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I'm going home at the end of April. Just for a little while. I'm returning to New York to spend a few days with my mother, see my nephew, and catch up with friends. Most, but not all, of these friends are from my high school or grammar school years. A few are from my late 20's and early 30's, my "socialite" years. A couple are women that I met through political activism on Facebook.

It's been 18 years since I moved to Colorado on March 1st, 1995. I don't ski--I was terrible at it in both high school and college, and now the boots hurt my shins in spite of the 2" foam padding I shoved in them last time--and I don't hike. I'm not the outdoorsy type at all. I like Central Park--plenty of room for adventures and all kinds of fun, plus restaurants. And exits everywhere. The open space near my house has weeds and coyotes, and nothing to look at except the Denver skyline. No convenient exits, no taxis.

I miss taxis. When I first came to Denver, before I moved here, I had an interview downtown. I don't remember how I got there--probably my then-boyfriend dropped me off--but afterwards, I was stomping around searching desperately for a taxi, and getting royally pissed off. A nicely dressed woman smiled at me and said, "Are you looking for a taxi?" I said, "Yes!" She said, "You're a New Yorker, aren't you?" I said, "Yes," feeling vaguely embarrassed. She told me that I had to call a taxi and directed me to a pay phone. I thanked her and stomped towards the phone, muttering about the uncivilized Wild West. Story continues below the fold.

So, I got engaged to Kevin the Horrid, and moved from my cozy apartment on 63rd Street between Madison and Park (right across from Ronald Perlman. Whom my brother met at a party, and said, "My sister lives on the top floor right there!" And from then on I had to close my blinds before I took a shower, so Ronald Perlman didn't see me in a towel. Dratted brother.) to Kevin's ugly little house in Englewood. Kevin had told both me and my parents that his car would be paid off in March, so he would buy me one. But, since he was a horrid man, he changed his mind, saying, "It's really nice not to have a car payment."

I got a temp job at Janus. I had to take two buses every morning and evening. Sometimes, I would miss the connections. I begged my parents for a car, but they said, "No. Come back to the city." I learned to drive in the Hamptons at age 11, but--long story--I didn't get a driver's license until I was 28 and moved back to New York from Boston. I took Driver's Ed at 16, meeting two other girls and the perverted Mr. Jackson in front of Marymount every Saturday morning. Mr. Jackson claimed that the best coffee in the city was somewhere in Times Square. On Saturday mornings in the late 1970's, Times Square was full of hookers in spandex. And Mr. Jackson could never remember where the coffee place was, so we had to slowly trawl until he found it. Every Saturday.

So, I suffered mightily on my tortuous daily bus rides. I read, of course, at the bus stop and on the bus. But every morning, as I checked my watch constantly, I muttered. And then, one morning, a blonde woman who was at the second stop every morning said to me, "You're a New Yorker, aren't you? You seem so impatient with the buses." I said that I was, and we became friends. Until, one night, she borrowed her boyfriend's car and we went downtown for dinner. After dinner, she headed up Colfax, seemingly looking for something. She spotted a man, who motioned her down a side street. She parked and got out of the car. I didn't like this. It was late, it was spooky, and I had no idea what the hell she was doing. Another man came and joined the first one. Turned out that she bought crack. I was FURIOUS. I didn't say anything until she brought me home, then I said, "What is the matter with you? That's a dangerous damn drug, one, and TWO, what the F--- were you thinking, endangering ME like that?" She burst into tears and apologized. But I was done with her. I started taking earlier buses.

On the day that I got a permanent job, I dumped Kevin the Horrid. By then I was living on Capitol Hill, still car-less. I was happy on Capitol Hill. When I told my parents that I'd dumped Kevin, they said, "So you're coming back to New York now, right?" I said, "No, it's really nice here," and asked for a car. They grudgingly agreed to send me a check for a used car. I got a piece of crap at an auction, but luckily somebody broadsided me shortly afterwards, and I ended up with a 1985 Bronco II. Loved that car! In celebration of my new job, my mother sent me this postcard: buffalo shit photo IMG_1184_zps2984b79e.jpg

Making friends was a little difficult. Not only was I constantly overdressed--I only owned one pair of jeans when I moved to Colorado, and in my mind, they were "dirty work or country weekend" pants--but I was a NEW YORKER. From MANHATTAN. As an icebreaker during orientation, our managers made us illustrated name tags. This was the one made for me:  photo df003753-b384-406d-b1c2-e999bc9fa091_zps7645ed41.jpg

Hmpf. Well, I did make a few friends. The company that I worked for was based in Kansas City, MO, and I was shocked to to learn that many people had never seen the ocean. They were shocked that I knew actual Mafiosi and wasn't buried in a New Jersey landfill.

So the years marched on. I got married, and my firstborn was a son. My mother and my aunt, from practically the day that he was born, urged me to call Kent Denver and "get him on the list." So one day, I did. A nice lady answered the phone, and I politely inquired as to the feeder schools. She told me that there weren't any, really, they used an admissions test. I said, "Oh, thank you." She said, "How old is your son?" I said, "Sixteen months." There was a pause, and she said, "You're a New Yorker, aren't you?"
I said, "Yes." She said, "I can always tell. We've had people call for two-week-olds."

