Monday, November 14, 2005


November 14, 2005

It is Monday morning of my last week in New York. Later this morning I will go down to Manhattan and have lunch with the star of our show and coffee with a young friend who needs advice about changing her job and later in the day I will meet with a friend from college, a woman I have known longer than anyone else in New York, an artist and a true New Yorker, raised here, schooled here and as urbane as it is possible to be. She is also one of the calmest human beings I know. One thing I've observed over the years is that people who were born and raised in Manhattan have a certain serenity about them that distinguishes them from people from any of the other boros or from any place else for that matter. I don’t know why that is, perhaps it’s because they have grown so accustomed to the noise and hurry and fever of the city, that it takes something really amazing to raise their blood pressure.

Anna is my dear New York friend of long standing. We have been meeting for coffee and conversation for about 20 years and today will be our last for a while. We met in college; we were both working our way through night school by serving as Administrative Assistants to Deans of two of NYU’s colleges. We also shared a love for Italian and took language courses and practiced our new skills in the Italian Cafes that line Washington Square Park. She was the person who initiated me to Chumley’s, the former speak-easy in the West Village that had a secret back door you entered by slipping through the alley behind a group of buildings on Barrow Street, then down a set of stairs and into the bar. We drank more beer that day than we ever drank together before or after and we came as close as we would ever come to crossing the line between friend and lover, but we didn’t cross it and we never have and I’m glad we didn’t because I might missed the chance to have a life-long friend.


Blogger Cathy said...

star of our show; this sounds intriguing...and never crossed the line; you noble man;...apologies for all lower case; when this happens it's because i have my babe in arms and can only type with one hand.

6:10 PM  
Blogger J said...

sounds like a fun time.

By the way, if you get to McSorley's (correct spelling?) before you go, have one (or 7) for me.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Just returned from the day in Manhattan ... thanks for your notes. I didn't get to McSorely's and probably won't butI might drink one tomorrow at the COrner Bistro where you can still get a McSorely's draft for $2.00

2:48 AM  
Blogger christina said...

It's so bittersweet to read about your goodbyes--which are always bitter sweet. A while ago you said on my blog that His Holiness was coming and that was partly why you were leaving... I couldn't contextualize that remark. Could you please?

Are you having dreams about Germany yet? Always, before I go someplace entirely new I have airport dreams--but I don't ever arrive--not until I have in life, too.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

C ...

The engine that moves us is age-old immigrant stuff. We are looking for a better life for our children, a change from the culture in which we currently live, and a belief that life can be better in this new place. If His Holiness had never arrived we might have been content to hack away within the consumer-driven, consumption-mad culture we have devolved into here ... But he did arrive and so, off we go.

11:36 AM  
Blogger christina said...

Thanks for your explaination--I can so deeply relate. If our son haden't arrived on the scene we would not have moved north to find land and community either--our way of making a better, less consumer driven life. I cannot wait to hear about your first experiences there. What a gift you're giving your boy--he'll be able to speak German fluently!

5:06 AM  

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