LIVIN’ AT THE UN PLAZA
LIFE AT THE UNITED NATIONS PLAZA
1966 – 1976
By: Leslie K. Siegel
It was 6:00 p.m. as the Bill-Dave youth center van drove down FDR Drive. Eliza, her sister Glinda and Brother Richard sat in the back seat. It was winter and as they zipped in and out of lanes, Eliza’s eyes were temporary blinded by the white, slushy snow she watched speeding by, piled high up along the curbs. She was fighting car sickness too.
They’d been in Central Park all day, after school. Eliza’s fingers were dirty and just now thawing out from the afternoon’s activities in the park. Lenny, the obnoxious but experienced driver was constantly gunning the engine and making them lurch forward along with 10 other kids riding in it too. Some of the ‘diehards’ enjoyed the rumpus ride comparing it to a rollercoaster, but Eliza hated it and it showed on her pale face.
Another memory took hold in Eliza’s sharp mind of her father placing her on an amusement park ride between her 2 brothers Roy and Richard. The ride had been a terror and traumatized the poor little 3 year old, but she had said to her father that she wanted to ride with her brothers and her father obliged her against the wishes of their mother Lena. The ride had only aggravated the car sickness mode Eliza would fall into when riding in a bus, car or even a park ride.
“Are you going to get sick again?” asked a cute pixy looking black girl sitting a few seats away from Eliza.
“I don’t know Sheri.” Eliza turned to Lenny. “Can you slow down?”