It All Starts in Central Park.
New York City has iconic buildings. Movies and television shows are set there. It’s a magnet for business and the arts and everything in between. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
I had been to the city a few times. I had ridden the subway, wandered through FAO Schwartz, and even watched from along the route of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. So, I was comfortable with New York or at least felt confident I would be sooner rather than later.
I waved good-bye to my brother as he drove back to Philadelphia. I was in my new home, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Yes, it was actually a dormitory, and it was for graduate school, but I was living there. It was my new place.
The weather that first Sunday in September was storybook perfect. Blue skies, light breezes, and deep greens. I wanted to be in Central Park. I packed some reading material, found the subway stop and hopped the ‘B’ train. As the train rumbled along, my stomach churned with anticipation. Each subway stop was destination to be studied and stored in my memory. The reading material would have to wait.
Finally, Central Park.
To read more about my visit to Central Park and adjustment to living in New York, please visit, You Are Here Stories
My class of 12th graders in 2013
30, 29, 28, 27…
This time of year I’m normally counting down. But now, there’s no counting. The days come, and the days go. The calendar turns, and I don’t care. My calendar has changed.
Recently, someone asked me if I missed teaching. It’s not the first time someone asked. I actually ask myself the question often.
After all, for more than a decade, I was a high school English teacher. I worked in the same school and had many of the same colleagues over that time. While that’s not quite Letterman type of longevity, it’s still significant.
I felt at ease in the school. I knew my way around the halls, the neighborhood, and the bureaucracy (that was the toughest part).
We identify ourselves by our profession. After all, what is the most asked question when you meet someone? “So, what do you do?” (Back in college, it was, “What’s your major?” It was after that line I struggled with the women. I was so awkward.)
Anyway, I was ready with an answer. Continue reading
I didn’t always love books. But I do now.
There are two people who I credit this to.
My mother loved to read. When she reads a book, she becomes completely engrossed. As a child, I remember hearing her laugh and seeing her cry with a book in her hands.
My oldest brother, HL, always asked me what I was reading. One year, he got me a book, The Essential Steinbeck, for Chanukah. It included four of Steinbeck’s novels. I read them all and have not stopped reading since.
The other day my nephew, AL, asked me to participate in a school project. He is going to interview me about a book I’ve read that made an impact upon me. AL will then read the book, write a paper on it, and then recommend a book to me.
With the interview coming up Sunday, I have to decide what book I’ll focus on. It’s difficult to think of just one book that had an impact.
Below are a few books I’m considering talking to AL about.
He should be an author. That’s what Adele Springsteen said to her son Bruce.
How do I know this? Well, Bruce Springsteen told me. Really, he did.
You see during his earlier days, Bruce Springsteen was apt to stop in the middle of a song. The music would slow down and Bruce would share a story. The story might be funny or serious or a combination of the two. Some were true while some were probably less so. Either way, he would tie the story to the song.
Anyway, one of these stoppages occurred during the song Growin’ Up at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA on July 7th, 1978. This song and story were memorialized as they became part of the album, Live 75-85.