Editor’s Note: We just had a baby daughter! In her honor, columnist Maria Gorshin reminisced about growing up in the neighborhood. (The Rag will be updated a little less frequently for the next few days.)
I loved growing up in this part of New York. I look back and realize it was the little details that made being a child here so remarkable.
At first, there were naps set to the hum of Upper West Side traffic and sidewalk bustle.
Later, the familiar sights of the neighborhood made staying awake more interesting than snoozing – pigeons stepping along window sills, buildings topped with old wooden water tanks; people watering their rooftop gardens.
In spring there were family picnics at Riverside Park under cherry blossoms.
Year-round there were crowded stores and busy streets to see – Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues were fascinating from stroller-height.
On rainy days I took toddling steps along the corridors of The American Museum of Natural History.
In Central Park there were boulders to climb and Alice in Wonderland to scramble over with friends before we’d run to the carousel or to the zoo.
At Lincoln Center I’d walk full-circle around the water fountain during the day and yawn through operas with the grown-ups at night.
These were all happy memories lived during years of New York turmoil. Just imagine what a newborn New Yorker will experience growing up here today – in a grander, safer version of the city and neighborhood we’ve always loved.
Welcome to the Upper West Side, little one. May you be blessed with a joyful New York childhood and a lifetime of good memories to share.
Photo by Amy Aglar.