Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

My Day

Four very busy alter kakers share their typical routines.


Jimmy Prince, 81, Marine Park, Brooklyn
Prince owned Major’s, a butcher shop on Mermaid Avenue, for 60 years. Now he mentors the staff at a butcher shop in Sheepshead Bay.

7 a.m. I am always up by seven. I have my coffee and a slice of toast.

10 a.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays, my wife will generally drop me off at G&S Salumeria and Pork Store, in Sheepshead Bay.

11 a.m. I volunteer at the butcher shop. The artwork of butchering is long gone. The generation that’s growing up now needs an education—I’ll show them the best way to take a neck and shoulder apart. A lot of women today are not kitchen-oriented, so to speak, so I’ll teach the boys the cooking time for the meat and how to freezer-wrap their leftovers into two or three meals rather than putting it all in one package.

5 p.m. My wife will pick me up. At home I’ve learned to do a lot of housework. I learned how to do the laundry and how to handle cleaning. I’ll make the supper, because she made supper for me when I was at the store.

7 p.m. We try to talk to our children. You have to look at the clock and say, “What time is it there?” to know if it’s okay to call. I like to read; mostly histories and stories about baseball and stamp magazines.

9 p.m. By the time eight or nine rolls around, we’re ready to sleep. I can’t keep my eyes open.

Herbert Oppenheimer, 90, Upper West Side
The Yonkers-born architect apprenticed under Philip Johnson. He’s working on a few final projects while closing up his architecture practice.

8 a.m. I’m a big breakfast cook for myself, and had been for my wife before she passed away. I make scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, and sausages.

Noon I try to get to the office every day for a couple hours. I have a bit contract with the School Construction Authority that’s winding down. Six years ago, I also embarked upon trying to build a little house for my wife and myself on this land we bought in the Catskills. It’s 98 percent done.

3 p.m. Two days a week, I go to the Art Students League. I’m carving wood there for three to four hours. I carved wood when I came out of the Army in 1946. I’m making a little wooden sculpture of my two cats.

6 p.m. I’m on a committee affiliated with the Center for Architecture at La Guardia Place, which is specifically concerned with senior citizens.

8 p.m. I’ve been a member of the Century club for 30 years. I sing in the chorus there. We are the Century Singers, and we always perform at Christmas and other shows.

10 p.m. My wife and I used to go to the movies a lot, and to the ballet. But I haven’t gone much since she died. I intend to start rattling around again soon.

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift