It’s usually hard to love thy neighbor in Manhattan since we often don’t even know our neighbor, even if his front door is 5 feet away from ours. We might nod and say hello at the elevator, but once we New Yorkers enter our apartments, we pretty much keep to ourselves.
For the first time since I moved to Manhattan, in 1968, I actually know many of my neighbors and love them, at least most of them. I even know neighbors who live on other floors and in the other wing of the building.
I’m not entirely sure why this has happened. But I suspect it’s due, in part, to the number of FOFs who live here, including Carol, a lawyer and mother of three whose energy and spirit are infectious; Linda, an accomplished author and journalist, who has a constantly inquisitive mind; Ronnie, a teacher, who lives with her husband, daughter, grandson and three dogs in a two-bedroom apartment, and BJ, who is being romanced by a new man in her life.
No matter what’s happening in each of our busy schedules, we always have time to smile, say hello and ask about each other’s families, jobs and weekend plans. I’m going to Carol’s son Tucker’s high school graduation in a few weeks, where he will give the salutatory address. David and I have had dinner with Ronnie, and Linda has become FOF’s book reviewer.
FOFs realize that it’s okay to stop and smell the roses, even if for only a few minutes at a time. If Carol, Ronnie, BJ and Linda had been my neighbors 30 years ago, we probably would never have been entirely too self-absorbed to have met.