For most people, New York City is the city of dreams. New York is a place where one can hope and find a new beginning. But for one mother, it has become the place of sorrow and the end of a dream. In March 2013, Keiko Nakamura’s daughter Mayumi left for New York full of life to pursue her ambitions. But this year, Keiko is bringing home her daughter’s ashes.
Mayumi was one of the eight people killed in a gas explosion in East Harlem last week. The explosion was so strong it leveled two neighboring apartments. 1646 Park Avenue, where Mayumi is a resident of Apartment 4 along with other Japanese roommates, was one of the two apartments reduced to rubble after the violent explosion. She was in New York to attend art school, as it has been her passion to draw since she was 3 years old. She had also been fascinated with American culture since she was younger, so she left for Los Angeles in 2001 to study English and stayed there for a decade before going to Hawaii to take up art lessons for a year. After which, she returned to Japan.
Last year, Mayumi decided to go back to the United States to formally pursue art school. Since going back, Mayumi has been constantly sending photos of the city, snow, building lights and everything that catches her eye. Keiko noted that Mayumi enjoyed her life in the city. “She was very happy in New York,” she said through an interpreter while at the Japanese American Association of New York in Midtown Manhattan. She was with her son, Taro, to claim the ashes of Mayumi and take it home. The two refused to divulge other personal details of Mayumi, nor give a photograph of her, as they themselves also refused to be photographed. Grieving, Taro wondered what really happened with the incident and who is responsible. He said, “She came here to catch a dream in the United States. But this time, she lost herself suddenly in this accident. We are very sad.”
[via NY Times]