Photo by Jean Digitale Crooks

New York, New York may be the center of the universe: Times Square and Wall Street, Fifth Avenue and Broadway, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and other cultural icons too numerous to mention. But what has drawn us here now is a young woman who in childhood taught herself to ride a bike and vowed to one day become an elephant trainer.

NY,NY has tony hotels and Fifth Avenue penthouses. But we have come to a a small fifth-floor walkup a block from Central Park. At night the reflections of headlights dance and glide across its high ceiling in patterns of diamonds and triangles. Carol and I enjoy the luxury of its single bedroom, while younger ones take to the living room with a modern sofa sleeper and its plump, air-filled mattress.

NY,NY has legendary actors and dazzling theater. But we have come to watch the spontaneous interplay of three daughters and two sons-in-law. The unpredictable spectacle delights us, even when they laugh from childhood memories of their quirky parents.

NY,NY is decked out for the holidays, from the window displays at Lord & Taylor (Macy’s, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, etc.) to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. But our hearts are attuned not only to the season of the year, but also to the season of our daughters’ lives. Our oldest and her husband are looking ahead to new challenges in London. Our middle daughter (former would-be elephant trainer) and her husband are considering career changes that could take them into whole new endeavors. And our youngest is steaming ahead through the third year of college, and now gets a deserved respite after the ordeal of final exams.

They all are embarking on a journey, and for them Christmastime 2010 in NY,NY is a bright and shining way station. For Carol and me, it is a time to watch, to listen, to laugh and to give thanks.
– Robert Digitale