My dad just told me (via e-mail) that back in the early '60s he'd lived in NYC for 2 or 3 weeks in the "Port Authority" area, while scoping out places for him and my mom to move to. (Another option for them was Johannesburg in South Africa, which my mom absolutely did not want to go to.) Cutely, he'd thought that the "Port Authority" area would be down by the waterfront... I just looked it up---it's a train station near Times Square! While I, as a single person, love Times Square, I can only imagine what a young guy would try to tell his wife about the prospects of moving there!
Anyway, neither NYC nor South Africa worked out for them, and they ended up back in Dad's home state of Texas.
Apart from my Dad's brief Times Square experience in the early '60s, on my German mom's side of the family, her grandfather had to escape the Nazis in the early '30s. August Hoche was an avowed Communist, and when Hitler came to power in '33, he escaped to America and went on to work in the coal-mines of Virginia (just for something to do---ahem). After Hitler was deposed, he made his way back to Germany and re-married his wife and lived above my mother's parents' home.
My mom has told me I am like "August"---surly and political and opinionated. Which is fine with me.
What I'm also interested in, though, is the theory of how your earlier relatives experiences somehow transfer genetically into YOU... When I visited New York City for the first time 3 years ago, for instance, I immediately loved it. Whereas, when I went to grad school in San Francisco, I immediately was annoyed by the town, and grew even more annoyed over the next 2 years that I was there.
So, I wonder if my earlier relatives' NYC experiences somehow transferred genetically to me.