Park Avenue to Crack Alley

by | Sep 30, 2010 | Blog | 1 comment

I have been fortunate enough to work and live in Manhattan.  I loved every minute of living there.  I once called the police at 2am because there was a fist fight literally in the middle of First Avenue.  The desk sergeant asked me, “is anyone down?” I said no.  He asked me, “Is anyone bleeding?”  I said “from the height of my apartment window, I do not believe so.”  He then asked me, “then why the hell are you calling me?”  Do you love that?
My original NY office space was a cubical in what was then the Pan Am Building.  I looked straight down Park Avenue, over the clock of Grand Central right down to Union Square: Spectacular.  My office moved to 475 Park South amongst prostitutes and an abortion clinic…..very dicey getting to work stepping over condoms and Lord knows what else!  I ended up for the duration of my career at 125 Park Avenue….beautiful. (I will tell the story of my elevator phobia at another time. It involves JFK Jr.)
We had our children and moved out of NY both personally and professionally and like the show Green Acres, I was living like Eva ….upstate, green acres and apple trees!  My new office view was now of a sausage factory with tractor trailers zooming by my window.  An old client called me once and asked me if I was OK “up there”.  I loved the company I worked for and the people were super however “darling I love you but give me Park Avenue!” was calling. So back I went to NYC: Times Square! I worked for a large firm, unbelievable people. Smart, driven and fun!  I enjoyed my work very much. I was heartbroken when I was laid off in 2009.  I did some consulting, worked with a few companies and have landed, once again in NYC, only this time in what we affectionately call “crack alley”. 
The demarcation line seems to be Broadway.  When you walk from Lexington Avenue to the west side, once you cross Broadway, it appears people’s pants low-ride a bit more, the dress code relaxes and the F-word flies!  I counted 21 incidents of the F-word between 37th and 33rd street today: 21!  Between the people going thru detox and the smell of White Castle hamburgers…I don’t know which insults my senses more!
I was swinging my arms and walking to the beat of the city on a wonderfully fall day last week. While walking to Penn Station to get my train home I was about to cross 8th Avenue when my swinging left arm came into, let’s just say, the “Johnson” of an extremely  scary and largely tattooed man.  I turned slowly holding my breath to apologize when I was relieved to be greeted by the warmest smile.  He took my arm and said, “Honey, you didn’t hurt me, where are you headed?”  He escorted me to Penn Station.  I never took my hand off my purse. Hey, ya never know. (True story)
I love having both the city and the country life.  My commute is almost 4 hours door to door each way depending on if Amtrak’s ‘moon is in the 7th house’ and we make good time. I get home and I see my son’s lacrosse net and my daughter’s basketball hoop and I smile. Even that crazy, snorting Pug greets me and I tell my husband I love him.  As I have said almost every posting, “I am blessed”.

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1 Comment

  1. Larry Eiss

    What a great group of stories! I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment.

    Reply

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KarenHello and welcome.
I am often asked, “What is Pasta on the Floor?”
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