Anne and I spent the Holidays and her Birthday (December 24) in New York City, which is indeed the Center of the Universe.
New York has it all, with something for everyone. Where people lead their real and pretend lives out in the open.
Our first stop in New York was to pay our respects to those who lost their lives at Ground Zero. The posted names of the victims of Islamism sent shivers down our spines, as it seemed to do to everyone else who stood there in silence.
We watched as people pointed to the names of loved-ones who died there on 9/11. We watched as people wiped away tears. Us included.
But New York is New York. And whatever doesn’t kill this remarkable city, only makes it that much stronger.
I’ve been to New York many times, but never have I seen this town so full of life, hope and anticipation.
From Time’s Square to Rockefeller Plaza. From Canal Street to the Bowery. All of it was magnificent.
We ate our way through the City at famous places like Katz’s Deli, sitting just one table away from where “Harry met Sally”.
Katz’s might be the most famous Jewish Deli on the planet. And as always, was packed out the door with every race, culture and religion lined up to order incredible corned-beef, pastrami sandwiches or other great Jewish Deli items.
There was even a young woman sitting a seat away from us wearing a Free Palestine “T” shirt with the Palestinian flag and all. No one gave a damn about her, or her “T” shirt, because this is New York where everyone has the right to an opinion. Regardless of how stupid and inappropriate it is.
We ate at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Yonah Schimmels, located at 138 East Houston Street (just down from Katz’s), whose only dishes are Knishes.
Where in the world, other than New York City, can there be a restaurant that flourishes for more than 100 years (since 1890) on just one dish? Knishes of all things?
Then we had the best supper ever, at a restaurant called Sammy’s Rumanian, with live entertainment, where we drank seltzer from old-style seltzer bottles, and ate the unbelievable food my mother used to make.
This packed little restaurant, which seated no more than about 60 people, was alive with music, singing, and dancing all night. Where Anne and I spent as much time dancing as we did eating.
Sammy’s is the epitome of a Yiddish dining experience.
But all the folks who enjoyed the night weren’t just American Jews. The diners included Israelis visiting from Israel, Christians who sucked it all in, and a group of Chinese visitors who danced as much as we did.
And just for you to imagine what it was like: there’s no dancing floor. All the dancing and Horahs (traditional Jewish circle dance mostly associated Havah Na Gillah) were between the tables where strangers danced and laughed together.
At one point, a young woman from the group of the Chinese tourists was hoisted in the air on a chair held by other diners, and danced around the room as if it was her Bat Mitzvah or wedding celebration.
ONLY IN NEW YORK!
Macy’s was wild on Christmas Eve. Time’s Square was brilliant. And Rockefeller Plaza with its giant lighted tree, skating rink, and music bouncing off the buildings was a scene to behold.
As best as I try to describe this night, I cannot do it justice. It was just so magical that you really had to be there.
After one evening and two days in New York City, it’s easy to understand why the Islamists and all other members of their religious insane-asylum have such a hate-on for the Big Apple.
New York City scares the piss out of the Islamists, because it is the essence of free will, free expression, and in-your face success, which are all things foreign to religious fanatics, who in a 100 lifetimes could never measure-up to the spirit that makes New York City the greatest meeting place on earth.
For Anne and myself, our short but wonderful trip to New York City, was in its own way a sort of religious experience, where our faith in what Secular humanity can achieve was reinforced.
Everyone should treat themselves if they can, to a weekend or holiday in the City that truly never sleeps, even if it’s just once in a lifetime, since New York will have a lasting impact upon one’s perception of the possible.