SOLC 30 of 31: NYC Memory Lane

I had the opportunity yesterday to drive my daughter into NYC to meet up with a friend of hers. I also used the opportunity to have dinner with a friend of mine from college.

As I drove in, walked around and drove home, I passed so many places that triggered memories for me. Growing up, we lived only 30 m minutes outside of NYC, so a trip in to the city happened on occasion. I also went to graduate school in NYC and lived in the city for 6 years before moving out to suburbia. What was interesting to me was the levels and layers of memories that emerged just from driving or walking by certain locations.

The Sam Ash Music Store: where my parents purchased for me an open-whole silver flute that came in a leather carrying case. It was expensive! I remember how special I felt that they felt that they would invest in this for me. It made me want to practice more, play better and try harder.

Doc Watson’s Bar: a bar on the Upper East Side where I used to go with my roommate for happy hour after work. It was just around the corner from where she taught and I’d often meet up with her and her colleagues there.

Lester’s Clothing Store: I never shopped there, but when I worked on the Upper East Side, I passed this store all of the time on my daily commute.

Ollie’s Noodle House: while the location I passed was different than the one I used to frequent, I could just about test the veggie dumplings that we used to indulge in back when I was in graduate school up on 120th street. It was such a treat to walk there and enjoy them! Luckily when I moved to the Upper West Side, there was also a location near us, so Ollie’s was a frequent delicious (and cheap) meal.

The 79th Street Boat Basin: Underneath the West Side Highway at 79th street, used to sit the Boat Basin Bar – an outside dining establishment that was open during the warm weather months. It was gritty, serving strawberry daiquiris in large plastic cups and food in paper trays, but it was NYC summer! Summer wasn’t summer without visits to this locale that was only a few blocks from where I lived.

These are only the few places that I happened to pass on my tour around town. It never ceases to amaze me where memories hide and where writing can be inspired.


  1. Orval Jewett said,

    March 30, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for this beautiful recollection. In my youth, I spent a lot of time in the West Village. It isn’t at all how I remember it. Like so many places with character, it now feels like any Macy’s or Bloomingdales display, awash with upper middle class/upper class splendor. The character has changed dramatically.

  2. caroline524 said,

    March 30, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Such great memories. It is always great when you can remember and even visit some of the places that hold fond memories. Sharing them with your daughter makes them come alive.

  3. Patty Nault said,

    March 30, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    A clever way to share your map of memories.

  4. March 31, 2021 at 2:09 am

    I like how you give the reader an important to you memory for each place you saw. You described memories that were triggered by seeing a certain place and they are memories that no one would know unless you write about them, which is one of the reasons to write, write, write-but you know that!

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