Archive for the 'places' Category

New York, New York

I love NY….

I just don’t want to live there….

On Labor Day, my dear mother traveled to NYC, escorted by my sisters T. and Pentyne, for the first time in her life. Ever the history buff, Mom chose to spend the day visiting Ground Zero and the Lady Liberty. She came away in good shape, and with a thirst to visit again. Which got me to thinking of my own experiences in the city. Soooo…this Wednesday’s randoms are about all things NY.

1. The first time I’d visited NY, I was convinced by my art teacher that the potential for something awful happening to me…say, being kidnapped and drafted into the white slave trade, or mugged of my entire possessions, including my clothes…was high. So fearful was I of this potential for disaster, that somewhere between boarding the bus and arrival at Grand Central Station, my face broke out into hideous hives that stayed with me the entire weekend.

2. And then, the first night… a bird; a pigeon, mostly likely, shat on my favorite sweater. Someone had the nerve to tell me that this was good luck. Uh. huh.

3. And at Chinatown, my pal Bonita ate a whole fish eye, raw, on a dare. It charmed only the waiters.

4. I did realize one burning heart’s desire, which was to attend art school in NY. I went to the School of Visual Arts, on a photography scholarship. And hated it. It was not like something out of Fame, like I’d imagined.

5. But I met my dear friend Felix Ginsberg there. This little place, The Chat N Chew, which is around Union Square, was something of a hangout for us. We went there because of their colorful ads, expecting some sort of charming greasy spoon, chock full of stories and characters. It wasn’t. We liked it anyway. The waiters actually do sit down and chat.It’s all yummy comfort food. Best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever had.

6. Julia Roberts lived catty corner to my building in Gramercy Park. The girls on the first floor had a watch going on for her in the first few months. As Felix and I stepped out to go grocery shopping one night, she was greeted by a gaggle of them screaming “Joooooooooooliaaaaaaaaa! Jooooooooooooooooooooooolia!” as she was walking her very large dog. She looked harrassed, annoyed, tired, and very thin in her baggy clothes.

7. At least when I lived there, the rains were more like mini monsoons. Felix had a pair of brown corderoys that, when we went out and she wore them, it would pour every. single. time.

8. I have…never been to the Statue of Liberty.

9. I worked at a place called The Door off of the Avenue of the Americas and Broome Street. It was a wonderful place for kids to take classes in art, English, dance, and music….as well as get legal and medical aid, and a hot meal. Of all of my students, I connected most with these kids.

10. I lived in NY for only a year, after having decided that the things I liked were things I could visit. In another life, perhaps it would be interesting to have a native city experience.

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