Heaven Is a Place on Earth

Being a New Yorker, a Virgin Islander, and a member of the professional theater community, I’m used to coincidences. All my life, wherever I went in the city, on the island of St. Thomas, or around America to do summer stock and regional plays, no matter how remote, I always found that I knew at least a couple of people there. Even so, my usual coincidence history didn’t prepare me for the BIG coincidence I found when I went to NYU-Langone’s medical clinic here in NYC for some health tests last week.

The pretty young intern/MD-in-training who interviewed me and administered my heart stress test asked me if I was experiencing any special stress at the moment. I said yes, I was in the process of selling my Greenwich Village apartment and moving to Bayside, Queens, to live with one of my oldest friends from college and his wife, in a separate apartment in their house.

“Bayside?!!” she asked, clearly surprised.

“Yes,” I said. “A house on Bell Boulevard.”

She was even more surprised. “That’s where I live! Where on Bell Boulevard?’

I smiled. “You can’t miss it–it’s the house with the front lawn that includes bright fairy lights, big plastic sunflowers, and flamingoes.”


Now the young woman was dumbstruck. “The house with the flamingoes?!! I love that place! I smile every time I pass it. Our local legend lives there, his name starts with an ‘L’…Lon! His name is Lon! He’s the Neighborhood Angel!”

“That’s right,” I said, surprised that she knew my friend’s name. “How do you know him?”

“Oh, everybody knows about him!” she cried. “He helps people move and clean and–I don’t know what all, but everybody loves him. You really know the Neighborhood Angel? And you’re going to be living in his house?  Wow!!!”

I smiled again. “So, we’ll be neighbors. You must come over and meet him and his wife, Joanna. They’re wonderful people.”

“They must be!” she said. “They help everybody. I’d love to meet them!”

And so she shall, as soon as I move there and get settled in. In the meantime, I’ll reflect on the fact that one of my oldest friends now has a successful business that makes moving or just sorting and clearing unwanted stuff out of your house a lot easier to manage. Lon and his crew also offer a host of other solutions to pesky everyday problems around the home, and their prices are more than reasonable–they’re downright generous. No one in the current NYC market can compare to him. The name of his business isn’t facetious–it’s heaven on earth. He cleared out my cluttered Village apartment in a matter of hours and found new homes for all my old stuff. If that isn’t a miracle, what is? Thanks, Neighborhood Angel!



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