This past Christmas we went to Florida. An old friend who currently lives there drove 40 miles to our hotel to see me. We hadn't seen each other since my wedding, in 1999. But he's the person I always call when I've been drinking :) He said to me, "Nobody could ever believe that you stayed in Colorado. We were shocked. You're the quintessential New Yorker, you knew everybody. We kept thinking that you'd be back."

I said, "No, I'm happy there. The children are in great public schools, our neighborhood is safe. It's a good life." And it is. I have a garden, we've done and are still doing extensive renovations to our large but admittedly crappy-assily-built tract house, and we have a great circle of friends.

I do miss New York, frequently. I feel more alive there, somehow, as if some intrinsic "me" is awakened. I miss the shopping. When Lord & Taylor closed in Park Meadows, my favorite salesladies and I sobbed on each other's shoulders. When Saks closed, I was terribly sad. The closure of Loehmann's was a final blow. When I was growing up, my mother and I would make the scary trip to the Bronx once a year. What an adventure! I was delirious with joy when I found the old Loehmann's in Tamarac Square, and ecstatic when they moved right across from Park Meadows.

I miss my family and friends, all people who "get" me. After all this time in Colorado, I now own many pairs of jeans, and wear them nearly every day. My mother said that "Jeans are really inappropriate for women over 40." I said, "I live in Colorado. It's different." My mother said, "Hmpf." So I'm looking forward to going home, to immersing myself in noise, crowds, and dearly loved people, in a city where my friend Nello (owner of the eponymous restuarants in the city and Southampton) gave me THIS because he thought that I would "need it in Colorado.":  photo 73d92344-7d8f-467b-bb41-0dbb22a44a2b_zps9dece267.jpg

I finally wore it, for the first time, to a "Western Theme" fundraiser for my daughter's school. It was apparently de trop, but we only stayed 20 minutes. I think I might wear it more often, though, like to King Soopers. Maybe :)

Originally posted to Something Fishy on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "And exits everywhere." ? (10+ / 0-)

    An exit from nature ?

    Have you ever spent time in Hawaii ?
    It might be deadly for a New Yorker .

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:17:43 AM PDT

    •  Not at all. I LOVE islands :) And here is... (22+ / 0-)

      a nice Hawaiian sunset pic for you, taken on Kona last month.  photo c9362a9f-8595-47dc-ab1a-79251be04bed_zps5ab3036c.jpg

      I've also been to Kauai and Maui. Islands: good. Open space with weeds and coyotes: Meh.

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:46:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh no it's not!! (5+ / 0-)

      I love Hawaii!!!

      I'd probably consider moving there if it weren't 1500 miles away from everyplace else in the world; I don't have enough money for plane fare every time I'd get island fever.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:32:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, 2500 miles from every place else (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but what's 1000 miles when it is all ocean ...  :-)

        And with FaceTime (or Skype) can still see family and friends face to face ....  :-)

        •  Sorry about being off (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          on the mileage.

          But speaking as someone with family in HI, my impression is that Skype doesn't really solve the whole problem. One cousin who moved out there determined to stay was sending his parents three hundred dollar phone bills for years (and this was thirty years ago, when $300 was real money). Eventually he met a lovely woman there, married her, and the phone bills got smaller. But they still only come east once a year.

          The other relatives thought they'd found paradise without spending longer than 6 weeks there. They were back in NYC in two years.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 02:09:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hawaii is a tough place to adjust to (0+ / 0-)

            Some of us knew we were "home" from the moment we landed (and it was only job and family needs that uprooted us after 20 years), while others find the distance from other family and friends, the cost, the constrained geography and the cultural differences just too much of a bridge to cross.

            We are fortunate to be able to travel frequently, but with one child and new family in HI and the other in CT, we still rely on a lot of FT.  Thank goodness for unlimited plans on our cell service, otherwise we'd be broke.

            •  It is. (0+ / 0-)

              I was dismayed when my relatives decided to uproot their entire lives based on a six-week stay. I'd seen the "island fever" phenomenon before, with a co-worker, and I could tell that they really hadn't given it enough thought. Nor would they listen to their nephew (the permanent Hawaiian transplant in my family) or me. It seems like two years is the make-or-break point.

              I truly love Hawai'i and its amazing culture. I hope to get out there again next year, but I'd never think of moving there permanently.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:47:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah this NYer loves Hawaii. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've only been once but am dying to go back. Not sure I could live there full-time, but could definitely do a month or so. :)

  •  Oddly enough (20+ / 0-)

    I lived in NYC almost 30 years, then moved to Denver when I got a ton of money to give up my rent-stabilied lease in the East Village. I lived there 3 years, then moved to Chicago, where I had family and friends. I grew up on the Mississippi Delta, and the lack of humidity in Denver was more than I could take. Too dry, and too land-locked. I like water.

    I miss the NYC that was happening when I was there in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. But a lot of that has vanished now. Or is spread out in Brooklyn. I'm a poet and musician, and loved the 24-hour creative energy in the East Village. Of course, in that section of town, we wore jeans most of the time.

    It took me a while to get over being a New Yorker, it was such a part of my identity. But I've never lost my southern accent (grew up on the Mississippi Delta), so most people didn't suspect I was "a New Yorker".

