Returning to the Upper East Side After Decades

The Upper East Side hasn’t changed that much since I’ve been gone. And I’ve been gone a long time.

I was born on the Upper East Side. Lenox Hill Hospital to be exact, and I grew up in Queens. When I turned 18, I moved into the 92nd Street Y, which was—and still is–a vibrant, exciting, safe place to live as a young person in New York. I lived there for 2 years.

After graduating from Columbia in 1990, I moved to Los Angeles. Over time, I established myself in my career and developed many deep and satisfying friendships and enjoyed the California lifestyle, especially the mild winters.

By the time the pandemic hit, many years had passed. I felt a deep longing for New York. I flew back in June, planning to spend a week looking for an apartment. Much to my amazement I found one on my first day. And this lovely apartment happens to be right next door to the 92nd Street Y!

My life has come full circle. I even resumed going to Trafalgar Cleaners, on Lex, same as I did decades ago. Sure, many of the storefronts have changed. But the unique flavor of the UES has remained the same. The older folks give it a sense of continuity, safety and security, at least for me. I enjoy walking down Lex or Third, and seeing people of all ages, but especially older folks enjoying a meal out. And younger people provide its energy and hope for the future.

How many people get a chance like this to return to their roots? I did.

And I’m glad to be back.

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