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Although my parents both were born and raised in New Jersey, they grew up in very different environments.  My Mom was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey and my Dad was born and raised in Livingston, NJ.  My Mom remembers taking trains and subways to get to school as a child, and seeing nothing but cement and cracked sidewalks, however my Dad lived in a neighborhood where there was nothing but houses and grass.

In seventh grade, my Mom’s family moved to a more suburban town named Cedar Grove, NJ.  Their house, the home where my Grandparents still live, is on a cul-de-sac with wooded land as far as the eye can see.  My Mom still recalls the day her father told her about their move: she remembers feeling so horrible, and upset.  She and her three siblings were city kids, they thought they were tough and mature and did not want to move to a town full of suburban teens without any street smarts.  My Mom, however, did end up going to Cedar Grove High School, in Cedar Grove, New Jersey and met her best friends that she still has today.

When My Dad was in High School, his family moved from Livingston, NJ to Morristown, NJ.  Although his family was now living in Morristown, New Jersey, he stayed at Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ.  He, his parents and his 4 siblings moved to a 60-acre ranch, where my grandmother built barns and started a huge farm.  My Dad still reminisces to this day about the 25 horses they had, along with sheep and cows and chicken.  My Dad’s home was set off of a main road, right across from The Delbarton School.  It was very isolated, but there was always so much to do.  I can remember going there as a child and swimming, riding horses and feeding the animals; it felt like I was at a farm, but in reality I was at my Grandparent’s home!  My grandpa ended up getting sick, and was out of work, so my grand mother had to sell their home.  Even today, we sometimes go back to look at the home where he grew up, it is absolutely magnificent, but now instead of 60-acres and only his house, there are more than twenty homes, on what he knew as his backyard.

My Mom was unable to go away to college, so she attended William Patterson University, in Wayne, NJ, where she earned her BSN.  While in College, she lived at home and worked.  She remembers being upset that her parents couldn’t afford to send her away to school, being the youngest of 4, however she made the most of what she had.  Right after she received her BSN, she began working as a Medical surgical Nurse then furthered her education and became a critical care recovery room nurse at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ and later at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ.

For college, my Dad attended Rollins College, in Winter Park, FL, which is a small liberal arts college, in a beautiful setting on Lake Virginia, surrounded by a preppy town.  While studying at Rollins College, my Dad went abroad for a year to Australia. While in Australia he experienced a life much different than the one he knew.  He enjoyed his time at Rollins very much and was in a fraternity: The X Club.  After Rollins, he moved to Granada and attended St. Georges Medical School.  He stayed in Grenada for four years, just the amount of time that he needed to complete school.  Post Medical School, he moved to Boston, Mass to complete his Fellowship at Harvard University, for Pediatric Anesthesiology. He stayed and worked in children’s hospital of Boston for two years, and then came back to New Jersey.  My Dad took a Job at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, New Jersey, the same hospital that my Mom worked at, and this is where my parents met.  They started working at Mountainside around the same time.

After dating for two years, my parents decided to marry. Together they bought a home in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, right off of Valley Road.  I was born shortly after, and then two years later my second sister was born.  The house we lived in was too small, so when I was 4 we moved into a house in North Caldwell, New Jersey. Even though we moved to North Caldwell, my parents sent us to The Montclair Kimberley Academy, in Montclair, NJ for our education. The house we moved to in 1996 is the same house that we live in today.  I think it is fortunate that I have only moved once in my life, a time before I could even remember.  I love my home, and if I ever have to move away from it I will be so upset.  My home is the place where I have grown and matured and love so much.  Next Year, I will move for the second time in my life.  I will hopefully attend a college that is close enough to my home, but I am not yet sure where this will be. No matter where I go, I will always have roots here, as this is the place where I

My father Carl Freed and my mother Jennifer Zolten Freed both grew up in very different environments across the country.

My dad was born in Los Angeles, California. He was the middle child; he had an older brother and a younger sister. They grew up together and all went to the same high school. Every morning, they would ride their bikes through the California coastline and soaked up every minute of sun possible. His older brother ended up moving out at a very early age; however, both my dad and her sister ended up going to school in California. They stayed close to home because my dad and his sister couldn’t be apart from each other and wanted to be able to take a quick trip home whenever they wanted to. My dad went to San Diego State and had a great time with all of his best friends from high school.

