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Friday, March 02, 2007

Visiting Hannah in Manhattan, part one.

My friend Judy, owner of Mandala Classroom Resources, called a while back and offered me a free ride to NYC this weekend - she has a trade show. How could I pass up a chance to visit my daughter, the co-blogger formerly known as Melina? So yesterday we packed up and left at 6 am.

Her old but trusty car (see below) has no cd player so we talked and talked. We talked so much we missed our turn onto the Beltway and enjoyed an unscheduled tourist excursion through downtown DC during morning rush hour. We wondered at some hubbub on the Baltimore-Washington parkway:
  • A K-9 unit (we didn't see the dog);
  • Helicopters circling low overhead;
  • A large group of police standing idly by the side of the road, all their lights flashing;
  • Pronounced rubbernecking on both sides of the highway.
We stopped a couple times for coffee but Judy drove all the way through. I spent about 45 minutes lounging in the loading dock protecting her car while she unloaded her materials in the conference center, then she came back and started up the car.

Except it wouldn't start. No gas. We'd forgotten to put any gas in the car, we'd gotten all the way from North Carolina to Manhattan on one tank of gas and it had given out at the loading dock.

Luckily Judy had a gallon-sized water bottle in the car. She hates wasting things so she was reluctant to dump it out - "Look, it's nearly full!" As we walked to the gas station she was taking deep, hearty draughts (so as not to waste); I reminded her excessive amounts of water might be hazardous to her health and offered to pay fifty cents as compensation for the wasted portion.

We entertained ourselves by thinking about all the other places we could have run out of gas - the NJ Turnpike, for instance, or - even better - the Lincoln Tunnel. Quite entertaining.

We got back to the loading dock, made a funnel out of a Starbuck's coffee cup, poured the gallon in, and the car started right up. She patted it and pronounced it a good, faithful, and trusty vehicle.

Now I'm ensconced in Hannah's 5th floor walkup. One of her roommates is trying to move out and is having one of those Chinese puzzle experiences: there's no empty space so everything has to be jostled, re-adjusted, re-stacked, and re-stacked again in order to produce enough free space to open a packing box and put something into it. Then the packing box itself takes up space ordinarily used by these slender young folk as they sidle from one partially empty part of the apartment to another.

A niche approximately 2'6" x 5'6" was carved out on the living room floor for my pallet. It rained all night, nice music to sleep by. I dreamed about being in a rambling old complex of buildings by a lake.

Project for the morning: visit local thrift stores and find a long skirt to wear to services at this synagogue tonight. (The Urban Caballero is afraid to come with us - he'll have to sit in the Men's section with the guys in black hats - but he'll change his mind, I'm sure...)

I've also brought George Bain's book on Constructing Celtic Art on this trip with me and plan to take it to the library and put ink to graph paper for an hour or two, since it's too rainy for a walk.



At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell the UC to go ahead and go. I'm not Jewish, but my sister married into the Jewish faith and converted about 20 years ago. I was at a Yom Kippur service in her Synagogue a few years ago (I had previously been to a couple of Bat Mitzvah's thee), and it was a wonderful expereience. One of the more touching events was the man next to me continually pointing out where we were in the Hebrew Torah.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you have a lovely weekend in NY. I can't believe how fortunate you were to run out of gas on the loading dock! You couldn't have choreographed it better.

At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you are having a good visit with Hannah . My daughter has been in Manhattan on business since Wednesday. She was supposed to fly back to Canada tonight, but all flights are cancelled due to bad weather there. So, Hub, her sister, and I were going to drive to Newark airport to bring her here, but she decided to rent a car and drive here. I'm watching ''Amor Real'' to keep my mind occupied while I wait . ''Mundo'' was too annoying to watch tonight. Newark airport is a little less than 2 hours from here. Enjoy your time in the Big Apple.~~~Susanlynn, waiting


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