A Journal of My Mid-Life Crisis
4 October 1998 - More Wandering
If you ever have an occasion to go to Wilmington, Delaware on a Sunday, don't bother. I went there on the grounds that it wasn't much further than Philadelphia where I was really heading (another 40 minutes or so on the train) and I have never been entirely sure whether or not I've been to Delaware. On the plus side, I can now be certain that I have been to 45 states and not have this lingering doubt. But an hour in central Wilmington was downright frightening. I suppose I could have taken a taxi to Winterthur or some other outlying tourist attraction. But I chose to walk and discovered that, while there is some nice architecture amongst the modern skyscrapers, walking around Wilmington on a Sunday feels like being the sole survivor of a neutron bomb. I sensibly got on the next train back to Philadelphia, which turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant city, except for the weather, which was hot and sticky. I kept being reminded of the song from 1776 with the line "Will someone open up a window?" Then I realized I was already outside and opening a window was unlikely to help.
Anyway, I came back to New York and harangued my mother into going to shul with me on Yom Kippur. I saw Phyllis Ducorsky for the first time in years and learned that she is married, has a new baby and is living in Harbor Isle. So yet another person I grew up with came back. Which is not at all tempting to me these days, even with the low real estate prices.
I also managed to accomplish one of the major chores of the visit to New York - namely, I helped my mother buy a computer. Since she doesn't really understand things like the difference between hardware and software, this was a somewhat frustrating chore. But we succeeded and now have the embarassing situation of having Mom have a more powerful PC than either Elliot or I have.
I went into the city on Friday, mostly to do some specialized shopping. I did not succeed in buying tapestry wool, but I did get a few books at Murder Ink. I also stopped into a Barnes and Noble and bought Mom a copy of PCs for Dummies. I had hoped to get to something or other touristy but didn't really have enough time to. So (and I fully admit this is ridiculous) despite having been born in the Bronx and grown up less than an hour by train from midtown Manhattan, I still have never been to the Empire State Building, the U.N. or the Statue of Liberty. And this trip I didn't even manage to get to any Broadway shows.
Now I'm back in California, at my brother's house in San Jose. I've more or less gone through nine months worth of mail. Of the stuff I sent home from overseas, a few things got lost since one package got damaged. As far as I can tell, I'm missing one book and a small basket. I might also be missing some photos, so I am very glad I kept the negatives with me. I still have a ton of financial stuff to sort out, so that should keep me occupied. Getting back to real life is going to be rather tedious, but I guess it has to be done. Sigh. At least I don't have to look for a job.
Copyright 1998 Miriam H. Nadel
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