Love-Hate Relationships in Lit

Almost everyone knows about and has experienced “love-hate” relationships. Not surprisingly, literature is also full of them — or at least full of “like-dislike” relationships.

After all, how much more dramatic can things get, romance-wise, than when a couple is not getting along and then gets along, or gets along and then doesn’t get along, or toggles frequently between those two extremes. How will it all end up? We. Must. Finish (the novel to find out).

One example is a book I read just last week: One for the Money, the first in a long-running crime series starring Stephanie Plum. Janet Evanovich’s fun/exciting novel not only includes lots of law-breaking but a complicated relationship between novice bounty hunter Plum and cop (as well as murder suspect) Joe Morelli, who treats Plum nicely at times and rottenly at other times — with Stephanie both attracted to and repulsed by his bad-boy charisma.

(The photo atop this blog post shows Katherine Heigl as Plum and Jason O’Mara as Morelli in the 2012 movie version of One for the Money.)

In classic literature, there’s obviously Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, who don’t click at first in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But the two overcome their “pride” and “prejudice”…

Another complicated couple is Jane and Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. There’s an instant attraction between the two, but, even at first, Jane finds Rochester a bit off-putting. And things definitely get complicated when Rochester’s huge secret is revealed. Jane never hates Rochester, but has quite a bit of mixed feelings for a while.

Then there’s Philip Carey and Mildred in W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, in which the love-hate distribution is unequal. Philip is enamored with the unlikable Mildred, who shows no affection for her groveling suitor and uses him again and again. He finally grows disgusted with the relationship, and…

In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford’s third husband is the charismatic Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods. He first treats Janie with kindness and respect, later becomes abusive, and still later saves Janie’s life.

How about Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and its sequels? Gilbert has a crush on Anne from the start, but makes the mistake of joking about her red hair. Anne, though smitten with Gilbert deep-down, rebuffs him for years after the insult.

Getting back to more recent literature, protagonist Molly Bolt has a sexual relationship in high school with Carolyn Simpson, yet Carolyn rejects the lesbian label in Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle. So there’s plenty of love-hate stuff going on there.

In Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret, Cecilia Fitzpatrick and her spouse John-Paul get along fine. Then, it becomes all love-hate after Cecilia discovers the awful secret of what John-Paul did as a youth.

And there’s Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Those two certainly have their verbal tussles — with Ron sometimes saying dumb things and the brainy Hermione sometimes acting all superior — yet there’s plenty of affection.

What are some of your favorite examples of love-hate relationships in literature?

My 2017 literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com. The latest weekly piece — about a new liquor license, a crummy standardized test, and more — is here.

109 thoughts on “Love-Hate Relationships in Lit

    • Thank you, Norma! Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series certainly got off to a great start with the first novel, and I’m looking forward to reading more of them! And, yes, love-hate relationships can be interesting in real life (I experienced that with my first wife), but hopefully the ratio is more toward the “l” than the “h.” 🙂

      (I’m glad you commented because I reread the post and belatedly noticed that Ms. Evanovich’s last name was auto-“corrected” to the wrong “Ivanovich.” Now fixed.)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Love-Hate Relationships in Lit — Dave Astor on Literature – elunarcom

  2. Dave , Lee Child`s Jack Reacher, is hated by many but Reacher is a nomad, has no time for love or hate . In today`s World we all look for one in the world.
    Reacher has no possession, no telephone, no cloths just a toothbrush in his pocket.

    Today as I was coming out from my Tai Chi class at the meditation park , there he was Mr. Child in New Yorker radio hour, amazing interview. I know you have so many readers fan of him, so here it is..

    Enjoy…

    https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/lee-child-moby-dick-and-other-summer-reads

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dave another classic ” Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell of Scarlet and Rhett. Scarlet hated him wanted Ashley instead.
    She spend all her life destroying other peoples marriage after marriage to get Ashley, but in the end realized she was in love with Rhett who had enough of Scatrlett`s cruelty and decided to leave her.

    Yes also as you said Jane and Rochester in Jane Eyre. Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

    Also Gouri and Subhash in The Low Land by Jhumpa Lahiri, also mother daughter with Bela, a formidable character in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three great examples, bebe!

      Gouri was quite an unlikable character, wasn’t she? Part of an excellent novel that I’m very glad you recommended to me.

