My First Trip to New York City

When I was 11 years old, my parents put me on the Amtrak train by myself (at least this is how I remember it?) and sent me off for a weekend in New York, to stay with my aunt Regina (my dad’s sister). Regina was an actress and I admired her tremendously. Idolized her, more like it. It is so so strange for me to think now that Regina was only 22 years old during that weekend. She seemed SO grown-up to me! I think of myself at 22 and am just amazed … I stayed with Regina in her small dark cute Greenwich Village apartment, and she took me on a whirlwind tour. We went to the Metropolitan Museum, we went to the oldest house in New York (one of the photos of me is taken in front of that house) – and, big finish, Regina took me to see Annie on Broadway, a musical which had filled me with a burning passion that took YEARS to go out … Sarah Jessica Parker was playing “Annie”, so weird to imagine, and she was absolutely wonderful. The whole thing was wonderful. It actually was kind of painful because up there – on that Broadway stage – were GIRLS MY AGE. Why were they THERE and I was up in a box seat?? I loved Annie but it really awakened something in me – something that I would now call ambition.

But I have very fond memories of Regina taking me around New York. It was a hot weekend, and Regina still laughs about how all the crazy people seemed drawn specifically to me (David would not be surprised … that is STILL going on) … Every single drunk lunatic in a 12-mile radius honed in on me, talked to me, and one filthy rambling lunatic even showed me his penis. Just walked right up to me and whipped it out. I was 11 years old, douchebag. Regina was constantly dragging me away from whatever crazy homeless person was trying to have a deep conversation with her 11 year old niece. “Okay, let’s go THIS way now …”

My initial impression of New York was one of glamour and excitement … and also that there were crazy people EVERYWHERE.

My outfit here makes me laugh. I remember we were all, in my 6th grade class, very into those sweat-band things you wear around your wrist. I HOPE I had the presence of mind to take it off for the Broadway show, at least!!

Regina was 22 years old, and I look back on it and think she did a really great job showing me around, and taking care of me. It’s a great memory for me.

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16 Responses to My First Trip to New York City

  1. Allison says:

    Sheila, Is that house in Greenwich Village? I think that’s the house I took you to see on Charles and Perry that was transplanted to the Village from somewhere uptown and was originally occupied by a children’s book author. I’m looking it up now and will email you pictures…but I’m pretty sure this is the house.

  2. Allison says:

    Oh, and by the way your red, white, and blue sporty wristband is hot. Totally makes the outfit.

  3. red says:

    Yes!!! Same house! I looked for the pictures I took of it that night with you but couldn’t find them. What a darling little place – what is it called again? Coffin House??

  4. red says:

    I think I need to try to bring those back into vogue.

  5. red says:

    Found them on my Flickr page! Weird time-travel moment!

    Here’s one

    Here’s the other

    My aunt at the time lived right around the corner from that house. I wonder what her address was?? Probably very near to where you live now!

  6. Brooke says:

    I love that story and looking at your picture it’s easy to see why you and I click. I would have loved to have been your friend back then. You and I ARE KINDRED spirits for sure.

  7. red says:

    Brookelet! What I see in these photos is a Lena waiting for her Patsy to show up!

  8. jean says:

    I was totally in awe of you on this trip – I thought you were so cool!

  9. Kate says:

    Ah.. Mrs. Kotter glasses. I had those too.

  10. Cullen says:

    I had those same freaking wristbands. The same style, anyway. Of course, for me, when I was like 5, they were power bands and granted me superhuman strength, etc. I think I was modeling myself after Samson from the Hannah Barbara cartoon when I wore them. All I know is that, in retrospect, I did a lot of stupid things because I wore wristbands, towels as capes, and other kid-superhero things.

    Also, I love the post box in the middle photo. That’s the coolest thing.

  11. red says:

    Cullen – hahaha The funniest thing to me about your comment is the subtle “etc.”: and granted me superhuman strength, etc.


    I wonder if that was what was going on with me … trying to be a Wonder Twin perhaps??

  12. red says:

    Mrs. Kotter glasses, Kate! Yes!!

    I think this was my first pair of glasses.

  13. red says:

    Jean – really?? Oh, that is so cute. :(

    Miss you so much. See you this weekend.

  14. red says:

    Cullen – I know! A post box right out on the street. I believe it’s still there. It really is this strange little haven in the middle of the bustling Village – magical. It’s a private home, too – not a museum or anything public – like, people LIVE there.

  15. just1beth says:

    Member those stretchy wrist bands, that followed the terry ones? They had little pictures, or sayings. I remember I had one that said “Foxy” all over it. Hmmm. I also had a t-shirt that said “Men always make passes at girls who wear glasses.”
    Did my mother have some hidden agenda for me????

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