    •  Topographically, yes (7+ / 0-)

      The city is always changing. It has to. But the 70's were pretty bad as far as crime. The 80's were the explosion of Euros and huge dance clubs, the 90's seemed to be a sort of civilized time, as we began to settle down somewhat. But that's only within my POV.

      Brooklyn has gotten amazing. I have to go there with my mother during this trip.

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:00:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The mid-late 1970s (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, ladybug53, Loonesta

        was about the best time of my life. Someone I met recently even pegged me as NY-70s, but she was really good.

        It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

        by sboucher on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:26:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The 70s and 80s (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BadKitties, Loonesta, llywrch

        were also an explosion of intense developments in art and music (John Zorn, Elliot Sharp, Sonic Youth, The Swans, Television, Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca, Z'ev) just to name a few of the musicians. The New York School of Poetry (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Maureen Owen, Bob Holman, Bernadette Mayer, Eileen Myles, and many others). The performance arts were really coming into their own too.

        In the 90s, gentrification of the East Village got in full swing, and by the end of the decade, the rents were getting too high for a lot of the artists to remain there. I was paying $700 for a small 2 and a half room apartment in Alphabet City, and as soon as I moved, the landlord raised the rent to $2500. And in the last few years I was there, that tenement building had become infested with bed bugs. Another reason I left. We couldn't get rid of em. Imagine. $2500 for 2 and a half rooms in a run-down, bed bug-infested building.

    •  booklyn IS New York (14+ / 0-)

      as is Queens, Bronx and Staten Island.  Manhattan is not New York all by itself. Except to people who are not actually NYers. Which I say as having been born in Bklyn, now living in Manhattan.  Park Slope to East Village to Upper East Side.

      NY is not an accent. Never was.Except in movies. It truly is a state of mind.An attitude. A way of seeing and doing.   Which you do not lose wherever you go. NYers are used to change, but always want it their way. They are often more comfortable with difference...from growing up in Bklyn I can be polite or rude in many languages. They are simultaneously worldly and tribal.

      Taxis are for tourists. Private schools for kindergarten are for a small few one percenters...and often non NY transfers. Even many who can afford it go public at least to HS.  But we do talk fast, walk fast and wear a lot of black. And like I told many while living in Europe in answer to the question "why do",..."how the f..k do I know.  I am from NY."

      •  Born in Manhattan, (8+ / 0-)

        lived in the Bronx, but mostly grew up in Queens. All five boroughs are New York. Subways, public schools, public everything pretty much, and taxis were only for going to see the doctor. I've lived coast to coast, three different time zones, but still a New Yorker at heart. Like you said, the city is always there inside of you somewhere.

        curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

        by asterkitty on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:33:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, NYC is all five boroughs (6+ / 0-)

        I didn't mean to imply that NY is an accent, but only that my southern accent doesn't encourage people not from NY to see me as a New Yorker. It doesn't encourage them to see me as Jew either . . . and you'd be surprised how many non-New Yorkers see Jews as people who have a Brooklyn accent.

        I did learn to walk much faster than my Southern roots had programmed me for.

        Sadly, I was rather snobby about the East Village, after living there almost 30 years. I called everything above 42nd Street "Upstate". But I was into the whole downtown poet/punk aesthetic, as were most of my friends. To earn my living, I worked in huge law firms near the World Trade Center, doing help desk and computer training. Had poor opinions of some of those uptown folks. I was 3 blocks from Ground Zero on THAT day.

        The weeks after 9/11 totally changed my heart about the different "sectors" of NYC. Everyone was in the parks, shrines were springing up everywhere, it just felt like everyone's heart was blown wide open and we were all connected in this fierce, beautiful way. I'll never forget that.

    •  I feel the same about Seattle. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      varro, BadKitties

      The Seattle I "knew" back in the 70's, 80's and early 90's is mostly gone.  Once the "People's View" (high rise waterfront road Alaskan Way Viaduct) is torn down for the tunnel they're replacing it with (to give developers more land to build "stuff" on) it will be gone for good. I'm glad I got to experience Seattle before it started looking like just another big city wanna be.

      a psychiatrist could..... "eliminate whether Geoffrey was having an affair, or had become gay, whether he had a social disease, or had become a Republican." - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

      by FlamingoGrrl on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same thing with Portland.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....before the Pearl and the South Waterfront (So What?) and the invasion of the hipsters into Northeast, turning Mississippi Ave. and Alberta St. into Little Williamsburg to spend their trust funds and drink PBR and smoke American Spirits like they were cool or something.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:32:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, yes. I remember it well. (16+ / 0-)

    Born in Brooklyn. My parents moved to Worcester, Mass when I was 3, and then to Newton when I was 8. I went to Cornell with a lot of New Yorkers but they know I wasn't really one. Then, after a year at Stanford, I went into advertising in Manhattan and spent the next eight years there. THAT apparently made me into a New Yorker. When I got a job in Los Angeles, I was asked two questions incessantly. The one about fear of earthquakes I understood. The one about won't you miss the theater, generally asked by people who hadn't been to the theater in decades, was a little more difficult -- LA isn't the Sahara Desert.

    I don't get back as often as I'd like to, but the city still fits like a glove.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:12:04 PM PDT

  •  Fun read (16+ / 0-)

    You brought back a lot of memories! I moved to CO from PA in November 1995. I was 27, single, and had never been west of Ohio.

