Bone began NaBloSoFroDraWe 2009 or clean out your drafts week. I wrote this two weeks ago and kinda forgot about it. I meant to fill in the character sketchs but….
New York has never been about museums, theater, even restaurants to me but family, friends, the best museum in the world–the streets of New York, and OK I love restaurants in the city and Long Island more than any other place.
I stayed with my sister on the Island for a couple of nights and then went to my spiritual home, the Upper West Side. My best friend Lucia and her daughter Lucianame live in the best of all buildings. It’s non-doorman, just seven floors, built around the turn of the last century, one of the first elevator buildings in New York and half the building has been living there for thirty years or more. They all know me and treat me as just another building resident which is way cool.
I didn’t watch Seinfeld when it was on originally but instinctively knew that only the best friend could say “it’s me when ringing the door. And after your mother your best friend gets the coveted O or 1 spot on speed dial. Yes we all check.
One night Lucia and I went to a coffee shop across the street from her building. The food’s exceptional, the staff is wonderful and you never know who you’re going to run into but chances are you’ll run into Eleanor and end up eating with her.
Eleanor’s 83 and has been living in the building longer than I’ve been alive. She moved in as a young bride. Her husband died a few years ago and her son finally found himself a few years ago.
Eleanor’s the only Upper West Side Jewish Republican I know. Now we all voted for Rudy the first time, and Bloomberg the first time as we’re pragmatic and only tough Democrats when we have to be. Eleanor’s amazing–a group of us are Eleanor groupies. She would run for office because she knew the candidate would lose and she didn’t want the nice young person to suffer politically.
Eleanor worked on Wall Street until the 87 recession when she moved over to the city where she still works full and very long days today.
The city is honoring Eleanor with a ceremony and a party today. Lucia collected money from people in the building and bought her some jewelry. I so wish I could be there. Eleanor’s like the mother I miss and thinks I’m beautiful so I would love her just for that. .
Saturday night Lucia, Lucianame and I went to the cafe at the 70th Street pier for burgers, salad and sangria. Lucianame found it too funny that I needed “roughage.” Well it had been a week of heavy eating and for some reason…why am I defending my use of the word “roughage” rather than “fiber.” OK so we got back to the building and bought ice cream from the truck at the corner. As we were eating our ice cream, Miles came in.
Miles has AIDS. He was supposed to die ten years ago. For a number of years I would see Miles with an aide. He shakes but he has cheated death so long and through so many attacks. I almost cried seeing Miles alone with a dog. Miles is an artist. He specializes in buildings and when he and his lover lived in San Diego he began a movement to preserve some buildings. Recently he went to San Diego as the city was honoring him. PBS is doing a special about him.
The people in Lucia’s building gave him pricey flowers and he was so touched he painted a picture of them. He took us in to see the painting and the long foyer, living room and one bedroom that were filled with his art. I was stunned both by the almost plain lined buildings that came alive, and the floral art that while still in his style was lavish and lush.
These are just two of the people who live in one smallish building on the Upper West Side. I heart the Upper West Side, this building and its residents so very much.
I also adore Cooper who went to NYU so…this is one of the many reasons why
I couldn’t stop loving Bill Clinton even when I detested his wife who I now admire. I’m glad that I have a reason to love him!!!!!!!!!!! Can I just say, he’s so darn cute?