My mom was born in Pennsylvania. She was born first out of her three sisters and stepsister. Growing up with such a large family and having different fathers, she was forced to move all over the country to places such as Michigan and Florida. She lived in Michigan through elementary school. Her family soon anonymously agreed they couldn’t be in the cold any longer. My mother and her family quickly moved to a small town in sunny Florida. She went to Palmetto High School along with the rest of her sisters.

Her freshman year of college, she went to Mt. Holyoake. She enjoyed herself there but she saw bigger and better things for herself in the future. She then transferred to Stanford and received a scholarship. She transferred to California because she knew that she wanted to be in the movie business and that was the perfect place to be. After she graduated, she found an apartment in Los Angeles and lived there for a few years until she met my father.

My parents met on a blind date in February of 1987. They both happened to live on the same street, Barrington. Barrington Street was a street where everybody knew everybody, or so they thought…They immediately fell in love and moved in together in June of 1987.

My mom had to travel a lot during their relationship because of her job; she is a post-production accountant and was away for most of the time they were dating. In 1988 my dad went to an airport in Malaysia and surprised her. He held up a sign that said her maiden name, Zolten, but crossed out. On the back of the sign it read, “Freed, will you marry me?” In September of 1989 they got married.

In May of 1990, they moved to Scarsdale, New York in search of a quaint home. My dad brought up the idea to move there because he had several job offerings in New York. For his business, the music industry, the Big Apple is the place to be. Also, they didn’t want to raise a family in Los Angeles because they were looking for a stronger education system and a more welcoming, family environment.

I spent my first two years in Scarsdale, New York in a very small house. After my brother was born, we moved to Montclair, New Jersey in search for a larger home to raise our growing family. We adopted two lovely dogs and began our adventures in Montclair together. We have been living in Montclair since May of 1996.

Along with living in Montclair, we have also stayed in several places across the world that we like to consider our home. This previous summer, as a family, we went to Brazil for four weeks on a Habitat for Humanity build. We lived in the same city for the month and are still in touch with most of the locals we met. Also, two summers ago we stayed in an apartment in Italy for a month and consider that our home as well! We LOVE Italy. As you can tell, we are quite intrepid travelers!

My future living conditions, from what I am aware of as of now, will be far, far away from home. I have applied to schools all over the country and will mostly likely either end up in New Orleans at Tulane University or at the University of Michigan. I chose these two locations because they are vibrant and thriving cities with an exciting and educational environment. After college, I know I want to travel more.. Back to Italy? Back to Brazil? Anything can happen!

Migration Story

It all started when my grandparents journeyed from Italy to America. Each of the four came from different places and at different stages in their lives, but all stories are similar in that it was not easy at first. They came with very little money and had a lot of difficulty finding a job at first. It’s hard to imagine now but they always remind me of how far Italians have come in the last fifty years or so. Another thing that they all had in common when they first came to this country is that they did not speak a word of English. After somewhat overcoming the language barrier after many years, they managed to succeed and do very well for themselves. They absolutely experienced the American dream and I believe that my parents and I am the product of that dream, today.

Although my grandparents suffered through poverty for many years when they first came to America, by the time they started up families, they all had worked hard enough to provide a comfortable life for their children.

My father was born in Paterson, New Jersey but quickly moved to Bellville where he was raised for most of his adolescence. He attended Seton Hall Prep and then graduated from Seton Hall University. After graduation, my Dad moved back in with my grandparents who then lived in Livingston, NJ.

My mother was born and raised in Haledon, New Jersey. She attended Manchester Regional High School and then graduated from Villanova University. After she graduated she also moved back in with my grandparents who then lived in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Not too long after they both graduated college, (my mom was 23 and my dad was 24) my parents met on a blind date set up by both of their best friends who were engaged at the time. They dated for about a year until they got engaged, and then a year after that I was born.

When my parents got married, my father bought my grandparents (his parents) house in Livingston from them and that is where they lived and me and my two sisters spent most of our time growing up. Soon after my little brother was born, we moved from Livingston to Montclair and that is where we still are today. In movies it always shows the kids very upset about a move, but my parents did not have this problem at all. We were all very excited to make the change and quickly adapted to the new town.

