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Page history last edited by Bicyclemark 11 years, 4 months ago

Having grown up spending every summer in Portugal, as well as attending Portuguese school and university courses at the U of Lisbon from 1998 to 2000, Mark developed an interest in one day living full time in Lisbon.  Having also just completed a semester in southern France at the IAU in Aix-en-Provence, France, he was even more inspired to make his life not in the US, but yes.. in Europe.  Thankfully it was not difficult for the US born son of Portuguese immigrants to claim Portuguese citizenship, which he did around 1999. After that, getting a social security number, health card, and bank account followed.  By the time 2001 rolled around, though the exact date of his move was not clear, the idea was firmly in the back of his mind and the groundwork had been laid.

 

During a long summer in Portugal in 2001, following a personal life crisis, these plans seemed to come ever closer.  He was also planning  to spend christmas of 01 in Portugal with his family.

 

During the events of September 11th, 2001, Mark was employed as a cater waiter in Manhattan.  The work was primarily at night and location varied from museums to private homes in and around Manhattan. Not usually anywhere near the World Trade Center.  At the same time Mark had just completed a 4 month research job as an unpaid intern at the Village Voice. His work was for the city/state politics section, as a researcher for senior editor Wayne Barrett.  Barrett was among the last true freedom fighters at the Voice, constantly challenging authority and obsessed with exposing corruption, especially the kind that originated in city hall. The job was nonstop adventure, with most of his time being spent driving around Staten Island and New Jersey hunting down ex colleagues and neighbors of known mobsters and corrupt businessmen.

 

By the time the fall of 2001 came around, the work at the village voice was over and Mark, unsure of his future, had some hopes of making it as a freelance alternative journalist, trying to get some investigative pieces published in the Voice using what he had learned and the connections that had been made. His first topics included the immigrants in the US that had disappeared as the result of the random sweeps and anti-terrorism paranoia that had swept the US and the NYC area. Unfortunately along with the paranoia and the disappeared immigrants, press freedom had also been vastly curtailed.  At every turn doors were slammed in his face and laws requiring freedom of information were declared NOT applicable. No one had to answer to the media anymore, and it seemed more and more clear, that any critical voices were considered a threat to national security.  - The plan to move to Portugal seemed ever more like a good way to find freedom and make an adult life.

 

After a few months as a substitute special ed teacher in Newark, it was time to go to Portugal for christmas, only after the holidays, Mark intended to stay. And stay he did, for just under a year, working again as a teacher, this time an english teacher at one of those mcdonaldsish english schools.

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