“As a Native New Yorker, I’ve had a life-long love affair with New York. It began with exhilarating but terrifying trips to the original Pennsylvania Station, where I would look up to what seemed to be a miles-away ceiling of soaring metal arches and buttresses (I was very little and recall birds flying up there).
I’d hold tightly to my mother’s hand while surrounded by a cacophony of sound from the hordes of people rushing by to their trains, train wheels screeching around the curves of tracks, Redcap porters pushing trolleys piled high with luggage shouting for people to “make way”; and by a medley of smells — good ones emanating from the hotdog sellers’ carts, the perfume of passing ladies, and foreign ones like metallic dust.
My affair progressed the year I entered first grade, and from then on, I looked forward to yearly class trips to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty (can you imagine the view from Lady Liberty’s crown for a 6-year-old?). So once my theatrical career began, I was a natural “go-to” person for other cast members needing info on getting around the city. And of course, when their families came to town to see them in the show, I was the one requested to escort the relatives around New York. I loved seeing my city through new eyes, every time.