A week or so after I announced that I was leaving, apart from my family I told some close friends, several of whom I have known close to forty years. My one friend Sam (not his real name), urged me to come on back home to NYC so that we could talk. Sam and I go back to ninth grade, and shared many a - ahem - youthful escapade together. he is a NYC detective, and basically threatened me with physical harm if I didn't come down. Of course, that's his way of showing he cares, especially in light of the fact that he has been down this road, and in a very bad way, I might add.
I left last Wednesday, a little later than I wanted to, and got into New Rochelle where my brother lives at about 10 pm. He already left for work, and after settling in, I decided to go see him down at his EMS station in the South Bronx. I have never seen where his command is, and he being a paramedic Lt. with FDNY, I was curious to see the place where he held court. I also had the opportunity to meet a mutual friend, another paramedic that is an old timer like I was, and like my brother is.
I had a good time, got in the door at about 2:30-ish, and then got up to move my car at 8:10 am, as New Rochelle suffers from the same malady that plagues NYC - that of alternate side of the street parking. Unfortunately, I overslept by a few minutes, and got tagged with a parking ticket. My brother however, seems to be friendly with many in the parking bureau (I don't want to know why), and he thinks he can get it squashed, or substantially reduced. I'm waiting to hear from him later this week.
Friday was a great day. My cousin and I went to lunch at this kick-ass restaurant in Little Italy, Forlini's on Baxter St. the food was terrific, and when inside, it looks like something out of mob movie. I half expected DeNiro, Pesci, and maybe John Gotti - if he wasn't already dead - to stop on inside. I had this terrific chicken dish, with sun dried tomatoes, bow tie pasta in a light cream sauce:
Their house red wine was excellent, as was the cheesecake.
My cousin and I hung out for about 90 minutes, talking about everything under the sun, and it was good to reconnect with her. We hadn't seen each other in about two years.
I then got on Metro-North, and headed up to Mamaroneck to see Sam. It had been a while since I traveled the subway and commuter railroad, but I remembered how to get around as if I never left. I arrived here at the station after leaving Grand Central:
Sam took me out to dinner, along with his new neighbors from France, Vincent and Corali. They just arrived about a week ago, and are teachers at the FASNY, the French-American School in Mamaroneck. (http://www.fasny.org/) they are a young married couple, and while his English is very good, hers is not so much. She works mainly in the science lab, while he is a math teacher. we had a great time, and I played English teacher, as I was asked to explain the difference between "neither," and "either" looks as though I have a place to stay in the south of France any time that I want.
I spent Saturday in part with my mom, after taking my niece out to breakfast, and then spent Saturday night in the company of my old paramedic partner, Tony. He's still out there, fighting the good fight, but has decided it's time to retire. Of course, the skull fracture he suffered on the job a few months back hastened his decision to retire soon, but I think he should have retired five years ago.
All in all, it was a good trip, but now I'm home, and facing the reality that is packing up the rest of my life, and getting ready to move into my apartment later this month. I think I may need another vacation when that is all said and done.
the state of windmills - This is a nice series of old windmills the USPS put out in 1980 the one in *Virginia* is located in Williamsburg, known as the Robertson Windmill. the on...
5 days ago