New York On My Mind

Uptown to Queens, please

Yesterday morning a few of my twitter peeps and myself were going on about living, working, and missing New York City. Well…okay, I may have been the one who mentioned missing. When it comes to that locale, it doesn’t take much to flip my yearning switch. I need to preface what I’m about to say by explaining – having choices. What do I mean by this? If your family is from some other place, but you live in Manhattan or any of the other four boroughs – more than likely you will get the chance to visit the place from where your relatives originated. I believe this gives you a different outlook versus strictly growing up in the city; never knowing anything else.

That being said, I always knew in the back of my mind, my mother would one day return to her roots; no matter how hard I worked to keep her in the north. Once I moved to New Jersey, I began hounding her to sell the house and buy something close to me. Now, I can’t speak for any other race – I know personally there have been many articles printed lately about African-Americans returning to the south. In fact, just a month or two ago, the New York Times had one on the front page. The reasons listed in those articles, however, had nothing to do with the reason we came here. Being from the south, my mother would easily become frustrated and go on a rampage, wanting to leave the “rat race” and move. I, too treasured going on vacation. This gave me the chance to get away from the concrete, crowds, and rushing around. All of that in mind, if you stop and think about the choices, and those places other than New York, it makes the everyday annoyances of urban living a little more difficult to endure.

What are those frustrations? The guy standing behind you in the subway car with his umbrella handle poking you in your back. The never-ending stream of pedestrians that won’t stop coming, and give you a chance to make a right/left turn. The way long lines at check out, the week of Christmas. The sea of bodies that smack you in the face, and threatens to send you running in the opposite direction as you enter the Division of Motor Vehicles. I could create a list, pages long on the irritations of living in a large metropolis, but, again that’s another topic.

So now, with those confessions, wouldn’t that make one think – why on earth would she then, miss New York? Have you ever been on Fifth Avenue anytime from Noon until around 2:00 p.m. when the wave of bodies renders the concrete invisible? Or at 4:00 a.m. when the only people inhabiting the island are the ones who live there, and a lone resident is walking his dog down Fifth Avenue at 62nd Street. The craving for an omelet, pancakes, Bloody Mary, a piece of fruit or a simple cup of coffee strikes at 3:00 a.m. and all that’s needed is to walk out your front door. Enjoying the Christmas windows of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue or Lord & Taylor while wrapped in your winter garb as you hustle along – hands filled with packages, and the falling snow validates – tis the season. Or my all-time favorite, crossing the George Washington Bridge at sunset with Manhattan in the distance.

I miss New York with a vengeance. I told someone recently, I never thought I would work or live anywhere else. My husband and I are certain we are two people meant to be in a metropolitan area. But, not just any metro, because nothing – nothing – nothing compares to the Big Shiny Apple. At this point, I have the urge to quote a line from The Wizard of Oz – “…I’m not gonna leave [insert your own text] New York] ever, ever again…there’s no place like home!”

NYC Public Library

51st St. Entry to St. Patrick's

Also, I’d like to remind my visitors to make their way over to “View From The Roads.” It’s been a new month for 14 days now. I realize I got them in somewhat late.  Also, if you’re here, leave me suggestions in the comment section as to what you’d like to see more of or topics that simply interest you. Thanks in advance.

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

Images courtesy of Google Earth

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Love For One’s Country

This is the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, and I seriously wanted to write about something else, since we have been, this entire week, inundated with hundreds of articles reminding us of the event.  However, after watching the Thursday night kick-off of America’s biggest sport – Football, I allowed myself to get pulled in, which prompted this post.  Before the start of that game, a young woman came out to sing, traditionally, the National Anthem initiating the occasion.  Following that, military jets performed their ritual flyover, pumping the seat fillers into a united frenzy. I know it’s not Independence Day or Labor Day, but 9/11 conjures up thoughts of Patriotism in the whole country.

This morning on Fox News, they aired a story about a group in Massachusetts wanting to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, citing it had no educational benefit for the children.  More disturbing information has been that the families of first responders of that infamous day have not been invited to the memorial.  As if all of this has not been enough, New York’s Mayor, has stated there can be no mention of God at any of the services.

