My mother, Betty, was a child of the late 70s and early 80s. Her interests included listening to The Doors, hair-styling, smoking Marlboro cigarettes, clubbing, fashion and dancing. She frequently wore red lipstick, leather jackets and teased her curly hair. Her youth was the epitome of the 80s glam lifestyle. In 2014, her life suddenly ended at the age of 49. Upon finding a box filled with my mother's matchbook collection, I set out to find all the locations she once visited. From restaurants and bars to nightclubs and hotels, this study led me to a route she once traveled in her youth. As my investigation continued, a sense of wonder and discovery connected me with her memory. Many locations have since closed down, while others remain open to stand as vital Manhattan landmarks. This study aims to reconstruct memories which occurred before my birth; to find out who my mother was before she became my mother.

"Your mom and I were life-time friends. The first time we met was in 3rd grade, she was wearing a yellow sweater. Your mom had just moved from Greece to the US and the teacher had me buddy up with her. We went to junior high school together and would walk everyday to school from 21st street to Steinway. When we left school, your mom waited for your grandma to go to work at 4:30 and we would sneak out and hang out at the park. Since we had strict parents, we took advantage of the days and 1/2 days, we went bowling, the city and had great meals. We loved beautiful clothes, shoes and makeup. We would put on our makeup after leaving home because our parents were so strict. I remember when your mom went to Greece one summer when she was 19, and she packed so many shoes, and I asked her, why did you pack so many high heels? Little did I know, she came back, married! You father was the love of her life, She looked at him always with great admiration. She was very happy, you and Steve were proudest accomplishments. She loved her home and always made beautiful things. We had great times together, at City island, Tribeca Grill and Bouley. We took the train to the city, got fancied up and had a great experience, but always got home before our parents!! I miss her very much, but see so much of her in you." ~ Andriana Vamvakas

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