SHARE YOUR STORY
by Marjorie Cohen
|Looking north to Harlem from Columbia University–credit|
I love New York. Not an original sentiment, I know, but genuine. I have lived here since the ’60s when I came for graduate school. I brought my kids up here and can’t imagine a better place to raise a family. This city inspires me, amuses me, challenges me, aggravates and interests me every single day. But, the story of my first day in New York, my first few hours in NYC, are pretty horrifying when I think back on them.
Here’s how it unfolded: For the trip to New York, my mom and dad and I borrowed my cousin’s station wagon so that we’d have enough room for all of the things I was bringing to the city. We’d crammed in all my clothes, a pole lamp, a typewriter (remember, this was the 1960s), books, sheets, towels—everything I would need to set myself up in my assigned dorm room on Amsterdam Avenue and 121st Street.
Our two hour drive from Hartford, where I’d grown up, was uneventful. I was nervous, excited, all of the things that you’d expect. When we got to the city, the three of us were hungry so we decided to stop for a burger at a coffee shop on Broadway—I remember that it was just south of 110th Street, on the west side of the street. We parked the car, locked the doors (we were no hayseeds) and went in for lunch. When we finished and went back out on the street, the station wagon was empty. Completely and absolutely empty. The New York welcome committee had smashed the window, opened the door and unpacked. Every single thing I’d brought with me to my new city was gone, stolen while we ate our burgers.
|I never saw that Underwood typewriter again.–credit|
Marjorie Cohen is a freelance writer living in New York City.