      And, speaking of love-hate, many of us have that feeling about “Gone With the Wind” — with its memorable characters and plot but all its racism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes ..I was so ignorant Dave, never knew what racism was.
        If anyone rude to me I thought oh, they don`t like me. Decades ago in KS , used to go MS lakes for fishing, had to drive through towns Lebanon etc, Ozarks all KKK town.
        Anyways went to trout fishery, sometimes some sitting there will not talk to me, even when I ask something.
        Much later it donned on me that I am non-white and that was the problem, ignorance was a bliss then.

        Now thanks to trump all of them are out of the woodwork and are parading hate slogans in front of us and making foolish spectacles of themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Very sorry you’ve had to go through that, bebe. So awful, stupid, and wrong. Even liberal places are full of racists, but it’s certainly worse in red states. And, yes, racism is definitely more open once again. A shame when one hoped those days were gone.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to start a new thread here, as this one was starting to make me dizzy. Yes, the Trenton Makes Bridge was quite well-known by natives of the area. I lived maybe a block from there. It apparently was well-known as a place to steal cars or car parts from. After I had my Firebird wheels stolen from me, I had a deductible of $100 — my father at Christmas had a package for me under the tree, which was a toy auto, with a $100 bill in the car. I had very supportive and loving parents! Wouldn’t it be weird if jhNY, Elena, and I lived within blocks from each other at the same time! Just the fact that we all lived in the same place for a while, is rather strange!

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    • Yes, that thread was getting long, Kat Lib! And, yes, definitely some geographical coincidences!

      If your Trenton experience evokes mixed feelings, it seems your parents don’t. Wonderful to have had parents like that!

      Like

      • Speaking of Reacher….Dave..saw this

        Alex Baze

        @bazecraze
        Idris Elba should be Bond, Bourne, MacGyver, Jack Reacher, Flo from Progressive, ALF, the voice of Alexa and the permanent KFC colonel.

        12:09 AM – Aug 10, 2018 · Manhattan, NY
        5,982
        1,253 people are talking about this

        Liked by 1 person

            • Idris Elba becoming the next Bond would be great, bebe — and getting Trump and his white-supremacist supporters annoyed works for me. 🙂

              I remember seeing a theatrical production of “Death of a Salesman” featuring all African-American performers. It was fantastic.

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              • My problem: I find the Bond character irreducibly white and effete and snobbish and (redundantly) professional-class British, at least by schooling if not by birth. I know it’s just a fantasy, but it’s more than a bit outdated and sexually creepy, and a sort of wish-fulfillment (again mostly white in its origins) that, unbeknownst to all but a few, Great Britain is still a real major world power dealing on an equal basis with the other world powers, despite the fact that the country actually isn’t one and doesn’t deal with the real ones on such a basis.

                Bond is Empire nostalgia wrapped up in explosions and a general distrust and loathing of scheming foreign types, many of whom must endure shooting by a sociopathic though tuxedoed gentleman with a government-issued license to kill.

                But also, hot babes in various forms of undress, tech-weenie gadgetry and a terrible way for homebodies to get acquainted with faraway places, though sometimes the opening shots are marvelous.

                I sincerely wish the series was to embarrassing to all concerned to keep it going. But if you make one, they will come.

                Speaking of nostalgia (and its dangers): Brexit.

                Liked by 1 person

  5. Just finished reading a classic American detective novel in which the murderer is a woman who killed her husband, and her boyfriend’s new girlfriend, without being found out, after which the boyfriend, an exceptionally malleable and forgiving type, goes back with the murderer. As she was more than a few years older than the boyfriend, when the couple moves to a new town, the woman poses as the boyfriend’s mother, and controls nearly every aspect of his life– against which, the boyfriend rebels, though he is also scrupulously attentive and tenderly mindful of her feelings, though he also sees a psychiatrist, who tries to help him through his over-attachment to his ‘mother’. When he finds a new love interest, ‘mother’ kills her. “Son’ tells no one. Years later, when he finds another, ‘mother’ does it again, or rather would have, only her ‘son’ misdirects her to another victim. Once all is discovered– that ‘mother’ and ‘son’ were lovers, that ‘mother’ is a serial murderer, the ‘son’ nonetheless makes up a story to protect her from justice, about having put ‘mother’ on a plane to Brazil, from whence she cannot be extradited. That too is a lie– she is actually still in town, ready to kill again, or more precisely, ready to kill her ‘son”s new wife. Fortunately, on her way over in her big black Rolls to commit another murder, she collides with her ‘son”s car, who was on his way to prevent the murder. He dies; she’s under arrest at novel’s end.

