Wow, guys. Thanks for all the responses. I'd like to respond to you all, but I'm kind of reeling. Checked in three times to read these responses and trying to find a way to figure out how to respond myself.
I miss a lot of the things some of you mentioned -- my old neighborhood, my old friends. It seems most of the people I grew up with moved to NJ or Ct or something. My parents sold the family home of over 50 years last year, and its still hard for me to go down the block. So it seems some of the things that you guys miss, I do,too. I guess that's the nostalgia part. Art reminds me of the importance of your roots, of sharing a common culture -- a StatNisland culture. He also makes me realize the value of "city sophistication, small town provincialism, rural wildness and suburbia " Our SI culture has changed considerably since we've been around, but at its base, it's still here. Donna's enthusiasm for living here is a shot in the arm. Sometimes I need to be reminded how important it is for ME to be here, in this place, in this time. Living on Staten Island these days isn't easy -- but then, I guess times can be hard anywhere. It's true that there are some things you can't escape and that happiness has to come from inside. But sheesh! when a grown woman throws raw eggs from a speeding van at my two young children dressed in frilly Halloween costumes, man, I gotta wonder. However, I wrote the first few lines of my Staten Island epic after being caught in a whirlwind of wet maple leaves -- a deep yellow blur before me, they stuck to my hair, plastered my windbreaker.
So, the sweet sausage and the pretty girls on the ferry, and the neighborhoods and the buses....they make me smile. I'm glad I chose to stay. To quote Mim, "real life takes over when you live there." Yup.
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