This trip to New York was very special. In addition to many of my usual favorite things I spent much of the time with old friends whom I haven't seen for many years. Our first activity was a tour of the Tenement Museum. It was particularly interesting in light of our current immigration discussions. Amazing how each generation of Americans easily forgets parents or grandparents who made the extraordinary effort to get here, many of them undocumented, how they were harassed and maligned after they arrived, and how they contributed to the rich life we now embrace and would be better off with more of their values.
My friends are Israelis. We met them just as they came out of the Israeli army and came to Chicago to go to University of Illinois. They remained long enough to get a PhD, have two children and become highly contributing American citizens. Then they returned to Israel and I've seen them only a few times since, each being a special pleasure.
We went to the Met (and I went a second time), to the Japan Society, to the High Line, and to the most amazing play, War Horse. The play is done with puppets, although not what we usually think of as puppets. They are life size; each horse controlled by three people. When they come on stage you know they are puppets, no attempt is made at deception, but you believe deep inside they are real and you are (I was) overwhelmed by their presence. Everything in the play conveys the story. Nothing is extraneous. It is all immensely moving. I plan to see the movie when it comes out at the end of the month, but I'm sure it won't be the same.
I came back to Pittsburgh with a walnut bread from Eataly, tea from Kalustyan and a nasty cough. I never got to the book party on Sunday; decided not to spread the germs. I just finished the book and will have pictures next post.