    Can’t think of a love-hate relationship more extreme than this one….

    I would divulge the author and title but what I’ve described would ruin the book for those who might happen on it, given that most of what I’ve described is only apparent to reader (and detective) at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well, jhNY, that’s hardly fair to leave us hanging about what novel you’re talking about. 🙂 I thought I was very well versed in most mystery/detective novels, including the classics, but this doesn’t ring any bells for me. So, can you at least leave me a few clues? Thanks!

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        • The author is Canadian, and his namesake has a farm, and on that farm he has some ducks… and the novel described has a two-word title, if you count the article in front, not unlike another and unrelated three-word movie title from the ’80’s, minus a word meaning ‘large.’

          Hope I’ve been cryptic enough to make you ponder, but not so much that I’ve stumped you!

          Liked by 1 person

          • After much time on this puzzler, the best I can come with, and it’s just a guess at this point: Ross Macdonald, a Canadian-American (farmer), but after that it becomes somewhat murkier, so I’m going to go with “The Chill.” However, It just finally sunk in about the title “The Big Chill,” the movie from the 80’s. How did I do?

            Liked by 1 person

            • I came up with the author fairly early on, but it took me a while for the title of the novel to be known. Even after I figured out it had to be The Chill, it became difficult for me to come up with the Big Chill, as it was a great movie for me at the time!

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  6. Hi Dave,

    I’m currently reading Patrick White’s “The Tree of Man” which is a strange book. It’s written in an almost magical realism style, which kind of doesn’t work for me, and yet I’m greatly enjoying it. I don’t know if this will make much sense, but I’ve described it as a book that seems to breathe with long inhalations and equally long exhalations. It’s also a book that sometimes seems the most real and tangible book that I’ve ever read… and sometimes, the exact opposite. At the beginning of the novel, Stan happens to marry Amy, and for a while they have a quite passionate and happy relationship, but sometimes Amy looks at Stan and is repulsed by him. And somehow, both extremes just feel right for the characters.

    Rhett and Scarlet seem another obvious couple who can’t decide whether it’s love or hate. And that also worked for me because I too had trouble deciding whether I was in love or hate with the characters!

    One of my favourite relationships in literature is Ron and Hermoine. I especially liked them in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” when they were adults. Although some of the alternate storylines in that play were just heartbreaking.

    Speaking of heartbraking, poor Philip and Mildred. Well, mostly Philip. Mildred was just awful, and I could never understand why Philip was so obsessed with her, however Maugham’s writing was so wonderful, that I went right along with Philip’s torment and misery, even though I could never understand why he put himself through it.

    Dave, I wonder if I might ask a favour or you and and anybody else who might want to comment? I’m joining a new book club in a couple of weeks, and the theme for August is music. For the life of me, I can’t think of anything to read. I wonder if you might have some suggestions? As I already have three lengthy and quite involved novels on the go, I’d rather something light and easy to read. Though I wouldn’t rule out a biography, as long as it was about somebody that I like, and somebody I would enjoy talking about.

    Thanks in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue,

      Thank you for the excellent mentions of several love-hate relationships in several novels! I was intrigued by your eloquent description of “The Tree of Man,” and Scarlett and Rhett are definitely very relevant to this topic.

      I read and enjoyed “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” a few months ago, though I found that play less compelling than J.K. Rowling’s seven Potter novels. I’m sure it would work better to actually see the play. All I’d have to do to see that expensive, sold-out production in New York City is win the lottery (difficult given that I never play the lottery) and wait a few centuries for an available seat.

      And, yes, Philip was rather pathetic for much of “Of Human Bondage.” I guess he had low self-esteem…

      As for your question about music, this post from five years ago might help:

      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-astor/music-in-literature_b_2590404.html

      Good luck with the new book club!

      Like

      • Sue and Dave, I was just going to post about a music related theme, but you beat me to it. Though Sue, I’m not sure this will help you at all with your book club! As an older person, I decided not long ago that I hated Miley Cyrus, mostly for her outrageous behavior on stage. However, I’ve come across some of her songs that were recorded live in “The Backyard Sessions.” So far I’ve seen her perform “Lilac Wine,” “What Have You Done to My Song,” and especially “Jolene,” and I find that I love her voice. Who would have thought that? I know that there are others performed under the name of “Happy Hippos,” as a charity thing, which I need to listen to one day. Sorry if I mangled any of these titles!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy, Sue at Work!

