Posted by: bkropf | November 2, 2007

The Eye is Healed

Great News, my eye is feeling much better and the redness has vanished!!!I tried out a new diner for breakfast yesterday morning.  It was so-so but the pancake was really good.  Sounds like Brad Pitt has been there before. 

I started walking north to what is possibly the largest cathedral in the world.  It was enormous!!! I didn’t even want to take pictures because they just didn’t do it justice.  Additionally, I only saw half of it because the other half was being restored so it is hard to imagine the size upon completion.  Going into the cathedral they like to get suggested donations but I didn’t have money on me (besides a $20) so I posed as a French tourist and made it by.  The only problem is I had a guide in French instead of English, a small price to pay.  Lucky for me in one of the seven smaller chapels attached to the main auditorium, they were starting a church service.  I popped in to attend. 

Attending Catholic or Apostolic services is always an experience because I never know when to stand or sit. I also have a hard time keeping up with their phrases such as “Peace with you…and also with you” and random “The Word of the Lord, Amen.”  I also stood out because I don’t know how to cross myself and I couldn’t find where we were in the common book of prayer.   After the first part of the service the leader started giving a sermon which was really different than I was used to.  It was about tradition and communion he brought in alot of liberal concepts.  It was very interesting.  I slipped out before communion because if you aren’t Catholic or Apostolic I don’t think you are supposed to partake and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to go forward to get blessed or what, so I just left. 

I walked over to Riverside church next, almost as big, built by the Rockefeller family.  The main part was under reconstruction too so I just went into the small ‘reflection’ chapel a while to think and pray. 

The Tomb of General/President Grant was across the street so I went over there.  Talk about a lonely national park.  The park rangers never have visitors so they are starved to share all the information they know with someone.  I was the only person in sight so I learned more than I had hoped. 

I took the subway back to Central Park and walked across to the Manhattan Museum, the largest museum in the Western Hem.  It was $20 dollars to get in and my feet already were killing me so I didn’t know if I would enjoy it.  I got some ice cream in the park instead and walked back to the hostel. 

I met Mike and his co-worker and we waited around to meet some other guys from my floor in college (Andrew and Dan).  They showed up and we took the subway down to some local burger joint.  It was really good to see them all again.  Dan works for MTV helping put out shows like the Real World and others.  Andrew teaches at a charter school in Harlem.  We got some cupcakes at a bakery for desert.

I was sound asleep in my bed and I hear the deadbolt getting unlocked and then in walks two English ladies.  They didn’t have the gift of stealth because they turned on the lights and started talking.  They were really nice and eventually we all got back to sleep. 

Andrew, my old friend, couldn’t believe I’m doing this trip.  All my old buddies enjoy teasing me because they have always known me as the conservative one who is always dressed in the suit and tie, not the homeless looking bum.  Andrew thought I should watch the new movie that is out called “Into the Wild”  It is about this man about my age who sells everything, gives it away, and starts traveling around.  I don’t want to give plot of the movie away but it sounds like he ends up dead in Alaska or something from starvation and exposure to the elements.  It is a documentary based on true events.   Sounds interesting. 

One thing I’m going to miss about living in the hostel is all the foreigners.  They are so nice and everyone I have met in my room has been great.  I really like listening to their perspectives on Americans and life in general.  They have funny/cool fashions and style.

Oh, Andrew’s friend teaches English in Thailand, so I am going to talk to him about his experience.  Sounds like he is loving it. 

After last night I have decided I don’t want to live in NYC.  Life is just too over the top and too crowded.  I feel that there is too much posturing and lifestyles for show.  It is really hard to just be yourself.  Additionally, most people work from 10am-8pm or something like that and I am a huge fan of working from 7am – 4pm. 

Today I am moving from my hostel to Mike’s hotel and staying in Times Square tonight.  I leave at 5:45am for DC tomorrow.  I’m excited to watch the Duck game with Jeff and all the other Duck fans that show up to cheer.




  1. Boo Ducks!

    I saw the Into the Wild movie… that’s the book that inspired my friend to travel around the country and he would up in Bend living in his van. He still eventually plans on going to Alaska. We went and saw the movie together and I found it a bit depressing. But I know it’s totally inspiring for others.

    I miss hostels…

  2. I feel sorry for the rangers at Grant’s Tomb. And I had no idea the biggest cathedral is in the US. Thanks for the postcard! Neat!

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