Not a big fan. When I moved to Arizona in 2001, I did not know it would be for twenty years. Karen and I have always enjoyed an existence that included a lot of travel. As we near our twentieth year of residence, all we are waiting for is the “green light” (pandemic-wise) to move back to southern Ohio. I hope to find my own little Mayberry out there where I can walk down to the only café in town for a cup of coffee to talk shit with “the boys,” whoever they are. I want to fall asleep in a hammock in my back yard under a big tree whose leaves I will pay a neighborhood kid 5 bucks to rake up in the Fall.
Travelling “light” (i.e. not being blessed with kids) has always allowed us to live outside city limits. This is the first home I have ever resided in that was in a housing “community.” The people are cool and the neighborhood has maintained its cleanliness and marketability for house sales and purchases. I know there are some New Yorkers somewhere laughing at me and my thoughts on “city life” as opposed to “NYC life,” which I am sure, are planets apart. It’s just the whole squished-in-together thing that I don’t care for.
I do love all the wonderful things a city has, starting with the architecture. Museums. Seats of knowledge and power. The commerce. The Restaurants. The ability to see and interact with more people in one day than some people will ever see in their entire lifetime. The diversity of those people and the different sounds and smells of the city. But, after I have carefully ensconced myself into all the city has to offer, I love having the ability to leave. Another place. Another adventure. Same way with my friends’ little kids—I love hanging with them and playing and laughing, but when it is time to go, I get to leave.
My first memory of NYC is a bittersweet one.
Four classmates and I were driving to the City to attend a NIT basketball game in Madison Square Garden. We were on a major freeway and kind of stuck in a slow-moving Dance of Death. An hour later, we found ourselves in Hell’s Kitchen. Nothing but Irish bars and Notre Dame gear everywhere. Our student ID cards made our money worthless. We were kings. Sweet.
So we (unwisely) climb into the car and we are back on the freeway. The traffic was moving at about a 65 mph pace. We were about 15 feet behind a station wagon with two little kids and what looked like a young Chocolate Lab in the back. All of a sudden, the back window begins rolling down. Before anything could be said or done, the puppy jumped out to his certain death.
I can still see those horrified little faces. Bitter.
So, as we await our turn for immunization for the Covid-19 virus, we Google info on our possible next and final destination and wish America a speedy recovery.