    One evening I was sitting in traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway, pissed at my BF, listening to John Denver, and it came to me very clearly: F** it. I'm moving to Colorado. If I don't do it now, I wil regret it for the rest of my life.

    Within a few weeks I found a job in Pueblo, loaded a U-Haul, and headed west. My family thought I was daft and gave me six months. I stayed nine years, bought a house, got married, and went to nursing school. Good times.

    My co-workers later told me they were ROTFL when I showed up for my interview in a suit and heels -- turns out scrubs and cowboy boots would have done just fine. The dang hospital CEO didn't wear a suit, and people called him by his first name. I could never bring myself to do it. If you did that back East you'd be shitcanned on the spot.

    No one could ever place my accent -- lots of "WHERE are you FROM?" The rest thought I was from Minnesota. We moved to NC in 2004, and that culture shock's a whole 'nother tome ;)

    Enjoy the green chile for me ... hands-down, that's what I miss the most!

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:16:10 PM PDT

    •  OMG, the first names... (10+ / 0-)

      STILL not totally used to it! Your post made me laugh :)

      My co-workers later told me they were ROTFL when I showed up for my interview in a suit and heels -- turns out scrubs and cowboy boots would have done just fine. The dang hospital CEO didn't wear a suit, and people called him by his first name. I could never bring myself to do it. If you did that back East you'd be shitcanned on the spot.
      Yes, yes, yes :) Exactly :) And the suits and heels...those were the only work clothes that I had! I didn't have dress pants or pantsuits because my boss in NY HATED them. Skirts, always. One Sunday am I was at the office doing paperwork (we were closed on the weekends because he figured that anyone who couldn't get time off during the week, or who didn't have a non-working spouse, couldn't afford an apartment from us anyway), wearing my jeans, when Mr. R. showed up. He was VERY upset that I wasn't "dressed for the office", EVEN THOUGH IT WAS CLOSED. Lol :)

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:13:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Steeler Girl - just did your trip in reverse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      From NC to CO (after an absence of several decades).  Gotta say - Spring time in NC, but for everything else, I'll stick with CO.

  •  OK, here's my 2 cents (6+ / 0-)

    Coming from a town where you call for a taxi on the phone, trying to figure out how to hail one down while in Brooklyn.

    Telling people I'm from New York, and watching their faces light up as they squeal, "I would love to see New York!"  Then telling them I'm not from NYC, and watching their faces change to disappointment, and watching them walk away, no longer interested in talking to me.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:48:03 PM PDT

  •  syms* closed this past winter (7+ / 0-)

    that put me in a blue funk for sure and i 'm still trying to find out where all those clothes went

    *the greatest place evah for bargain basement prices for great clothing

    •  I KNOW!! And so did DAFFY'S!! (5+ / 0-)

      Syms was GREAT. You had to hunt, sometimes, but oh it was worth it. I used to work right on 54th and close!

      Loehmann's is still pretty good. Filene's Basement NOTHING like the old one in Boston, where I got Chanel pumps for $82. TJ Maxx...again, you have to HUNT. I found an Armani (not Armani Exchange) jacket at TJ Maxx for $99 (on clearance) 2 years ago.

      Century 21? They don't have the "Cheap Date" racks anymore ($5 Italian miniskirts!) but do have some great clothes.

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:06:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try Marshall's. (5+ / 0-)

        I used to troll Daffy's regularly, but I woke right up when I saw Pratesi bed linens on sale at Marshall's. Still not cheap, but like $200-300 instead of $1200-1300. And no, I didn't buy them. But they were a good indication of what the rest of the store had to offer.

        And I'd like to take this opportunity to invite to the next NYC DailyKos meetup on April 28, if it fits your schedule. We are a nice bunch, if I do say so myself. I hope you can make it.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:45:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Aw, damn :( (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'll be there from April 22nd to the 26th. Have one get-together planned for Thursday 4/25 with preppies/socialites at T-bar. Working on one with artsy-fartsies :) downtown, maybe Tuesday. Have to keep my brother and ex-fiancé separated. After 20 years, brother can barely be civil to poor ex. Brother is an artist/sculptor, but works for family business to actually pay bills. Actors/artists/activists all live in or near Village. The great divide :)

          "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

          by BadKitties on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:27:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I shop Marshall's in CO (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Will try the NYC one :) Must go to Loehmanns, though. Always do. And sample sales, if there are any good ones.

          "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

          by BadKitties on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:08:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Loehmann's (0+ / 0-)

            is still happening, I stroll through regularly. No more trips to the Bronx necessary!

            I am on a number of good sample-sale mailing lists, having spent 30 years in the rag trade. But it's too soon for any notices for the time when you'll be here. If you're interested, kosmail me the week before you get here and I'll let you know if I've got anything juicy.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:51:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Invite (3+ / 0-)

        you. That was supposed to say "invite you". Sigh.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:46:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I used to work at 57th and 5th (4+ / 0-)

        not far, and coincidentally at Chanel.

        I stuck it out for 7 years, but I am a tomboy at heart, and ended up with a farm, so leaving NY was quite a happy day.

        I have gained 25% in extra life to what I used to lose in a commute.

        To say nothing of the time I saved in dressing myself and putting on makeup.

    •  When Filene's closed (4+ / 0-)

      my mother about burst into tears. I remember B. Altman and A&S fondly, too.

