Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The colorful workers used GooGone to clean the rails and listened to mariachi. On a sombre note, a man told Andrew that the massive church, which seats 10,000, averages 300 worshippers. That’s not the sombre part. The fullest day of the year is not Easter or Christmas. No, the man reported enthusiastically, it is early October. Oh, what holiday would that be? “Well, the feast of St. Francis! The blessing of the animals. It’s incredible, the place is packed to overflowing with people and their pets. We had an elephant come for a while. You could go out in the courtyard and the priests would bless individual pets.” I thought of the moneychangers in the temple, such a misuse of a divine place. But then I was reminded that God is where His people are, and Andrew and I are His people.
Andrew looks over Columbia Teacher’s College at Union Seminary and Riverside Church. Our day’s high point, literally, was intended to be the top of that tall tower, however when we got to the tower elevators and said happily, “We would like to go to the top of the tower,” the guy in the maroon vest, with zero remorse or sympathy, said, “Nope. Can’t go to da tower. Closed to da public.” I mean, no feeling whatsoever. Clearly we were eager. I love NY, but I will say that a southern man would have been gentler with this bad news.
We walked miles to find this closed up tight as a drum, naturally as it was about 11:45 am, and so much not what we expected that we decided (rightly, we discovered later) that this wasn’t THE Cotton Club of Harlem Renaissance fame. But New York redeemed itself from the mean guy at the tower elevator when a pure angel walked by and told us that no bus will stop at the bus stop where we were waiting. We would have sat there in Harlem all day waiting for a bus that wasn’t coming, like one of those skeleton memes.
But we did get some great views from Riverside Park on the Hudson River of mid Manhattan.
In keeping with a day north of the park, today’s lunch was Puerto Rican. Isn’t she wonderful? That blob on the left was delicious; called mofongo al pilon, it was a little like our turkey dressing only instead of turkey it was crispy pork cracklings and fried chicken chunks, and instead of cornbread it was mashed green plantains. You spooned a mild garlic sauce over it. Plantain chips, cuchifritos, and salad completed this third cultural food foray joining Middle Eastern and Chinese. Yes, I could live here if we needed to plant Tito Puente Presbyterian Church.
More fun than Broadway!
Wait, khaki pants, white button down, is that . . .? Yes, yes it is. Andrew was selected from the audience to . . .
. . .bust a move. He chose to do the chicken dance. And so I will leave you with that – Andrew doing the chicken dance on the Apollo stage before all Harlem.
Love from NYC!