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January 22, 2023

First World Problems . . .

As many of you know, I relocated last summer from New York City to a small burg in southern Wisconsin. In some respects the adjustment has been easy; leaving behind a crime-ridden, Leftist-infested madhouse for a quiet, friendly, suburban and generally orderly place. I also have an entire basement with which to do creative pursuits.

Yet, in some ways I don't know that I'll ever truly get used to not having every kind of cuisine, specialty shops and especially all the museums, and really just the vibe of the city any time I feel the need for it. That said, even before the Chinese Covid madness and the Obama years of recession put the nail in the coffin of New York, the city had begun a transformation that I did not like. The mom and Pop small businesses were replaced by Starbucks, the Gap and Best Buy, while places like the Flower Market and the Lamp and Lighting District have all but disappeared, supplanted by high rise condos and hotels.

The irony is of course this mass of development was needed to accommodate incoming residents and visitors and yet, the very thing that they came to experience and live had to be eradicated in order to make room for them.

The only thing left for me there are my last living relatives, an aunt and uncle both in their early 90s, as well as my memories of a city that probably won't ever return to its former glory.

As a kid, I have memories of older folks bemoaning the fact that New York was never the same when the Giants and the Dodgers left, and it kind of ticked me off. I always thought it was great place, and I came of age in the bad old days of the 60's through the Koch/Dinkins years.

In any case, change is always inevitable. But, as Billy Joel once sang, "The good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems."

So, while some of my favorite food products and wine are no longer available to me here, but miracle of miracles, my local market, Festival, actually stocks Manischewitz Matzo Ball Soup Mix! The chicken for the soup isn't kosher, but the Lord will grant me dispensation. I hope.

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posted by J.J. Sefton at 02:00 PM

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