The photo displays an image of my grandma, left, and her sister. The photo was taken right around the time her family migrated to New York City. My grandmother, along with her father, mother, sister, and two brothers, migrated from Kavala, Greece in 1912 by boat. She was only four years old. Upon leaving Greece, my great-grandfather was relatively wealthy, having been part of the tobacco industry in Greece. However, he was looking to expand his fortune in America, particularly in New York City. Without a doubt, this illustrates the American Dream that drew not only the tired, poor, huddled masses to our country, but also anyone looking for prosperity and possibility. When my family moved to the city, they lived on the Upper West Side. Initially, my great-grandfather was successful in pursuing his tobacco career in New York, and even had servants in his house. However, when the Great Depression struck, he was dismissed as a tobacco importer at the company he worked for and the family quickly became broke. As it did to so many American families, the Great Depression crushed my family’s prosperity and aspirations.
– Krista Stark