      It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

      by sboucher on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:29:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Omg, Syms is gone? (3+ / 0-)

      I bought so many great outfits from them.  Affordable, stylish, and durable.  What a bummer.

      "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Nespolo on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 04:21:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We can talk at the gathering in April. (6+ / 0-)

    I spent nearly two years in NYC, living on Staten Island (I know, nobody considers it is NYC, but it is one of the five boroughs - at the time where they dumped the rest of NYC's trash.  My wife was born in NYC and lived there as a little girl.  

    I returned to Staten Island for a few hours on a trip to New Jersey for a wedding in December and did some disaster tourism, seeing what Sandy had done.  She/it did quite a number on the city.  

    Yeah, we can have a nice talk.

  •  I channeled these voices from Brooklyn (10+ / 0-)

    My Brooklyn

    15th Ave "hangin out on da corner,"
    Buck-buck, Man-hunt, stoop ball, skully, two-hand touch, 7 Mississippi.
    13th Ave.,
    15th Ave.,
    17th Ave.,
    18th Ave.,
    20th Ave.
    Loew's Oriental,
    The Benson,
    Walker Theater,
    86th Street: the "L,"
    Need a slice: L&B, Lenny's,
    DaVinci's, Krispy's.
    Regina Pacis, St.Rosalia, St. Bernadette.
    Stickball and roller hockey at the P.S. 279 schoolyard
    Double hotdog heros at Coney Island Joe's.
    Walking to Ave. L to buy baseball cards
    Caesar's Bay, Chess King , S&J, The Garage, Frank and Sal—
    "D A, no spray, and don't get scissor happy"
    Rispoli—home-made Italian ice.
    New Utrecht H.S.—Monte Midler, Basta, Ms. Stern, Ali, Leibowitz
    Neighborhood photographer : Frankie Foto
    Saturday morning was peaceful. My father gone to the store
    And my mother rarely rose until about 1.
    I just pushed the bottles of Jim Beam and the overflowing ashtrays
    Out of the way and settled down. “Ha, ha, Cisco," "Oh, ho, Pancho"
    Be careful crossing the streets.
    Look both ways and make sure there isn't a car coming.
    And then proceed across the street very carefully.
    Study real hard in school and learn all about our country.
    The United States of America.
    Mind Mom and Dad Don't forget kids, they love you just as much as you love them.
    and the police officers of your city
    I remember growing up at 3420 Clerendon Road in the Flatbush section.
    It was the best of both worlds—the Irish, Italians and Jewish people.
    Everyone got along and everyone had pride—not that anyone had all that much.
    That did not matter.
    Can anyone remember the name?
    We were all in it together.
    The spring and summer were just wonderful.
    I used to play stickball on the street and the old people used to sit on their lawn chairs.
    I remember their conversations so well . . .
    Nixon vs. McGovern, the War in Vietnam,
    The Mets, how John Lennon should be deported for being a "radical."
    How all the old ladies thought Mayor Lindsey was so handsome.
    That was some summer.
    Can anyone remember the name?
    Do a button hook and I'll hit you at the Chevy.
    Joe's pizza on Ave. L.
    Mario's barber shop.
    Bataway on Pennsylvania Ave.
    The roller coaster (Penn Ave.) to the Carvel.
    Chow Chow Cup, Milty the Good Humor Man,
    Uncle Lee (Bungalow Bar) Punch ball.
    Anyone remember hopping the school fence on President Street?
    Anyone rememember the BMT train and jumping onto the track to retrieve
    a high flying ball from the across the school yard fence?
    Around 1 I would hear my mother stirring
    Just in time for me to escape to a matinee. Usually a double feature.
    "The Man with the Atomic Brain"
    and "Revenge of the Creature."
    That's all for now.
    I now live in Oklahoma City and am 74 years old. Sure would like to hear from other Brooklynites.
    Can anyone remember the name?
    Back in the 1950s there was a big fire that destroyed the apartment house at Brevoort and Bedford Ave.
    My Dad whistling as he came home from work and climbed the 5 flights of stairs.
    The days were wonderful and filled with excitement in our courtyard, concrete backyards.
    The nights were warm and safe.
    Almost everyone had a mom and dad who lived with them, usually a grama or grampa too.
    Walks down Pitkin Avenue, with my Dad and my uncle.
    So, so safe. So, so safe So, so safe So, so safe So, so safe So, so safe
    Stop off at the Chocolate Shop for an egg cream. Look in the Stadium Toy shop, and hope.
    One day my dad took me to John's Bargain Store and told me to pick out any 5 toys I wanted. I never felt so happy in my life!
    My dad passed away 24 years ago
    Candy stores, lime-rickeys, egg-creams, Dukes of Earl Tuna salad sandwiches, 2 cent plain, 3-part Musketeers for 5 cents, cherry lime rickeys.
    Brooklyn had it all!
    The streets were tough with tough kids,
    But were filled with a European charm from
    Mature people who were precious.
    I will never (and don't ever want to) forget it! There will never be anything like it again.
    I remember Saturday matinees at the theater for 14 or 21 cents; then it went up to a quarter.
    Boredom was impossible.
    Eating potato & onion or kasha knishes at Shatzkin's.
    I can still taste the franks and french fries at Nathans.
    Hot sweet potatoes or chestnuts from corner vendors in Manhatten
    It was fun watching the old men playing Bocci under the El.
    It was fun watching the old men playing pinochle or chess.
    Boy did those little Italian cigars stink,
    And I remember them shushing us not to make a sound while they were "concentrating.."
    Some of my friends were:
    Lenny Vario, Richie Frisch, Harvey Feintuch,
    Franklin Monteforte, Honey & Leroy Elfenbein,,
    Gail, & Karen Cecere, Freida & her brother Steven,
    Sammy Leff, Tommy Uss, Richie Harlukowicz,
    Michael, Wallerstein, Howie Rodgers, Gerry Goodman,
    Larry & Bevely Bernstein, Danny & Linda Barrett,
    Freddie Rosenberg & Stevie Katz, Walter Fenimore, Billy Montana
    A velt mit kleyne veltelekh
    A good hitter could drive one the length of a city block and half again. Power hitters regularly hit home runs from the manhole cover that served as home plate on Tenth Avenue and 16th Street into Brooklyn's Prospect Park on the other side of the next street…
    Hello Hello

