We leave to Miami in t-minus two weeks to spend Passover with my family. My sister moved there from Brooklyn about a year ago and suddenly the majority of the Deitsch sisters do not live in NY. It’s so strange to me. Even though I have been living away from the northeast for over a decade, and despite the fact that by next year only one of us will remain in the NY area, in my mind my sisters and I are inextricably identified with New York. I grew up in CT, but followed my older sister to NYC for college (she was at Barnard and I went to Parsons) and then each successive sister followed in their turn. There were a few glorious years when we were all five of us living in NY and at the time that was all I needed. Being a Deitsch sister was my primary identity and it suited me fine. There was something terribly self-contained about that particular time. New York was a wonderful place to be young and single and relatively un-rich. It seemed that fun or weird or interesting things happened just by walking out the door. There was always a play in some cheap basement theatre, an opening where they were maybe serving wine, a concert in the park. Having my sisters around meant that I always had a cohort and it would be someone I could always laugh with, someone who would understand me so thoroughly that I would barely have to finish a sentence. For a time it was all we needed, then of course life changes as it always does. Hindi (fourth sister) got married first, had her first golden child. We became aunties and began to think about our lives differently and for me it manifested in a restlessness that took me away from NY to Jerusalem then Tel Aviv then Arizona then San Francisco then Los Angeles and finally to Pasadena, the Mayberry of the West and my own love and golden child.
There is still a part of me that considers myself a New Yorker, but I identify less and less with a point on the globe and more and more with the map in my heart which tell me home is where the people I love are and that is a wide area indeed.