Monday, July 25, 2016

Last-minute New York trip, the why and the how

Audrey and Herbert, 1947
I have popped down to New York for the funeral of a good friend's father. It was a last-minute decision but I had the time (and no medical appointments) so I said, why not.

The friend is Tommy Rosenfield (now, as a grownup, Tom, but always Tommy). We've been friends  since our idyllic days in Atlantic Beach, with our friendship continuing through Friends Seminary and beyond.

His father, Herb Rosenfield (Aug. 6, 1918 - July 20 2016), lived a good long life, but of course difficult is not a sufficient word to describe what it is like to lose a beloved parent. Tom started his remembrance of his father the way I might have started mine had I been able to speak through the tears when he died: He remembered his father talking about the ice being delivered for the family's ice box. From much later, I can picture Herb going into the ocean at Atlantic Beach, while his wife, tanned, turbined Audrey (my mother always said she was a real beauty), sat in her usual spot further away from the ocean, being the first person to greet us with a warm smile when we came down the small boardwalk before hopping onto the sand. And then Mary Ann, putting down her book, telling me to stop being a chicken and to go into the water with her.

Temple Emanu-el
This morning, after paying my respects to Herb's children, Tom, Patty and Nelson, and to the rest of the family, I had time to wonder at the main chapel in Temple Emanu-El and was lucky to be standing next to a knowledgable man who told me about the mix of architectural styles and the importance of the temple as a must-see destination in New York. I read later that the temple, completed in 1929, is the world's largest synagogue, accommodating 2,500 worshippers.

It was good to give Patty, Nelson and Tom a hug. The timing was so strange because the night before I learned that Herb had died, a dreamt that I was hugging Patty and Tom.

I am staying two nights but wasn't sure about that at first because I thought I would have to ask my cousin Jeanne for two nights on her couch. Then a friend from Friends, Craig Evans, offered his apartment on east 57th Street. I took him up on his offer and got here last night; after recovering from my trip, I had a very nice dinner with his wife, since Craig only coming into the city this morning.

Tonight I will see them again at a reception at the Century Club.

Always wondering which way is best to come into the city, I took the advice of some friends who said they like to drive to New Haven and take Metro North from there. Someone said I live dangerously to have left my car in an open air parking lot, but I figure there are better targets than an old Subaru. One hopes, anyway.

Disheveled Me
Getting swept out of Grand Central in a crowd in the early evening, I didn't think it would be easy to get a cab or an Uber. So I lugged my suitcase down the subway stairs, going very slowly, because I didn't want to repeat my mishap of somehow flying off the top step in the Paris Metro and doing a belly-flop into the car.

Once in the subway car, I caught myself when it jolted and I started to jerk backwards. Then I lugged suitcase and laptop up the stairs and went  across town and up a few blocks. Did I say that I was dripping with sweat?

When I had dropped Maddie off with Jim Bloom before I left, he asked why I didn't just take Amtrak from Holyoke. I don't really have an answer to that question. As I wobbled in the subway, looking like the world's most disheveled out-of-towner, with baseball cap askew, I asked myself why I was doing this.

"Because I can," I said to myself.

1 comment:

pamela perkins said...

Again- super and a wonderful last line -- Kudos-- Runder-woman