Something wonderful comes
Where hopes and dreams find nirvana
Friday, January 1, 2016
6am pick-up to get to airport - I texted Alfonzo about coming to pick is up early. He responded that he would be there to pick us up at 6:30. He didn't show up this morning, however, and did not respond to calls or text messages. So I went down to the restaurant beneath our apartment and asked a driver how much he would charge to take us to the JFK airport. He said he could take us there for $52. Alfonzo charged us $85, and I paid him $106, including tip. Cici is from the Ivory Coast in Africa, where their native language is French. He has two girls and a son, ages 17, 15, and 12.
When he dropped us off at the airport for our 9:30 flight, I took a moment to tell him about the Book of Mormon and give him a copy of his own. The sister missionaries had placed a contact card in the pages of the book with local times of church meetings and their contact information, should he have further questions or want another copy in French. The flight was uneventful but long.
Steven was at the airport to pick us up. While he was waiting in his car, an Asian man came to his window and motioned that he needed help. In broken English, he said that he had come to pickup his daughter, but he didn't know the airline or flight number, and he could not find her. He didn't have a cell phone and didn't know his daughter's cell phone number. Steven didn't give up. He asked the man who might have his daughters cell number. The man said that perhaps her mother would, but he didn't know her phone number. However, he knew she lived in Baltimore. And incredibly with Steven's prompting, the man started to piece together the mother's phone number from memory. Steven called and sure enough, the young lady's mother answered. After Steven explained the situation, he handed the phone to the man so he could get the cell phone number, but they continued talking about everything but the cell #. Pretty soon, Steven persuaded him to ask for the cell number, and they were able to call the girl and arrange a location to meet. By that time she had been waiting more than two hours. While we were driving home, Linda, the girl's mother, called Steven to thank him and tell him everything was now fine -- they found their daughter and were together and safe.
We had delicious New York hot dogs from the vendors and spent New Year's Eve day in Times Square and enjoyed an evening together, although we could not get back into Times Square. Linda and Emily finagled a way into 57th Street to see the ball drop. Melanie, Amy, and dad celebrated the new year on 49th Street.
While we were walking by the temple, the sister missionaries we in front with Book of Mormons displayed on a table. We greeted them and asked if we could take a book to our taxi driver the following morning. Of course, they said yes and provided a copy for us to give to the driver.
Called Alfonzo about a ride to airport on Friday morning. He responded by text.
Everyone thought the Gershwin Theater was a brilliant facility for Wicked. Idina Mandel performed marvelously. The whole experience was fantastic. Everyone agreed.
Sitting next to us was a woman, Melissa, and her young son, Jason. She was very pleasant. Her husband worked as a financial analyst at the New York Stock Exchange. She remarked that another marvelous show is Hamilton, having something to do with James Hamilton and the founders fathers.
The Hamptons on Long Island.
Then we made a mad dash to Times Square. Mom loved being there and was able to check an item off her bucket list of being in Times Square for New Years Eve. Then we ate at a great burger joint called The Counter. The wait was out the door and around the corner. It was worth it every bite.
Subway home. Bed.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
We woke to cool overcast weather and rain this morning, pretty much continuous rain.
We went to the theater a day early. Not sure how I got it mixed up, but when I gave the ticket to the woman, she said "This is for Wednesday." So as an alternative we went shopping at Forever21. Now we are at Urban Outfitters. I am resting comfortably while they shop. Already in low power mode.
While I was waiting, I met a man who was traveled to New York from South Africa. He was visiting New York with his wife and daughters. I shared some of the things we had done and great places where we had eaten that may be of interest to him.
We may head to the Empire state building after this. We walked to Anthropologies, attempted the Lego Store, and other clothing retailers. We had lunch at Whole Foods and then tried shopping the Manhattan Mall. We saw the city up close and made plans to stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the way home. We grabbed some New York hot dogs for a quick, delightful dinner.
Monday, December 28, 2015
We woke to blue skies this morning--no umbrellas today.
On the subway, nycteachingfellows.org. Took the subway to the business district and saw the New York Stock Exchange, Ground Zero, and Wall Street. The World Trade Tower was impressive as was the Ground Zero memorial. I was kind of shocked at the prices. But people from all over the world payed them. The lines were staggering and endless crowds of people. We caught the Staten Island Ferry and saw the financial district and Statue of Liberty from the ferry and took lots of pictures.
