NewYork New York (however Frank describes it!)

Trip Start May 25, 2014
Trip End Jul 09, 2014

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Where I stayed
Hotel Newton Upper West Manhattan

Flag of United States  , New York
Sunday, June 1, 2014

New York 1.This is going back to Sunday.  We left SFO around 1pm with a flight just over 5 hrs ahead of us.  notable sights were desert areas of Utah and the Rocky Mountains further east, fairly thickly covered with snow at the higher levels. (photo) Arrived JFK close to 10pm, and by the time we caught the airport airtrain which just travels around the airport, and then the train into the city, we decided to get a cab rather than another train.  Booked into the hotel 1.30 am on Monday morning.Monday was the Statue of Liberty tour and boat trip.  They had a display of how it was construšted the outer covering being beaten copper sheets.  Security check before getting on the boat, checked twice before going into the statue area.   They provide hand held pieces that contain recorded info for exhibits (by number).  Millions of tourists!In the afternoon we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Lots of other people had the same idea.  We had seen our buildings from a distance from the statue, but now we were much closer. I must say that it bought tears to my eyes to see it so close in reality rather than a photo!  We are looking forward to doing a tour there and have lunch during the week prior to the convention weekend. Roni had researched a pizza place called Grimaldis under the Brooklyn Bridge.  Apparently well known and recommended.  Now we know why!  The small size had six large slices, and delicious!  The base had a nice crusty burnt flavour if you know what I mean. The kids and Helen had root beer to drink. On the way there we met three young sisters from Austria just walking along the street.  They were wearing convention badge cards after doing a Brooklyn tour, and wearing their Austrian distinctive dress.  They will be attending Detroit.   Tuesday a tour at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art was scheduled.  Organized by Witnesses, they have brothers as tour guides. Our guide was Pedro Juarez a likeable young pioneer brother aged perhaps 25-30.  He had been in Brooklyn Bethel for three years, and is now in the Queens Italian congregation.  We wondered how you could weave a Bible theme into art displays, but man! was he able to do it!  Also on the tour were Corey and Kathy Pruitt from Memphis, with Kathys son from a previous marriage and Coreys nephew.  A lovely couple with whom we will keep in touch. (photo) Aaron and Renee Simcheck with teenager kids Ethan and Amalie were originally from Michigan, but have been in Otavalo Equador for 12 months.  I think they are all RP in Spanish cong. (Maybe Talia might meet up with them.)  See final group photo.Now for the tour "Integrity" looking at the Greek and Roman sections of the Met.  The Greek environment of the 1st century posed challenges for early Christians.  Various sports depicted on vases and other utensils had religious and often immoral connotations. There were pillars having to do with Artemis of the Ephesians.  Pedro related the Bible story and quoted by rote parts of scripture in which Paul encouraged all to maintain integrity in the face of such pressures.  Winecontainers depicting  Bacchus ( and demons as well.)  Regarding wrestling as shown, Paul wrote about a wrestling with wicked spirit forces.  Browbeat body (pummel) and lead it as a slave had reference to boxing, and we looked at a statue of a boxer which showed detail of effect of his fighting.  Bust of Constantine (Council of Nicea 325CE) and the amalgamation of ChristiÓn and pagan teachings.  This young fellow really knew his stuff!  Three hours of instructive info has me determined to do some deeper Bible study.  Some of the illustrations in our publications are based on displays in the Met. This is just skimming the surface of what we saw and heard.A photo from the roof garden, a walk thru Central Park finished about mid afternoon. (Feet killing me! Must have walked a hundred miles.  Helen handled it OK.Tuesday evening we had planned to attend a meeting at West Manhattan Cong.  It was pouring rain and we could not initially get a cab, but finally suceeded, arriving about 10 mins late (7 PM start) Bible highlights were in progress. It was CO visit. (Helen twigged to it)  Afterwards had nice chats to a few. One sister is excited about coming to Melbourne.  Two young  Bethel boys said that they had never met Tasmanians before. (Are we that strange?)  They both worked in the computer dept, and also roomed together. We will look out for them when we do the tour. (See meeting photo)
 So that brings me almost up to date.  Just a few New York observations.It is big!  Just getting anywhere is a big deal.  Let me explain.   eg  Are you going uptown or downtown?  Just take train A,B,C,D or is it X,Y,Z or Nos 1, 2 or 3 or was it 5 or 6? (Trains have letters/numbers) Go to downstairs level 1 on the subway, or was it another one down to level 2. Be sure you go to the correct side of the platform for uptown or downtown. Where will you get off?  86th street, 85 or was it 95th?  So as you can see it is fairly easy.  (We didnt get lost because we just followed Brendan who had the travel down pat, otherwise we might have ended up riding the subways forever!Quite a few are seen walking dogs.  Why would you have a dog, either large or small in a city which has no yards? (After all this is America).Homeless people begging, a few with undoubtably mental issues. We were on a train and there was this African American man talking talking, we didnt look at him lest we upset him, then we saw he was have a conversation with a friend-phew!  (Is that prejudice?)We understand more now why public witnessing is so important here - so many people, so many residences unaccessible.Thats enough for now.  Yesterday was interesting as we went to the city and a Broadway
Show in Times Square -I dont know what was more interesting - Times Sq or the show.  Off to Niagara early tomorow and there only overnight, and our social director Roni has arranged a full program, so it might be a few day when we reach Boston that you will hear about NY days 3 and 4.   Regards again John and Helen.
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