Thursday, February 23, 2006
New York, New York. These days I have a love/hate relationship with my adopted hometown because I know that as soon as the plane touches down in the city, county and state of New York, I will say goodbye to my beloved youngest child, again. Just how many times do you have to relive a terrible moment? Anyway, that's how it is. So we land at JFK on the redeye out of Seattle and struggle to the cabstand where we enlist the services of one foreign cab driver, who, God is good, has bathed recently and eats food that is not highly spiced. Apparently.
We drive through Queens in the morning traffic and he talks incessantly on his cell phone, jabba, jabba, jabbba, fawhoosh, fawhoosh, fawhoosh, skink, skink, skink. Until at a point, he says emphastically as he stabs the air, NAY, NAY, NAY; YOU DO THIS TODAY OR I SEND YOU BACK TO IRAQ TOMORROW. In perfect English.
Welcome to Noo York Citty.
Of course, our room is not ready so we stash our bags with the bell captain and wander out the front door to Starbucks. The phone starts ringing as they all bid us welcome; we are rich in friends and lucky in children and the day is deep and the sun is high before we know it. We look up and we have showered, changed, caught the 9 down to the financial district, and we meet our dearest friends at the Federal Reserve Bank. They have arranged a private tour. This is New York. A city about the size of Rathdrum. You can get a private tour of the vault that holds 353 billion US$ in gold buillion if you know the right people. Outside the front door, we talk to the security guard; former CIA, Secret Service. He has a black nylon box strapped to his left leg. I ask him if it isn't hard to run in that and he says it's not hard, it just took him a few weeks to get used to it. I ask him, if it isn't classified, if he could tell me what's in the box. He gives me a split-second look of benevolent pity, then replies matter of factly, if softly, "It's a gas mask. They're standard issue now."
Welcome to New York indeed.
The 'Kan EWA