How are you? How are your brother and parents? I hope you remember me, a boy from Austria-Hungary in 1916. I`m writing to you to give a lot of thanks.
I really appreciate everything you did because it helped me to get accustomed to life in America. My family has to flee from the ruined life in our native country and get away from Vienna in order not to be discriminated and seek refuge overseas. We found a ship and a few days later docked in New York.
A few days later, as I`ve mentioned, we came to New York. My life was considerably changed and I had nostalgia to my home. Moving to another place was an enormous culture shock for me. One thing that helped to overcome my fear was that we met a lot of people of different ethnic groups that were uprooted during the World War I.
We wanted to find a budget accommodation but for the first time it was a dream. However, your advice helped us and we got an apartment in the Lower East Side (an immigrant neighborhood in New Your City) that had only kitchen, bedroom and parlor. It seemed that we were able to live at peace with other people but there was a social competition. We needed to buy chairs, stove, bed and mattress, but everything cost a lot. That is why instead of admiring cobbled streets and stunning parks our family worked a lot. Sometimes I played stickball as your brother did. We restored our kitchen a bit and divide the household chores (laundry, getting a coal, cooking, sweeping and mopping). I wanted to get away from it all and live off the beaten track, but diverse and rich life wasn`t for us.
My family retained some photos of that period of my life. If you are reading this letter, know that I am very grateful to you for your help.