When I was in New York a few weeks ago, eating some amazingly good gelato on the Upper West Side, I realized we were only blocks away from where my great-grandmother Charlotte grew up at 202 West End Avenue.
Her building doesn’t exist anymore – this high rise has taken the place of 202 and the other smaller apartment buildings that made up the rest of the block. I don’t really know how attached Grandma Charlotte was to this address but she was a modern lady given to self-reinvention, so I feel like she probably wouldn’t mind, understanding progress and change as she did. Still, this was the place where her brother William was born, the home in which she probably learned quite a lot about what it was to be an American, a New Yorker. She lived here from at least her 10th birthday until her 17th, and I’m sure those were years of great change for her, years in which she stopped being Sadie and started being Charlotte.
Really, that makes this new building on top of her old address is kind of appropriate.