Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Went to Yael's Bat Mitzvah, and All I Got Was the Swine Flu

Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 pm:  As Cheez and I, newly arrived in New York City, emerge from Penn Station, he is reminded of something he read years ago, about how coming to New York after a long absence feels like you've just gotten out of in prison.  

Saturday, May 9, 9:45 am:  As Cheez and I lumber through a subway tunnel on the way to meet some friends for brunch, I remark that after ten days, being in New York feels like we're currently serving a term in prison.

When I was growing up, there were commercials that played frequently on suburban TV to promote tourism to the Big Apple.  The tagline, delivered by a rotating cast of celebrities, was I love New York!  It makes my heart beat faster!

Of course, so do anxiety, heart disease, rabies, scarlet fever, and sardine poisoning, but you don't see Sandy Duncan or Lauren Bacall starring in jazzy little commercials about them, do you?  

Not now that there's TiVo, you don't.

Just walking down the street our first full day in New York, we felt all the rush of excitement that Times Square and Broadway have to offer.  Indeed, I could almost hear Julie Andrews belting out some strange rendition of These Are a Few of My Nut Jobby Things

Giant white kitties

And guys with light sabers

Hassids with cell phones
seeking Middle East flavors

Or maybe the song to be singing is just
How much is that friar in the window?  The one with the thoracic stigmata . . .

But really what makes the New York City so special are the great people who live there.  

And their pet pigs. 

I spotted these pink-trimmed porkers (and no, I am not referring to that lady's track suit per se) while we were enjoying that May 9 brunch.  Before Cheez could even say, "Cancel that side order of bacon," I'd run out from the restaurant to take some pictures.

Since I was in New York, among my pushy element, I was not the only one.  My friends are not going to believe this said a very nice Jamaican immigrant, shaking her head over how these crazy white people in America carry on.  

Even the guy at the Watchtower Society table pulled a camera out of his pockets to take a few snaps.  Apparently, Jehovah you can witness any time, but a pig on a leash Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, now that is a true sign the end times may be upon us.

Or if not the whole end times, at least a real bad outbreak of H1N1.

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