I couldn't sleep last night. Not surprising; Renee usually goes to bed about 10pm and wakes up very early. Since we share her bedroom, I go to sleep at the same time and stay in bed until after eight, my usual wakeup. I've been getting 10 hours sleep and it finally got to be too much. The coffee I had with lunch didn't help either. So I lay there, almost too warm under a lovely down quilt, but with two blocks of ice for feet, and thought about anarchism and its various adherents; trying to figure out if any good had come from it. Most of the so-called anarchists during the 70s were nothing but common criminals: Weather Underground, Symbionese Liberation Army, the Unabomber.Certainly none of them brought about any good outcome. The most destructive group, the nineteen Muslims who destroyed the World Trade Center, were not anarchists, but nevertheless, wanted to destroy our way of life. It was a terrible disruption, but now, less than ten years later, New York moves along almost as if nothing had happened. The entrepreneurs on the streets work as usual. Panhandlers work the subways and skyscrapers continue to rise.
We took the unusually sparsely populated subway down to Battery Park. During the trip a man in a wheelchair, who had lost one leg, came through the car and collected money from almost everyone. Immediately following him two men with large conga drums sat down on their own chairs in the middle of the car and tried to put on a show. They had a lot of trouble warming us up. Most of the riders sat stone-faced throughout the performance. Too many hands out, I guess.
Emerging from the subway we saw lawns covered with Christmas wreaths, a 9/11 memorial sponsored by Wreaths Across America and Wal-Mart. Since 9/11 Battery Park has become the site of many memorials, including an interesting one for the merchant marine. (Photo to come)
We walked across the park to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where we saw a very moving exhibit called Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges, which makes a horrifying comparison between segregation and the holocaust.