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Bike NY (continue 2)

May 13, 2007

NYC trip bits and pieces (continue)                     

NY Bike diversity

NYC is the thickest melting pot of the U.S. As G.H.W.Bush put it “A thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky”. It means great diversity 🙂

The Bike Tour is a good representation of such diversity. Thousands of people from various areas of U.S. People of “almost” all ethnicities and ages riding all forms of bikes .e.g normal bikes, tandem bikes, tall bikes, short bikes, hand-powered bikes for para fellow bikers.

The Brooklyn man

I had a chat with this Brooklyn man asking for way to Broadway. The chat was short but impressive. I will probably never forget.

He was a Brooklyn-born Brooklyn live man. He spoke very fast and loud thick Brooklyn accent. Firstly I thought I tempered him but that was just his character. His character probably typifies Brooklyn and NYC character.

He told me a joke. I did not catch the whole thing because of my English problem.

…You go to the exit. You go straight. You see the stop signs. You see a cop. You go straight… Don’t stop… Don’t stop…

I told him that what if I want to stop? I am sorry that I turned his joke down.. 😦

He quickly replied that…

…OK the gist of the joke is if you know you way, those trying to stop you get hit…

“..if you know you way, those trying to stop you get hit…” -> So impressive. It shows the character. It’s a Brooklyn one-liner for goal achieving!

The Brooklyn Bridge

I rode under the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. It was a place of lower-class people. It was dirty, dusty and lots of trash.

There were also few businesses under the bridge. I saw a very cheap grocery store (compared with NYC price) for poorer people. A few car garages and other services. It turned out, in NYC, people found every niche of the piece to live.

I do not where Harlem is but I would be scared. Probably it is close to what I saw under the Brooklyn Bridge in a more organized way. I know that Malcom X was quite a guy in Harlem in 1960’s.

NYC Streets and Strand Bookstore

This is probably my fifth visit to NYC I am not sure. Every time, I walked through several streets. More famous streets would be Fifth Avenue, Broadway, Hudson Road.

Visitors walk on streets to see diversity of people and activities. There are lots to see about people and streets.

Last time, I saw a religious group sitting to protest something in China. A middle-aged Asian lady was selling Internet cards by the sign she wore. She probably didn’t know much English either.

People walked on streets around Times Square to see lots of other people, under the lights from various billboards. Seeing differences is learning.

This time I walked with my bike to the Strand Bookstore. As a matter of practice similar to Hanoi Vietnam, the crowd passed the streets whenever no cars were coming. Time is money and that fact is a better truth in NYC.

Before long I got to StrandBooks. The facts proved the rumors. It was a multi-story bookstore with lots of used and rare books in reasonable prices.

I am amazed at the numbers of various types of books on various topics. I just had enough time to see the second floor and few cabinets on the first floor. The 2nd floor has lots of books on arts:  impressionist, modern arts, art history, erotic arts and gift arts etc 

I bought two books which are a combinations of pictures, proses and poems as mementos of Strandbooks.

NYC subway

NYC subway system is the dirtiest subway that I’ve ever seen. Dirty and dusty. But if you look closely, it is the New York way of life.

The subway swerves shakily along the railway towards several stops. At every stop, it stops and opens doors for those who know where they are going in less than 15 seconds.

The subway is dirty and tough. All the people are in a rush. They look tired and callous. No time for fun.

It is racing life style.

New York City and American emotion

I was wondering about American Emotion when I discussed with Marion Goodsell, a wonderful sophomore girl. She expressed with me the concept of “being stoical“, which means to bury one’s emotion deep down and interact with the world mostly rationally. That is clearer in older people, especially those who live through the Great Depression. Youth today are more expressive.

The diversity of NYC makes me rethink about “being stoical”. Why people are more cautious and hide their true emotion?” Probably because of great diversity, people have to watch out all the time to be safe. That is true in the US, truer in NYC. Any comments?

A staff at a fast-food restaurant

I was driving back probably close to Albany when I was so tired. I was so tired because of the intensive Sunday. I had to stop because I could not drive anymore. I stopped at a fast-food restaurant.

I found an cheerful black girl that saved my comeback trip. She was pleasing with serving my orders. While I was eating, she took over other customers waiting in the line of another staff doing another sales.

I complimented her on being so proactive. She shows sympathy for my being tired of long trip. I do not remember the town, the name of the store but I will remember her enthusiasm 🙂

Music on the trip

I mostly listened to Queens and Joan Baez and classical music. During the trip, I loved Queen and Joan Baez more. Queen’s lyric is so beautiful, meaningful and philosophical. Joan Baez has a soprano voice that heals all stress in the world. She is very meaningful.

Thank you for the trip

Many thanks who have many my trips a reality and a learning experience.

– My co-workers, especially Andre who coordinated everybody.
– My friend, Mr Diep who is enjoying great Ph.D. studies alongside his wife and his lovely boy.
– All kinds people that I had chance to encounter.

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