“Moving On Up”

After I was expected, my parents moved out of Brooklyn and uptown to Riverdale, a northern portion of the Bronx. My mother went back to Brooklyn to deliver me at the Long Island College Hospital(open until last year) and then took me home to the upper floor flat at 3100 Oxford Avenue. That house seems to have been replaced in the intervening 69 years with a brick apartment house.

I have no memories of this home, the last one of my pre-memory years, since I left it before my first birthday. However, in the marvelous twists of life, my granddaughter and her parents spent the first two years of her life in the second floor flat of a house in Riverdale, just blocks away. I drove into the city frequently those first years to visit them and get acquainted with the area.

Riverdale is somewhat of an oasis in the city. A glorious park sits above the Hudson and features well kept gardens, art exhibits and musical performances. It is even possible to park on the street, though it is usually necessary to scout out a spot. A portion of the area houses a large Hebrew retirement home. Other acreage is still filled with single family homes with yards and garages. While the houses are astronomically expensive, ordinary middle class people fill the apartments throughout the neighborhood. I could easily imagine my mother happily existing there without a car, walking me to the store and park. While I can’t remember Riverdale from 1947, I have fond memories of Riverdale sixty years later.

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