patrizialegsHaving revisited my childhood in Rosemary and Bitter Oranges I ask myself: “How am I different from that little girl of many years ago, the child who grew up in the loving atmosphere of the Livorno household?”

As an adult I see that I have come full circle. I’ve lived, suffered, enjoyed and learned a lot. My life with a Chinese-American husband, two Italian children and an unflappable Umbrian cat is full of joy and commotion. Our New York and Italian homes never lack thought-provoking cultural-shocks: we nonchalantly eat Chinese and Italian food during the same meal, a good plate of pasta al pomodoro together with the delicious domiao, the exotic pea-shoots from Chinatown. We trust equally our Shanghai acupuncturist (with his needles and herbal concoctions) and the high-tech approach of our famous Columbia Presbyterian doctor to oversee the family’s health.

The woman I am today is the compendium of all I have learned and experienced during my childhood and adult years.

I love living in New York, my favorite city, my home; all that I was programmed to be fits perfectly with this international, multilingual, multifaceted metropolis. Here I can learn anything I set my mind to, speak several languages during just one subway ride and meet people from all over the globe. Even my passion for dancing finds an immediate fix at the various milongas that dot this city. I’ve been dancing tango for several years, often traveling to Buenos Aires to learn more and to perfect my steps, but the best Argentinean teachers constanly flock to New York to give classes and work-shops. Living here, there is almost no need to travel to discover the world. Everything comes to us!

I cook, I dance, I write, I love. My life is full…
PATRIZIA CHEN