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Brave-Heart

CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK PART 2

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Herb and I did all the New York things
that tourists do. We walked down 5th Avenue stopping to look at Tiffany’s windows and then went to see the Saks-5th Avenue, Lord and Taylor’s windows eventually walking down to Macy’s just looking in the windows. (57th Street to 34th Street? OMG! 23 blocks there and 23 blocks back. No way could I do that today!)

Over the next few days we walked to Times Square where I showed him the Lyric movie theatre I had worked as a teenager and then to Greenwich Village my showing him where I use to spend my time in the baths, the bars of which many were not that anymore, the restaurants I worked in and the ones I loved to eat in. We stopped at The Stage Deli and he couldn’t believe the size of the ‘Hymie’s Special’ sandwich. One night we ate in my favorite restaurant in the world Marchi’s. We took a Circle boat tour around Manhattan that I had never done before and it was magic.
Christmas Eve we went to St. Patrick’s cathedral for midnight mass and I told him about doing the same as a teenager and how taken I was by the pageantry and choir and the ‘theatrics’ of the mass. I told him about Cardinal Spellman who had been a powerful political figure and was known to cruise Rockefeller Center downstairs bathroom. I think it was the next day that we went to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show with the Rockettes. I know we went to see a Broadway show but for the life of me I don’t remember which one.
And then the magic started--the snow came. It wasn’t a blizzard but enough to make the city romantic. We took a carriage ride in Central Park and we walked up Central Park West and I showed him where I had lived on 75th Street. We even walked arm in arm and though the ‘gay revolution’ had taken place that still wasn’t a smart, safe thing to do but we both felt invisible.
Of all we did the most magical part is something you have seen in movie after movie but we did it. We ice skated in the Rockefeller rink, my falling on my butt a few times and we had a hot chocolate and walked around looking at the lights and decorations.
I can see us walking up the path between the rink and 5th Avenue enjoying the snow and each other. I can see him dressed in his Christmas sweater that he bought at Macy’s and his black trousers and jacket--I can see it all this 40 years later but I don’t remember his name. I wasn’t taking pictures back then but I have a feeling I do have a picture from that time and I am going to search for it. I might be lucky and see that I had put his name on the back of the photo.
Did he leave New York first or did I? Was that when I had to get back to Memphis because Bernie was up to something? I don’t remember nor do I remember when we left and went on our own way never to see each other or talk to each other again.
I hope he has/had a good life.

If you haven’t done it put ‘visit New York City the last two weeks of the year’ on your bucket list. With or without snow it is a must see/must do beautiful and, yes, a magical time felt no where else.


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