Saturday, October 09, 2010

My homesickness

Janice Erlbaum, in her blog, has been writing about NYC and memories.  As the title of this post she wrote suggests, she has several so don't stop at this one but read more.

Her posts have me thinking about my own wild child days.

But at this time of year I always ease into a feeling of homesickness because I love Manhattan at Christmas.  Nowhere else compares.  Not that I've spent many holidays in other places but I've spent enough elsewhere to know that no matter where I am or how I'm spending it, a part of me is thinking about the windows of Lord & Taylor's and FAO Schwartz (which is no longer there . . . *sigh*) and seeing the show at Radio City Music Hall or The Nutcracker Suite at Lincoln Center.  Nowhere do they do this ballet so beautifully or with as much awe inspiring magic as they do at the ABT.

The lights along Park Avenue.
The way the air smells of roasting chestnuts.  (Do the hotdog vendors still do this?  Maybe I don't want to know if they don't.)
The trees everywhere.  The origami one at the Museum of Natural History and the brilliant nativity one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not romanticizing things at all.  I haven't forgotten the harsh reality of slush seeping into the sole of my worn away boots or then Thanksgiving I had nowhere to go so I walked from uptown all the way downtown and back again, to keep warm, to keep moving, to keep safe.

And reading Janice's blog posts have caused me to experience not the usual gradual homesickness that becomes firmly entrenched by Christmas to become a more immediate, in-my-face now, experience.

This year Bibi will dress up like a witch for Halloween and my mother would dress me as a witch every year, probably because it was cheap to have me wear a black or brown turtleneck sweater and a pair of dark colored pants (over tights to add a layer of warmth) and then use black crepe paper to create a witchy skirt and a black cape. I always felt I looked amazing, with a black bat "tattood" on my forehead with liquid eyeliner and carrying a broom.  And how could I not be dazzled by the sequin ball earrings dangling from my earlobes by the screw clamps my mother needed because back then her ears were not pierced?

There are photos in an album somewhere.

Anyway, feeling homesick earlier this year than ever before.  I wonder if it will pass away only to return as usual later in the season or if it will build as usual only more so because it has an early start . . .


  1. I always get homesick for PA during the fall. How the air always smelled of burning leaves. How it didn't matter how many leaves you burned, the streets and side walks were always covered in beautifully colored crunchy leaves. I miss school fund raisers and going door to door (which is always associated with the fall because I would think about how I should hurry because it's freezing cold.) I also miss the snow and slush in the streets.

  2. I wonder if everyone's homesickness comes in seasons?

  3. I think it's holidays. Or maybe seasons is more correct. I dunno. I think it is common though.

  4. I think it's hard to say because they blur together. I know in spring I feel homesick as well because I start thinking about how the streets in NY come alive, the artists and musicians start popping up everywhere and people sit out on stoops. I just miss certain times and particular things.