Three decades in America, a personal journey

Yours truly in 1994, driving my WV Beetle from Knoxville, TN to Stony Brook, NY

I’m going to open this essay with an apology for its self-indulgence. Today marks the 30th anniversary of my move to the United States from Italy, and as arbitrary as such dates surely are, it seems to me that the occasion calls from some self-reflection. Which I hope might be useful to others as well.

It was 17 August 1990, and I was 26 years old when I landed at JFK airport in New…