Monday, January 2, 2017

New York City Rainy Day Walk

We’ve been to all the places in New York City which I’d listed before coming as most desired to see. There’s endless urban activities here.  If one wanted to visit bowling alleys or dart playing venues or military museums or textile works they could. I just wrote down what Laura and I might wish to visit as a priority and we’ve  actually done it.  In 10 days we’ve visited all the places we really wanted to visit.  In addition we’ve attended the shows I booked on line back in November and really enjoyed the experience.
New York has been sensational. I spent a week here 30 years ago and have been back for brief jaunts since but this time I’ve just been so impressed with the friendliness of people, the civility, the cleanliness and law and order. In our experience , it really has been a safe place for a  tourist.  Of course we’re not out partying at 3 in the morning and Laura is not passed out drunk on the street.
I’ve visitted cities around and love London most but New York is comparable.. Nothing compares with Singapore as a safe and welcoming tourist destination.  However Mexico City and Athens, outside of a very limitted prescribed tourist district, stand out as  scary. I’ve actually been astonished at how civilized Manhatten has been. New Yorkers were once said to be as offensive as Parisians but today I really have only had one negative business experience.  As I experienced in Morocco one has  to be very much on guard with buying things because other cultures rather celebrate taking advantage of strangers in a ‘sharp deal’.
We took a taxi by the UN Building. Axis of Evil.
Yesterday  I asked Laura what would be the highlights we’d recommend for someone visitting Vancouver.  I really think Vancouver Canada would be a fabulous tourist destination for people around the world. Everyone I know who has visitted has spoken so highly of the scenery and location. Granville Island, Gastown, Davie Street, Robson Street, English Bay, Commercial Avenue, Lonsdale Quay, Stevenstons Fish and Chips,   Grouse Mountain, Christ Church Cathedral, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Seven Sails Restaurant, the Art Gallery for the Emily Carr,  Museum of Anthropology at UBC  for the native art, the Aquarium, QE Park.  I’d recommend Pacific Theatre, the Vancouver Ballet and a Canucks Game.
I feel today on our last day here that I’ve experienced New York in much the same way.  It’s been a whirlwind tourist experience but God it’s been incredible. The Art Galleries and Museums are unsurpassed. I loved Moscow, St. Petersburg, Washington DC, Jerusalem, Instabul and London for the same experience of great art and sculpture and history well presented.
Vancouver has, to my mind, the best dining experiences in the world.  Frankly I prefer my own cooking of wild fish, foul and meat I’ve caught or shot and cooked myself.  Here in New York we’ve really not eaten out that much, loving a English Pot Pie at Churchill’s , the hotdogs and pretzel’s on the street, lobster and steak on Staten Island,  pizza at Marta’s.  We’ve actually had MacDonald’s burgers and mcMuffings on several occasions because there was one conveniently beside the subway a block from our Redbury Hotel.  We loved the Bread & Butter deli and Pret Manger.  The coffee at Redbury was great. We often stopped for coffee and a snack disappointed by Starbucks because there was so little seating and one actually didn’t have a washroom. We didn’t like the Nescafe’s because they didn’t have wifi. This LaColombe Torrefaction Coffee and Tea place is great.
I wanted to take a break from work. I was really tired with work and grief and getting older.  I’ve been so disappointed in our Trudeau government with his party boy elitism, increasing taxes , wasteful spending, communism and scientific ignorance. If he’s not smoking dope on a daily basis he sure acts like a stoner with the public purse and his platitude speechifying.
I’m actually feeling rested and  ready to return to the horrors of cancerous Canadian bureaucracy.  We just talked to a woman who had moved here from Finland. She was so frustrated by the taxation and government interference in every walk of life that she’d moved to the States for the “Freedom”.  Americans really do love Liberty. It’s something that one no longer feels in Canada,  once called the ‘true north, strong and free’.
It was good to be reminded of our insignificance amidst so so many people. Nothing offends me more than CBC talking about Canada’s position on the ‘world stage’.  Every Canadian should be required to come to New York and stand in Rockerfeller Square and feel how little they are.  CBC has been too long a propaganda instrument with its head  seriously up it’s ass.  Travelling always helps me see the propaganda and ‘fake news’ more clearly. There’s perspective 5000 miles from home
I’m not alone in the middle of the Pacific sailing across an ocean but there really is something being in this sea of people and feeling God’s grace is ever present.
I love Jesus.  I love Christ.  This Christmas season has been a true gift. I love the spirituality that seems alive in New York City  today. The excellence in the performances here and the genius in the architecture is something to behold.  We loved the service in St. Patrick’s last night.  We had a great dinner  English pot piles and gravy mashed potatoes at Churchill’s Tavern around the corner from the Redbury.
Laura has been a wonderful companion. We both miss Gilbert but together tolerate the absence of our furry friend better.  It’s been great knowing that he’s safe with Mida and Hannah.
Oh well, more just hanging out in New York today. Laura has been buying gifts for family. She mailed her post cards from Central Park where we had kosher hotdogs. I’ve been taking pictures. Loved the New York Library building.  It feels a bit like a weekend day in Vancouver back home. We had to buy another pack sack to bring back the shirts, books and stuff I bought. I had planned to wash clothing but I found such sweet deals on shirts and socks that it was cheaper to buy than to launder.  If one lived in New York the possibility for deals is endless. It’s a place of wheeling and dealing.  There are markets on the streets and who knows what falls off trucks but this is the place with the widest range of prices.
We joke, asking why did God create WASPS , white anglo saxon prestestants, ‘Somebody had to buy retail.”  That’s the flavour of this place. I confess I like Macy’s and stores with fixed prices that are true because I don’t want to put the time into haggling but if I lived here I could see that one would have to simply because it really is an expensive city.  Millions for apartments. Like Paris and LA there’s a high end to things. We walked into Tiffany’s and they didn’t even have prices listed. “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” came to mind.
I’m a peasant. A doctor. A physician.  A glorified guildsman.  There’s always a wealth of the George Soros and Warren Buffet set, the new monarchs and emperors.  I’m a mere working class man.  I can understand the revolutionary. There’s frustration in the elitism but I ‘don’t want a revolution’. All that happens it seems, is we get a different flavour of the month.  I’m too jaded and old.  But I’ve done well enough. The whole world is improving relative to poverty and disease.  The problem continues to be corruption more than anything else.  There’s entitlement too.  I can still be hopeful.
New York City makes one hopeful.  There’s so much life and vitality and creativity here.  I’m thankful we came.
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