Carolyn and I just spent five days in Manhattan. I’d like to share them with you.
In “The Scoop on San Francisco” (June 13), analyst Lynn Sedway stated that New York also is a hot real estate market. True that! We stayed at the Viceroy Hotel on West 57th Street. Across from us, a high-rise condo building for the super rich is being completed. It’s not the only such building on 57th either. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can’t walk anywhere in midtown without going through scaffolding as new buildings rise and older buildings undergo renovation.
Downtown, we walked the High Line, an elevated park running from 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues down to Gransvoort in the Meatpacking District. It’s way more crowded than a few years ago—a major tourist destination. The High Line offers a breath of fresh air and fabulous views of Manhattan streets, the Hudson River and New Jersey. Not surprisingly, developers are building condo and apartment projects alongside.
Before lunch, we rested overlooking 10th Avenue and 17th Street. In 1906, my father Morris came to America from Warsaw at age 2-1/2. When the Perlsteins became citizens in 1914, they lived four blocks to the east at 100 West 17th at 6th. (The site has been a parking lot for years.) August 25 marks the Perlstein citizenship centennial. For us and many tens of millions of others, the American dream has been real.
We held two small Finkle (my mother Blanche) family reunions starting on Saturday, August 2. First, we had a great lunch with our friend Teri at the Boathouse in Central Park. Then we met up with Israeli cousin Rachel Sela, her family and friends to hear Hurray for the Riff at SummerStage. The band provided a fabulous hour of Americana music rooted in blues, country and folk. Our son Yosi continues to amaze on fiddle, and we spent time with him the day before at… the Russian Tea Room. We also saw the family of Alynda Lee Segarra, the band’s fabulous singer/songwriter. Side bar: Hurray for the Riff Raff opened for Dr. John and the Night Trippers, but Dr. John took ill and had to cancel. The Riff Raff couldn’t play any longer because they hurried off to the Johnstown Festival in Pennsylvania.
After the concert, we had dinner with Teri at the Bryant Park Café, one of our favorite places. Bryant Park, behind the Main Library, has been transformed into an activity-filled destination. Despite all the people enjoying themselves, it manages to be an oasis of peace.
On Sunday, we met Israeli cousin Lisa Bennett and her family, as well as my sister Kay and some of her family. We gathered for brunch at the Shalimar Diner on 63rd Drive in Rego Park (featured in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.) After, we walked three blocks to the apartment building Kay and I grew up in. Then back to Manhattan to see The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
More on theater: Our first night in offered When We Were Young and Unafraid with Cherry Jones. It’s a powerful play about abused women with an accomplished actress. We also saw Audra McDonald in Lady Day at the Emerson Bar. There’s a reason she won her unprecedented sixth Tony.
I love San Francisco. I also love reconnecting with my roots. Today, new generations from all over the world find a home and opportunity in New York. If I tear up whenever I see the Statue of Liberty—even on a stamp and even as I’m writing—you know why.
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