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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
     Monday, October 13 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

New York afterthoughts

As reported earlier, on the day that New York City and much of the northeast was hit by the first general blackout to strike the area in something like 38 years, August 14, my son Mike was stopped by an unidentified video camera crew and interviewed about his thoughts as we made our way out of Times Square. The microphone lacked an identifying logo like the ones you see in just about every TV show and even on newscasts, when they're stuck in the faces of celebrities, prosecutors, defense lawyers...always identifying the reporter by the station he or she works for.

Because of this omission, I assumed it was some local TV station news crew, or even a freelance crew trying to sell some footage, or a local cable channel. We'd probably never hear or see any evidence it had ever happened. Besides, even if it was for a national news organization, it was one of the first interviews conducted and there would be lots of much more interesting and exciting stories told that evening when millions were stranded in Manhattan (and, presumably, in other cities from Buffalo and Toronto to Cleveland and Columbus).

Two weeks after our vacation was long gone, Mike and I walked into our local Starbucks in San Jose, where we've been seen often enough to be recognized. Immediately the young woman behind the counter looked at Mike and said, "Didn't I see you on television?" She had seen the interview, apparently on CNN, in a doctor's office. Small world.

I also reported about our 28-block walk from Times Square to the hostel we were staying at on The Bowery, in Manhattan's East Village that night. Though there were no lights there, we and other overnight guests made do with the LED lights from cameras, candles, and flashlights. But it wasn't until weeks later, again back in San Jose, that I heard from an acquaintance that a friend of his was also in Manhattan that night. He was registered at a Marriott Hotel on Times Square, in a room on the 26th floor. And his friend and all the other patrons of that hotel and presumably those registered at scores, possibly hundreds, of other highrise hotels, were not allowed to return to their rooms because there wasn't enough battery power to keep emergency lighting going in the stairways to the higher floors. He and thousands of others had to try to sleep on park benches (we had known thousands spent the night in parks, but assumed they were stranded commuters, not registered guests at highrise hotels). So long after the fact, we had another reason to rejoice for our "inadequate" hostel, the White House on the Bowery,

One other loose end about New York. One of the relatives we met at our family reunion in Juniata County remarked, "why would you even want to go there"? I find it hard to fathom having lived within a six-hour drive of Manhattan for years and not ever having visited, but I know many within that circumference have never done so. And, conversely, I'm sure many are born, live normal lives, and die in New York City without ever venturing out into upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut. Both attitudes are what is often called "provincial," or as we might have said in Blacklick Valley, "stick-in-the-mud." I'll just throw out a challenge: put aside $100 or more to drive I-80 over the George Washington Bridge or take the Greyhound to New York (assuming you're in Pennsylvania or closer and assuming you couldn't even get a roundtrip on Amtrack from Johnstown to New York for that amount). Take a ride or a half dozen rides on the subways...enough of them to figure out how they work (it isn't difficult...they use English there!). Get a coffee or other beverage on Times Square. See the lights and the steaming 50-foot cup of soup there.

You'll never be the same afterward and you'll be talking about your overnight (or more according to your budget) in New York. A hint: October is the best time of the year to visit. Take an hour's drive north of Manhattan on the Henry Hudson parkway to enjoy the fall colors over the palisades. Don't worry about getting lost. You probably will, but you'll find your way back.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Think about it (but not too long)

I went to a seafood disco rave last week...and pulled a mussel.

—Sent by Bill Dalrymple 

Thought for today



— Sent by Alice Prewett 

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