Like A Fine Wine

New Yorkers love high culture activities. Lincoln Center is the city’s live performance heart. Whether you love a world famous opera by Giacomo Puccini or the ballet, the white building on 66th and Broadway has it.

I used to love to sit on a bench at Lincoln Center, eat lunch and enjoy the Upper West Side’s people traffic. One spring day, I observed a group of old people. The men were dressed in fine suits with beige trench coats to protect them from chilly spring winds. While, the ladies had their grey hair perfectly groomed and wearing pearls to accentuate all black outfits. They chatted and ate sandwiches, while looking completely thrilled to see an afternoon opera. I thought to myself, this what I want to be like at seventy.

New York is a special town for old people. Unlike other parts of the country, where they live in retirement communities and spend days playing dominos, the Metamucil mafia of New York are culturally active. Strolling anywhere from Columbus Avenue or Ludlow Street, the senior citizens still dress as cool as ever. They also are full of life. The stories they tell of old New York are most intriguing.

They talk about the cafe society when the waiters knew you by your first name at watering holes. The stories about Studio 54 and those uniquely New York stories about standing in line behind Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at a bakery could never be duplicated.

I’ve always felt a kinship with old people. The age never really mattered. Both sides of my family live a very long time. Therefore, I have many ninety-year old relatives. Although they are old, partially blind and even deaf in one ear, they retain their glamor. Regardless of the event, they put full make up on and a most proper outfit. Now, they’re slowing down, but not long ago (in their 80’s), they still had a wicked sense of humor and even enjoyed a little salsa dancing.

My primary senior citizen is my grandma. I visit her occasionally. She is 87 years old, raised seven boys on her own and worked full time, during an era when women were expected to stay home. We like to watch Jeopardy together. Whenever, I get an answer right, I look over to see if she’s impressed. Surprise, she isn’t. She ignores my attention getting scheme. Although, she complains about everything (and I mean everything), grandma has surprisingly funny jokes and loves to garden.

With my genes, I too daydream of a time in life where gardening and the opera are almost a daily occurrence. What fascinates me the most about the 65 + crowd is everything they witnessed from wars, different Presidents, vinyl records, early TV sets and even the first man on the moon. My goal when I hit senior citizen status is to have wonderful stories to tell, a cute New York apartment with fires-cape for gardening and a wonderful social life complimented with an excellent selection of wine.

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