I have only moved once in my life; that is until next year when I will be going off to college. I haven’t sent in my deposit yet but I am pretty sure that I’ll be at Fordham University next year. I guess that’s when my personal migration story will begin. From Upper Montclair, NJ to the Bronx, NY… that should be an interesting change.

In 1961, Euan Critten Menzies, my father, was born in a small town about fifteen minutes outside of Glasgow, Scotland.  He spent the first fifteen years of his life attending school the same school in this town.  At the young age of sixteen, he finished high school and went off to Glasgow University.  When he lived in Scotland, he spent all of his life in the same home.  He commuted to the University everyday from his home.  He lived with his mother, father, and sister until the age of twenty-one, when he immigrated to the United States.  He did not only move to the United States because he was offered a job here with a great salary, but he also saw the United States as having many more opportunities for him to succeed than Scotland did.

My mother, Janice Mary Keating, was born in 1962.  She spent the beginning of her life in Irvington, NJ.  At the age of nine she moved to Bloomfield, NJ, right next to Brookdale Park.  She walked to school everyday with her two sisters.  She then graduated from Bloomfield High School in the top ten of her class of four hundred students.  She continued on to Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, NJ, where she earned her masters in Economics.  After college, she moved back to her parents’ house and commuted to the city everyday while she was trying to attain her CPA.

In 1988, my parents met on my mom’s first day of work at Citi Bank; my dad was her boss.  They were friends for a year, but then began dating.  In 1990, they moved in together into a small apartment in Central Park South.

My parents got married in 1991.  Immediately following their wedding they moved into a condo in Edgewater, NJ.  I was conceived in the beginning of 1992, and was born in the winter of 1993, two years after my parents moved into their new condo.

Unfortunately, my parents’ marriage did not work out and they filed for divorce in the end of 1993. My father returned to New York City and moved into a one-bedroom apartment in TriBeca.  Together, my mother and I moved into a two family brownstone in Hoboken, NJ.  I was only a year old at the time, but we lived there until a few months after my third birthday.  All I remember about that home was that we had a spiral staircase and that you could see the roof of our building from my mom’s gym.

I lived in two different homes in Hoboken within the first seven years of my life.  The second home was on Bloomfield Street.  It was a four-story brownstone.  I loved that home because it had a backyard, which was the first time I had a backyard to play in, and my best friend from Mustard Seed School lived two houses down from me. The entire time that I lived in Hoboken, I spent almost every weekend with my grandparents and mom in Bloomfield, NJ, which is why I always considered it like a second home.

I met my stepfather, John Cusmai, on my fourth Christmas, right after their first blind date.  Following my sixth birthday was their, they engagement.  They were married in July of 2000.  We lived with him in Nutley, NJ, for three months while our current home, in Montclair, NJ, was under construction.  Although the home in Nutley was small, I did not mind it because there was a toy story right down the street.  Once we were finally settled into our new home and I had started school at Montclair Kimberley Academy, we welcomed by little sister, Cristina, right before my ninth birthday.

In 2000, my father purchased a gated brownstone in New York City.  I remember one day when I visited him he was watching a “friends” dog, who lived in the apartment building down the street.  I met the owner a few weeks later; she is now my stepmother, Bethany Bolling.  They were married in Lake Placid in 2002.  They lived in the brownstone together in New York City for three years.  Then in 2005, my father had to move to Seattle, WA, for his job and moved into a townhouse with my stepmother only a few minutes away from the Space Needle.  They have lived there for six years but recently decided they will be returning to New York City this coming summer.  They just purchased a new brownstone in Greenwich Village, which they will be moving into.

Not only will my father and stepmother be moving back to the east coast this summer, but it will also mark the tenth year that I have lived in my home in Montclair, NJ.  I will be attending Pennsylvania State University this upcoming fall.  I have traveled to many places in the past eighteen years of my life, but I have never lived outside of New Jersey.  I have not experienced many different atmospheres, but I am excited to move out of the state of New Jersey and finally experience something different- even if it is only a short three hours from my home.  My mom has basically lived in the same place her entire life and my father has lived in several different places around the world.  I think if I can find a balance between the two lifestyles I will be happy.  I do not want to live in the same place for the rest of my life, but I do want to have one place that I can always say is my home.

