After a frenzied and happy three days and two nights in Manhattan, I took off for two days and a night in New Jersey, staying with friends in the Ironbound, a Portuguese neighborhood in Newark.
I was in for treats, literally, with intellectual foodie friends who took me to some delightful eateries and regaled me with stories of their adventures since I had seen them last in 2001. They were the couple with whom I was visiting in Los Angeles in September of that year; it was at their house where I heard the news of the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. I had left them at that time in a flash, with that awful homeward impulse of having to get there before something even more unthinkable might happen.
We had a lot to catch up on. They wanted to know about my trip home and I gave them the story in detail, much as I did on this blog. We talked of many things and walked the street of Newark and Jersey City and went in whenever we saw a sign that said "Open House." I even found a darling little apartment for sale, which, if it had been in another location I would have been sorely tempted to buy.
My mind snapped somewhere on the Manhattan leg of the journey. I began thinking, "Fairhope is not going to get any better -- when I move, why don't I move back here?" I couldn't get this notion off my mind, and as a matter of fact it's still there. I had been thinking I could take ten more years in Fairhope, but after the mind-shift I realized I probably won't have to wait that long.
Money is always an object, and New Jersey is nowhere near as expensive as Manhattan. The Ironbound is only $1.75 (Senior price) and at 17-minute train ride from Penn Station. Is it for me? I don't know. But my friend owns a little apartment that she rents out and she has suggested that she'd rent it to me while I decide.
Travel broadens one. Sometimes it stretches the mind. Sometimes we end up moving where we just went as a visitor. That's what brought so many new people to Fairhope. It may well be what takes one of them out.