I didn’t think my move from the center of Manhattan to a very small coastal city in South Carolina was incredible until I realized how hard it is to completely shake up your life, alone, in your 50’s.
I will read The New York Times forever. Do I like The Times? Sometimes I love it; sometimes I argue with it (you don’t want to see that); sometimes I downright hate it.
My father used to buy The Times and bring it home along with any and all papers he found on the subway. New York had seven major papers until a long newspaper strike decimated the newspaper industry.
I know stuff like this. Little details about New York that most people who come in adulthood never understand. They’ll never understand why Horn & Hardart, more commonly called the Automat was the best restaurant ever. Or how Murray the K taught me, personally or so it seemed, the then short history of rock music on Saturday Night Golden Oldies night. He was the greatest DJ anywhere in my not so humble opinion.
When I grew up I moved to Manhattan——first to a rent stabilized huge studio on East 63rd Street off Fifth Avenue for fifteen largely glorious years (my glasses are rose colored when I talk about those years.)
And later to a small but luxe one bedroom on Riverside Drive at 75th Street. It would have been perfect if it had amenities such as a washer/dryer, and a dishwasher. The kitchen was in the entryway. I should have renovated the kitchen but I only had one closet and I would have had to sacrifice closet space.
New York had changed a lot. I used to walk across Central Park (eleven minutes) and the entire Upper West Side to go to Riverside Park, my absolute favorite place in New York. It hadn’t been discovered yet and I could walk the length without (literally) bumping into another person.
Then it was renovated and now has good restaurants, music and connects with other parks to traverse around Manhattan. That was my dream when I lived there.
I can and do go on about New York forever. Much of this blog is an ode to my life in New York. And shopping at Fairway——something I had to do but hated. I learned to go late at night when it was almost empty but for people on Broadway who were surprisingly friendly.
I had many friends, several long—term relationships with incredibly interesting men all of whom were more fascinating than I was or am.
It was easy to make new friends in my 20’s and 30’s. I had a six week temp job that lasted three years and turned into a thirteen year career. My best friends are still the people I met at that job.
It shouldn’t have been easy in my 40’s and 50’s but I’m very immature and discovered two secrets. My best friend had a baby (now 23) and she became friends with the moms in pre-school. I became close with some of the school moms. One of my best friendships began at a birthday party for a two year old.
People who take writing workshops generally want to befriend the second or third most talented person in the workshop. I’m not sure why. In one of the “king of chick lit” workshops I became friendly with so many people I had to hide from one woman——she was certifiable.
The woman I became friendliest with lied about me to some others and bam I lost the not-quite friendships. I didn’t feel horrible about that.
So why did I move to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina a place so different from New York the silence is deafening? I sit on the upper deck of my house because it’s at the end of a court that’s off a major street and sometimes the traffic noises sound so great.
The answer is complex and will be in my next post.