    •  Want a slice? DiFara's on Ave J & E. 15th (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AkaEnragedGoddess, john keats

      My dad had a candy store on Rodgers & St. John's with everything you listed, plus real malteds, not "shakes", dammit. He had a water-filled cooler for bottled soda that was heaven in summer when I'd plunge my arms in the icy water to cool off. There were revolving racks of comic books and a separate counter in the front for cigars and cigarettes. The main counter was marble and my enduring memory of my dad was him making the egg creams and chocolate sodas amid the array of siphons, syrup pumps and ice cream freezers. It was a glorious place for a child.

      When I was eight, we moved to Ocean Ave. to be near my grandparents. The last empty lots on Ocean Ave where finally being filled with newer 6-story elevator buildings amid the older pre-war 4-story walk-ups that I always lived in until I moved out of NYC in '90.

      By that time, I hated the city and everyone and everything in it. I hated the drug-addled teenage mother begging in the rain with her infant where I climbed out of the subway on Broadway. I hated the crime. I hated the Korean grocery boycott. I hated living with steel gates on my fire escape windows. I hated being stuck in a rent-stabilized apartment because anything else was forever beyond my means unless I took in roommates. I hated the stark arrogance of the 1%-ers who are only worse now. I hated that an actual house in my neighborhood -- beautiful old Queen Anne Victorians -- cost nearly half a million and you still could see the drug dealers from your barred bedroom window.

      NYC is a myth, a dream, a glittering fiction. I miss the Brooklyn and Manhattan of my childhood with the chestnut sellers on Fifth Ave. in the winter and ice-skating on the actual lakes in Central and Prospect Parks. I don't miss the real city today at all. I suppose that makes me a grumpy old fart, but fck it, I don't care.

  •  No matter where you go... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, ladybug53, Denver11

    ...there you are.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:40:51 PM PDT

  •  Translations (8+ / 0-)

    if you're not from Colorado

    Colfax = main drag right thru Denver - US40 Goes by the state Capitol

    Capitol Hill - residential neighboorhood near the state capitol... lovely old houses

    Park Meadows = latest upscale shopping Center, down in SE Denver near the Tech Center

    Tech Center = where the IT companies are. Inverness drive is a major street, 'cause the place was built by Scottish investors.

    "Kent Denver" - a very tony private school located in Cherry Hills Village, a very tony old-time exclusive area of South the Hamptons, only not so far out of town...

    Cowboy Boots - yes, accepted business wear in Denver.  If you're in oil and Gas. But you should press your jeans so the creases are sharp if you're serious (no wait, that's Dallas). Lose the cowboy boots and wear hiking boots and loose jeans, especially in Boulder. or wear whatever you want, we don't care.

    Cowboy hats - If it's new and expensive, not good. Get a really tired one if you insist on wearing it.  and don't bother polishing your boots. Fancy hats means you're from somewhere else, like Wyoming, or a poseur. But I repeat myself.

    I live in the mountains west of Denver - Denver is way to "social" and organized for me. Been out here half my life but I'm a New Yorker, born at 79th and Lenox. I'm one of three people here in my zip code who get "The New Yorker" magazine. So the post office people know, but no one else. Anyone else is shocked to find out I was born in Manhattan, went to school in NY on fifth ave, roamed the streets of the east side, could tell the east river from the Hudson, and knew how to hail a cab at age 11.

    Everyone here knows you get a cab by dialing John Elway's Jersey Number.... (and no, that's not NEW jersey)

    Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

    by blindcynic on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:17:10 PM PDT

    •  Nice summary, with one small exception (0+ / 0-)

      Really aren't that many tech companies in DTC.  Got the name decades ago when that was the dream .... Now a nice mix of high and low rise residential and office.  And OH SO CONVENIENT to the light rail.  Off to downtown, the Broncos and Rockies and Avs and Nuggets with no parking worries.  :-)

  •  Gave me a good laugh (9+ / 0-)

    because after living in Atlanta for over 20 years -- longer than I've lived in any other city, including NY -- people I meet say "Hey, you're from New York!" They don't even ask, it's just assumed.

    My family and friends in NY think I have a southern accent. And I admit that when I go to visit, it's hard to shift up to the NY rhythm.

