I spent last weekend in New York and in Princeton. My aunt Christie hosted me in Astoria, Queens on either side of my 15th college reunion at Princeton, just as she hosted me on 4 fall breaks. I vacillated about whether or not to go–the job change had me schedule-flummoxed and decision-challenged, and I am so glad I decided to go. I had a completely wonderful time.
Christie maintains a restful haven within the buzz and fire of NYC. She’s got uncluttered space, lovely restful colors, and a gentle, welcoming spirit. There’s something delicious about the transition between the hustle outside the door and the calm space within her apartment. I have missed both.
I got to connect with some “long-lost” good friends, and surfed a flood of memories. I seemed to recall the first impressions I had of Princeton very strongly this visit, as if the memories I accumulated in the first month of being there were stronger than most from the next 4 years.
One of the reasons I returned was the P-Rade. The parade is led by the returning 25th and 35th reunion classes, followed by the old guard (oldest returning alums, old white guys in golf carts from graduating classes in the 1930s) and then the parade gets younger and younger, ending with the graduating class. The route winds through the years waiting to march, with younger cheering older (old school locomotive cheers) and the parade eats its crowd as the tail is joined by the spectators in order of graduating class. Everyone gets to march and cheer, life winds by backwards. As the parade goes by, we watch Princeton change from old white guys to a (slightly) more diverse crowd. The women go from wives and daughters and granddaughters of alumniÂ to alumnae, and the grads aren’t uniformly WASP by the end. I always cry when the “old guard” motors by in their golf carts. Everyone cheers them.
Then, a quiet evening with Christie Sunday night. Dinner and a movie, and a good rest before a flight back to Detroit first thing Monday.