New York – The City to Live Dreams and to Dream of Lives

“To always feel an islander, even in the most alienating metropolis.”

by Tommaso Cartia

This is what I wrote in a poem that is part of my first book, and that I composed in New York when I arrived here, driven by an adventurous unconsciousness, almost ten years ago. I came here to chase a dream, that dream that people still dare to call the American Dream. And even if we live in times that seem to want to put that dream to sleep, I do feel it so very much alive. In fact, at that time I had no idea that dream would later become my life. I should have known better, I should have remembered that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and not even my migrant heart, the same that had driven my grandfather to set sail from Sicily to the new world aboard his fishing boat. My grandfather spent his entire life fishing for the most luxuriant gifts of the sea that he would offer to our laden tables.

And I’ve always felt as a fisherman myself, fishing for lives, fishing for stories that I would bring to light in my chants and through my words. For years I’ve been chanting the stories of the beauty of my country in one of the most electrifying and cosmopolitan cities in the world. However, let’s not forget that Manhattan is an island herself, a land of passage, where everybody lands, enriching the city everyday with different shades, excellencies and challenges. Many different ethnicities coexist in unison in this island of concrete jungle. And so do tradition and modernity, constantly merging to build new possible futures every day.

Tommaso Cartia. Photo Credit: Shushu Chen Location: NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò


It is like New York’s weather, that can switch from a hot sunny day to the most chilling blizzard in a blink of an eye. And in this regards it reminds me so much of my Sicily, with that sentiment of constant, creative, transformation. Perhaps that’s the reason why Italian creativity shines like a star under the New York sky and is a leader in the art, fashion, design, culture and food field. It is when beauty meets business, and it is a business of beauty.


They say that Sicilians, like any other islanders, recognize themselves instinctively even before the formal introductions. That is probably because they feel they belong to each other as they belong to the same land that is a world apart, a world that is hard to leave and where is hard to come back to once you have left. When I met for the first time Giuseppe Savarino, the Creative Director of Red Carpet Magazine, at an event at the Consulate General of Italy in New York, I immediately felt that we belonged to the same world.

The moment I heard him talking about Red Carpet and about Sicily, I grabbed my i-phone and in a second, I was on the webpage of the magazine. As I was browsing through it, I got goosebumps all over my body, and I immediately thought – “it would be interesting to share the stories of my Italian New York with them”. Today those goosebumps are being translated into in something more concrete than shivers but not less adrenalinic – the first supplement of Red Carpet Magazine New York, that I offer to the readers with all of my genuine enthusiasm. I want to thank the Editor in Chief Umberto Garibaldi, and the Artistic Director Giuseppe Savarino, for trusting in me and for gifting me with this great opportunity.

I invite you all to set sail on this new adventure, over the prestigious red carpet that has always tied up Italy with the Big Apple.

To live dreams, to dream of lives.

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