Welcome to New York

My first adult trip to New York City happened freshman year of college. My two best friends took me with them to a debutant party in Providence, RI. I was exceedingly naive and had no idea what a debutant was, or why they would celebrate “coming out”. Coming out of what? I went because they explained that a debutant was a rich girl, and there would be a bunch of them there. And beer. Going wasn’t a hard decision after that.

Colgate University - 1968

Colgate University - 1968

Travel from upstate NY to Providence was accomplished by the normal college conveyance – hitching a ride with someone. The party was everything it was supposed to be, but I didn’t end up with a rich girlfriend. The picture is all the explanation you will need to understand why.

OK – the New York part. One of my friends suffered from migraines, and when it was time to leave, he got a one. A gone-blind one. We got a ride as far a NYC and pooled our money to put him on a train home, and my other friend went with him. So I’m stuck in NYC, alone, hungover, nearly broke, and needing to get home to Maryland.

No problem – I have a checking account, and I only needed a couple of bucks more to get a bus ticket. Problem – no one, and I mean not even the Chase Manhattan Bank, would cash a two or three dollar check from me. I spent about four hours wandering from place to place trying. Hungover. Finally, a gas station attendant took pity and charged a couple of dollars on my gas credit card and gave me the cash. I do not heart NY.

Many years later, someone at a cocktail party was telling me about tectonic plates and how eventually Los Angeles would be somewhere in the frozen arctic. My immediate response was, “Could it take New York with it?”


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