One of the best parts of living in New York City was the swift 20-minute subway ride up to my grandparents’ apartment. That is, if the F, D, and/or B lines were running on their tracks without delay, which believe it or not, wasn’t always the case!
I was lucky to grow up with annual family get-togethers. Whether it was hanging out of their 13th-floor windows watching the Macy’s Day Parade floats march down the street, or hoping I got the biggest piece of Yorkshire pudding for Boxing Day dinner, it was always a lively and joyful occasion. (And joyful for my mother once the windows were closed and we were still alive. I’m pretty sure there’s a photo of this where my father is holding me by my overalls and snoopy is floating far below.)
That said, it wasn’t until my move to New York that our visits became more frequent, and as a result, less of “catching up” and more of really being able to get to know each other on a deeper level. My grandmother quickly became one of my closest confidants and my grandfather an endless source of support and fresh perspectives.
It was certainly hardest to leave the people of that city rather than anything else the city had to offer. I still miss the people more than the food, art, scenery, and culture combined.
During my last few months there, I worked with my grandfather on some projects relating to his photo archive. Though he worked for Kodak, his relationship with photography long preceded his time there, and to this day remains a large part of his life and how he sees things. I was lucky to see more of the images he has captured than I had ever seen before.
While the impressive location, subjects, and skill were truly noteworthy, there was one photo in particular that caught my eye just before my departure from the city. I didn’t talk about the photo with him, so I don’t yet have the story behind it, and I also haven’t asked his permission to share it. (Sorry, Grandad! These things need to be seen!!!) It resonated with me for obvious reasons, though the Iowa part of things didn’t really apply to me. I just thought it was funny, and the sentiment was relevant.
I live in California now, and just at the corner of our yard, there is a fire hydrant that simply reads ‘IOWA.’ Now everything has been neatly tied together and I can check Iowa off of my list? I think so 🙂
BONUS!!! My handsome grandfather as a photographer: