A few more thoughts from our New York City family road trip.
New Yorkers are tough as nails, but are softies at heart. Only in New York can you go out for coffee in the morning, get checked out up and down by burly construction workers despite being middle aged, while passing by a dry cleaners with a huge "God Loves You" sign in the window.
And you see this the morning after you take the kids for a walk around town and watch someone almost run into a cab, crossing the light on a red, pound the cab for almost running into him, all while the cab driver rolls down the window and screams at him: NEXT TIME I'M GONNA KILL YOU MUTHF&CKAHHHH-much to the giggles of my children.
New York cheesecake is the real deal. It tastes even better in a "take away" container-we Canadians say "take out", and eaten with coffee from the hotel coffee maker and cream-all of us poised around the little hotel table, watching Christmas specials on TV-taking a rest from the walking.
I heard a lot of Spanish spoken, probably more than English. The buildings are tall and impressive, the Christmas decorations lovely. It's a big, bustling city where everyone busts their chops, and every inch of sidewalk has capitalistic potential.
The hallal schwarma stands are making a killing, it smells great (nisht for us, not kosher), but the husband and I agreed that whatever they were shaving off the spit did not look like meat at all.
Another thing I noticed was that a lot of the purse/schmatta vendors with their carts are African Muslims. In the freezing cold of Manhattan, I watched one of them unroll a scraggly prayer mat, put it down on the sidewalk behind his cart and pray. And I thought to myself, there is the religious devotion that we need to both watch out for and learn from. I do see Jews take time out for prayer in public places-but not often in North America, but all the time in Israel.
I don't remember the last time I saw any group of Christians spontaneously pray in public.
We should not be afraid of prayer, of pride in Judeo-Christian faith and prayer. It should be more conspicuous and our faith is something to be proud of.
We met up for a beer with someone I've known for a long time from the blogging world (from that blog, that used to be conservative, with the funny name...) and he said that his aim right now is protecting his nuclear family from the encroaching socialism in America. He's putting his head down and nose to the grindstone to protect his immediate circle.
I can't say I blame him.
So those are some more reflections from a nice few days away.
Bear with me as I put another load of laundry on and get caught up!