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Friday, July 2, 2010

Manhattan....

Today I went to Manhattan. The city is always moving and it is always wonderful to walk around and find so much culture, so much movement, so much color and so much diversity. It doesn't bother me; maybe because I don;t go over there so often.
This time I think that I have the right and obligation to post this blog and pour down my impressions about this particular day.
I had to take my niece and her baby to the city, because she wanted to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The weather could not have been better, the baby was unusually pleasant (one year olds cry and get upset easily), and the Long Island Railroad trip ran very smoothly, and on time. We had a quick lunch in one of those "delis" that offer all kinds of stuff...sandwiches, salads, wraps, and pastries. Since their opening, it's getting easier to have a nice, inexpensive stroll through Manhattan, because you don't have to spend a fortune to please your visitors ( I have to tell you that I am somewhat thrifty). 
After looking at some art work offered by the street vendors which stand in front of the museum, we carried the stroller up the stairs....so colorful! People are seating on the stairs...some eating, others having intelectual discussions, others taking pictures.  After checking the Egyptian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese art exhibits, getting some souvenirs, and after looking at the wonderful Picasso collection, which made me change my mind about cubism and "modern art", we had to leave, because it was closing time.
Because the baby had been so well behaved today, we decided to take him to one of the playgrounds in Central Park, and that is were our Via Crucis started!!!  He couldn't get enough of the swings and the slides and kids playing around...Two chinese babies looked so cute buckled to the baby swings!  And their moms seemed to be enjoying more than them the slight impulse while they pushed them...
We got a case of ""delirium tremens", but were able to drag him from there.
We decided to get into the bus, to do some real sightseeing as we headed to Penn Station to take the train back home. The stroller was packed with baby needs, some souvenirs and my pocketbook. The lady driver let us in and warned us about keeping the carriage as far away from the aisle as posible.  A big lady frowned her face and started mumbling about her tax money and about the millions that the city spends for a safe environment, and here we are, violating codes and endangering people (maybe she thought we were illegal aliens).  As the bus reached 34th Street and 5th Avenue, we were already exhausted and the baby, sleeping.  We started our way down very carefully, but my inexperienced niece, after asking for help (which was never offered or given to her), lost control of the stroller and the baby fell on his face with her by the side. I got so frightened and couldn't stop thinking about the face of satisfaction of the big lady inside the bus...who now was going to make her point clear!!! Fortunately, nothing more happened, and things did not go further than a big scare for the bus rider, ourselves and the remorseful indifferent "help deniers".  I was thinking about all the ifs of the world and how lucky we were. The little boy was so surprised, that he only cried for a block or so, until we reached the final bus to Penn Station.  We arrived just on time for the 7.08pm train to Long Island.  My feet were pounding and I was extremely tired after all this stair climbing and descending with the heavy carriage. Mommy was carrying her baby this time.
Finally we were in the train.  Baby got impatient and went under the seat. He started shrieking as the train started rolling..you could hear an indistinct "sshhh"from everywhere. He got his security blanket and held to his mom, and that was the end of them for a while.  So I decided to talk to my friend on the phone. Not two minutes had gone by, when the guy who collects the tickets came by and told me at "point blank"" that I had to stop talking on the phone, because everybody was complaining about how loud I was speaking.  Bullshit!!! Everybody was talking with their families on the phone, and everybody was talking to their friends!  And my voice was lower than theirs. I never felt so violated of my rights. and so I informed the guy. 
These incidents: the mean commentary of the big lady in the bus, and this last happening lead  me to think two things: either we live in a very neurotic, intolerant, indifferent society, or we are facing a serious case of disgusting racism, because I was talking in Spanish.  Or could it be, that people tend to eavesdrop and hear each other's conversations, and I guess I was not letting them entertain themselves, because they couldn't understand me?  I think that our society has not changed...that they like to justify and blame their frustrations in minorities, but they don't realize that all of them have been foreigners at some point in their lives; they don't realize that by making these differences, by desintegrating our society, they are caving their way in a hole of deception, hate, and disunion...where they will perish and never surge again!!!  Stop!!!