Gina Leishman, Musician

Resident at Westbeth since 2013

I was a newbie to the building, just finding my feet. I remember I was standing in line at D’Agostino’s, and there was some fracas going on at the cash register. So while waiting, I struck up a conversation with a lovely, bright-eyed older lady who was in the queue in front of me. We had a great chat, full of humor, and the time flew by. All good things come to an end; the dispute was resolved, the queue dissolved, and we all went our separate ways. But she left me feeling–good, I guess you could say. I wished I’d asked her name and where she lived.

A few days later, I came home and was just unlocking my door when who should come down the hall but the very same lady. We both laughed at the coincidence that we should be neighbors. Happy to see each other again, on the spur of the moment, I invited her in for a cup of tea. She graciously accepted, and the next thing we were sitting at my table, drinking tea and swapping stories. She asked how I’d come to be in the building, and I told her that I was there thanks to a wonderful man whom I had worked with first in San Francisco, and then here in New York when I moved here in the early nineties. When he heard I was looking for a place to live, he said that I’d be a great person for Westbeth, and he nominated me to the waiting list. Twenty years later, after living in a lovely little place in the neighborhood that slowly became unaffordable, I got to the top of the list, and,hey, presto. Thank you sooo much, Joe Chaikin, I’m forever grateful. “Oh”, said the lovely lady, “that was my brother. My name is Miriam.” For the brief time she was still around, she was my new best friend and neighbor, and I cherished every moment we spent together. Thanks, Joe. Thanks, Miriam

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