digging up old photos

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 1993

Warning: there is much to be said about my photography skills of 1993. The reason I chose to share such a terribly shot picture, is the person sitting in the sleigh, Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop. (I know, you strain to see them.) My children are fans of hers and we still watch Lamb Chop videos. In 1998, when I heard Shari Lewis passed away, I dug out the captured existence of someone already fading into time. I dig out the picture again and cherished memories flood my mind.

It was a childhood fantasy to live in New York City. No one believed I ever would but I proved them wrong. It seems odd, my desire to live there being a nature reveler, until it came true in 1992-1994.  The chance to live there was exceptionally enriching. The intricacies of city life came alive.

I remember the people who passed on the street everyday, as neighbors; realizing you never got to know them. It was your imagination that dreamed what their life was like. The bookstore cat that watched you pass by on the way to the corner fruit market. The homeless woman who sat in front of Woolworth’s at 71st and 1st Avenue. (Does that Woolworth still exist?) Or the man in front of the grocery store on 71st and 2nd Avenue. The glamor of Fifth Avenue and Jackie O passing away on May 19, 1994. The $10 bill that floated in the air near the Sokol Gymnastics building, that you chased 10 feet and caught. The walk that took forever, from Carl Shurz Park at 86th and York to 71st and 1st Avenue, with a toddler who had to pee. With no public restrooms, you make it to your house’s street corner, and then she has an accident.

My daughter and I walked to the Central Park Zoo everyday and she splashed in the fire hydrant sprinklers at the 64th Street park, when the city buildings burned in the noonday sun. I saw “Cats” and “Grease” on Broadway. I almost had a taxi-cab birth, witnessed an arm robbery near the Today show building as I walked to show-off my Lenox Hill baby to my mom. When I reached the Today show window, I saw Katie Couric crying, holding up a sign that said something about a US tragedy and they weren’t televising happy new moms.

Macy’s Day Parade, 1993

A 2006 news report of a plane crash into the apartment building located behind ours, brought a rush of consideration. The plane hit the 30th and 31st floors at 524 East 72nd Street. I wonder what it would have been like to still live there and witness the event or even more tragic, watching the Twin Towers collapse.

Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers, 1993

I acknowledge there will be news to come and more about life to consider. I am sure  a few memories remain sealed. The best I assume we bury, to keep the unconscious happy. J

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