“New York went from the Oz I dreamed about in the Dominican Republic to the distant sight of the Verrazanno Bridge.”
This sentence, and only this one explains to the reader that the author was speaking of New York as not a place where he called home, but a place beyond the borders of his hometown, beyond reality. As a child in the Dominican Republic, Diaz looks forward to New York, “a city ablaze.” He arrived to New York only to learn of his father’s decision to move to nearby New Jersey, which is nothing less than a complete disappointment for him. He lives in New Jersey for the remainder of his childhood and finally makes the move to the city at age 26, where he looks to live the lifestyle he saw that only New York could provide. This sentence explains that New York was not only physically distant to him, but also emotionally distant in that it was the complete opposite of what it seemed to be.