A New York State of Mind
I was born and raised in Upstate New York, in a small city just west of Albany. I lived there for 16½ years before my parents, driven by the desire for less frigid winters and an early retirement, moved my six siblings and me to South Florida in the summer of ’91.
Some of my fondest memories are from the years I spent Upstate: waterskiing and boating lakeside in the summer with my cousins; apple picking and cider-tasting and playing soccer in the fall; skiing in the winter; taking long runs on cool, rainy spring afternoons with the smell of wet pavement under my feet. There was something innocent about growing up there, where doors were left unlocked, everyone knew you or your family, where sense of community and doing the right thing were taught and reciprocated.
But as much as I loved growing up in a “smallish” city, I loved going to the “BIG” city even more.
I was almost 10 the first time I was allowed to “go into the city” with my dad and older sister for a Yankees game. This was in the ‘80s — pre-Giuliani, when Manhattan was considered to be much more dangerous… and burroughs like the Bronx? Well, that was just crazy talk. But my diehard Yankees fan of a father wanted to start a tradition with my sister and me and convinced my mom to let us go – so off we went.
The energy and excitement of being in Times Square for the first time and riding the subway was not lost on my 9-year-old self. I loved every minute of it. It’s a love that I carry with me to this day.
I’ve seen the city pre-Giuliani, during Giuliani and post-Giuliani; I have been there during the Bloomberg years and the de Blasio years. I was there three weeks after 9/11 and there every fall for 14 years post-9/11. What started out as yearly jaunts with my dad every baseball season, turned into yearly trips with my sisters and my brother, trips with my girlfriends, trips with my husband, trips for family reunions and cousins’ weddings, and “just because trips” for Junior’s Cheesecake and walks down Mulberry Street and through Central Park.
I love New York. Always have, always will.
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