Monday, January 18, 2010

New York City - Day 9

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

overcast and drizzly, 50 degrees

It is early in the morning and I am catching up on email and writing in this journal.

Peter walked into the computer room around 7:00am. At 7:30am we went upstairs and had breakfast together and spoke for over an hour. He wanted to find a souvenir for his son that was appropriate to the United States. I gave him the Sacajawea silver dollar I gotten in change a few days ago. Sacajawea was the Indian woman who led the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean for President Jefferson in 1805.

Peter now lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

Susan was so exhausted from all the walking and standing around the Statue of liberty & Ellis Island that she decided to stay at the hotel and read a book.

I went to the folk art museum, that I think is associated with MoMA & was most unimpressed, particulary when compared to other similar institutions.

I walked up 5th Ave documenting Christmas windows and other facades. I even found a dead pigeon in front of Harry Winston jewelry to add to my series. Then I treked into Central Park.

I discovered a Russian jazz musician playing in the southern end of Central Park near a bridge to the ice skating rink. He is living in Brighton Pk. We both were able to converse a bit in German.

I was walking in Central Park and heard Christmas music being played by a lone jazz musician for tips. I took some photos from a distance then approached him, dropped a lot of change I had and started a conversation. Turned out he was from Russian, didn't speak much English, but when I asked if he spoke German, his face lit up and my limited German from high school and the Yiddish that was spoken at home by my parents became invaluable. Thank goodness I had the gumption to take the risk to approach him and speak to him. If I was better in German we could gone on for another 15 minutes!

I finally learned that travel is not just running around looking at architecture, museums and eating in the suppossedly "not to miss" restaurants, but actually meeting some locals and engaging in some conversation, even if it is the person sitting next to you at breakfast. Not only is NYC a great walking city, but it is a great talking town as well.

Later I decided to walk up to the Dakota and grab a shot of it and venture into Strawberry Fields which is opposite it in Central Park. I struck up a conversation with a teenage student sitting on a bench across the street from the Dakota at the entrance to the park. He is student at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy which is south about 10 blocks at 211 West 61st Street (between Amsterdam and West End Ave.) and at 2109 Broadway in an historic landmark beaux-arts building.
I think there has been a major shift in the people of NYC. None of them have acted like the stereotype of the past. Anybody who has bushed past or done anything that needs a "pardon" or "sorry" has said so! Many have offered help with my wifes oxygen converter machine which is on a small luggage carrier when we go down or up with the subway or onto a bus or in or out of doors! I never would have expected that. Any body I have approached to ask assistance is quite helpful, even walked me part way or all the way a few blocks to where ever I was going. Some of the small unique shop owners that we have sought out, if not busy have talked with me for quite a while. This was particularly true of a ribbon shop in the area where they all are. We then grabbed a lunch across the street in a cafe they all eat. It was if you were going to the deli or coffee shop you always go to back home down town.
The one thing I have noticed is that there seems to have been an invasion of suburban chain stores that belong out in shopping malls! The original flavor of the city seems to be ozzing away.

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