    I had the exact taxi incident when I got here, plus a jarring surprise that I couldn't buy beer on Sundays.

    It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

    by sboucher on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:21:43 PM PDT

  •  The story of an upper crust Upper East sider here (5+ / 0-)

    in the permanent cow town of Denver. Learned to drive in the Hamptons with Muffy and Biff? Englewood is dump and must have been a let down, unless you made it to the Cherry Hills Village side. And your parents wouldn't buy you a car? How did they expect you to get around in a town with barely any public transportation? It must have been a nightmare.  Not like popping onto the Lexington Avenue line two blocks from your Upper East Side apartment. I'm sure they finally bought you one after the crack story.

    I came from the working class neighborhood of Long Island City, and it took me about 25 years to adjust to it in  Denver.  I never got used to the kind of cold midwesterners - especially the women who think talking to you is "leading you on."  I just inherited the apartment where I grew up. It's booming in LIC, and I would move back except I like being close to my kids and the weather really, really sucks in NYC.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 05:25:17 PM PDT

  •  I get accused of being from NYC all the time (5+ / 0-)

    But that's because I'm a pretty direct woman in the middle of the most passive-agressive place on earth- Portland, OR.  Been here over 20 years, still don't understand these people.  

    •  Here's a hint about PDX (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the people here are from somewhere else. "Most" as in well over 50%. I'm a third-generation Portlander (well, by my mother's side; my father was born on a dairy farm in Wisconsin) & I don't know of anyone personally whose family's been here that long. The founder effect was gentrified or clear-cut many decades ago.

      I figure everyone living in Portland is waiting for someone else to show them the correct way to do something, then getting pissed because that's not the way it should be done. :-/

    •  Some call it passive-aggressive... (0+ / 0-)

      ....I call it lazy....then again, I moved from Pittsburgh to Portland.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:53:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice bio, & interesting commentary on our spread (4+ / 0-)

    out, multifaceted Americanness.  

    As a lifelong Westerner, I have zero use & about as much tolerance for such East Coast formalities as shirts with collars & the word sir, but seriously, I really appreciate the open conversational engagement that seems more normal, probably because everyone's in everyone else's personal space all the time.  If there's one thing Westerners will need to adapt to, & benefit from, it's less personal space.

    In one of my coffeeshop jobs (back in Phoenix, not here in Denver), a regular customer from NYC who liked to talk about all kinds of things once told me that I should move to NYC because I'd appreciate people who were "more real."  Over time, I've learned what he meant.

    Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

    by Leftcandid on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 07:31:09 PM PDT

  •  Can't take the city outta the girl (7+ / 0-)

    You are in your twenties before you know what the word "jaywalking" is

    You are kind of annoyed that you don't automatically get off for Rosh Hashanah.

    You automatically look for a subway sign in the background  to orient yourself during the movie, never mind the plot.

    You can't help being competitive in a test about "real" New Yorkers

    Why does everybody keep telling me to relax? I am relaxed, damnit! I am very relaxed.


  •  Is the Brooklyn Fox theater still there? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I spent the better part of many, many Saturdays there when Murray the K put on his Motown Revues in the spirit of the late Alan Freed.
    We'd get there at 9AM to get a free Murray album (Submarine-race-watching), enter at noon, see a movie and a couple of shorts and cartoons, and THEN.......
    All the glittering Motown stars in sequined gowns and tuxes of every shade, Diana and The Supremes,  The Temps, The 4 Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, Shirelles!, The Ronettes (Murray was married to Ronnie the K), The Chiffons, The Orlons, The Shangri-Las who did Leader of the Pack with a live motorcycle on stage for the vroom, vroom.
    This was all pre-Beatles and the Philly sound was huge because of Bandstand.
    My friends and I would lie to our moms, saying we were going to a movie at the Keith's (Keets) in downtown Flushing, but we'd get on the train and head straight to the West Village. My girlfriend's Nauna lived there, so it was a good excuse, but we'd hit the sidewalk cafes and drink Twining's and read the Voice.
    I miss my city. Been gone since 1975.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    No representation without taxation. Rich and don't pay? Shut up.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:15:09 AM PDT

  •  I grew up in suburban B/more (0+ / 0-)

    and went to college in downtown Philly, so city life was not unknown to me.  One day, I took the train to NYC to meet my sweetie, and I was standing at Herald Square, people watching while waiting for her.  I made the observation that New Yorkers are a different race.  For better or worse, by adaptation to your home, you are markedly different from the rest of humanity.

    NYC is a unique place that both requires and rewards interactions, expectations, actions, and attitudes that are uncommon elsewhere.  The same reasons that outsiders are so lost in NYC are the reasons New Yorkers are so obvious when removed from their native habitat.  

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:32:33 AM PDT

  •  I've seen the same thing in foreign countries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    people move for a job or marry someone from the other culture, but never move out of their comfortable circle, and always view the new place as "other".

    It's a shame really, the intermountain west has so much to offer, it seems such a waste to lose out on it. To not even see it after most of an adult lifetime seems extremely sad. I've seen that in cities worldwide though. The sameness. Hong Kong and Taipei aren't so much different than New Orleans.

    We've gentrified the world for you, so that you can move about without too much discomfort. Oh, the horrors of the humidity in Taiwan! And they hardly speak English! Still, there's Saks.

