New York's FinestSaturday, January 27, 2018
|PO Smith and PO Olivares- 6th Precinct|
We are just back from a 6 day trip to New York City. When we arrived in NY I was flooded with memories about it from my past.
My first inkling of its existence was one all due to my faulty imagination. In 1950 when I was 8 in Buenos Aires I showed a picture of a couple of American football players (in all their pads and helmets) with the background of the Statue of Liberty to my friend Mario Hertzberg. I told him (and I do remember this well), “This is a country of giants called Columbia.” It was probably a photograph from Life Magazine on Columbia University.
In that year my cousin Roby who was 11, came to our home in Melián 2770 in our Coghlan neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. He and his family had arrived in Buenos Aires from Manila via New York City.
At Roby’s house he showed me pennants of the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. I had a hazy idea of what baseball was about.I had never seen any pennants except for Boca Juniors and River Plate, two Argentine football clubs.
For many years until his death in the 80s, Roby’s father, Tío Luís Miranda y Gimenes often told us about that wonderful hotel in New York City called the Taft where he and his family had stayed.
In 1987 I went to New York with writer Les Wiseman to attempt to get work. It did not pan out and the only jobs we got were from a tabloid called Trowser Press. Rosemary had put us in a hotel that had cockroaches and blood stains in the bath tub. We were horrified. We moved to the Taft and found out that not only was it a good hotel but that at 51st Street and 7th Avenue it was close to everything we wanted to see.
I returned in 1995 with my friend David Morton. We did not stay at the Taft but at a Helmsley Hotel.
This time Rosemary booked the Michelangelo Hotel (previously known as the Taft Hotel). Coincidentally our purpose for the trip was to see the Michelangelo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I will probably write a few blogs about our experience, but right off the bat I must stress my wonder at how friendly the people of that city are!
We chatted with as many as we could. I particularly enjoyed the museum guards in the three museums we went to (the Met, MOMA and the Frick).
On our last day while walking out of the Hershey Store on 42nd Avenue and 7th where it intersects with Broadway I spotted two policewomen standing by a store. They had the friendliest grins. I asked them if I could photograph them. They suggested that I pose between them. Rosemary had some problems with her iPhone so a Jamaican gentleman volunteered and took the picture. We talked. PO Olivares on my left is from Santo Domingo and Smith is from New York. Olivares was carrying a Smith& Wesson and Smith a Glock.
I could not resist telling Olivares what my off-the-wall grandmother used to tell me. It hinges around this:
A dominicano or dominicana is a person from the Dominican Republic.
A dominico is a Dominican priest.
My grandmother, Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena would explain to me that the really tiny bananas are called plátanos dominicos. It would seem that the tiny bananas reflect something about the nether parts of Dominican priests.