This is Wito
Wito was sitting on a bench in the courtyard of his building on 64th Street. I did not recognize him, but he reminded me that we had met last year at the Lincoln Center Community Center. I then remembered speaking with him when I interviewed his friend, Jose, for my blog. He told me that Jose had passed away and his wife moved back to Puerto Rico and was admitted to a nursing home.
Wito is 72 years old. He was born in Puerto Rico and came to New York City with his parents when he was four years old. He considers himself a native New Yorker. Wito worked as a chef and sou chef in a BBQ restaurant for 32 years. He then moved to Florida to be with his wife, and they had a son. Wito is now divorced and lives alone in Manhattan, his son and his son's wife still in Florida. Wito speaks to his son regularly but does not get to see him often. I asked him about grandchildren and Wito said he wishes they would have a child. Nothing yet, but he is waiting.
When he returned from Florida about ten years ago, Wito worked in construction for a short time, but then returned to the same BBQ restaurant at which he had worked before going to Florida.
Wito has been retired now for two years and he likes retirement very much. He enjoys walking around the city that feels like home. He has all he needs right here in his own backyard. I asked if there was anything that he doesn't like about the City, and he said every now and then, he hears about a crime that has been committed that upsets him.
Wito enjoys attending the Community Center, connecting with his friends, enjoying his retirement. Wito loves getting old in a city he calls home, and that he can get out and about no matter the weather.