Tuesday, May 15, 2007
"This is your captain speaking. We will be landing in New York in approximately 7 minutes. Please, enjoy your stay, and thank you for flying XYZ Airlines."
All I could think, looking out the window down on the "greatest city in the US" was, "Man, there sure are a lot of baseball fields down there." Baseball, apparently, is a much bigger sport in New York than it is in Kansas City. We're pretty much all about football down here. Go figure, the farm boys are more interested in a game where you can beat the hell out of your opponent, and get patted on the back for it.
So what's in New York, you ask? Well, let me explain...
Two weeks ago Mister M and I are sitting around one evening, shooting the electronic breeze. Pretty much out of nowhere, he pops up with, "Hey, I was thinking about going to New York this month. Wanna come with me?" And that was pretty much that. I scheduled a long weekend from work, hopped on a plane, and the next thing I knew I was listening to the Fasten Seat Belts sign ding and that dripping-smooth captain's voice crackling overhead.
The weekend went by in a blur as we bustled from tourist trap to tourist trap. The most interesting, of course, was Bodies... The Exhibition. If you haven't heard of it, it's an amazing look at the human body and all its inner workings. It's something like walking through a cadaver disection, step-by-step, except that the cadaver is doing things like playing baseball, conducting a symphony, or crouching in the famous "Thinker" position.
Central Park, of course, was gorgeous. I found it absolutely amazing that a city stuffed to the brim with the bustle of human life would reserve such a large swath of peace. I'm very glad the city hasn't encroached on the solitude of the park. It's really an island of sanity amidst the noise of the city.
Most ironic during the trip was the positioning of St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is nestled among gaudy boutiques and over-priced super-yuppy glamour stores, right there on the infamous 5th avenue. I got my own personal chuckle at contemplating Jesus in Gucci sunglasses. The cathedral, which lies somewhere between beautiful and gaudy, will soon be offering candle-lighting oportunities via the web. Faith by distance, conveyed through the most convenient means. Not exactly what I'd call supplication and sacrifice.
Back to the vacation... We trotted by the Ellis Island building, which I'm only assuming runs (or used to run) a ferry to our lady of perpetual welcome. Unfortunately, because of construction, we weren't able to see so much as the tip of her lamp. It was a bit of a let-down. I mean, who goes to New York City and doesn't see the Statue of Liberty?
Apparently, I do. Ah, well... there's always 2008.