We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I spent quite a bit of time in NY, some with Mrs. BD, last week. Some random pics and observations follow.
Whenever I expect to spend a few days in the city, I bring a bag of my shoes that need polishing, new laces, or new soles, to Eddy's in Grand Central Station and pick them up later. If I have a spare 15 minutes, I like to sit in those chairs and get a shine. Like a guy's version of a pedicure. Feels luxurious. Spit shine, better than I can do myself. $10 including $2 tip.
More below the fold -
A busy place, wonderful space. On lower level, an excellent food court not to mention the Oyster Bar Restaurant.
The Waldorf-Astoria, a grande dame NYC hotel, is closing next month for a 4+ year renovation. The new Chinese owners will convert most of it to condos but retain about 250 luxury rooms. Nobody seems to know what they will do with the public spaces and their 1931 art deco decor. A few pics of some public spaces in case they rip it all out.
The massive lobby clock. When I was young, I remember telling dates I'd meet them at The Clock. In recent years, I tell my kids and Mrs. BD to meet me at the clock.
For old times sake, we lunched at the Waldorf's Peacock Alley and at their Bull & Bear. I doubt they will survive the changes. I hate change. The bars in the lobby are also excellent, if pricey.
Their largest meeting room
Another large hall for parties, meetings, etc
Walking around the East Side yesterday, it was impossible to avoid the hordes of middle- and upper-middle class white women marching to protest something. Might have been 100,000 of them, some dragging along husbands, children, and boyfriends. Not clear what they were protesting, but they were obviously having great fun. Lots had signs saying "Hands off my uterus" which puzzled me because nobody wants their uterus. However, they seem to want government permanently in their genitalia as they also seem to want government to pay for their sexual expenses including, or especially, abortions in which case government is indeed in their uterus.
One guy (with a grilfriend) carried a sign saying "Girls just want to have fun." I commented to Mrs. BD that, if this was a pro-abortion march, a more appropriate sign would be "Guys just want to have fun."
Anyway, there were tons of selfies so I think it was a Pussy-Selfie March. Most people who were doing other things and going other places ignored them all.
Some number of our friends were marching. All in good fun, to each his or her own.
We hiked uptown to see the Beyond Caravaggio show at the Met. I had never heard of Valentin de Boulogne. Drama-filled baroque-era pictures, notably with no backgrounds and no floors to put the emphasis on the action. Solomon and the two women:
A 1600s pop music group
The lady is playing a Spinet, a portable harpsichord. The museum displayed one next to the painting. Cool. They invented the portable keyboard:
In my family the kids got a pair of shoes in September for school. Back then they still had those machines that you put the foot in and you could see where your toes were in the shoes. We wore them to school and to play. We wore them in the rain and the snow. God forgive you if you ruined your shoes in that year because your mother wouldn't. We would shine our shoes every Saturday night for church the next day. If the shoes looked pretty bad we would start with soap and water or maybe saddle soap. I actually liked shining my shoes and was always amazed how how much you could bring them back with a little work. Probably not the same today with cheap shoes made in China.
In the military shining shoes was an art and there were artists who excelled at it. I learned at their feet (so to speak). You could get away with a mediocre shine in fatigues but in class A's you better be able to see your face in them. I hung that up after 20 years but I always appreciated good leather shoes and a good shoe shine. A good pair of shoes can be resoled and made to look like new. A cheap pair of shoes will wear out quicker and cannot be saved.
I'm surprised that a shoe shine in NYC isn't more expensive. That's only $2 more than at the airport in OK. Not only am I cheap, but I like to shine my shoes and boots so I would never pay for it. But, I've learned the hard way not to be cheap when it comes to shoe repair shops. How do they do same-day turn around for shoe repairs? I would think they are swamped.