It was my last day off. It was my parents last full day in Connecticut. The plan was to go to New York City.
The city is just close enough to be reachable and just far enough to demand a little forethought. We left the house around 10:15 and by 10:57 were on Metro North.
Most trains from New Haven run local to Stamford and then express to Grand Central Terminal. Does it make any difference? It’s still takes nearly two hours! I read the New York Times cover-to-cover, then scanned it to see if there was anything I missed.
A few stations after we got on, a woman got on with two children – her grandchildren. They were Stepford-like – amazingly well behaved. It was only as we got off that she introduced herself as the wife of a former boss. I wish she would have said something sooner.
I wonder if she really knows how good these kids were?
A quick subway trip to the Lower East Side and we were on Canal Street, shopping capitol of the world (as long as you don’t care that labels have no connection to whomever really made the merchandise). It was Monday, but Canal Street was still crawling with people.
I wasn’t doing any shopping, so I had time to ponder. how removed from the ‘real’ economy is Canal Street? Are any taxes paid? How about royalties? Are the employees or shop owners on the books? Are they even legally here? I don’t know. Whatever the answer, I’d be surprised.
New York faces a Hobson’s choice as far as Canal Street is concerned. Whatever its shortcomings, it’s a magnet which draws money into other areas of the city. On this Monday it seemed like most of the street traffic was out-of-towners. I heard lots of languages other than English, Spanish and Chinese – the current ‘native’ languages of this area.
Steffie continues to amaze me with her aggressive shopping style. She headed to the street with photos of what she wanted! She never accepted the original price. It’s possible she knows a few words in Chinese, as Italian comics in the Catskills used to sprinkle their acts with Yiddish.
We left the Lower East Side and walked down Broadway past the Woolworth Building and City Hall toward the World Trade Center site. While my mom, Stef and Helaine headed to an