As a child, I recall visiting my parents' friends' lavish apartment in NYC upper west side, a place that felt like a palace with one apartment per floor. It was the epitome of sophistication, but my young self managed to find moments some fun amidst the opulence.
The apartment was immense, boasting 6 or 7 bedrooms, and their friend, a sophisticated older woman who felt like a great aunt/mother figure to my newly immigrated parents, lived there with her adopted teenage niece. Now, this niece was quite aloof, showing no interest in my presence. Thus, every time we visited, I found myself wandering the sprawling expanse of the apartment alone searching for entertainment.
One day, while meandering through the apartment, I heard the enchanting strains of music wafting from the niece's room. The song was none other than "Stop in the Name of Love." (1965). Intrigued, I followed the sound like a detective on a mission, and there she was, Edie —holding a hairbrush and passionately lip-syncing to the catchy tune in front of her bedroom mirror.
I was utterly mesmerized by her performance, and when she realized I had been her secret audience, she seemed to relish the attention. From that day forward, whenever we visited, I was granted special access to Edie's room, and she would put on a show just for me. Singing whatever was the current hit.
I was only 3 or 4 years old at the time, but in that grand apartment filled with glamour and laughter, a budding appreciation for the finer things in life, including fabulous music and fabulous company, began to take root.