Twenty months ago, we drove up Highway 495, through the Lincoln Tunnel and into our Wonderland. We were seeking our pink flamingos. We were making New York City our home for a year and we knew no one.
Our year turned into 20 months and we have made many friends. We want to take a few moments to acknowledge some of them and what they have meant to us this past, most incredible year and a half.
Upon first arrival, we were welcomed by the tremendous staff of the Avalon Clinton, our apartment building. Danielle, Daniel and Steffon, the community consultants and the concierge staff made us feel welcome and have made our stay easier. The Avalon, at 52nd and 10th is an excellent base for living in Manhattan.
JAM is an excellent Catholic. She knows all the words and the reasons and she gets right in the middle of actively involving herself with teaching the children or helping Father with the Eucharist. I’m not a very good Catholic. I’m not sure when to sit or stand or kneel so I just do what the Nuns do. We found a home at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. Father Gabriel is the pastor and he is the most engaging Priest I have ever heard. His faith is strong. Laura, the Faith formation leader, is an outstanding person. JAM worked with Laura in instructing Catechism. The Parishioners of Sacred Heart Church welcomed us when we knew no one. We leave our love with you.
We met Louise after Mass one Sunday. Since then, we have fallen in love with her and her daughter, Jacqueline. Louise is 92 years young and is as spry and alert as can be. She has a fascinating life story. She is featured in a previous blog, Cheek kisses and Crepes.
Down the street from our building, a small group of men congregate daily on the sidewalk under the shade of the trees. They spend their days playing cards and drinking. They are always happy and having a good time laying out their cards and jousting with each other. I call them the 52nd Street Bridge Club. Every morning when we walk out, they greet us with a smile and a hearty “Good morning!”
On the late nights when we would get antsy, we would go up to 54th and 8th to the Cascade Café. We would treat ourselves to either black and white cookies or the raspberry cheesecake. We have been there frequently and the night manager, Mo, meets us offering a hearty New York greeting. He has become a familiar face in our life here, and our go-to person for New York Cheesecake.
Phil O’Brien has offered many fruitful suggestions for places to investigate in Hell’s Kitchen. He is the publisher of W42ST magazine. His magazine is the go-to authority for what is happening or going to happen in Hell’s Kitchen. He has been tremendously helpful and supportive of us.
We have truly enjoyed the company of Keith Michael. We have been with him on his walks and he accompanied us on our Tavern Krawl one evening. His friendship has meant a lot to us. He is also mentioned in previous blogs.
JAM joined up with a group that led to many good things for her photography. The New York Professional Women Photographers (PWP) is exactly that: a group of photographers. She has met some fascinating people in PWP and has taken part in a couple of their gallery showings.
One of the members of PWP has become a very dear friend, Laurie Kay All. She is an outstanding photographer. In her other life, she was an attorney in Los Angeles. Like us, she also came to New York City looking for adventure. And we will miss her.
There is another fine lady who has turned up in previous blogs. We met Nancy Morgan when we went to Governor’s Island (A Chance Encounter). She invited us to the Bebe Neuwirth show at Feinstein’s 54 Below (Life is a Cabaret) and she accompanied us to Pete’s Tavern and Old Towne Tavern in our Krawl. She is a very interesting and accomplished individual and we have truly enjoyed her company.
Our blog has also brought us new friends. There are two bloggers we haven’t actually met, but we have enjoyed their cyber friendship and their blogs. GirlinGothamCity (Lauren) shares her experiences in living in NYC. She is clever, witty, her blog is well written and a fun read. Find her blog link here.
Mary Lane is NewYorkCliche. Mary came to NYC 10 years ago to be an actress and has had experiences worthy of a sitcom. She has chronicled her adventures and provides a very refreshing look at being young and living in New York City. This girl is hilarious. Thank you Mary for the support you have given us. Check out her blog here.
Justin and Lynn are the MadhattersNYC, a couple who is impressive and have become very good friends. Justin and Lynn have been traveling the world and have covered their travels well. They root out the most interesting places to go and things to do, not only in New York, but across the country and in Europe. They always pair their adventures with dining reviews and recommendations close to their blog subject. We hope you will join them in their travels.
Our final mention isn’t really a friend, but he has become important to us. We met him early on in Strawberry Fields in Central Park, when he drew a portrait of JAM. We wrote a blog about it. That blog has become our most read entry and we have received inquiries about him from far-away places such as England, Australia, Canada and Seattle. It is none other than Joey McDivitt, The Bad Portrait Artist.
The past 20 months have been fun, and have been important to us. Our new friends have been part of our adventure and they have become important to us too. They will live forever with us in our memories. That is comforting. That is what makes them friends.
Finally, we need to thank you. You our blog followers who have shared our adventures, kept us connected to all things old and new, and encouraged us to keep dreaming and loving life as it comes.
We can’t wait to see what adventures await us in the days ahead.