I don’t post in MPSIMS very often; I hardly ever visit the foru. Too much flirting, I guess - makes me feel like I was back in high school. I also don’t start posts about myself: no post parties, no birthdays, no personal experiences. So excuse me if I don’t seem to fit right in with the milleu.
Sigh. Typical Alessan post - starting off with an apology. And has nothinhg to do with the subject at hand, with the fact tahat I’m going back to a place most of you would avoid like the plague.
Let me start with a brief summary of my life story:my parents, New Jersey Jewish types (Dad’s from Teaneck, Mom’s from Margate) got married in college and moved to Israel in 1971. I was born three years and one war later in the East Talpiot neighbourhood of Jerusalem. One year later, after my Dad realized that a degree in philosophy from an Ivy League school was worth very close to bupkiss in 1975 Israel, we moved to Teaneck so that he could go to NYU Law School. Two years latermy parents and three-year-old Yours Truly moved to Manhattan - to the Village.
Those were, I guess, my formative years. And what years they were! Fro better or for worse, 1977-1981 were unique years for New York City, and even if a little kid like me absorbed only a fraction of what was going on around me, I absorbed one hell of a lot. This place, this city of cities was etched into my bones - and it always will be. I may be many things in my life, but I will always also be a New Yorker.
In '81 we moved back to Israel - to Haifa, a quiet little city in the country’s north. Mom, Dad, New Baby Sister and little Josh (yeah, that’s the name), Star Wars lunchbox in hand, packed up our stuff and moved to what to me was the unknown. It was rough at first. I didn’t know the language, I didn’t understand the culture, and for all effecta and purposes I was a new immigrant. Eventually I acclimated,although I never really lost my American accent. After that, it was all pretty standard - grade school, high school, army, college. In college I broke from the norm and did the smartest thing I have ever done and ever will - I got married, and married well.
A year after graduation and our carreers weren’t going that well. My wife, who had picked up the cooking bug in college, found out that she couldn’t get that far in Israel without either formal culinary training or foreign experience. Myself, I was just dithering. So we decided, in a move my parents saw with some trepidation, to spend two or three years abroad, see the world, jump-start our lives. We decided to go to America; more specifically, we decided to go to New York. We liquidated what assets we had, packed four suitcases, and got on a Continental Airlines 777 from Ben-Gurion to JFK.
That was two years ago.
It’s been wonderful. Every damn minute of it, even… well, even September didn’t sour our love for this place. Oh, my career hasn’t gone exactly where I wanted it to - I got hit by the recession, and let’s face it: I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. My wife did great, though. After a brief false start in a Union-Square area joint, she got a job as an Assistant Pastry Chef at the Russian Tea Room, advancing with time to Sous-Chef in all but name. It was the greatest job of her life, and she was absolutely devistated when it shut down. And yes, we didn’t make the kind of money we hoped to. But we’re still young, and we have far more experience - professional and personal - did we did two years ago.
So why do I have 2 plane tickets for Sept. 4 sitting on my table? Why am I going back to a place with a crappy economy, where there is some (but smaller than you think) risk to our lives, where I will almost certainly see combat within the first six months?
Well, there are several reasons, and most of them aren’t your business.
Because we miss home.
Because we want kids, and we want to be near our parents (and near a socialized medical system).
Because we’re both out of a job.
Because the plan was 2 or 3 years to begin with, and it’s been two.
Because, frankly, I don’t mind doing some reserve duty. I’ve avoided it for two very crucial years, and frankly, I could use the exercise.
Becasue as much as I love New York, it isn’t my home.
So that’s it. I’ll have computer access til Thursday when the shippers come; then we’ll be doing some traveling in the parts of the U.S. which aren’t NYC. After September 5th I’ll be posting again from my parents’ house.
So farewell, all.
Seeya all later.