As New Yorkers, Nueva York is not really new to the eyes. We know where it comes from…but we don’t really know how it came about. Well, you may simply say, “Spanish people or Latinos.” And the truth is, either of those answers would be correct. A cool fact about New York is the long involvement it has had with Latin America and Spain. Since the 1600s New York and Spanish speaking folks have had meaningful connections. With the connection between New York and Latin America came the development of commerce, manufacturing and transportation to communications, entertainment and the arts. For me, this is wonderful because there are different people from different backgrounds coming together. What that creates is a sense of discovery. I mean let’s just take the chance to see how Spanish speaking individuals have had an impact on Nueva York…diversity wise. Let’s go with food, since eating is such a wonderful hobby of all. Arroz y frijoles (rice and beans), Gambas Ajillo (garlic prawns), Paella (rice with seafood), just to name a few. These are food cuisines probably eaten by many New Yorkers for lunch or dinner…or breakfast everyday. Many probably are saying, “Well, of course we eat these dishes….it’s food!” But’s that’s the point. America is known as a melting pot if it was not for Latinos or Spaniards who knows what life would be without Arroz y frijoles. From commerce to food, Spain and Latin America has had a huge influence on New York and the good thing is, it’s still thriving to this day. All this information comes from the collaboration between New York Historical Society and El Museum which explored the dynamic relationship between New York City and Spanish speaking world.
– Fanta Conde