They were exotic beauties rarely seen unless we went uptown to Central Park. I'd squeal and jump up and down at the sight of one, prompting my father to spit under his breath, "rats with fuzzy tails, that's all they are..."
Still, to me they were as magical as the fairy princesses in the picture books. Yet when Mrs. Fass at P.S. 110 on Broome Street gave me my first reader, "squirrel" was the one word I couldn't remember how to read. It was such a foreign concept.
Now, they are all over the city - the courtyard where I grew up, Union Square, Bleeker Street. And all I see are rats with fuzzy tails. Even with therapy, I've become my father.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.