By the way, I have to point out, that both of us are well-known for intensive, long-lasting, delicious, and excellent meals wherever we emerge as visitors. This was definitely proved again for several times back in Germany.
There is no free lunch, that's why I had to 'deserve' this unique encounter for Thanksgiving, ie I planned to stop by a friend of mine, who participated in the summer courses at the University of Regensburg a year ago. Her name's Lisa and she lived in North of NY in Albany.
Since I arrived earlier than the official date of Thanksgiving, I had plenty of time for diversification. Getting to her I had to take the LIRRT (Long Island Railroad Train) from Northport to Penn Station downtown New York. It goes without saying that I did not want to miss a glimpse of MACY, the world-famous shopping center without being subject to promising tastes.
Neverheless, I was fairly puzzled about the wealth and riches spread all over this glamorous alley along 5th avenue. After spending a few hours in Albany, where Mario Como preferred to work in the Local State Capitol at that time, I was forced to take the 4 o'clock train back to NY
Enjoying a very peaceful train ride so far, something occurred which could have happened in an action thriller as well; our train all of a sudden stopped the engines and was not able to inch anymore. We were just crossing a bridge somewhere in the Bronx, but the overall environment did not seem to be quite inviting.
In fact I felt a bit wrinkled, too, because nobody exactly knew what was going on for the first half an hour. What a nice evening surprise! At any rate the temporary location was not the best one, as someone whispered to me. Looking outside – it was already dark – I got this mysterious feeling, since I spotted some people scattered beneeth this endless bridge quite close to our wagon, who were either involved in a gun fight, a drug deal, or anything else which you could have easily imagined at that moment.
Without any doubt the passengers did not feel comfortable at all, not knowing how long to bear this thrilling situation, shut out from the external world and literally sentenced to the interior; This cave me the impression of being in a tiny tin box, having gotten no chance to act but only to react. In the meantime, the passengers bridged the tedious waiting with small talk, playing cards, reading, and getting to know each other, which perfectly worked as an effective means of distraction. Once, after 3 hours of uncertainty we started to move again and happily reached the Grand Central Station. Upon our arrival we were told that there had been a fire at Penn Station, causing us to take this detour non-voluntarily.
After recovering from this shocking experience, Mathew and me grasped the chance of cruising around Long Island next morning, showing me some admirable places, such as for instance the private homes of Billy Joel or Barbara Streisand.
After having already seen the materialized wealth downtown NY, I got a brief peep of another Vanderbilt mansion, which included a museum, a planetarium, and as the cross on the golf-court starting off on top of the roof. This was just too much for me, although I was very proud indeed having been able to get to my 'donator's property'.
Sometimes, time is flying when you are having fun and there before we had to scoot back in order to take our seats for the start of Thanksgiving Dinner.
Oh gosh, the coming hours would end up in paradise. It was simply terrific – Mathew's mother prepared almost everything which you would never have imagined in your least dreams. I have not seen such an outstanding rich meal before, nicely decorated and spread out all over the big table.
I believe, on Thanksgiving there is always an exactly measured table available which can handle the incredible amount of nutritional treasures, let alone to mention the additional ingredients. The eating procedure is the most important feature of this day, followed by a short period of relaxation and rejuvenation such as a nap. Then everyone automatically moves over to the living room where the TV is already set to watch the traditional Macy's Parade, the largest parade in the US, which takes place on 5th avenue and snuggles around the downtown area.
Finally, the beginning of the football game beat everything I told before – at this stage all family members more or less are to be found on the ground unable to move anywhere. They basically idolize these games quite a lot, which I could not yet comprehend at this time of my stay. Sooner or later my understanding of the philosophy of football had extremely changed, particularly since I had been accompanied by some colleagues, who made all sorts of efforts to explain it to me.
Of course I needed half a day of recovery, but then I intended to use my remaining time efficiently via strolling around downtown NYC Due to obvious time constraints I focused on some major sites like the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Plaza, the Public Library of NY, the St. Louis Patrick's Church, the Soho area including Canal Street, and the avenue of the America's that connects the upper and lower part of Manhattan. I also favored the Brighton Beach area in Brooklyn, where the major of Russian immigrants has settled down.
However, the most impressive place, where I was happy to go, was the WTC, which according to the latest history does not exist anymore. Therefore, thank God that I could make it and adore the top of the skyscraper and experience more than 30 miles of visibility at that gorgeous day. Looking back from now I still have a strange feeling when being reminded of this once architectural piece of art and the sad outcome of 9/11 not neglecting its impact on global politics either.