I shot this video last summer in Manhattan’s Lower East Side of my father’s first apartment when he came to America. Even though the Lower East Side has transformed into a trendy neighborhood of galleries and restaurants, these few blocks were still a little run down with mostly new immigrant families still living there. I like the Chinese Hispanic market. Know your customers!

Even thought it wasn’t much, I’ll bet my father was pretty happy to have keys to someplace. He came to America from Albania via Italy where he spent 5 years (!) in Displaced Persons camps. You can read about the camps here.

He never really talked about his time in the camps and the older I get the more grateful I am to him for all that he went through to get to America. Like many refugees seeking political asylum, he never wanted to come here and never really felt at home. He died in 1986, a few years before Communism fell in Albania, a permanently displaced person.