My Migration

My mother, Francyne Mary Federici, was born in April 1959. Her mother and father raised her and two other daughters, Linda and Arie. My mom was the middle child. She grew up in Newark New Jersey, where she was born, but moved to Essex Fells when she was 14. She attended a catholic all girls’ high school and went to Arcadia University, in Philadelphia. After receiving her Bachelor in Fine Arts, she moved to New York City to pursue her career in interior design.

My father, Lewis Roy Zlotnick, was born in November 1955. His mother and father raised him and his older brother, Eddie. My father was the youngest. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, Where he was born, but moved to Staten Island when he was 15. He attended New York City public schools and continued his education at New York University, where he studied business. He commuted to school, and after he graduated he moved into New York City to pursue his career in Business.

My mom and dad met at an Architectural firm in the city where they were both working. My mom was one of the company’s interior designers and my father was the director of marketing at the firm. They met in the elevator in their office building, and eventually my dad worked up the courage to ask my mom to go on a date. They dated for a while moved in together for sixth months, but then my dad was offered a better paying job in Florida. He took the job and they moved to Florida for a year and two months. While my mom worked as a self-employed interior designer, my dad was offered another job in New Jersey at Real Estate Development Company. They moved to Verona, New Jersey.  Then they moved to Caldwell. They got married and had my brother Michael, in 1990.

Three years later, I was born on April 18 1993, Skylar Allissa Zlotnick. My mother, father, brother, and I moved into our new home in Essex Fells the day I was brought home from the hospital. Throughout my entire life I have never moved from the house I live in now, in Essex Fells. I attended the Children’s house pre-school, and from there I went to Essex Fells Elementary School, Just like my brother. After graduating in 6th grade I went to MKA in 7th and have been here ever since. Next year I will call Bryant University in Rhode Island home, where I will be studying business and communications and playing lacrosse.

My Father is now president of the same Real Estate Development company, and my Mother works as a self-employed interior designer.

Migration Story

My parents migration story is quite interesting. My parents come from two completely different areas in the U.S. My mom was born in Houston, Texas, and my dad was born in Buffalo, New York. These cities are almost polar opposites of each other but my parents somehow, throughout there journeys managed to meet each other.

My mom did not live in Houston for a long time, by the time she was three she moved to Alabama where she lived for another two years. When she was five she moved to Tampa, Florida where she grew up and lived until she married my dad. She moved a lot when she was little because of her dad’s job. He never had a steady job until he moved to Tampa where he started Smith Fence, a fencing company that is still running today and is owned by my 2 uncles.

My dad was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. His dad worked at a watch factory in the city. He never moved growing up; he lived in the same house throughout high school and college.

Both of my parents stayed in the same towns they grew up in for college and commuted to school. My mom went to Saint Leo’s University, which is a small college in Saint Leo, Florida. My dad went to SUNY (state university of New York) Buffalo.

Soon after college, both of my parents were offered jobs. My dad was offered a banking job down in Florida, a state he had very little knowledge about, and my mom was offered a teller job at a nearby bank in Florida. My dad moved down to Florida, which was very momentous for him because he had never flown or left the northeast before. My parents were not working at the same banks but there offices were not that far away from each other. My parents met one night when they were out with friends in Tampa, and from then on have been with each other.

Soon after they met, my dad was accepted into the University of Chicago for graduate school. It was hard for my dad to leave my mom, but he knew that this is the school he wanted to go to and would create a future for the both of them. So the next year he moved to Chicago, Illinois to go to school. My parents were still dating while my dad was in school, but my mom still lived in Florida.

After graduate school, my dad moved back down to Florida where my mom was to work and be with her. One year after graduate school, my parents got married in Florida. However, soon after the wedding and once they were settled in, my dad was offered a job in New York City to work for an investment bank. The Offer was too good for my dad to say no to so my parents moved to New York City.

They lived in an apartment in New York City for a year before having their first child, Will, who is my oldest brother. But soon after Will was born, my parents, having both grown up in a suburban lifestyle, wanted a home to raise there kids in, so they moved to 5 Green View Way in Montclair, New Jersey after having there second child Kristin. Two years after having Kristin, Adam was born in Montclair New Jersey at mountainside hospital. My parents knew that they wanted 4 children, so one year later they had me, there forth child on April 16, 1993 at Mountainside Hospital.

