I think I was about 5 or 6 years-old.
I remember taking the B train into Manhattan from Brooklyn with my parents. We’d go out to eat at a steakhouse or an Italian restaurant that has since closed its doors. Or we would run other errands that I can’t seem to recall. Memories are unreliable that way.
I loved going into the city at night, when it was extra bright and shiny (don’t underestimate the power of ‘bright and shiny’ to a 6 year-old with a short attention span). I loved going for so many reasons, whether it was for the towering skyscrapers, the bustling nightlife or the smell of honey-roasted peanuts and shish-kebobs filling the air.
But my main reason for loving it so much, the thing I most looked forward to were the sidewalks. Every so often, we would come upon a point where the ground looked as if it had bits of silver glitter engrained in the pavement. I was so bewitched by it. I wanted to dance on it, run my hands against it, stare at it. How did this glitter get here? Who put it there? And how come the sidewalks in Brooklyn don’t look like this?
And I thought, this place is so magical.
To this day, when I see those sparkling sidewalks, I’m reminded of my bright-eyed sense of wonder and my romanticized view of the city. It comes rushing back to me, the same way certain smells can instantly trigger a memory or emotion.
Let’s reminisce…what are your first memories of your hometown? What’s the earliest you can recall?