Of pavement sales, Mr. President, and the Most Photographed Person on 5th Avenue!

 

September 13th 2016…… As part of our usual exploratory Manhattan walking, my husband and I crisscrossed the streets from 1st avenue to 5th Avenue, but this day it was a strange sense of business everywhere: Workers and NYPD were everywhere, erecting metal barricades starting from First Avenue and driving around with their lights flashing. New Yorkers, as always, didn’t seem to care & my curious cat husband asked a couple of police women what were was going on. One of them told us the reason for the commotion, the leader of the free world, Mr. President, would be passing through.

We walked across towards 5th avenue passing through Lexington Avenue & the streets were buzzing with tourists, dog walkers, baby walkers (strollers) & few office goers. The weather was slightly warm but beautiful. At 62nd street, a gentleman was walking 4-pretty looking Poodles, all in apricot & almost same size while the 3 marched in unison, one of it started with pranks. While waiting for the crossing, one of the Poodles decided that she (guess) had had enough & slept on the ground & refused to get up inspite of the handler coaxing it…we spent few minutes watching the cute drama queen.. then as she still fussed, we walked further past the grand Apple show room.

As we passed the GOP’s Presidential candidate’s looming black tower, tourists were busy photographing themselves with the happiest person of the day – the beaming DOORMAN… outside stood few cops, seemingly oblivious of the activities around. For once the General & his Golden lady had a competitor… There were 2-professional photographers perhaps expecting Mr. Trump to get out of the tower, randomly clicking the doorway & another one busy interviewing passersby (a lady in light blue attire was talking into the mike) & a gentleman, dressed in a T-shirt & shorts with a placard in hand that had a picture of two of sons of Mr. Trump with a dead wild cat with “Trump’s sons are deplorable” written across & another one with “Dump the Trump”. We stood there watching the circus & after few seconds a young couple passed by & started arguing with the protestor… we are not Trump supporters but you have no right to say…. the argument went on for more than ten minutes… & most tourists were interested in clicking pictures with the Doorman… who was practically in 7th heaven.

As usual I was insisting that I want to talk to the protestor & my husband did not want anything to with the drama around… finally when the couple left, I asked the gentleman to pose for a picture & then a Jewish gentleman (not very orthodox) with a little cap on his head started discussing with the protestor… saying the photograph must have been doctored!! The protestor was telling that they are fond of hunting & they have killed so many animals & they are hoarding ivory at home, etc., etc. Everyone seemed or sounded like they were not for Mr. Trump but were against the depiction… anyways their understanding or logic was beyond my understanding!

We walked further, passing in front of beautiful old churches & going in & out were the tourist like us, just curious to see the décor like the stain glasses inside… one church even said “This is God’s House, All are Welcome”… I wondered what would be the future of the N-number of beautiful churches in Manhattan? I remember the charming churches of Amsterdam, which are turned into discos or something else as church goers dwindle. I have no idea if Mr. God is happy (or sad) to be left alone in peace. I thought of the “Good News” people still trying to convert the innocents back in India by offering money & wondered instead of creating incomplete, half knowledge worshipers why can’t they improve the existing ones? Strange are the ways of men & their ideology.

We spent time lazing around Rockefeller Center & looked at the exotic Asian plants including the little bread fruit trees & was wondering why they had harassed me & my husband for carrying a single little orange from a British Airways meal at Boston Airport way back in May 2009. Words from the principles of Rockefeller Jr, in front the building is always very inspiring for me. Interestingly, in front of it two men were arguing about something related to one of the gentleman’s wife… & both seemed strangers! Further at the entrance was etched “Wisdom & Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times” – hope this will pass on from generation to generation.

As we returned, beside Trump Tower stood an ambulance & an old man was sleeping on the stretcher after collapsing from fatigue. We stood watching the efficiency of the attendants. While passing in front of the Trump Tower we noticed that the door man had changed & there stood a serious-faced man seemingly stressed & no one was photographing… I joked with my husband that perhaps everyone was jealous of the previous Doorman getting so much attention….. Seemed like he was even more popular than the static Queen’s Guards… of Buckingham Palace!!

And as we crossed, just before the apple showroom, there were many portable chairs & some had small plastic covers kept next to each other. On it was written “$300 for the space including the chair”. Now I was wondering if people are allowed to sell the pavement or what? America is advancing a step forward or backward? I’ve heard of people selling land in the moon… so this must be the testing ground… hum! Made my husband talk to one of the people sitting on the chair & they said they had no idea why they were selling the space. How charming, all in part of hour’s wage. Well, ignorance is bliss… & as we walked further, there were countless offers of carriage trips around the park. And with a “thank you, we have done it already”, I asked one of the gentleman about selling the space & chair & he said it’s for the iPhone 7 sale, for the 16th release…. Oh boy it’s still 13th & sale already started…. God help them. Pokemon…. iPhone 7.. what next..? As long as the human minds could be lured, there are endless opportunities & there is no end to surprises.

Later Mr. Obama’s convoy passed just a stone’s throw from home but I was too tired to go stand to see the vehicles… once I did see Mr. Bush junior’s helicopter landing in Washington & it was not thrilling so what is the use of waiting for a bunch of black car?

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