I have returned from Babylon. I don't think I shall visit NYC very much until I make my fortune as a priest. That way, when I'm very rich, I won't have to (1) walk anywhere (unless I want to), (2) take public transportation or taxis, (3) eat anywhere but the Yale Club, 21, Town, Cafe des Artistes, or the Knickerbocker, (4) stay anywhere but the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons.
By way of explanation: call me provincial (I am from the provinces, after all), but I cannot abide "The City" for very long under normal circumstances. Its just that there are so incredibly many people. There are so many cars, making so much noise and trying to run you over. There is so much hollering and generic insanity.
And then there's the issue of getting to, around in, and away from "The City". On this excursion I came into town on the Metro North railroad. And it is a very unsavory experience, full of those acquisitive-sounding, low-level workers at places like Morgan Stanley, who shout vulgarities at each other about profit margins and sex. (The ruffians on the train I don't mind as much.) I rode out of town with M. in her car. We got lost trying to find 95 and wound up driving around "The City" for an hour. We nearly killed several bicyclists, and were ourselves nearly killed by taxis at every turn.
But, lest you think I am a fuddy-duddy, the trip had its sublimities and amusements. we never made it to the MOMA, but we did make it to the zoo in central park, where we observed a cage full of Cotton-top Tamarins. We also saw a very impressive troop of some type of Sea Ape, which would leap individually from rock to rock in a little enclosure filled with water. At one point, one of them climbed a pole and began to swing wildly back and forth. At another point, one of them scooped a little duckling out of the water -- the duckling had become separated form its sibblings -- and tossed it back to the mother duck. Very impressive. We also witnessed the Feeding of the Sea Lions.
The most pleasant part of the foray was my walk with M. down from the Upper East Side (near the Hewitt School) back to Midtown. It was very nice, walking along Central Park, until we got back to Midtown, where the insanity began again. But walking along under the trees, in the glorious sunshine and the temperate vernal breeze was lovely indeed. Our final hoozah were a few moments in St. Thomas Church, where we briefly adored our Lord in his sacramental presence, and said a prayer before our Lady of 5th Avenue.
So it was not all bad. Nevertheless, whenever I return from "The City", what I really want (along with Robert E. Lee) is a farm in Virginia, with all the fried chicken and buttermilk I can stand.