Week 1 – New York City

New York City, my adopted hometown. I lived there for 10 years, leaving in 2008. It has changed so much and not for the better in my opinion. While I enjoyed my visit, walking the city confirmed my long-held belief that I left at a good time. I still think it’s the best city in the world, but a city for the wealthy, now more than ever.

And now that I’m over 60 I see that it’s a mecca for the young, trying to prove themselves in any number of professions, the arts and Wall Street foremost among them.

Wealthy NYC.jpg
New luxury residences near the Hudson River

My greatest pleasures were seeing my friends. I ate lunch with my tenant of many years (until I sold my apartment)(no photo); my boss at Citibank (until I left for the Peace Corps)(left photo); and my dear friend, a stand up comedian and theater director (middle photo). To give you an idea of how expensive NYC can be, the three lunches totaled ~$300 and we didn’t go crazy with drinks. At one place I ordered a cheeseburger; $20. But, hey it came with fries.

The man I call my brother (right photo) took me to a Yankees game. We also hung out as often as we could when he wasn’t in rehearsal for his latest play.

I stayed in a northern Manhattan neighborhood called Inwood. It’s labeled the last affordable area on the island because you can still get a one-bedroom apartment there for $2000/month. Inwood is also a very green area with three lovely parks. One side note: the neighborhood is predominantly Dominican so one hears Spanish spoken everywhere. I felt like I hadn’t left Mexico.

Dyckman Farmhouse
Dyckman Farmhouse, one of the last remaining in NYC
Fort Tryon Park entrance
Entrance to Fort Tryon Park

My final night in the city I visited my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Such wonderful memories and yet, I wouldn’t want to live there again. It was a very special time in my life, but lots of world to see for me. I’m happy I made the stop in NYC because I have no idea when I’ll be back. For that matter, I don’t know when I’ll be back in the US. Several years, I’m thinking.

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