About Seventy Years Later...

March 1, 2017
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Everything is the same as it was. Soho is still lined with cast-iron buildings and the occasional cobble stone street. Central Park is still alive with energy and music. The Brooklyn Bridge  still looks like a tangled ball of string. Everything is the same as how it was about seventy years ago.
Eight years ago, I decided to move myself back to New York City with all of this money I had left after my successful career. I had been traveling for a long time now and I needed to settle in a place that really felt like home. Two months after searching, I came across this apartment on the lower West Side on Bowery, close to everything I needed: a Whole Foods, two museums, and a café right downstairs. I stood out among the other residents in my apartment building. Everyone was young. An artist, poet and aspiring filmmaker lived in the apartments surrounding me. Between them was me: a little old lady who already lived her life like them.
I spent my days riding the subway somewhere new. I often visited Central Park, Madison Square Park and this “Big” Park that is not actually as big as I remembered. I enjoy going to parks. It’s not because it’s my last name or anything. Parks are the only spot in the city where it is green. It is the only part of the city not covered in concrete. It may seem a little strange for this old lady to be hanging out by herself in parks with children’s playgrounds. I do bring my grandchildren here sometimes and show them what it was like to be me, about seventy years ago.
New York is a special place for me. It is where I spent the beginning, middle, and now I guess, the end of my life. I was born here and I grew up here for a short period of time. I lived here after college. And I live here now. Each time is different. Seventy years ago, I was living as a five year old in the building called “The Future” on thirty first and third. “The Future” is still here in the future, and it looks exactly the same as it did a long time ago, except its white cement architecture is tinted a little more yellow.
I don’t just spend my time sitting on a park bench like you would assume. Most of my time is spent on my phone, which may surprise you. It’s almost the end of the twenty-first century. By now even old people have smart phones. It’s crazy to believe. I like to keep up with the technology. The new 3D cameras and holographic phone screens may not be as cool as that iPhone 12+ I had many years ago, but I’m adjusting.
It has been eight years since my retirement. My job was getting too boring and redundant for me. I needed change. I was too tired. Moving away from New Jersey was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I needed a change of scenery to accompany my change of lifestyle.
Most days, I wear what is comfortable, which is pretty much what I have been doing for the past seventy years. Muted colors. Nothing too vibrant. I never have anywhere specific that I have to go so I am always casual. I decided a long time ago that I would not wear “typical grandma outfits”.
I wake up on my own time. Most of the time, I like to wake up as early as I can. I want to get in as much of the day as possible before the sun sets. I want to live my life to the fullest. I am not one of those old people that is afraid of the dark. My favorite time of the day is the night. The night is when all of the lights come out. Night is when you can roam the streets and not have to worry about seeing anyone you know.
These eight years have not been as repetitive as I thought they would be. I always thought retirement would be boring, and I would be spending my days uselessly playing board games. Instead, I have the city to explore. Throughout my entire life I traveled all over the world. New York is unique. I know how to make my way through the streets. I am used to the people and the mood. New York feels like home. I feel lucky to be able to have New York at my fingertips every day.

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