157. “Because just by moving to a different neighborhood in the city it changes your New York for you. Because after living here you will never be the same.”
158. “I love New York because people still read here, even (especially?) on the subway and bus.”
159. “Pardon the monologue, but…last Saturday my 90-year-old grandfather made a cameo at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner (Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving? Nah). My grandfather grew up in the Bronx and has worked (as he still works) in the shipping department of Apex Mills of the last 105 years. I don’t see my grandfather all that often, and frankly I don’t know all that much about my grandfather, so when he’s around I make an effort to expunge some wisdom from him. This time, he brought with him a photo album his brother Barry assembled. The album was a collection of photos dating back to the mid-1800s. On that side of the tree, my family hales from Romania and Russia, coming to American in the late 19th century. One of the photos in the album is a family photo, the patriarch being my grandfather’s grandfather. Unfortunately, the spelling of his name completely eludes me. I know it’s very Jewish and very Russian and begins with an A., so I’ll call him “A” for the purpose of this story. In the picture, A has a long dark beard, craggy complexion and one eye that is mostly cornea, with the exception of a smudge of pupil hugging the bridge of his nose. I’ll spare you the details on his wife. As my grandfather flips past the picture, he mentions that A was a founding member and former president of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. A friend of mine also came to dinner that night. She showed up late and she ended up with a seat next to my grandfather. My friend, like me, is a guilty fair weather Jew and I thought she would enjoy my grandfather’s documentation of Jewish culture in old-ish world New York. He took her through the album (in painful detail), but when he came to the A family picture, he passed by it without much of a shoutout. I was surprised; I thought A’s role in the history of Eldridge Street was a highlight, so I chimed in. This is the conversation between my grandfather and I:
M: Boompa, you forgot something!
G: I did?
M: Yes! Tell Jess what A is famous for.
G: For being a good-for-nothing asshole?
M: No, I’m serious. Tell her abut his big accomplishment.
G: Oh. He had 14 children.
M: Not what I was thinking.
G: …with 5 different women.
And that is why I love New York.”
160. “I love New York because of the awesome communication going on everywhere you look. And by that I mean the non-verbal communication we exchange…”Damn, you’re hot,” “Fuck off,” “I want those shoes,” “What the fuck is that smell?” “Are you really standing that close to me?” “Thank you,” “I needed that,” “I’m going to cut you”…etc. I could write a book.”
161. “I love New York because you never know what is coming next.”