Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Sue and I took a trip up to New York for 3 days to say hello to my old friend Iona and her husband Dave. They live on the West Coast, so the trip was a treat for them, as well as Sue and I. We didn't do a whole lot, just walked around the old neighborhood on Kings Highway, passed by our old Junior High School and the apartments where we used to live. I haven't been back to Brooklyn in almost 10 years, so I really needed to "feel" the energy of the Big Apple. And it's still there, alive and kicking, filled with all kinds of people trying to make a buck, or a name, for themselves. The subway still had musicians playing in many of the cars, and some were really good!

Iona and I went to Juinor High together, only a few short years ago. I had never met David before. For me, it was instant friendship. This guy does it all, and with style! You should have seen him zipping in, and out, of traffic in the city all the way to Brooklyn and back. He's from the West Coast and navigated the streets of my old home town like a native.

New York is nothing without walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, so we did that on an overcast, and slightly rainy day. The bridge is undergoing a new paint job, but the majesty of the structure, along with the ingenuity of the concept of suspension bridges in general, always make this a wonderful thing to do in New York. And walking across with an old friend makes it even more special. The twin towers may be gone, but that indefineable spirit which makes New York the great place that it is, can never be destroyed. It goes on and on...

And what visit to New York would be complete without a visit to Little Italy? We happened to be there for the annual Feast of St Gennaro, and aside from the food there was this wonderfully colorful procession. This is the same procession depicted in the film "Mean Streets" with a very young Robert DeNiro. I used to go to this procession with my friends when I was young, and going back again, by chance, was really a bonus round for me. The Feast of San Gennaro is known for its food, and the procession itself, which heralds in an 11-day festival which honors the official "Saint Day", September 19th, when a celebratory Mass is held in the Most Precious Blood Church, followed by the religious procession in which the Statue of San Gennaro is carried from its permanent home in the church through the streets of Little Italy.

We didn't do all that much, it was a short 3 day visit, but the City of New York is still alive and well. The sights, smells and colors, along with a new crop of immigrants, make any visit to New York the unique treat that it always has been, and always will be.

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