When I reach back, way back, I remember having to place my hand over my heart, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as a child in grammar school – not only me, but the entire class, and this included the teacher.  Along with this also came…wait, let me whisper…prayer.  I don’t know about anyone else out there, but sometimes, I am a little embarrassed when I think of these ridiculous new rules.  We have come this far, and in our progress have proposed, “In God We Trust,” and “One Nation Under God” be eliminated from our society.  The very phrases adopted in the founding of this land.  But, who am I?  I’m a citizen, that’s who.  And I must ask, as a voter when did any of this become a crime?  The law makers and organizations must remember, each and every one of our ancestors came from someplace else.  Yes, our children need to know from where their ancestors heralded, but at the same time if the child lives in America, then this is now a part of that legacy.  Why must it now be a crime to place a hand over one’s heart or pray in school, the same as we did in an earlier time.

Being from New York, it struck at the core of me to lose the Twin Towers.  But, to add the thousands of lives from the WTC, a lone field in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon is too much to comprehend.  It makes one reflect, and in doing so I recall an office Christmas party at Windows On The World;  my husband going for an interview with an Engineering firm on the 85th floor of one of the towers, and lastly I recollect posters, pictures and messages of all sorts dressing the walls in Pennsylvania Station, placed there by loved ones of the missing – two weeks following the incident.  Let me ask a question: Have you ever been abroad, and come home through Customs, and have the Agent say, “Welcome home?”  If you were away for any amount of time that reception takes on a whole new meaning, which helps you realize this really is the best country in the world.  That being said, it all helps you understand why we are hated so much as a nation.

Let me say one more thing, with regard to prayer in schools, I find it amazing that Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s son William J. Murray,  is the president of the Religious Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C.  Who is Madalyn Murray O’Hair, you ask? Only, the atheist sponsoring the court cases to ban said prayer.  Yes, we are in turmoil, and hated by many.  It all makes me wish that as a land we could make it to the same page, returning to our original values – One God – One Nation.  Then, I believe God really would bless us as a united people.

Oh, and just in case you cannot read the verse in the picture:

2 Chronicles 7:14 :  If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.  

Photo courtesy of iStock Photo

Right Place – Right Time

I am not a believer of karma, coincidence or some scientific explanation of the universe and our place on this planet.  I trust our lives are already written, planned and laid out like a giant chessboard.  We are gently nudged, yet forced to go in the direction that has been pre-designed.  Let me explain.

On a warm and bright May afternoon, many years ago, I happened to be walking down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan with a friend when I met my future. If anyone needs a refresher, go back to my Gracefulness & Humility post, and yes, I’m talking about that “Deliver Us From Eva” thing, yet again – my mantra.  But, when I talk about the board game effect……let me back up.

I had worked at my job at a Women’s Sportswear company for some time.  I made many friends, although, kind of like my heroine in my first book; my soul mate continued to elude me.  At that company we received fifteen percent of our annual salary every spring.  Suddenly, the rules changed, and they decided to incorporate that money in our weekly pay.  Well, let me just say, most of the employees were up in arms, and one by one made plans to leave.

Now, this new development didn’t upset me, I had no real desire to leave.  To this day, I have no explanation why I made the decision other than the subconscious nagging at my soul.  With that in mind, I too decided to break my ties and find new employment.  My move though, took me to Men’s Sportswear, and offices out of the “Garment Center,” so to speak.  I now had to leave Broadway, and take myself over to Seventh Avenue; cattycornered to Madison Square Garden or the southwest corner of  Seventh Avenue and Thirty-First Street.

Before the end of the first year, a friend and I were strolling along when she poked me.  “Oh, Ronnie, there’s that guy I told you about.”

“What guy,” I replied as I stopped, turned and scanned the area.

“No,” she whispered loudly. “Don’t look.  It’s the guy that looks like Billy Dee Williams.”

“Yeah, but I don’t see him,” I said.

