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City Island

April 4, 2010

When my father took me to City Island to look at a boat he was considering, I didn’t think much of the place. A half hour or so down 95, across the short bridge and we were there. A main thoroughfare, appropriately called City Island Avenue, ran the length of the little spit of land, and every cross street led to the water. A few stores here and there, a park or two and that was it. As it happened, we didn’t buy the boat, and I forgot all about City Island. After moving to California, the shuttle from JFK would occasionally take the Throgs Neck Bridge, which would put us on Bruckner Expressway on the way to my parents’ home. From there I’d see the exit for City Island and memories of that day with Dad would come flooding back, if only for a moment. Such was the emotional backdrop for seeing the new film, “City Island” last night. It’s a lovely piece of work, quite funny and the twists and turns in the story come at a relentless pace. But more than anything, it’s about home. And how we feel about where we were raised. And when the outside world intrudes, how we react to change. The house where I grew up is no longer my home; when my father passed away a year a a half ago, my sister and I rented it to a very nice family with two young children. My version of City Island is Greenwich, Connecticut. Very different in an outward sense, in another, very much the same.

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