Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sunday in New York

Today was, oddly enough, busy. I walked down to the 15th Street Meetinghouse (built in 1860) for Meeting. The Meetinghouse is huge, with a big square Meeting room with a balcony. These folks are hard-bench Quakers, with all benches facing center. There were several messages on the intimacy (or lack thereof) of the Meeting. There were lots of messages, separated by a New York minute. These Manhattan Quakers are quick on their feet. They were also thoughtful and Quakerly, and it was quite lovely to visit with them.

After Meeting, I chatted with a few Friends, most notably a fellow who is undertaking the Ramadan fast in solidarity with Moslems.

(Earlier this week, during Rosh Hashonah and Ramadan, a young woman wished me a happy new year. I did not know whether she was Moslem or Jewish, so I wished her a happy new year in return.)

The Empire State Building, through the tower of Manhattan Bridge, from the Brooklyn Bridge

I then trotted over to Union Square where my parents were brunching. I got a cup of tea (the tea in NYC is unusually good; most restaurants can make a decent cuppa) and some fruit.

The Pedestrian Approach to the Brooklyn Bridge

We caught the subway downtown and then transferred to the Brooklyn train. I liked
Brooklyn; it has some of the feel of Berkeley. When you finish packing up, you should address the boxes to Brooklyn.

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, which is an amazing piece of late 19th century engineering. The towers are stone, and the cables were spun in place. They first rigged a wire across the towers and sent workers over it on something like a breeches buoy. I wanted to bring the bridge home to show you, but I couldn't get it unstuck.

Manhattan from Brooklyn

The crowd of the week was at Trader Joe's today. There are two check-out lines, one for 12 items or less and one for more than 12 items. One line reached more than halfway around the outside track of the store and the other reached more than 3/4 around the inside of the store. Employees stand with signs indicating the ends of the lines. I stood in line while my mom shopped. It's the longest check-out line I've ever seen, but it moved fast.

My tootsies are tired.

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