Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Just had to walk across that bridge. Stopped to read a plaque honoring its builder, John A. Roebling. He perfected the use of twisted steel cables, which made the bridge possible. He died from injuries while constructing it, his son Washington Augustus, a Union Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil War, came home from war and finished the project. These brilliant engineers came from my neck of the woods: Saxonburg, Pennsylvania.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Amid the skyscrapers, just a stone's throw from the Twin Towers I found this old church  on Fulton Street. Overpowered by the achievements of architects and Man the Creator I walked inside and sat there for few moments feeling of my own lowliness. I felt like an empty church. But being there was somehow very consoling.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Stood in Central Park watching adults playing a new frisbee game. One team, like in football, flinging the disc to one another and advancing toward their goal, unless the opposite team intercepts and scores their own goal. Serious game played gracefully. Girls just as deft as the boys. Clean fun in New York.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I was not aware that Art Deco was so prevalent in New York. Everywhere! Of course, the Chrysler Building. But in so many other public buildings, private dwellings, in decorations. While walking down 5th Avenue I happened upon The French Building and stepped inside to find this magnificent entryway and hall.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Went to an historical Episcopalian Church on Fifth Avenue for a Sunday service. A woman priest. Her sermon in English: a delight for my ears and heart. Afterwards I spoke with her. Call me Elizabeth, she said, and conversed in such a friendly way. She had recently received her Doctor of Divinity and had just been assigned to this church.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Spent a lot of time in museums:the Guggenheim, MoMa, the Metropolitan. But the one that left the indelible mark was the Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue. I asked myself where Henry Clay Frick acquired his taste for the beauty of paintings and sculpture. He was a college dropout. His masterpiece collection is exhibited here in the serene and intimate rooms of his home. Frick comes to life here. It was as if I were standing there looking at beauty through his appreciative eyes.
After seeing the Frick Collection, viewing much of the collection at the MoMa was like reading comic books— trite and trivial.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Friday morning to the pier on 42nd Street. A three hour boat tour around the island of Manhattan. Our guide, Tom Wurl, was extraordinary. Non-stop interesting information about what we were seeing, what buildings we were looking at, who lived there, history, architecture of New York, baseball-football stories, quoted poetry and sayings of important personages.When I later moved up to the front of the boat to look out, I saw him standing in a corner with a mike in his hand talking, inconspicuous.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
What a pleasure: to get an invitation to have supper with friends in New York. Poured down rain, caught a taxi to 114th Street near Columbia, had the best corn I've eaten in ages and spent the evening mainly in heated political discussion about the presidential candidates. I noticed a marked difference in my perception as to what was being said, hearing it coming from Americans. Coming from a living source, thus carrying more meaningful weight. From the distance, in Europe, all talk about America seems speculative and groping.
An interesting comment made about books: America doesn't have a national literary culture. About the only book that we have in common is the Bible and we use it as the key to all literature, art, to living. It is the book that offers us vision of the whole.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
You went down five steps into a little shop run by an Turkish-American who had just bought the place. So polite and friendly. He would be toasting bagels and making pancakes for us for the rest of the week. Sat right by the counter and watched all types of people come in, most of whom just wanted the morning paper.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Just had to cross the street from our hotel and walk up the stairway entrance and I was in Central Park at the so-called Great Hill. On the flat circle at the top that Sunday morning at half past seven there were at least 50 people with their dogs and they had them chasing balls thrown in all directions.
What a spectacle: the sight of those dogs, legs extended, in flight . . . in the morning sunlight.