In the 70’s I was a waitress in a coffeehouse in Soho, then a funky, artsy neighborhood full of up and coming artists and actors. I had a column in a local newspaper and hoped to make it as a writer. It was a blast: I was young and high spirited, surrounded by other young, high spirited people in a city with buzzy, crazy energy and lots of fun nightclubs.
There was always something fun and exciting to do – somebody’s dance performance, somebody’s band at CGBG’s, an art opening (free food and wine!). My regulars were cool creative types who liked my wisecracks (Bill Murray stole a joke of mine!). One of them, artist Malcolm Morely, tried to draw my portrait. A couple of years after that, he was awarded the very first Turner Prize, the UK’s most prestigious art award.
Soho was awesome at that time too. (It’s great to see there’s at least one website keeping the love alive.)
Like many good things, it couldn’t last. I got canned (a colleague told me it was because I ‘had too much personality’), the city was hit with Son of Sam, AIDs, blackouts, and riots.
But at the end of that time, I met my future husband, and got a real job that led to my successful and satisfying PR and writing career.
I feel lucky – and very thankful – that I had that time in my life. I look back on it sometimes like it was my Camelot – a magical time. For me, that meant having big dreams and exciting plans and anything seemed possible – and fun.
But that was my Camelot. What was your magical time that you are most thankful for? Share your story in the comments!
Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send Open Thread suggestions to [email protected]