• Deborah

Remembering New York City

First off, Doug and I do hope that this finds you safe and well. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanza to you and yours!

One of my interior designers, whom I have been working with for quite some time, referred us to his client in the city on the Upper East Side. It was the first time that I ventured into Manhattan since February when at that time I treated myself to a day in the city, going to the Whitney to see an exhibit and then meeting up with my son for lunch at Serendipity's. Little did I know at that point that the virus was already rearing its very ugly head!

So, with mask on and sanitizer at the ready, off I went! My first shock was too actually get a parking spot in the Poughkeepsie lot. On a Monday morning, at rush hour, that was a very rare sight. Getting on the train, maybe 10 passengers were in my car. Chugging along and getting to Croton on Hudson, was my second rude awakening. Growing up in Yorktown Heights, this was the stop I took when I was commuting in the early 70's to FIT. That parking lot has been expanded so many times throughout the decades, but again, I looked around and thought to myself THE PARKING LOT IS SO EMPTY? Finally, we arrive at beautiful Grand Central Station. I was in tears when I saw again no hustle and bustle that I have been so accustomed to my entire adult life.

Took the M1 Madison Avenue uptown bus... nearly empty. En route saw so many empty storefronts and once again great sadness overtook me. Met my cleaner and our wonderful new client and did the pickup without any traffic issues. Afterwards, I walked down to 73rd Street and had my traditional NYC lunch, grilled cheese on rye and matzo ball soup! Delicious. Then since the weather was mild, decided to stroll down Third Avenue and make a stop to my first company in the carpet and rug industry; the one and only Edward Fields Carpetmakers located in the Fine Arts Building at 232 East 59th Street.

Yes, that block was almost unrecognizable from over 40 years ago. All of our neighbors, all wonderful to the trade showrooms are long gone; Jack Lenor Larsen, Vladamir Kagan, and Rose Cummings. What a great time to be in that part of the city with the D & D Building right down the street and of course Bloomingdales. Such happy memories of me in my mid 20's to early 30's. I wouldn't replace any moment of that ever.

Well, the 66-year-old feet were still doing good, so what the heck... let's stroll down Fifth Avenue and see the tree. That was the biggest shock of the day for me! Here it was in the early afternoon, and I walked right up to the edge looking down at the skating rink ( with just the Zamboni there). Where are the crowds????

Will New York ever be the same again? I am an eternal optimist, but I don't really think so. Looking at all of those office buildings I wonder when they will ever be filled up again. With Lord and Taylor gone, and of course decades and decades ago Bonwits, Arnold Constable, Henri Bendel and where I did my FIT internship; B. Altman and Company. With Amazon and online stores galore, remember people just oohing and ahhing to take a look at all of those festive windows. Only Saks remains all dressed up for the holidays.

I guess after September 11th we also wondered what ever will happen to the city, and it did come back better than ever. I hope and pray that the beautiful and exciting city that will always have my heart will have a repeat performance.

I am sharing a few pictures of my day for all of you. Stay optimistic and yes... we will all have some fun in '21!

With regards, Deb

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