We stopped at a hardware store so I could pick up some supplies to fix the shelves and cupboard doors above the fridge.
Then we took to the subway to Lincoln Square to see the temple, church, Julliard, and the Lincoln Center. We saw the cultured district at the theaters at Lincoln Square. The temple visitors center was Closed because it was family night, but we saw impressive lights and marveled at its beauty.
We saw the Ed_Sullivan_Theater from a distance and stopped at the mall to look around and for dinner at Whole Foods. We went to the M&M's World and concluded the evening seeing the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center.
On the way home, Amy would go through the subway Ickes entrance with Melanie or Emily because she misplaced her Metro Card. That worked well, but we thought we could not use that technique on the buses. But we were so tired of walking, and Amy said she would pay the fare herself. We ran to catch the bus and got on the back door without any problems...and no fare.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
We had our lost luggage delivered to our apartment this morning. Makeup, outfits, shoes, and other necessary items were secured. Then we made a plan to go to Central Park and the Museum of Natural History. Tons of people were there, and it was some cultural celebration.
We saw performers, ballet, musicians, and thrill seekers. Many of the places and bridges we saw reminded us of places we have seen in the movies. Choirs sang and people meandered through the park.
Mom had to stop and use the restroom, so we dashed into a hotel. It turned it to be The Sherry-Netherland, definitely the fanciest hotel I have ever been to with rooms around $1500/nt. then we walked down 32nd Avenue and found Mandoo Bar--a Korean joint--and had a delightful supper.
We stopped at H&M on the way home and my phone began dying, so we stayed together the rest of the evening so we didn't get separated. We went to Central Park.
One impression I had at the time was how easy it is to follow the crowd and feel totally comfortable about it if you put yourself in compromising situations. We weren't doing anything wrong per se and changed our activities to those appropriate for the Sabbath, mostly. But as we were walking around time square seeing all the activities, and being engrossed in the New York version of lifestyle, we found ourselves stopping and shopping, which we should have delayed. It's easy to say "We may never get back here" or "It's not really that big of a deal," but the truth is we should have recognized the day and waited a few hours, that's all. I think that lesson is applicable in other areas of life. Put your in the best situations among good people that make you want to be better and you action, attitude, and activities will be in harmony with the gospel. Seems small and perhaps ineffective, but great things are built from small components properly situated. The Empire State Building is made of small bricks that together combine into one of the world's most miraculous structures. The Brooklyn Bridge's cables enable it to support millions of cars regularly and make it one of the best known bridges on earth. Little things in the overall scale of things make a big difference.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Upon arriving, we took a taxi to NYC and to our apartment. There was a lock box with our keys to the doors, and so we settled down for a rest, but it was still early morning, and we had the whole day ahead of us.
I walked around the neighborhood to get a feeling for our surroundings. There is a train that frequents this area and a large stop just a few blocks away on 125th street. So we bought metro passes and headed toward the famous pizza place Gramaldis under Brooklyn bridge. We walked in China Town and saw the 9/11 memorial from a distance. After a couple problems, getting on the right Subway, we found our way back to our apartment near Harlem. Amy, Melanie, and I went to a grocery store to find some food to hold us over for breakfast and such. Mom figured out how to get the tv play movies. We watched The Twelve Dates of Christmas and then went to bed. Love this city.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Married children spent Christmas with in laws this year, so we had Gma, Amy, Melanie, and Emily with us. We had a delightful morning opening gifts. Carly and Steven came up later in the day. Our plan was to leave late that evening to the airport to catch a red-eye flight to New York City for a Christmas experience in the city.
There was tons of snow Christmas Day and Steven drove us to the airport for our flight to JFK. So Steven will pick us up, as well. When we went through Security, a bottle of hair gel was found. I went back to the baggage office to get my bag back so I could get the iPad and put the hair gel in it. I just received it and put the hair gel in it. The iPad was not in the suitcase. Turns out it was in moms. The flight was non eventful. Linda and I sat together and the girls sat behind us. We met a taxi driver, Fausto, who took us to our apartment. He is from the Dominican Republic and has been driving taxis in NYC for seventeen years. I am going to try and get a Book of Mormon for him.
The unlikely friendship turned Jacobs’ life around for the better, inspiring him toward a new degree and a culinary career.