Just got back from an exhausting and exhilarating jaunt to NYC.  I love the big apple as do many others.  There were hundreds of thousands of visitors in New York at the same time as I was.  That is what makes it vibrant and that is also what makes it exhausting.  Although you see lots of smiles on the street you also see lots of disconnects as people live separate lives together.  New Yorkers rarely make eye contact.  Visitors are so awestruck by the sites they don’t even watch where they are going and there are line ups everywhere.  It is apparent to me as I watch people in line ups that the human race has yet to develop a strategy for maintaining patience while in line. In the US they say ‘on’ line.  That might be because it gets ‘on’ your nerves.  To see the Statue of Liberty you stand in line for the tickets and then you stand in line for the boat.  It is an all day affair and people choose to do it.

We choose not to stand on-line, looked at Lady Liberty from afar and moved on to other places of interest.  For me the statue which was a gift from France is symbolic of the wonderful opportunities offered to immigrants to the US and for them it is a shrine.  That is understandable.  It also shows the connection between France and the US and I heard many people speaking Parisian French on the streets and in the parks of Manhattan.  Their presence is felt as is the presence of the Italian immigrants.  There are so many restaurants offering Italian and French cuisine. The four we tried were excellent.  Good food, good wine and good friends – a vacation to remember. And an opportunity to study people in crowds and begin to understand how some people thrive in these settings where others cannot cope with the lack of both privacy and intimacy in the big city.

A crucible for conflict of many kinds, New York survives.