Central Park

From 2001 to 2011, I lived in Weston, Connecticut, in what I think of as a decade of exile from the only place I have ever felt truly alive—the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My husband, Gregory, who grew up in Weston, was an architect and had finally realized his dream of building a stone-and-glass weekend house there. Why I subsequently agreed to live in Connecticut full-time, sell our apartment off Central Park on West Seventieth Street, and leave the city, I can hardly remember. Our daughter was seven that year, and perhaps the shock of Lili’s tuition bill from the Calhoun School convinced me that Weston’s public schools were a reasonable option. Or was it the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, so close to the American Express building, where I worked as a communications director? I told myself I was tired of the ritual of leaving the city for Weston every Friday evening. That fall, Lili entered second grade at the school her father once attended, and both of them were happy in the Weston woods, but I was lost. I barely knew how to drive. I was years older than the other mothers. The trees, the darkness, the creatures that came out at night toppling garbage cans and chewing on the wires in my Volvo wagon terrified me. At least city rats minded their own business.

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