December 8

A place haunted by Lennon's murder -

" (CNN) -- Maybe if you're a New Yorker, you grow accustomed to the sight.

Maybe if you live in the city, it becomes just another part of the Manhattan landscape.

But if you're from somewhere else, visiting, and you're not expecting to encounter it. . . .

Well, you sense that you've been in front of this building before, even though you never have. You feel it before you fully see it.

So it was, early on a recent afternoon, that I was walking east on 72nd Street, approaching Central Park West.

I glanced to my left.

To say the building is spooky is perhaps too easy. Yet everything about it -- the high gables, the balustrades, the gas lanterns burning even in the daytime, the black iron gates leading into the open interior courtyard -- seems purposely designed to give off an aura of portent.

Possibly that impression is merely retrospective -- most likely, when the massive residential building was constructed well over a century ago, the desire was simply to erect a place of urban elegance. And perhaps to the people who live there now, it looks only like home.

When the 1968 movie "Rosemary's Baby" was filmed, and the exterior of this building -- the Dakota -- was chosen as the site of the eerie tale, the die may have been cast. For anyone who ever saw the movie, the temperature drops a few degrees as soon as those walls come into sight.

Yet it is what happened here 29 years ago this week that draws curious visitors still.

I heard a voice behind me.

"Is this where. . .?"

A young woman was asking her friend the question.

"Yes," the friend said, not needing to hear the rest."

Bob Green has a great little piece at CNN reflecting on the 29th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. Like he mentions in the article, I was a bit too young to remember John alive, but he's one of the most influential people in my life.

It just goes to show, we don't always know the impact on others that we will have.

Live like it means something!!

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