Saturday, May 19, 2012

Return To Hoboken

A few weeks ago I was visiting my daughter in Kingston, NY, and she told me about a cute little Craftsman-style house nearby that looked like something I'd like to live in. Once in a while, visiting her, I think maybe I would like to live a little closer. To get to her and my grandsons I have to catch a #126 bus from Hoboken to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York before I take the two-hour bus ride to Kingston. The bus from Hoboken to the city is a short ride--20 minutes tops--but sometimes I have to wait half an hour for that bus to come. Plus, it's a fifteen-minute (walking briskly) trek from my apartment to the bus stop. When the weather is bad I wonder whether it's worth it.

But Kingston? There are lots of things I like about it. It has a historical section. It has a few good restaurants. And Alison, her ex-husband, her two sons, and her current significant other are all there and they have a lot of friends. On the other hand, it's a good two hours to the city, more like 2 1/2, and it is pretty much a distant outpost. I said, surprising even myself, "I don't want to move to Kingston. New Paltz, maybe."

I've written before about the adjustment to Hoboken after having lived 20 years back in my hometown of Fairhope, Alabama. I missed the Northeast and Hoboken was as close to the NYC I remembered from living there in the late 1960s through the 1970s. It has the best of New York, with easy access to the city, and the easy going vibe of a small town. An example of this happened just this morning at the A & P. When the groceries piled up I realized I didn't have the cash for it so I opened my credit card wallet to pull out my bank card and discovered it wasn't there! All the usual things ran through my mind, but first off I thought I had probably left the card in the machine at the bank when I took out cash two days ago. I couldn't picture a thief in Hoboken stealing my card, but ran through the litany of things I must do in case that happened.

I paid for my groceries with my American Express card, grabbed my heavier-than-expected plastic bags of groceries and headed toward home. As my anxiety grew I decided the best way to alleviate the situation would be to go five blocks out of my way to the bank first. On the way, I remembered the time, soon after moving to Hoboken, when I left my wallet with my credit cards on the counter at the post office on Washington Street at 8th. When I realized where it was, I hurried back and the lady behind the glass said she'd seen it, checked out my address, and put it in an envelope for the mailperson to deliver to me! I wrote a blog post about that. You bet I did. This time, I hoped that the bank was as friendly as the post office.

I went up to the window at the bank, which, luckily, was open until 3 P.M. on Saturdays. I explained the situation to the teller and she said, "Let's go have a look."

She asked my name, and when I said "Mary Lois" she said, "We have it." I guess I'm the only Mary Lois in Hoboken, and also I'm the only person who lost an ITM card two days ago, and everybody in the bank was waiting for me to miss it.

My heavy packages felt much lighter on the way home. Hoboken is a nice town in every sense of the word. And it's a town I feel at home in and am in no hurry to leave.