Concert Week and The Week I Go Back in Time

My new goal is to get a great action shot of the pigeons. This is not it, alas.

So it’s concert week for the Grace Church Choral Society! Very exciting. But something different is going to happen this week. Due to the restoration work being done at Grace Church the dress rehearsal and the performance will take place at St. Thomas Church.

St. Thomas is at 53rd and Fifth. A whole different part of town. It will be so weird to sing at a different place after decades of singing at one location only. To sing out in totally unfamiliar territory. But I can’t wait.

This part of town has a high nostalgia quotient for me. When I moved back to NY after college, the first job I got was a temp job selling jewelry at Tiffany’s, which is at 57th and Fifth.
Every day I took the E train to 53rd and Fifth and walked up to Tiffany’s. There was a lot I didn’t like about working at Tiffany’s, but there was a lot I loved. When the temp job ended they offered me a full-time position, but I didn’t take it. It didn’t seem like a real career to me, selling jewelry. I was 22 and I just felt that there were a lot more exciting things out there that I could be doing with my life.

But part of me has always missed it. I loved the feel of the place, and the constant interaction with people who were usually there to do something nice, to buy something beautiful for someone they loved. I loved trying to help boyfriends and husbands buy something special for their wives and girlfriends. I had also scoured the place for the most beautiful things that cost the least amount of money so I was always especially helpful to the guys who had to be more frugal.

However, I was really scouring the place for something for myself, and what I chose were the Elsa Peretti mesh earrings. I still have them and I should totally wear them in honor of the 32 years (good-freaking-lord) that have gone by. I should wear them in honor of choices. Oh God have I made a lot of bad choices in my life. Actually, there’s really no way of knowing if that is true. What if I had taken the Tiffany job, for instance. Who knows where I’d be now if I had? There’s just no way of knowing if it would have been better or worse.

I still think these earrings were one of the best buys in the place!

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

One thought on “Concert Week and The Week I Go Back in Time

  1. You know, that’s kind of interesting. Schopenhauer said that if you look back at your life when you’re elderly, you’ll see that everything had to happen just exactly as it did for you to wind up in the place you are.

    Of course, that introduces this perplexing question about free will. Today in pop culture the idea is that everything is determined by the choices that we make. All you have to do to make your life come out differently is to make a different choice.

    From the philosophical perspective this is way too superficial. Forget nature or nurture. A lot of really weird stuff goes down that is completely inexplicable.

    After years of studying esoteric traditions East and West, I discovered something.

    There is agreement that what we have is qualified free will. One presentation describes it as a person going down a river in a canoe.

    The canoe comes to some rocks, and you can choose to go around to the left or right, and that is within your capacity to decide. However, the direction of the river is completely unalterable. Interesting.

    Incidentally, I think those earrings would go really well with some black dress with spaghetti straps.

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