      — I’m joining a new book club in a couple of weeks, and the theme for August is music. For the life of me, I can’t think of anything to read. I wonder if you might have some suggestions? As I already have three lengthy and quite involved novels on the go, I’d rather something light and easy to read. —

      Besides all those compositions Dave mentioned in his Huffy Post piece, you may wish to consider Anne Rice’s “Violin,” Nat Hentoff’s “Blues for Charlie Darwin” and James Blish’s “A Work of Art”: The former two are novels, the latter one is a short story. (All three are easy to read, but I do not know whether any could be called light, exactly.)

      J.J. (Alias MugRuith1)

      Liked by 1 person

          • Hi Dave,
            Thanks so much for that link! “High Fidelity” might be an option, but I’m not sure that I’ll get through it in time. It’s a shame that I can’t see the comments under that Huffy People blog, as I’m sure there would have been great ideas in there!

            KatLib – I completely agree with you about Miley Cyrus. I actually fell in love with her original song “The Climb” even though I didn’t want to. When I was in my twenties I also said I would absolutely never, ever listen to country music. But I think that’s what I like about her. She has a country feel that makes her songs sound like stories. I’d love to hear her version of “Lilac Wine” which is obviously a beautiful song.

            JJ – thanks so much for your suggestions! Funnily enough, one of the novels that I’m plodding through is Anne Rice’s “Feast of All Saints”. I was a big fan of Rice when I was about 15 or 16, and I’ve read “Violin” which I remember enjoying, but again, not sure I’ll get through it in the next couple of week, and I don’t remember enough to bring it to a book club without a re-read. And if I read the two Rices at the same time, I KNOW I’ll get confused! A short story could be the way to go…

            jhNY – as above, I will definitely look into the short stories recommended.

            Thanks so much to you all for your helpful suggestions 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • — A short story could be the way to go. —

              In this case, you might want to consider Edgar Pangborn’s “The Music Master of Babylon,” Poul Anderson’s “Goat Song” and, of course, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Spectacles,” which is as delightful as it is uncharacteristic of its author.

              Liked by 1 person

                • And we have a winner! It seems almost criminal to say that I’ve not read any Poe before. His name has been on my list for a while, and no doubt when I got up to it, I would have gone with one of his better known works, but this kills two birds with one story.

                  Dave, thank you so much for letting me hijack a part of your blog for a while. I truly appreciate all the suggestions.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Great, Sue! Glad you found a winner, thanks to J.J. If you ever get a chance to read more Poe after “The Spectacles,” his stories are mesmerizing and his poetry is pretty darn good, too.

                    My favorites of his tales include “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Premature Burial,” and “A Descent into the Maelstrom,” among others. Then there’s his one novel: the wonderfully weird “Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.”

                    “…kills two birds with one story” — clever! And no birds were harmed in the making of your comment. 🙂

                    You didn’t hijack the blog at all!

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  7. I just read Liane Morarty’s The Husband’s Secret and agree that Cecelia and John-Paul are perfect examples. I love the Janet Evanovich series with Stephanie Plum and have read them up to about book 18. I must pick them up again as they are so entertaining and the leading men intriguing. Another Liane Morarty book I read this summer illustrates a complicated relationship in her book The Hypnotist’s Love Story. The main character, Ellen has a push/pull relationship with Patrick. They try to find their way despite Patrick’s looming exes; one haunts from the grave and the other stalks them in real life. Ellen joins the fracas by feeding her doubts, reminiscing about her past lovers. A well told tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Molly — up to book 18 of the Stephanie Plum novels! Impressive!

      And, yes, “The Hypnotist’s Love Story” is another excellent Liane Moriarty example of this topic. A really good novel, and I greatly enjoyed the way you described it. “Looming exes” — what a phrase!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, michelepianist! That’s a great example of this topic. Dickens didn’t create as many “complicated” romantic relationships as some other ultra-famous authors have, but that was certainly one of them!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just re-read most of Jane Hamilton’s “Disobedience.” Book became redundant, a bit too long of a story in my opinion. From other reviews, not one of her best books, “Map Of The World” has more fanfare. The book I just re-read had a love/hate relationship but mainly the wife to husband who was having an affair, hence the title. She was searching for more in her marriage, taken in by a man who rented a log cabin, lived isolated, never married or had kids. They shared music in common and other interests. She would take the train from Chicago to Wisconsin to spend time with him, bringing her children as well. Ended back with husband, spoiler alert. 🙂

    Was on my bookshelf, since donated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Michele! Sounds like a very interesting book, albeit too long.