    It's like meeting someone with a masters who has never read and is intellectually incurious. At the end of the day I have to ask myself what for?

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:25:36 AM PDT

  •  So you want a New Yawk joke? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, Denver11, dotdash2u

    It's not raining cats and dawgs, it's hailing taxis.

    Ba doom.

  •  Thanks for Writing This (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BadKitties, dotdash2u

    My mom was born and raised in South Ozone Park, Queens. I was born there and at age three we moved way out to the suburbs of Farmingdale, Long Island.  We would go visit my grandparents in Queens every chance we had, and the highlights of my childhood years was spending Christmas vacations with m y grandparents, and my Grandmother taking me into Manhattan to radio City Music Hall for a show, over to the Automat for lunch, then shopping and viewing the Christmas windows at Macy's.

    I moved away at 17 to join the Navy, and have only got back for visits ever since.  But I still consider myself a New Yorker ex-pat, and still feel very much at home whenever I get to go back.  

    There is something very special about The City. I've been all over the world since 17, but there is no where I've been that compares.

  •  Who in their right mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    leaves 63d between Mad and Park?? Holy Crow...

    "On a normal dog day, I can sit still for hours on end with no effort." enzo, The Art of Racing in the Rain

    by rebereads on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:03:40 AM PDT

  •  My mother, who transplanted from Brooklyn (4+ / 0-)

    to the Midwest fifty years ago, was (and is) convinced that question was code for "You're Jewish, aren't you?"

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

    •  I've run into that, too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, Dianora, dotdash2u, llywrch

      And because every New Yorker knows some Yiddish, even the WASPiest of all (my extremely WASP-Y ex always said "tuchas" instead of "ass") that contributes. Went to a poet's cafe on the Bowery a few years ago, with my mother & son. One-man production of Treasure Island. Actor says, "And when he got to the island, what did he find? Bupkis!!" Audience laughs, my son says, "What's 'bupkis'?" And we explain that it's Yiddish for "nothing." Now HE uses it :)

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:51:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NYCer living in the Bay Area... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, EricS, dotdash2u, BadKitties

    Lifelong New Yorker (grew up in Staten Island, lived in Manhattan back when it was do-able, last 8 years in Brooklyn), who moved to the San Francisco area a year and a half ago for a job I couldn't turn down. Living in Berkeley, working in SF. Adjusting is hard, even when you're in an urban environment -- no place in America is as urban as New York. Everything else is smaller. I was able to adjust a bit easier when I realized that San Francisco, with a population of 700K, is more like a small town than a big city, to me. It's still hard. On the flip side I am enjoying having a car for the first time in my life, even while I am simultaneously appalled at how attached to their cars people are out here. (It's hard to blame them too much considering the lousy mass transit system.) And the weather is fantastic. 65 degrees and sunny today.

    A coworker said to me "I enjoy working with New Yorkers, you always get a straight answer and know where you stand." Made me smile.

    There's a possibility I'm going to get laid off this year, if I do I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do. I do want to go back to NYC eventually but at the same time I'm enjoying having an adventure right now. We'll see.

    •  Same reactions here! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I moved out here for a dot-com startup in 1998, and I had the same reactions that you had. Plus....

      -- I didn't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. I didn't hit them; I didn't even come close! Why are they shaking their fists at me?

      -- I got into trouble with HR for being too blunt with staff. If they did something dumb, I said so. (oops.) Works with New Yorkers; counterproductive with Californians.

      -- There are no red ants! No swarms of mosquitoes! People may leave unscreened windows open! (But also no thunderstorms, no fireflies.)

      -- The sidewalk rolls up at night. No public transit. No people. Everything is closed. Where IS everybody?? (But it's also possible to get tickets to theatre and other events at a reasonable price and just a few days before.)

      Well, it's slowly, slowly beginning to feel like "home" out here. And I don't miss the soaking summers in the City and the black-snow mess in the winters.

      But I'll always be "a New Yorker."

  •  Heh. I'm a Virginian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and people think I'm from New York. It's a compliment!

    Life is a shipwreck. But we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. — Voltaire

    by agrenadier on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:10:46 PM PDT

  •  And I sometimes think that all activists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, BadKitties

    of the progressive stripe...come from NY.  At least 4 out of 5 (well, maybe 3 out 5)  of those I know out here in SF Bay area came from NY at one time or another.

    The time has come to sign onto the American Anti-Corruption it go forth & multiply!

    by leema on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:22:52 PM PDT

  •  "You're a Yorky, Aren't You?" (0+ / 0-)

    "You're a Yorky, Aren't You?"

    In New York you get: Do I know you? Then why in the F_ck are you talkin’ to me?
    SOOO don’t feel Bad – Forgetaboutit!

    Love Me, I'm a Liberal!

    by simplesiemon on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 02:33:19 PM PDT

  •  Everyone knows that.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....Noah's/Einstein Bros. bagels are a shande - Kaiser rolls with delusions of grandeur, I tells ya!

    (Wife is a Parson's student from Monmouth County, but she knows that bagels are boiled.....)

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:21:33 PM PDT

  •  I've never been to New York. (0+ / 0-)

    From what I've heard, if I were to live in a dense liberal city, I think I might adapt more easily to San Fransisco.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:01:06 AM PDT

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