No matter where I live, New Jersey, especially the part nearest NYC, will always be my home. I lived there from birth until age 52. My conception of the world starts with NJ. The culture I am most familiar with in that of Northern NJ. Some years ago, when I spent my workdays away from home, I started watching the TV show ‘The Sopranos’ in the hotel rooms I was staying in. I enjoy crime stories, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. ‘The Sopranos’ is an Italian centric view of NJ. The characters reminded me of the people I knew when I worked at Clifton Music. The locales were familiar to me. I never knew I would miss them when I lived in NJ. The expression ‘you never miss the water until the well runs dry’, fits me to a ‘T’.
I am sure that I have always had a sentimental streak, but that streak has gotten stronger as I have gotten older. Being in Minnesota doesn’t always help. The media often wax nostalgic about some local institution that is closing, but none of those institutions have any meaning to me. Just a few days ago I saw an article about closed subway station. I haven’t been to all of them, but I was at the 18th St. IRT station. At this point in my life I don’t know anyone who has even been on a subway. I realized I might never go there again. I almost cried.