New York Day 1

Generally speaking, trips that begin with oddly pork-induced plasticware, napkins and salad dressing tend to facilitate polish deodorant, experimental sunglasses, and New York. This is not a hypothetical supposition:

In the San Diego airport then, Deb and I joined the jetBlue crew for the all-night flight cross country. There was only one casualty. My deodorant was withheld by security for being a 4oz gel container which consequently held less than 2oz of potentially explosive materials. Honestly, I think I did more damage on the plane without it, as we sweated the hot flight for four hours unable to sleep in our non-reclining chairs. We did have TV though and watched some boxing.

We landed around 5am and negotiated a taxi driver to drive us to Deb's friend's (Leslie) place in Brooklyn near Greenpoint. I say negotiated because the easiest way to hurt a New York taxi driver's feelings is to provide directions. First, he will be seduced by denial. Of course he knows where the street is, but he will falsely lower his pride to accept directions. He will then reiterate that he does in fact know the street, the town, and perhaps some square African footage as well. The third stage of the cabbie's hurt feelings materializes immediately once traffic slows. His knowledge of the city would have avoided the increase in traffic, the increase in fare, increase in pollution that will cause a Nigerian baby to cough up its little baby lungs. But instead, he will close his experienced eyes and follow left and right and a turn onto India Ave. He will have earned his tip and we our lesson: taxi drivers are crazy.

Still early before daylight, Leslie leads us to her and Odin's living room where an air mattress soon fell and filled.

Early afternoon we wake and patrol the Polish neighborhood for deodorant. The faint fragments of fall still lingered on their doorstep:

Mark, Deb's friend from Philadelphia, arrived soon afterwards and we all jumped the subway to Grand Central Terminal. Here is a typical station view:

Inside the Grand Central Terminal mostly were train stops and shops, although one corridor housed the Popular Science Best of What's New display. Obviously, we had to point and peruse new marketable science:

Once surfaced, we meandered through a few of the streets heading towards Central Park. First, however, we had to navigate through 5th avenue consumers like these:

The Rockefeller Center was already fixing the massive Christmas tree while early skaters went to their busying circles:

Above the skaters loomed buildings:

Central Park approached from the south:

Buildings in the water:

Mirrored buildings dry above water:

Some fall colors:

New York rocks. Sorry Barry. Central Park is filled with a healthy mix of greens and granite:

Curse my point-and-shoot! A tenor saxophonist's silhouette plays silhouette jazz under the bridge. Soft blur be damned, this felt like an ethereal NY moment:

The actual lighting as sunset sat:

Leaves rock two:

Overlooking another skating rink, Manhattan viewed from the park:

A man climbs a hill between a tree and a rock:

Apparently it is not uncommon for foreign independent film-makers to interview New Yorken folk. Mark posed as one such victim and explained his sexuality to the interviewer. The lady behind Mark did not appreciate being in front of the camera, nor my own:

Evidence of fall. Be still my heart:

More progress into the park:

A cluster of hearty flowers:

A lightly crowded picture of the often depicted mall:

Everyone hangs out in the park:

Even him:

Graffiti:

Amazing this time of year, the fountain also sported a folk band playing in front of the angel:

Taking a step back to follow a deep breath the scenery evoked:

This view was appreciated by all:

Leaf numbers 393249 through 394111:

We stopped at Carnegie Deli for a mound of meat, but I was the only one who ate anything on the menu. Deb ordered some vegetables and Mark ate free pickles. The giant stack of corned beef however was delicious. Later we migrated lightward to Times Square:

Before going to Maura's dinner party, we stopped at Whole Foods for a snack and some dinner gifts. Although the lines were incredible, having 30+ checkout lines in tandem made for a short wait:

Lots of beer and wine and deep discussion on New York's environmental habits carried us until a kind jeep ride dropped us at Leslie's place back in Greenpoint.

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