Speaking of people who do not live in Harbor View, I must make mention here about Mom and Dad’s other friends in Florida. Mom and Dad moved from New York to Pennsylvania when they were in their thirties. Having both been born and raised in New York, they left a lot of friends behind. Now that they are spending their winters in Florida, they have reacquainted with a number of them, since many New Yorkers, as it is well-known, have also retired to Florida.
“Oooh, I feel like I am back in New York again,” Mom said to me one day.
“Why, because of the food?” I asked, knowing that many Florida restaurants feature New York delicacies such as bagels, bialys, black and white cookies, and egg creams.
“Well, that, too. But I go out with so many of my old friends, it’s like we never moved away.”
The proof that so many New Yorkers have retired to this southern state is that there are actually class reunions for New York high schools – more than 1,000 miles away in South Florida. If you open one of the local Florida papers in any given week, you will see announcements like “Stuyvesant High School class of 1951 reunion at Willow Lakes on Sat. February 28” or “Bronx High School of Science 50th class reunion being held this Saturday.”
Mom and Dad knew that some of their old New York friends had retired to Florida, but they have run into many of the others by coincidence. For example, Mom will be talking to a woman on the Harbor View shuttle bus, and the other person will mention the neighborhood she lives in back home in New York. Mom will ask her if she knows an old friend of hers. And the other woman will say, “Oh yeah, they have retired here to Florida, only about 10 minutes away.” It has happened so many times that Mom doesn’t even find it uncanny anymore. Of course, Mom then goes and calls these old friends up, and they make plans to get together and reminisce – over dinner, of course.