Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Snippets from Manhattan yesterday

Walking along Third Avenue, two women yakking behind me.

"Well, that was great. We'll have to meet for lunch again soon."
"Yeah, I really enjoyed it. We must."
"What are you doing round August?"



At the Citibank main office on Lexington, I come across a pilot strike.
There were about 100 American Airlines pilots dressed in crisp uniforms and carrying placards and slotting schedules. Apparently, they want more money and shares.


Then further down the street, a picket. I come across some men standing beside a huge (twelve) foot rubber rat. It was a local maintenance union on strike outside their building.
Who would want a rat as a mascot? Hardly endearing or guaranteed to elicit New Yorkers sympathy, I'd say.

A sign of the times--the homeless are beginning to be very visible. At the Port Authority where I board the bus home, there was a man sleeping on the tile floor nearby. As I watched, I couldn't help but wonder what happened in his life that he's now on the streets in the wealthiest city in the world. Unfortunate thing is there's going to be a lot of homeless if the economy keeps gooing south.

And finally, a glimmer the recession may not last as long as some fear. All around the city, there are new highrises going up--and, if the advertising is to be believed--over seventy percent of the new luxury apartments in some of them are already sold.

An eerie sight now presents as one is leaving NYC via the Lincoln Tunnel. As the bus snakes around the ramp leading to I78, one is treated to magnificent views of Manhattan including two shimmering highrises that have been recently erected in mid-town. They resemble small versions of the twin towers and one's thoughts are immediately taken back to that terrible day. I wonder if the architect designed that deliberately or if the building were designed and approved years before 9/11.

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