My first visit to New York City didn’t occur until I was fifteen years old. However, I’d learned a great deal about New York City from television, movies, and the musical, Hello, Dolly! (Or, ummm, so I thought.)
I first learned the words to the songs from Hello, Dolly! when I was about six-years-old and could play the score on the piano by the time I was ten. (How my family missed this rather obvious clue that my future would include a husband, rather than a wife, is beyond me.) Anyhoo, upon my first visit to NYC, I realized my love for Hello, Dolly! , although indicative of a wonderful taste in Broadway musicals, had left me very confused about New York geography. In the musical, Yonkers is heavily featured because it’s the home for several of the main characters.
In one particular song, Yonkers is described as a “hick town”. Additionally, in that same song, Cornelius and Barnaby decide to sneak off to visit New York City, using the train to get there. From the “hick town” description and the use of the train, I thought the distance from Yonkers to New York City was hundreds of miles. So, imagine my shock and dismay when I visited Manhattan for the first time and learned that Yonkers is only about 12 or so miles away.
Musicals have rarely led me astray but in this one instance, they had me totally confused about New York geography.