With that, she tugged me along; we continued walking and began our descent into Pennsylvania Station.  Out of nowhere, this person eased next to me and began moving down the stairs.

“Going my way?” he asked.

Now, the “Eva” in me must have been napping, maybe on vacation without me – this is what I mean when I say pre-planned, because the heifer, I think, had to be….I don’t know, shopping in the Village, maybe?  “It depends on which way you’re going.” I answered, somewhat coy.

Now, he begins his rap. “My friend there,” he said, turning and pointing. “He told me I wouldn’t come over and talk to you.  I couldn’t let a pretty lady like yourself get away.  Why don’t you give me your number, so that I can call you sometimes?”

Although nice, I had to be short.  “Look it up.  It’s in the phone book under Chess King.” (Remember them)?

Wait, they’re in the mall.  There’s no mall in Manhattan, he thought.

With that, my friend and I slipped away.  A couple of days later he called.  Six weeks after that he asked me to marry him, and now, more years than I’d like to admit have mysteriously slipped from our grasp.  He had been assigned to a job directly across the street from Madison Square Garden, and had only been in the City for a few months.  What I believe is that he had been placed there just long enough for us to meet.  Once we got engaged – only a few months passed and he had to move out of that job and back to work in New Jersey.  So believe me when I say; luck, happenstance…….I think not.  If anyone would like to share, please feel free. If not, then I hope I have restored some memories or at least fanned the embers to create a new spark.

Also, remember – new month new pictures – travel on over to “View from the Roads,” and check out my pics for July.

http://wp.me/p1t1w4-7e – Gracefulness & Humility post

Image courtesy of Google Earth

About a Dream

Does anyone out there remember the movie “Made in Heaven” with Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis?  Timothy Hutton dies in a freak accident, goes to Heaven, and meets Kelly McGillis who has never seen earth, since she took life in the afterworld.  During their “thing” Kelly has to come to earth, and is delivered down the hallway of a hospital to her new parents.  Timothy finds there is a chance he can go back, and with this in mind, begs the person in charge to send him.  After some discussion, and a softening heart the Administrator breaks, and allows his request.  But, there is a snag; he is given a decree.  He must find Kelly before his thirtieth birthday.

That being said, I have a dear friend who demands anonymity, but who comes to me at least once a month with a story of a dream.  She has also agreed to the leaking of this little tidbit.  As she describes the passion, I listen with dumbfounded amazement, while she speaks through eyes that are without doubt, someplace else.  In the sleeping vision, she and the mystery man are never tangled in the physical – it’s always about true passion; lots of kissing, caressing, holding each other and staring into one another’s eyes.  She explains the fervor with almost (I can imagine) the same amount of heat experienced while in the middle of this reverie or maybe it’s me catching the fire.  She states, they go to concerts, a movie or merely hang out, talking.  However, never just conversing or watching the screen – it’s all done as they hold each other.  He examining her soul, she studying his.

As she is of advancing years, the young man in this delight would definitely place her in the “Cougar” category.  A person she has never met, yet comes into her night once every thirty days to terrorize her with promises of a forever love, and revealing his ability to satisfy her every whim, physical or otherwise.  But, my question is, what does it all mean?  I would like to think that like her, this young man, whomever he may be, is also encountering visits from a mystery woman.  A lady he could never begin to make plain, if asked, which would explain why everyone he has met falls short of his requirements.  Similar to Timothy Hutton in the movie, only our stranger is wandering aimlessly, never understanding his nonfulfillment.  The unfortunate fact in this picture is; they will never meet – can never come face to face as they are both out of their time – unknowingly – one just like the other.

Therefore, how long will she be haunted?  There is definitely a psychological reason for the torment. I say torment, because no sane person can live hanging on a dream; waiting for the next visit.  I don’t proclaim to have any knowledge whatsoever with regard to matters of the mind.  Thus, I’d like to sum this up as symbolic of an unresolved issue somewhere in the recesses of her brain.  However, in the meantime, and if we agree a nameless young man does exist, these two untimely lovers are doomed to have no future other than wandering in and out of, and disturbing each others slumber.  I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on the matter.