My Old Little House

For the past year and a half, I have not been able to go by the old apartment building I lived in for almost 40 years, finding it much too painful.

I take Park rather than Madison just to avoid my former block.

But today, I decided it was time to get over this, and look up at those familiar windows, like long lost friends I hadn’t seen.

The shades were still there, drawn as I’d left them as if any minute I’d appear.  I know they’ve stoped renting because they have plans for the noble girl that’s been standing proudly since 1899.

I’ll bet my thirty year-old bed is still there, and the top of my desk that sat so long over the two black file cabinets Anthony the grocer took.  I was told not to worry about emptying the apartment, so I left those things behind, along with beloved French doors I hope someone rescues, and a ceiling fan that whirled and whirled over that bed for decades.

I wept gazing up, but not in the way I expected.  It was more like visiting a grave of a loved one you still missed, but whose passing you’ve made peace with.

I stopped at Anthony’s after that who said, “Ya look like you’ve been cryin Susannah.  Are ya hungry?”

So Italian…at your worst moment, you’re given a ham and provolone sandwich with a pickle the size of, well, we won’t go there, asking how you take your tea.

Food, the cure for all things.

So I sat on a stool in the back, with a bowl of minestrone and a chunk of baguette, blowing my nose between bites, while Anthony dusted off cans of tomato paste he then stocked neatly on a bottom shelf.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in food, friendship, grace, Home, humanity, Love, New York City and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to My Old Little House

  1. It’s hard for me to go past my old house too. I loved it and did so much work. The new owners also made some renovations which are lovely but they took out some of my beloved trees. So painful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know what you mean. I hate looking at the house I grew up in on Google Maps street view, seeing how the new owners have changed it and–who are we kidding–ruined it. I’m just biased towards how it was, of course. It’s kind of like have a disk of memories slowly being overwritten by someone else. Kind of. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never thought to mourn the passing of a house or apartment. Each time we moved, the focus was forward. How could I mourn the summer roasting of our apartment in Queens? We were moving to a house that was surrounded by cool trees. Living in England was just a blip, and we were back on Long Island. Our last move was to NC, where I communicate more with the mountains than I ever did with the Sound. Maybe I would have cried at leaving the waterfalls John had installed in the front yard, but he promised we would have another. Last summer he and grandson Nathaniel built one themselves in the garden we see from the back porch. Perhaps the circumstances of leaving make a big difference. I’m sorry you were sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gmg says:

    I know exactly how you feel. Separations are tough for me, too. I hope you can see how your giving nature is given back to you (this time by Anthony).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony is very generous. His store is right across from my old place. When I was sick I’d call him, and the supplies would come, like the Italian Army, just with soup and ginger ale. We humans are creatures of habit. We want what we know. Sigh.


  5. micklively says:

    It’s just bricks and mortar, Susannah. You’ll always have the memories: no demolition derby can touch those.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, the owners of a home we sold invited me in to see their renovations. The only room I cared about, my first-born’s baby room, was completely redone. This was the first room I ever got to design from carpet to walls, to built-in shelves. I learned it’s best not to revisit the old homes if there is any sort of attachment.
    We don’t realize how much of ourselves are invested in our surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Many years ago my parents sold the house I grew up in. The one I was born in has been torn down, but I don’t remember it. I did not so much have trouble going by, but the new owners changed it a great deal and it had changed so on its own, so it didn’t look quite the same. I guess that made it easier, but, truth be told, I longed to visit where I had been, not where I am.


  8. 40 years is a long time to be in a place. Of course, there is an attachment, most relationships don’t last half of that time. I’m happy that you made your visit, had your cry, and ate your soup with good company. I also hope someone recognizes those french doors!!

    Liked by 1 person

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