BY MELITTA ANDERMAN
While being examined by my gynecologist, the doctor told me how unhappy her mother was living in Florida after her father retired. She said the best place to live after people stop working is in a big city. I totally agree because this happened to me. For years I lived in Fort Lee, New
Jersey, the first place you hit when you cross the George Washington Bridge. I worked in
Manhattan, ate in great restaurants, all my doctors were in the 20 blocks from 96th street to 76th Street and most of my friends lived in New York. So what was I doing in New Jersey, you ask. This requires a different story line and another feature.
Our living destination, after many searches, turned out to be Yorkville. The journey was fraught with anxiety branching out to every aspect of a life changing move after forty years of a laidback existence in a swimming pool/tennis playing community across the George in New Jersey. My husband was content with these activities but I was an ex-administrator with the Metropolitan Opera House who was now demoted to being a hausfrau.
My big excursions consisted of going to the public library, where I chatted with the adorable lady librarians from India and Egypt and but were I also had the dubious pleasure of listening, among the stacks, to well-dressed men trying to convert immigrants, there to seek knowledge, to some unreliable way of thinking. I reported these conversations to the appropriate library folks and these practices were abolished.
Among my other accomplishments were going to local markets and to Costco. I shopped, and went to movies, once combining the two by going to a mall where a decent international film was being shown. One of my biggest frustrations was trying to drive across the bridge at when the tolls were highest. Needless to say, our rate of visitors from the state of New York dropped year by year.
You want to know about retirement to the big city? Life is great and enriching in so many ways.
Buses and subways travel to all parts of the borough and beyond. I live within four blocks of Museum Mile; I can pick and choose any country’s cuisine from among my neighborhood many eateries; my library is across the street; nearly every corner has fruit and veggie stands. (Need I continue?). We keep a car for occasional forays into areas of glorious foliage, manicured lawns and quiet nights and days but where there’s hardly a soul around.
The pastoral delights of living in suburbia now scare me. Nights are too dark, days too lonely.
I realized, as we neared the end of my exam, that I’m a city woman, and that the only good reason for being away from the city is on vacation.