Wednesday, 02 July 2014
A Week in Manhattan: Part Two
My work at the Consumer Electronics Show for Senior Planet was done on Thursday and I moved from the hotel to stay with friends on the upper west side near 72nd Street.
Barry and Wendl Kornfeld have what is considered a luxury among many middle class residents of Manhattan, a two bedroom, two bath apartment. So, like my home here in Oregon with the same configuration, guests and hosts can comfortably cohabit during a visit without bumping onto one another unless they want to.
On my first day with them, we had lunch at an outdoor restaurant along the nearby Hudson River and then walked the promenade. Wendl took this photo of Barry and me with one of the sculptures installed along the pathway.
You might recall that it was Wendl who reported here for me in April on the start of Dr. Bill Thomas's Second Wind tour to promote his then-new book, Second Wind.
As I explained in the intro to her story, I've known Wendl for going on 40 years – she married the man, Barry, I had lived with for several years in the early 1970s. I don't recall how Wendl and I became friends – it's one of those occurrences that sneaks up on you over time, that someone becomes important without you noticing until it is solid fact.
And a good thing it happened in this case because otherwise I might have lost Barry from my life.
There really is nothing like old friends particularly, I think, once we are old enough for the relationships to be really, really old. There is a great ease that comes with a long shared past, of the many events that don't need explaining woven into the present.
I saw another friend for lunch one day and we just continued the ongoing telephone conversation we have had and continue to have once or twice a week for many years. It was nice to do it in person this time.
On the evening the young woman on the subway gave me her seat (see yesterday for that story), I was on my way to dinner with another set of old friends, Joyce Wadler and Lew Grossberger.
Many of you know Joyce; she writes the delightful I Was Misinformed column at The New York Times.
Lew's latest book, Game of Cohens: A Parody, is available in paper and Kindle editions at Amazon where it is noted that he
"...has written four funny books and approximately umpteen quadzillion articles, parodies and satires for every magazine and newspaper that ever existed. He lives in New York City amid all the pomp and splendor befitting one of his exalted rank."
I've known Joyce and Lew almost as long as Barry and Wendl and we had a fine ol' time catching up and telling stories over a sensational dinner at North Square restaurant next to Washington Square Park in the Village.
Here they are with one of our spectacular desserts.
By then, near the end of my visit, I had admitted to myself that leaving New York was the worst mistake of my life.
If I had put my mind to it eight years ago, there must have been a way I could have stayed. Maybe not living exactly where I wanted or in the perfect circumstances, but it might have been.
What shocks me now is that when I realized I had to sell my apartment, I didn't call a meeting of smart, good friends like Joyce and Lew, Barry and Wendl and a couple of others to help me brainstorm how I might stay. Why did I think I had to do it alone?
At dinner and via email since last week, Joyce – ever the reporter – has given me lists of ideas and places to check out for a possible move to New York or nearby.
Neither of us believes such an idea is anything but a long shot but given the power of my attachment to the city, I can't ignore the yearning. Now that the thought has been raised, I need to investigate it.
If it's not feasible, I will be fine here in Oregon. I've made some friends, I am doing useful, satisfying work for elders in helping to develop a Village and I have always been, if nothing else, good at accepting “what is” when there are not other choices.
Meanwhile, I'm still basking in the glow of a wonderful visit to Manhattan.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Arlene Corwin: Full of Mind