One might now consider us New Yorkers in the broadest interpretation of that assignation having resided here for less than two non-continuous weeks. Our month in the city evolved into only three weeks due to forces within our control however not necessarily within the parameters of particularly good judgement. But we are now here for good and committed to doing as many activities as any able bodied tourists might attempt, despite the fact that we have in the past avoided that designation. There is a lot to see here. It is huge! Each day we saunter forth into the truly ineffable but organized pandemonium which is NYC. There are seemingly unwritten codes for crossing streets and jostling for position on the subway which everyone seems to understand and abide by. We return to our apartment, having covered many miles of pavement, to nurse the bloody stumps that were once our feet in preparation for a similar experience which will shortly follow a rapidly approaching dawn.
The living quarters to which we return are not spacious but are instructive as to how little one really needs. They call it a studio apartment, but since our arrival nothing that would be done in a studio has been accomplished here. It has also been referred to as an efficiency apartment but please explain the efficiency of having to turn your living room into a bedroom each night and then your bedroom back into a living room each morning. It also has a small kitchen hidden in a closet which is supremely inefficient. What it does have is a view overlooking the UN, the East River, beautiful sunrises and in the bathroom is a turbo-flush toilet which I’m pretty sure delivers the contents to somewhere south of Delaware or perhaps directly to the Trump Tower (highly efficient-just don’t stand too close). Our condo is only a short walk to Grand Central Station and the subway which carries us to places where we can walk the soles off our shoes.
For some reason I have always avoided NYC, mostly out of a fear of the unknown. Kelsey reminded me that most of my knowledge of NYC I gathered from an over attentive reading of “Bonfire of there Vanities” many years ago. After just a few days here it is easy to see what the fuss is all about. It is a marvelous place and a monument to what our species can accomplish if we work together as a group. Why we have not been able to eliminate war remains a mystery but I suspect it has something to do with religion—and let’s not forget greed. Fortunately I did not discover NYC during the years when we had children in tow because even with just Susan and me, it is a place where you can watch your money get vaporized. Not a joke. Now you see it, now you don’t. But again, and I have never denied it, I am a lucky man. I have a wife who is always in search of a good deal. After going for a morning run in Central Park, a two hour walking tour of Greenwich village, marching several more miles in and around Times Square and the theater district, then standing in line for an hour and a half we were able to “score” standing room only tickets to see “The Book of Mormon” for $28 a piece………….and stand for two and a-half hours! A great deal -Yes – but only because it was an extraordinarily entertaining show. But a great deal for whom? We of weary feet or the theater who just made easy money letting us stand in an aisle which probably violated some fire code? The airlines could learn a thing or two from this. I’m pretty sure for the right price Susan would stand in the aisle on an airplane all the way to Tokyo! Even if she didn’t want to go to Tokyo!………..she will be doing this solo.
We have done so much here that I am unable to bore you with the details of most if it so I will only cover the important stuff. Our first weekend here we were the guests of Tom and Loren at the wedding of their youngest son. Both the wedding and the reception were held at places that we would otherwise have been denied entry and I’m fairly sure that will be the policy going forward. The rehearsal dinner was at the Lotus Club to which membership is restricted to only those with a very specific chromosomal gene sequence. Certain elements of the Ithaca contingent demonstrated the necessity of this requirement by first spilling a glass of champagne down the dress of another guest and subsequently falling down the stairs – there is a history here of high heel issues. Let me make clear that these incidents did not involve either Susan or me – other than the fact that it was Susan’s dress. This brings me to the main topic. The morning after the events at the Lotus Club we ran into Tom at the MOMA and always looking for the good in all things he was telling us about an encounter he had with a homeless man in the subway. In praise of this fellows civility Tom explained that after contributing to the poor mans retirement fund he looked up at Tom and said “Nice haircut.” Well Tom, I am happy to report that we have been traveling the subway daily and each day it seems that more and more homeless guys are sporting your haircut!
So far I have told you nothing about New York………..but that’s probably not why you’re reading this!
Since you insist: New York is the only place where if you have talent, and you believe in yourself, and you show people what you can do then someday, maybe – just maybe- you could get shoved in front of a moving subway train. (Dave Barry)
Off to stand in line somewhere,