ONE YEAR SINCE I LEFT NEW YORK FOR GOOD
[Doesn’t that sound like the title of a Broadway show tune? Or a country song?]
When I was watching Game 3 of the Brooklyn Nets-Atlanta Hawks play-off series, they showed a four second clip of the area right by my beloved Brooklyn Ice Cream factory. When I later showed it to Mr. X, I just broke down in tears. I’ve never been away from Brooklyn this long. Today is one year since I left my childhood home for good.
I first left there when I was a teen-ager, but meant for it to be for just that summer. I didn’t expect to fall in love with Los Angeles, and take-up permanent residence here. But I never moved anything from my Brooklyn home; quite the opposite, actually. I always brought more stuff to New York; either gifts for my parents, or items that I didn’t have room for in my LA home, or products for the purpose of having a full set of necessities (cosmetics, medicines, vitamins, shampoos, clothing, etc.) there, so the next time, I could pack just presents for everyone in my suitcases. (Along with, of course, a few fabulous new outfits to show off!)
But this column isn’t to once again lament the loss of my home, and the torture I went through emptying it out. Today’s purpose is to let my East Coast pals know how much they continue to mean to me. And they’re not just my “east coast pals.” They’re all my forever friends, and I seriously miss them all the time.
So, I want to share some of my wonderful memories from the five weeks I spent in Brooklyn at this time last year. [Note: These are aside from all the invaluable assistance on the house these peeps gave me.] These instances were truly oases in the torturous time I had there otherwise. I could have easily been pushed way over the edge without these in-between-the-work special moments, all courtesy of my friends.
I actually have even more stories than these, but here are some highlights, in no particular order. (And I’m proud to say that these are all off the top of my head, from a year ago!, without looking at my appointment book for that time!) Here goes:
Enjoying a true New York Passover seder, (which I hadn’t had in very many years,) at Manny’s beautiful Upper East Side home with Sheila, Eamonn, Shirley, and Mallory.
Attending a surprise screening, produced by a college mate of Eamonn’s from San Francisco, with Eamonn and Sheila, (who had driven ten hours in from Ohio to help me clear out the house!)
Easter brunch, (and the search for it!,) with Sharon.
Finally getting to go to Brooklyn Star bowling alley, (for a party,) with Thomas and Anita, (who had come all the way from Rhode Island to help me with the heavy lifting!)
My last wonderful dinner at my precious Spumoni Garden, courtesy of the super-pleasant owner, Lenny, with Anna.
The miracle of tracking down a stranger (in the middle of a street!,) I had given a “sight” machine to, to give him the instructions I found the day before I left forever, with Helen and Amanda.
The kindness of Lauren, Scott, and Taylor to include me in their Mother’s Day dinner, which I know was a big hassle to do (even though I’m sure none of them felt that way about it.)
Bumping into beautiful couple Valerie Harper and Tony Cacciotti just walking down the street in Manhattan!
My last time at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory with Betsy and Sharon #2, and us just sitting out there, enjoying the scenery, ice cream, and each other (including admiring our nail polishes.)
Discovering the best burgers in Brooklyn with Adrienne.
“Figuring it out” with Sharon. (Every time we weren’t sure about something, Sharon said, “We’ll figure it out.” I wonder if we ever really did!)
Having Manny, my longest-tenured friend in New York, spend the last evening in the house with me to put the finishing touches on all my uber-hard work.
Cinco de Mayo dinner with Helen and Sharon at a place near my house called–guess what?–Cinco de Mayo!!!
Attending a big Manhattan bridal show, followed by an impromptu hip Chinese dinner, with Lauren and Sharon.
Going to two crazy soirees in one night in Manhattan with Anna.
Every single minute I spent with the two people who worked possibly even harder than I did on the house, Sheila and Lauren.
And I cannot forget that final ride in my old Buick, (which Mr. X and I had very affectionally dubbed “The Work Horse,” because a Triple A guy had once told us that’s what it was,) with Sheila and Mike, to none other than Nathan’s Coney Island! What a perfect last Brooklyn trip that was for the old guy.
Looking back over that month plus, I didn’t realize I fit in so many happy times!!! Good thing I never slept!
Unfortunately for me, I have an even longer list of all the horrors I suffered on that last New York trip, but, as I concentrate more and more on the good times I listed above, the bad memories begin to recede a bit. And for all these, and more, I’m a very grateful girl, and I can’t thank all my pals enough, for everything!