This past weekend Steph and I made a somewhat impromptu visit down to New York City……just to hang and see some friends. We had beautiful weather, too, which was a much-welcomed rarity at this time of the year. The average high temperature for November is 50 – we had two 65 degree days, not a cloud in the sky.
1. Seeing the Broadway show Avenue Q. I suspect not many people have heard of this show, especially with the long shadows cast by long-running productions like The Lion King and Beauty & The Beast. Avenue Q is basically Sesame Street on acid. It’s safe to say that there is nowhere else on Broadway where you can see a show boasting foul-mouthed, horny puppets. Yes, puppets. Naked puppets. Gay puppets. Drunk puppets. And they all live in a NYC tenement which is managed by Gary Coleman. OK? Suffice it to say, we did a good amount of laughing and the talent of these people was pretty stunning.
2. In a more humbling and thought-provoking part of our weekend, we also managed to hop on the ferry for a visit to Ellis Island, which was a more moving experience than I thought it would be. 12 million people came through that island, looking for a better way of life. My grandfather was one of them and there’s a good chance that you, too, are only two generations removed from someone else who did the same. For some perspective, imagine that you decide to drop everything – your home country, your friends and your family, and go to another country where you don’t know the language and maybe don’t know a single person where you’re going. Just because there’s a chance for a better life, so many of these people never saw their family again. Ever. That is what happened and Ellis Island was the gateway.
The main building, now a museum, is lined with large pictures of immigrants, quotes and remembrance from people who made the trip. One of them sticks in my mind:
“I had heard that the streets in America were paved with gold. When I got here, I was surprised to find that the streets were not gold, in fact they weren’t even paved. Then I found out that they wanted ME to pave them.”