I have not written anything for a long time on this blog. (Other parts of it, like Book Reviews and Research, I have recently updated. I have also done some relinking and re-arranging of the tab links.) I have been remiss in keeping up with the writing, but with COVID-19, there literally is nothing for me to write about.
I am home and have been since March. I have only been into New York City once since this lock down began, and that was in May to pick-up a file in my office at work. The trip I had planned to London the same month was cancelled. My observations of what I discover here and there are now extremely limited, namely to my apartment and neighborhood. Not fun.
A vaccine for this disease seems a long way off. I hope we have one by next year, but even if one is discovered, it is going to take months to manufacture enough vaccine and then inoculate everyone. How far into 2021 will we be when that happens? Time will tell.
And can I say how much I despise the new WordPress text editor? Apparently I cannot go back to the old text editor, once the new one is tried. If I knew that trying it was a one way street, I would never have bothered. There is always this need to change things.
People must once again adapt to technology, not the other way around.
My colleagues Anice and Caroline got together with me and we had a nice time at Alice’s Teacup II, which is near Hunter College, the City University of New York.
For those who don’t know about Alice’s Teacup, there are four of them around the city. Of varying sizes, II is the biggest with two floors. We got a wonderful table by the window facing the street. Alice’s serves tea-type of food like scones and sandwiches, all of it delicious. We were there for hours, eating and chatting.
Don’t forget: if you are in Westchester and need a tea fix, then visit the Silver Tips Tea Room in Tarrytown, where afternoon tea is served all day.
On January 21, I marched to support the rights of women in Poughkeepsie, New York. A close friend of mine braved the trip to Washington, D.C., which I did not want to try and do. So, when Tara, a friend from the Historical Society, suggested Poughkeepsie, I liked the idea. Poughkeepsie, after all, may not be a major city of the United States, but it is still a city with a statement to make. Why not help them make it?
It was cold, but not as cold as it was walking across the bridge over the Hudson. It got colder as soon as we neared the other side, and remained cold until we crossed back over. There was a lot of positive vibes from the participants, and the march was upbeat. I got a cool tee-shirt to mark the occasion.
Besides Tara, her friend Joanie came along. We took Metro-North in the wee hours of the morning and then walked over to the site of the march. There was no parking anywhere close to the sight as the lots were packed with participants, with many more looking for places to park.
The pics are of the crossing, of Tara and Joanie, and of a Christmas tree that was still decorated at this late date.
Christina Rusnak once worked at The Silver Tips Tea Room, which is where I met and got to know her. She was a very positive person and vibrant. She had a bubbly personality. I remember her waiting on the various people who came into the Silver Tips and she always had a smile and a kind word for everyone.
I have a tea cosy shaped like an owl hanging on my kitchen wall because of Christina. She was constantly trying to find homes for the “cute” merchandise that the Silver Tips would sell. She also did this with my friend Lucye. Besides the owl cosy, I took a few other items home because of her. Christina had a great sense of humor, another trait that made her popular with people. She used to tell me about her regular visits with her grandmother.
The last time I saw her at the Silver Tips, Christina was hawking lemonade with Analisa, another employee who no longer works at the Silver Tips. I had come to say good-bye as I was leaving for Greece. When I returned three months later, Christina was gone, having made the move to Fortina, a restaurant in Armonk that I once reviewed. Matter of fact, I went there to visit Christina, to see how she was. We hugged and she asked me about Greece. I asked her how her work at Fortina was going, and she was very happy there, and very busy. Before I left, we hugged again and she told me to keep in touch.
Her career took off at Fortina, overseeing all three restaurants. Christina was a natural in the hospitality industry. She knew what she wanted to do, and she did it very well.
Sadly, life is truly unfair. Christina was only 30–far too young to leave this world.
Rest in peace, Christina. Your friends and family will never forget you.
I’m trying to finish my Masters degree as fast as I can. As a result, I’m swamped. I have one incomplete from last Fall Term that I need to complete before the end of this term or I forfeit the credits. Meanwhile, I have a term paper due soon in another class as well as a digital project for yet another that is far more involved than I was initially led to believe.
I miss blogging. I have no time for it right now.
Because I missed Halloween, the photo is from Amazon.com’s costumes section. I wanted to post this because it struck me as funny–dressing up a dog like a Triceratops, which happens to be my favorite dinosaur. Better late than never.
“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”
According to NASA, the Apollo 11 astronauts left more than the discarded lunar module when they left the Moon. They also left a plaque.
The plaque was attached to the ladder on the strut of the landing gear. It was covered with a thin sheet of stainless steel that was apparently removed after they landed. (They didn’t want it to rust on the way up?) NASA didn’t say what the plaque was made from.
Neil Armstrong was the first man on the Moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin, Jr.; Michael Collins remained in the command module circling the Moon.
As these photographs show, the sidewalk in front of the damaged building and across the street are now covered with those ugly, faux “colonnades.” You can see that the building still has not been repaired.
Oh, and the front on the building at street level? It’s brand new, not even two years old. The holding company redid the entire front of the building on Madison and the cross-street.
Coming into work late, I was dismayed to find a block of Madison Avenue closed off. Why quickly became apparent. Pieces of a building were falling off.
Of course people were stopping to take photos with their phones–typical tourista–so I did what I normally do: I took out my camera and took photos.
You can see those temporary metal struts on the sidewalk in the first picture. These things are all over Manhattan around buildings. They go up and down. I cannot tell you how many times these things are erected around one building only to be taken down months or even years later–only to pop up around yet another building. They constrict human traffic flow, and create obstacles on the already-tiny sidewalks. However, in this case these temporary “colonnades” are needed, if for no other reason than to protect the walking population.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this happen. The facades of buildings have come loose in the past and have tumbled down onto the sidewalks below. Today was extremely windy, with rain. Yesterday and today have been rainy. With climate change, the once a year or so bad storms are now coming more frequently, and things like this, I am sorry to say, are going to be happening more and more.
I do hope that the buildings being put up within the last 5 years are more resistant to high winds. Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem of the older buildings and their decaying facades.
Just walking out your front door can be dangerous–something which the majority of us take for granted.