My New York Story


On October 1, tonight, the 55th annual CLEO Awards will be giving Blondie, the iconic punk band singer a CLEO music honorary award. I couldn’t be happier for her or her band.

My oldest daughter was a big fan of Blondie. The music of Blondie echoed from the walls of her bedroom day and night. It was Brett who introduced the rest of us to most of the rock music of the day. According to her now, Blondie’s lyrics were irreverent sometimes and sometimes simple, but at the same time to her future musical ears these lyrics were to represent key moments in rock ‘n roll history with Deborah as a strong female lead. A female icon who really marched to the beat of her own drummer. Deborah Harry opened doors as the first female rap artist with Blondie’s song, Rapture. Deborah Harry represented for young female fans like my daughter, strength in being true to yourself.

I personally first met Deborah Harry in the early 90’s. It is difficult to believe now, but in those days no one would’ve known who she was. I must have walked behind her casual form with her rolling hips, camouflage kakis and graying blonde hair over 100 times. We both lived in the same iconic building in Chelsea and had dogs that needed potty breaks about the same time each day, or stood in line together for our own needs at Slone’s Grocery around the corner.

Now New York is full of faces, some faces famous. but most incognito as we scurry about the streets like ants going on with their own business. When I am in the city I am usually oblivious to faces as I am one of those ants who is running from here to there just taking care of business. All of these impersonal New York moments become a way of life after awhile without our knowing who is standing next to us, or walking by. So it was not until my son pointed her out to me one day that I knew who the rolling hips and graying hair that I had been passing for the past few years belonged to. Deborah Harry of Blondie.

Deborah still had a rather pretty face, but it was obvious by the way she dressed and looked her young rocker days were behind her and she could’ve cared less about her public image.

My husband finally brought us together for our New York minute when she attended a photo exhibit he had in the lobby of our building that I curated. And It was not long after that meeting that Deborah’s life changed dramatically through rediscovery and renewed interest in her band Blondie. The aging woman that I had been passing on the street for years had turned into a glamorous icon reinventing herself to old fans and a new generation that would again discover the music of Blondie.

Deborah Harry , Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac and the ladies of Abba, Agnetha and Frida, are all inspiring examples that life over 50 can even get better with sweeter rewards that only experience and age can bring.
It is never over until it’s really over.

I am so inspired by these women. Knowing their confident ‘I don’t give a damn attitude’ doesn’t have to just be owned by them, it can be ours too. With every gray hair on our heads we have earned it. We have all earned it!

Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights Reserved.