California Girl Is Upper West Side Dreamin’

Monday, Monday…and a bit of a gloomy one at that. But lest you forget what lies beneath the clouds, here’s a comment received by WSR from a woman in sunny California to remind you.

I live in CA and have fallen in love with the UWS by staying and dining in the neighborhood before and after the marathon for the past 7 yrs. Originally, I came for a 3-day weekend to run the marathon, but after the first year, I realized that NO WAY was that long enough. Since then, I’ve extended my trip to a full week just so I can enjoy all that the UWS offers. I work HARD to qualify for the NYC marathon every year, then I book a suite at the Beacon Hotel (a big splurge for me but worth it!) and get to pretend I’m an actual UWS resident for the week. I get my neighborhood fixes, including Fairway, Polpette, Papardella, Freddie & Pepper’s Pizza, Levain Bakery, and so many more, including the higher end restaurants. Sometimes, I think I live all year for that week, just to run through all the boroughs and feel truly alive again, riding the wave of energy that can only be found in NYC, then eating all the good food, walking the streets and just soaking it all in. I am at my happiest that week and although I’ll be running NYRR’s “virtual NYC marathon” along the coast of CA this Nov 1st, it will almost be unbearably sad for me not to be running where I should be, through the boroughs and finishing in Central Park. I grieve for all the places and people who were lost or who are hurting this year. Be well and know that, like me, SO MANY runners from around the world are missing YOU and the magical city you’ve created, wishing and waiting for the day we can come back to run and be in NYC and the UWS again.

— Susan Miller

COLUMNS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Lady Di says:

      it is people like Susan Miller who will make the difference in what the future our city will be. We need many more Susan Millers to come back as soon as they can.

    2. UWSer says:

      Awww ❤️

    3. Eric Morgenstern says:

      Wow! Thank you. Run Susan Run. And know you are always welcome to the UWS.

    4. JLWillis says:

      Susan … Thank you for your Love Letter to our neighborhood… Keep sending those good Vibes… Stay safe and healthy.. JLW

    5. Karen L. Bruno says:


    6. Cheryl Faison says:

      I am also a California girl who loved living on the UWS (more than I can say). I had to relocate back to the SF Bay Area for my job about two years ago. I miss everything about living in NY. I am a devoted reader of the West Side Rag so that I can keep up with the happenings on the UWS and the City. I <3 you NY!

    7. GirlPie says:

      Susan Miller speaks for me… not so much the Marathon, but every other little bit.

      Those of us in LA (and elsewhere), having to postpone our (twice yearly half-month) visits to the UWS, missing our haunted-since-’76 streets and eats and spots and pups and peeps and Park…

      Just because we’re not in NYC this minute doesn’t mean we don’t keep NYC inside us wherever we are. And always will.

      Non-runners miss the UWS, too.
      (Thanks Susan!)

      • Ruth Bonnet says:

        I’m with you – stuck in LA missing my twice-a-year retreat to my old haunting grounds of the UWS. This is brutal! (#firstworldproblem).
        Also not a runner…

    8. Lorene Farnsworth says:

      How beautiful and touching.

    9. Susan says:

      What a beautiful note from Susan Miller! I love seeing the runners from across the world end their amazing five-borough run in the neighbored. It’s fun to congratulate them as they walk by wrapped in their Mylar capes and ask where their from. This is just one more in a long list of events and people we will miss this heartbreaking year but hopefully Susan and the thousands of others who love and appreciate NYC can be welcomed back in 2021.

    10. Carl says:

      To the tune of “Whiter Shade of Pale”:

      … As Sue Miller Told Her Tale, and the folks at Pappardella, put on hold her, side of kale.

      Thank you for this lovely homage to our neighborhood Susan.

    11. Jane S. Gabin says:

      Oh Susan, thank you for saying what I have felt many times. I am not a runner, but I lived for a while on the UWS and the place GETS to you. Even after leaving, I dream of it often.

    12. Alison Ross says:

      Lovely sentiment. I live in Atlanta and have been staying for long weekends on the UWS several times a year, and hanging out with poetry friends in Brooklyn and also the East Village. Anyway, this resonated with me because I also pretend like I live on the UWS when I am there. My favorite eating spot is an Italian restaurant nearish the Belnord – cannot remember the name – and my favorite bookstore is Westsider Books. I also miss Barney Greengrass and Zabar’s. I dearly hope to come back very soon!

    13. Mary Laudati says:

      Have a great run Susan – We will be back! Promise.

    14. Ruby in Manhattan says:

      Come visit us again, Susan — and often! Any reason will do.

    15. AC says:

      Beautifully written. I believe we sometimes take it for granted – living here in the UWS. If it were up to me, I’d name 75th street between B’way and Amsterdam Susan Miller’s Way, just to remind us how lucky we are.

      Will be cheering you on come Sunday, November 7, 2021!

    16. Russ from Charlotte says:

      I feel your pain. I returned to running after staying at the Beacon just after the Marathon in 2014. The Marathon vibe was amazing, even post race.
      I have a prosthetic right foot from an active duty injury, so my times suck compared to pre-injury, but my 5 hour 48 minute in 2017 and 5:38 in 2018 made me feel I had “returned”.
      It was a heartbreaker to have to cancel my trip for this year. At least I can mail order bagels and other vital supplies from Zabars.

    17. Susan Miller says:

      Awww, heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented! I was surprised and flattered to see my comments made into an article, and now I’m overwhelmed and incredibly touched by reading these comments…it feels like I received a reply to a love letter. Now I love the UWS even more!! I’ll be back ASAP!! Stay safe, everyone.