Step back in time to 1980 in New York City. “Step lively” – what the subway conductors used to say when you got off the train -- describes Jill, as she and her husband Alex “step lively” in adjusting to their new life in Manhattan. In their move to the city, they realize a long held dream, and struggle like all of us, to find their place in the world.
Each tale is a slice of life of the “ordinary,” the minutiae of daily life. The tales can stand alone, but as a whole they compose the mosaic of Jill’s life. As she and Alex discover the city, we see the unraveling of love and dreams against the backdrop of change.
A cast of others join the couple in their world: a businessman from Iceland the night John Lennon is shot, a restless philosopher, a born-again come-to-Jesus elevator man in their building, a talking parakeet, Jill’s grandmothers, Jill’s bicycle. A character itself in the collection, it transports her through the streets of her beloved Manhattan. Much of what we see is from the handlebars of her bike – from them we explore Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side and get glimpses into the city’s loneliness and its rapid changes. We see the direction Alex and Jill’s lives take in this constantly changing landscape that is New York City.