the transition from tourist to citizen?
The transition from tourist to citizen concretely happened when I got sponsored by a firm in New York. That moment represented a turning point in my journey as I got the incredible opportunity to fight for my “American Dream”. I recall to be extremely and purely happy!
2. New York is the city that never sleeps.
As you describe it in your book, it is the place with “the shadows that costellate it under the twinkling lights of the skyscrapers, [it is the place] of the deafening silences in the noisy crowd, of the impossible loves that unify many solitudes.”
Did you ever feel alone despite being constantly surrounded by that noisy of people?
Once I moved to New York, I was really looking for that loneliness, that feeling of being alone in a foreign country with the urgency to create a life on my own and chase at my dreams.
That loneliness actually persuaded me to move to the City, spurring me. Now, after 12 years in NY, such loneliness weights on me and sometimes, I would prefer to be between friends and family back in Italy.
3. Which place in New York best represents yourself and your personality?
I would say Astoria, Queens. I spent around 6-7 years living there and I really liked this feeling of belonging you could breath. There were many immigrants there that exactly like me, were making their way in America.
It is a community of Greek origins and here and there, you can find also many Italians! I attended few Italian restaurants, found my own delicatessen shop, and adapt these little things to my own routine, sticking to the rhythms of Astoria.
I believe that Astoria embodies the real America, way more than Manhattan that has become more shining and touristic these days.
4. From a managerial point of view, what has been the biggest challenge of creating a start-up in a city like New York, continuously saturated of innovation and ideas?
Creating a start-up in New York is super easy but like everyone who tried to do it, it is known that many may fail as it is the market deciding who survives and who do not. Still, doing it in New York means investing in a city of optimism, that motivates and believes in you.
Everyone can change depending on the place where he/she is. When I was living in Salerno, I was drenched in pessimism, typical characteristic of the people from the South (of Italy). While when coming to New York, I got more optimistic, “infected” by that American, Capitalistic way of thinking!
By doing so, I successfully made my way in creating a start-up, well-known as Il Mio Viaggio a New York.
I believe you need to be fool, hungry and somehow visionary when investing in a foreign country.
5. The videos you post on a daily basis follow a social media plan or are more spontaneous and crafted at the moment?
It depends. I go for attempts. As time passes, algorithms change and what works change. On the basis of the data of views and clicks, I understand what people like. We do not have to think about social media as a stuck place.
For instance, when I first started on Facebook, there were many viral videos on the pizza preparation: if I put a video depicting a pizza maker making a pizza now, no one will enjoy seeing it! The social media are saturated of these types of content and given the wide offer on Tik Tok lately, it is very important to ALWAYS reinvent yourself!
6. How do the Italian and the New Yorker in you express themselves?
The Italian in me expresses himself in the language, charisma and the relationships created between other Italians. On the other hand, the New Yorker in me is embodied by the intolerance to the loss of time. I am always keen to maximise time and be fast as a real New York citizen!
IF you love New York, you may start collecting that same passion, motivation and bravery that brought Piero to make his dream come true and talk about it in first person, as a really great swimmer!
Until next post, bare in mind to Keep swimming!