June 1, 2005

"Personality of Cities"

I was answering someone who said they felt no attraction to New York City, because of their lack of tolerance for huge populations of people:

It's strange. Yes, there's so many people coming and going, even at late hours of the night, NYC is truly the city that never sleeps. Yet it's different. Somehow I was always able to find my own solitude in the midst of them all.

Now, maybe it's not fair to compare my very brief experience of LA. (My late spouse and I just drove through it.) There the press of people seemed to push in on one's awareness. It's the same with Phoenix. And I did spend a few months there, from April to September in 1987. Why the difference should be so strong, I don't know. I know Phoenix doesn't have the very large park which gives a restful center area. Also, the air pollution is very bad in Phoenix, as there is a bowl effect in which the mountains hold the pollution in. The combination of both very dry and very polluted air makes it very difficult to breathe. In contrast, the air in NYC seems to be much cleaner, the ocean breezes making it easy to breathe there.

The very efficient subway system also makes it easy for people to get around, as well, thereby reducing travel stress. So there's a lot of factors going into the overall effect a city has upon one.

But that each city has an unmistakable personality is fascinating to learn in travel.

June 3, 2005

"Of Books and Buildings"

Book Order I just made from Amazon:

1 "The Evolving Self", Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; Paperback; $10.20
2 "Views from the Real World : Early Talks", G. I. Gurdjieff; Paperback; $10.88
3 "In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching", P. D. Uspenskii; Paperback; $10.20
4 "Gurdjieff Work, The (Library of Spiritual Classics)", Kathleen Riordan Speeth; Paperback; $10.36
5 "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg : Challenging Constructs of Mind and Reality", Joseph Chilton Pearce; Paperback; $10.99

So that will keep me busy for many months to come. Meanwhile, I've been gifted with an interesting book called "Immediatism", Essays for Hakin Bey. The first chapter was most intriguing, and I will read the rest of it this weekend.

Central Park gives a peaceful respite from the city's busyness. That park really is wonderful, it is so green and the air so fresh there.

While walking the streets, I found myself fascinated with the architectural details of the buildings in NYC:

The 'Green Man' observes all...

A very tiny doorway, what could it mean?

I especially like the dragon detail!

Thought for the Day:
"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."

William Faulkner

The past lives in our present, and thus I enjoy my good memories.

June 10, 2005

"Scenes from Central Park"

This morning I am looking at pictures from Central Park, remembering the green, fresh smell, as I enjoy the cool breeze coming in through our front door.

This is Central Park where it touchs the Metropolitan Museum. I looked out those large windows from the inside when I saw the Dendur Temple. I like the way people relax at the park. One guy is stretched out in the sun, while another is taking her comfort in the shade.

A little further on from this point is Cleopatra's Needle:

Cleopatra's Needle, 68ft (21 meters) high, 180 tons

This is one of a set of two. London got the other one. They were originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramses II to commemorate his military victories.

The obelisk was erected in Central Park on February 22, 1881. Answers.com (had) more info about the two needles, including inscription translation. Also, centralpark2000.com (gave) info.

I got rather lost after I passed by the obelisk, heading south instead of west. But that misdirection allowed me to discover this beautiful area:

Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Terrace is another favorite gathering spot in Central Park. I believe that angel was featured in the play Angels in America.

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