      One member of a couple having an affair can certainly engender love-hate in a relationship — often with an emphasis on the hate part.

      And things can get even more complicated when both members of the couple “stray” — Sinclair Lewis’ “Dodsworth” is one of many novels containing the latter scenario.

      Like

  9. I can’t stop thinking about Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, and how it took them 3 novels in order to get together finally at the end of “Gaudy Night.” The love was always on Lord Peter’s part, but Harriet’s was mixed, to say the least. I know you read “Strong Poison,” so I think she was resentful about having a male bailing her out, especially since she knew she didn’t do anything wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane! Well-stated, Kat Lib! Plenty of mixed feelings indeed on Harriet’s part in “Strong Poison,” and, yes, a slow-developing relationship as the talented/independent mystery writer Harriet overcomes her romantic reluctance. I’m glad you recommended “Strong Poison” and “Gaudy Night” — the latter quite long as crime novels go but worth every page.

      Like

      • “Gaudy Night” was a pivotal book in my early feminist days I recall a discussion Harriet was involved in with the female dons at her Oxford College. She said that one needs to do one’s proper job. At that time, I was doing administrative/supervisory work, but what I found was that I was pretty bad at being a supervisor/manager, while I was really good as an administrative assistant/executive secretary, so I pursued that track for most of my working days. And from that decision, I did quite well at getting good benefits and being able to save enough to buy my home in Kennett and then this one in the mountains.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to see Stephanie and Joe getting a mention!

    A couple of love-hate relationships that spring to mind are in The Color Purple. Celie has conflicted feelings, as you might expect, about Shug Avery, the “loose” woman her abusive husband is in love with and who eventually loves Celie too, and her stepdaughter-in-law Sophie, who is the kind of strong woman Celie envies and resents. It takes a while for Celie to learn to love these strong, independent women and become one herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Elena! “The Color Purple” definitely fits this topic, and I’m glad you mentioned it! Well said!

      All kinds of other fictional love-hate (or like-dislike) relationships occurred to me after writing the post — including Dona Flor’s relationships with each of her two husbands in the Jorge Amado novel. The first hubby is irresponsible but charismatic, while the second one is responsible but a bit boring…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Erin, for the intriguing addition to this topic! (Unfortunately, I read the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories so long ago that I barely remember the interaction between Holmes and Irene Adler. 🙂 )

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      • It’s great that there is another Liane Moriarty fan on this blog! The first book I read of hers was “What Alice Forgot,” and in some ways is my favorite. Alice Is at the gym, hits her head when she falls, and when she wakes up, she has lost memory of the last ten years, She thinks she is still happily married and pregnant with her first child, while in fact, she has two children with her ex-husband. She of course finds this difficult to believe. So things have happened over the last ten years for them to go from love to hate.

        Liked by 2 people

          • I found the idea of the novel as fanciful, though I’ve loved it twice, but a few years back I found myself in a situation that was scary to say the least. I did suffer from what my doc called global transient amnesia, which generally happens only once, and for a brief amount of time.

            Liked by 3 people

              • Dave, I somehow managed to remember my address when the police came to pick me up at someone’s house when I couldn’t remember how to get home! The funny part was when the officer the next day when Bill & I went to see them if they had seen my car, asked me about a small duffel bag I had apparently been carrying around with me in Kennett in a summer month. I had to inform them that it was a bag that it was my winter bag in case I I ran into a blizzard! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Becky! I haven’t read “My Brilliant Friend,” but the relationship you describe sounds volatile and perfect for this topic. (The one Elena Ferrante novel I’ve read is “The Lost Daughter.”)

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    • I’m glad that you read one of the quite funny Stephanie Plum novels, which I read quite a few of some years ago, but moved on to other authors. I lived for a time right across the river from Trenton, and there was a restaurant/bar that I used to like to go to, so I can easily picture the neighborhood Stephanie lived in.

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        • Elena, yes I did. I had an apartment in a house next door to a bowling alley right on River Road, not quite as bad it sounds; however, one morning I got up to go to work, and I went out to the parking lot of the bowling alley and thought that something wasn’t right. It turned out that someone/s had stolen my back wheels from my car (I had a Firebird then). At least they were nice enough to put the back of my car on cinder blocks. Ha! I don’t think I’ve known anyone else from a long time ago who would know this area as well as you do!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Wow, what a depressing memory, Kat Lib, albeit recalled partly with humor. 🙂

          I have three cousins who live in the Trenton suburb of Hamilton Township. From my many visits there over the years, I’ve also gotten some sense of Trenton, and Janet Evanovich really captures it via her direct experience with, and research of, the town. (As you both know, Kat Lib and Elena, Evanovich is a New Jersey native — though she grew up in South River rather than Trenton.)

