Then, I can go to Fifth Avenue and 41st Street and see the grand Stanford White-designed "Knox Building", symbol of my lovely Mom's family's former glory. My profligate grandfather, on that side, sold that gorgeous gold mine of a marble property, for a song in the 60's: right around the time he burned a Mary Cassatt portrait of his mother, because he had "never cared for it.". [That sound you hear right now is me yelling, "Even if you hate art,someday you'll have a granddaughter who both loves art and could really use a trust fund!!", to handsome, improvident, dead Grandad.]
Or, I can walk to 75th and Second Ave, and see the tiny hardware shop, that my (wonderful, New York born, Jewish) Dad's immigrant father, David, founded 75 years ago[ it's still there!], when he and my grandmother came here to escape the shtetls of the Ukraine. My grandmother had been a typist for a jail, in the "old country". Her desk overlooked the courtyard, where, every day, men were marched out and dispatched by firing squad. My grandmother was not exactly nostalgic for that, and loved her adopted home, where, instead of a steady diet of death and potatoes, she could nibble marzipan, and dress up like a Chinese Maiden in order to better play MahJohnng with the other fair, fiftyish "maidens" of the Yorkville Jewish community. (So many other family places...but, that's enough for now.)
which is the unofficial creed of the young who flock here to have Life...before it has them.