Some cases Bank Street friendships lasted through lifetimes. We ate, gossiped, and went to shows together. We comforted and celebrated. I cared for aging ones, exactly as they had for others, and grieved their passings. Other relationships are still going strong. And fun new ones continue to pop up as folks move in.
The stories are a celebration of the famous, infamous, rich, poor, fabulous, and obscure. There was sex, drugs, and wild parties as far back as I find, like silent film star Louise Brooks perched on a bathroom sink, making love to an artist at one of Mame's 1920s soirees. Despite every generation's fond delusion, no one has invented anything new in those departments here since it was legal for colonial kids to drink in pubs, opium was easy to find, and prostitutes worked the theater crowds. Probably before then too. The wildly diverse lives in the book weave a tapestry of America with all of her flaws and splendors. Giving them voice was touching my finger to a mirror, watching history shimmer back to life behind me as my own life went on.
Today, I celebrate as young neighbors chase their own dreams - to open a restaurant, be a journalist, or work for Google. They enjoy their own music. Party in their own clubs. Fall in and out of love. Fresh generations of native toddlers stop walkers to pet dogs, just as I did. Some of these new friends touch their fingers to mine in the mirror now, wanting to know, just as I did, what made me who I am and how my journey may shine some light on theirs. What will they do? How will they be remembered? I wish them wonders and happiness as they weave their own stories. Everyone makes their own Bank Street.