It should be no surprise that I would wind up retiring in New York. The surprise is that it wasn’t New York City. I was well known for my commitment to the city that I worked in for over 30 years and loved, at times, in spite of itself. My days of being able to safely walk down 42nd Street were prefaced with many colorful years of dodging the denizens of the not so desirable community of thieves, hustlers and druggies. I take pride in saying I came through it unscathed except for being overly suspicious to this day of my surroundings no matter where I am.
My first and only family vacation was at an upstate New York resort. I use the term resort in a very abstract way. Actually, it was the Armenian version of the Borscht Belt hotel in Dirty Dancing. It had a main dining room, a pool and a nightclub but lacked much for a 12-year-old kid to do.
Later as a young adult, long weekends were often in the Catskill Mountains where I would sleep at the home of friends and often on the floor (no wonder I have neck issues). At times, it would mean camping out. I must not have been such a princess then but I did like being around the serenity of the mountain vistas, a welcome reprise from the noisy streets of Manhattan.
On our vacations, Tony and I would consider where we were as our permanent retirement home. There was California (his idea), Colorado (mine) and after a day of wine tours, Tuscany. We seriously looked at Bucks County, Pennsylvania thinking the country roads were just right for us. We put the kibosh on that idea when determined we would be too far from the kids and no one will visit. Trips to various parts of Florida, and the Carolinas were warmer and beautiful. Then I realized, what am I going to do in an all-warm climate. I can’t swim and can barely ride a bike.
So, its back to New York we went and amongst the mountains, farms and wineries, found our perfect home. This is where we belong and will stay. I should have known it would be New York. It always was.