          Took me a long time to finally read Evanovich, but I’m glad I did! I plan to read a few more of her Plum novels, but not the whole series. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

              • I hear you, Elena. The less driving and parking in Manhattan, the better!

                But I was living in Manhattan at the time, and needed the car for a newspaper reporter job I had in New Jersey. But I did pay for a parking garage after the theft, and then happily sold the car after getting a magazine job in NYC a few months later.

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                • Well, I can best you both while living near Newtown, PA, which was and I assume, still is a very upscale town in Bucks Co. This person, who was known as a bit crazy, wanted to throw rocks at a car and picked mine for no apparent reason while I was inside attending a going away party for a co-worker. He broke my front windshield and also caused damage to the front of my car. It’s amazing how someone can just do this for no apparent reason. Go figure…

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          • This was meant to go under elanapedigo’s up the thread:

            “Did you happen to live in Morrisville? I lived for a year in right by the bridge and could walk into Trenton if I so desired.

            I rarely desired to do so, though.”

            Can you make that happen, Dave? Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

            • jhNY, Elena “liked” your comment, so she definitely saw it. 🙂 And your comment is sort of/kind of under that thread. 🙂 (If I had tried to move your comment, I would have had to post it under my name; I don’t have the capacity in this blog to relocate other people’s comments.)

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                • I get it!

                  Coincidentally, Trenton is where my Mexican forebears first accumulated in the years immediately after WWI– my grandfather, his sister, and at least two of the six brothers in that generation. The son of that sister still lives in the house his parents built in the ’30’s. Long, long ago, I passed up an opportunity to work at the Trenton Times– but having been to Trenton, I still see why.

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                  • Thanks, jhNY! Yes, I overdid the explanations — including mentioning some obvious stuff. I apologize for that.

                    You definitely have a part-Trenton heritage! And I agree that New Jersey’s capital is not the most appealing of small-to-midsize cities.

                    As you might know, one Trenton native is late cartoonist Jerry Robinson, who created the Joker when working on the Batman comic books nearly eight decades ago.

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                    • Did not know about Jerry Robinson or his work (though I’m noting that his surname made me think of ‘son of Robin’, which is ironic coincidence as he is the father of the Joker)– and am grateful to be told….

                      I did not mean to imply I found your explanations overlong– made things clear for me– that’s what I was trying to write.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thank you, jhNY! 🙂

                      My memory is a bit fuzzy on this, but I think Jerry Robinson told me during one of the times I interviewed him that the Robin name for Batman’s sidekick was at least partly derived from his (Jerry’s) last name. (Jerry lived and worked on the Upper West Side — on Riverside Drive near W. 72nd — for many decades.)

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                    • Thread’s maxed, so:

                      I recorded a couple dozen songs at 72nd and Riverside in the long-ago 80’s at a private studio in a building that the studio owner assured me was the actual architectural inspiration/setting for “Rosemary’s Baby”. The film-makers, I was told, used The Dakota because the owner of the building in which I made recordings was impossible to deal with. At least I know this latter phrase to be true– the tenants went on a rent strike that lasted years before the owner relented and made repairs, adjustments to rents and fees,etc.

                      What I remember most, besides the cement stags over the entrance, were the two different, and clashing, wallpapers that covered the lobby.

                      Wish I’d known that Batman connection then!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Very interesting memories, jhNY! “Rosemary’s Baby,” The Dakota, a private recording studio, your music…

                      If I’m remembering right (I was last there about 15 years ago), Jerry Robinson’s Riverside building was just south of W. 72nd, between 72nd and 71st.

                      But, on further reflection, maybe it was on Riverside just south of the other main W. 70s thoroughfare: W. 79th. I would need to find my old work rolodex for the exact address — it’s buried in one of the drawers or file cabinets in my apartment. Given that the rolodex dates back to 1983, there are many deceased people in it: Jerry Robinson, Charles Schulz, Ann Landers, Erma Bombeck, Milton Caniff, Mort Walker, and others. Kind of sad.

                      Like

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