My adult beverage of choice is a glass of wine. Years ago when we were newly married and both in graduate school, our weekly treat to ourselves was dinner at a Greek restaurant on the corner of Bryant and Elmwood in Buffalo, New York. There, we could get two Chicken Souvlaki Sandwiches on Pita (homemade, of course) a beer and a glass of wine for under $10.00. Dinners at Ambrosia, the name of the restaurant, are among my fondest memories of that time in our lives. We had little to nothing – by choice – both paying tuition on graduate/medical school educations. But, it was a treat to eat out once a week.
To make it even better, the restaurant was on the same block as the hospital where I worked and only three blocks up the road from where our third-floor walk-up apartment was in a house. We could easily walk to dinner at Ambrosia! On some weeks, while we were feeling “flush” we even treated ourselves to a DOLE brand frozen fruit bar at a candy and ice cream shop appropriately called “Sweet Tooth.” It was a pricey establishment but we could get our frozen fruit bars for $1.00 each – I liked lime and coconut! I think my husband liked raspberry.
So, for a measly $12.00, plus tax and tip for our dinner, late in the decade of the 1980s, we enjoyed ourselves as a hardworking, newlywed couple. Ahhh, the memory of it all!! The Elmwood Strip, our first apartment, a favorite restaurant, a great sweet shop, and the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo all within five minutes of our tiny apartment.
I’d like to think that these memories were stirred by a glass or two of wine, but in reality, our second oldest son is venturing out to live in his first apartment, about 1.5 hours away from us. The memories of our first apartment have been stirred by his departure. He is more than ready. Living alone will be both an adventure and a lesson for him, as it is for all of us.
Before my husband and I married, I lived alone in an apartment in Buffalo, New York, about 1.5 hours from where I grew up outside of Rochester. The apartment was in North Buffalo, very near the university and within a comfortable commute to Children’s. Three weeks after moving in, I was robbed! Our apartment, which consisted of two bedrooms, a kitchen, bath, and living room in the second story of an old house was broken into during the middle of the day while I went to the bank on a Friday morning. I came back and found items missing from both my roommate and me, including her blank checks and stethoscope, as well as my class ring from high school and my future husband’s stereo system. Both of our underwear drawers had been rifled through, as well as our kitchen appliances. The blender had disappeared! Shocked, I called the police. Next, I called my Dad.
My Dad’s first question, following, “are you okay?” was “did you have renter’s insurance?”
My answer? Well, sadly, it was no, I did not. Fortunately, the things that were taken were not of monetary value. But, the whole episode reminded me to have my son get renter’s insurance for his apartment after we visited there this week. I learned to have it the hard way. Part of being a good parent is passing on one’s experience if you can. I did.
Being robbed is no fun, but being able to walk from your apartment to work, to restaurants, and for ice cream is sublime. It really doesn’t get much better than that!