Jeffrey Middleton, Pianist

Resident at Westbeth since 1995

I’ve lived in Westbeth since 1995. Back then, Serge Gym was in the I building; a few blocks north, a new bar I think called the Zebra Bar opened; and there was a general expectation that the neighborhood was “picking up.” Well, it did, in a big way—but in another way, it didn’t. We have all seen the smaller places we like go away.

Back then I was still running, and I was on an every other day schedule. I usually ran to Battery Park and back, which I did on the morning of Sept. 10, 2001. That next day, after the first World Trade Center building went down, I called my parents in Wisconsin to tell them I was OK. My father answered the phone. They were watching the events unfold on television. After about the third sentence of the conversation, he said, “Say happy birthday to your mother.” I could never, before then, remember the day. My father passed away the next year. My mother, two years ago.

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