I grew up on Green View way for five years until we moved. Our family moved to 270 Upper Mountain Avenue, I was still in Pre-K and was already attending the Montclair Kimberley Academy. I was born and raised in Montclair, and I attended MKA until 6th grade. During the summer between 6th and 7th grade, my family and I moved to Tokyo, Japan.

My family and I moved to Japan for three years because my dad was offered a higher job position in Tokyo. It was hard to change countries but we were told we would only be there for three years so to me it was only a temporary adjustment. The traveling in Asia was incredible but at the end of freshman year my family and I moved back to New Jersey where I moved back into my old house and went back to MKA.

I still in Montclair in the same house I lived in before I moved for the past three years. Next year I will be going to Lehigh University next year in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The area is surrounded by an abandoned steel factory, which makes the area more rural than Montclair but other than that, moving to Bethlehem for four school years will be nothing I am not used to.

The migration story of my parents is a very interesting one and starts off with my mom being born in Central American in a country called Honduras in the town of La Lima. My father on the other hand was born an American citizen in the mountains of Colorado. My mother grew up in a third world Spanish-speaking country. My mother has many fond memories of going out into the mountains of La Lima and picking fruits with her father and coming back just in time for dinner. My dad grew up in Iowa and moved often because of his father’s work. My father has moved 4 times first Arkansas, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and then New Jersey.

One of the many memories my father remembers the most is going out in the fields of Pennsylvania getting a sledge hammer and stunning the pig by hitting it over the head. My father would then have to tie the pig up by its hind legs and pull it up on a lever so they could then slit the pigs belly open. He and his father would then proceed pulling out the intestines of the pig and then cut the intestates open to see if there were any worms inside the pig’s intestines. They did this because my father’s dad would develop new kinds of medicines that were meant to kill the worms inside the pigs. My dad never enjoyed doing this, but his father’s job was to find medicines for these animals so he had to kill them and look at their insides to see if the medicines worked.

When my mom was fourteen she moved with her father to America because her father wanted to find better employement in America. At first my mom did not enjoy New York City because she was overwhelmed by how larger the city was. Also it was tough for my mom to live in the States because she barely knew any english so it was hard for her to communicate. After a while though the city became a home to my mother just took her a while to warm up to it. Eventually she got through all four years of high school graduated and decided to go to SUNY Cortland in upstate New York for college. My father went to high school in Nutley because his father started to work at Hoffman Laroche and they have a big headquarters there. My father almost failed out of high school because he never had an ambition to go anywhere or do anything. He did not even apply to college his mother had to send out his college application to Penn State, and if it weren’t for the reason of his father teaching at Penn State my dad would have never of went to Penn State.

After undergraduate both of my parents decided to go to graduate school and on. My parents met because my father was working as a claim manager at AIG and my mother was working as a paralegal for D’Amato and Lynch. One day my mother had to go to my dad’s office and hand paper work off to him from D’Amato and Lynch. Right after my mother dropped off the paper work my dad was asking everyone in the office for the women’s name who dropped off the paper work and eventually got her name and number. He managed to persuade her to go on a date with him and since then they have been together and got married.

After my parents had me they moved in together and rented a house in Fairview for about a year. During that time my dad was looking for a house in Nutley. On November 10, 1992 I was born in Bellevue Hospital in Secaucus. I have always lived in Nutley my whole life except for this one time when my mom wanted us to move to Honduras, but it did not end up so well. This incident made us re- evaluate where we wanted to live and as a family we decided to move back to the United States.  We still have a house in Honduras now and we go there about 2 moths out of the year, it is like a second home to me. I go to Honduras a lot during winter break and summer. Most of my family lives down there so when I go down it is always exciting and fun.

My migration story as we speak is expanding to new horizons.  This fall I am attending the College of George Washington University. GWU is a four-hour car ride from my house and it is located in the city of District of Columbia. I am nervous and exited to attend George Washington University because I have never lived alone before and my parent will not be around. As my parents start to close on there migration story I am just beginning mine.

Post to come…

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