Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 44 - June 25, 26 and 27

June 25 

By Al

The only part of the day worthy of note was a book reading I went to Monday night.  It was by Andrew Nagorski with his new book Hitlerland.  This book is about Americans in Germany during the 1920's and 30's and how they viewed Hitler.  The title comes from the fact that the Amercans in Germany at that time called it Hitlerland.  He talked about how some Americans did not view Hitler as a threat because they thought he would never succeed and some did not think he would do what he did.  He described the process of experiencing Hitlerland as having five stages.  First, Americans would come to Germany and see a clean country with flowers and order and be impressed.  Of course, they might have seen this at many times in Germany's history and it was not just the result of what the Nazi's did.  The second stage was to notice all of the soldiers and military, but not be very much bothered by it.  The next stage was to realize that there were more soldiers than necessary and to become concerned about the militarization of Germany.  The fourth stage was to become concerned about the war rhetoric, the militarization, and the abuses of human rights.  The final stage was to recognize that Hitler and the Nazi's were a real threat.  He said that some people, such as W. E. B. DeBois got to stage 5 very quickly, and some people, such as Charles Lindberg, Anne Morrow Lindeberg, and the Duke of Windsor, didn't get to stage 5 until war actually broke out.  It was an interesting presentation.

However, earlier in the day I walked through Central Park and have some more pictures.

Belvedere Castle

View from Belvedere Castle showing the Great Lawn in the distance.  The Turtle pond is on the right. The Delecorte Theater backstage area is on the left.  This is where they do Shakespeare in the Park.

An interesting building seen from the Park.

June 26

I went to the Queensbourough Rotary for lunch.  A very small group.  They were extremely welcoming and friendly.  I think I will go back.  They meet a 10 minute subway ride from Aldi, so I went and stocked up a bit more. 

Sally came home in the evening and that was very good.

June 27

While Sally went to her book reading, I went to a Yankees game.  They were playing Cleveland.  It was a close game, but the Yankees won in the end.  It was a senior day, so tickets were $5.  Cheap entertainment.

In the evening, I went to taiko practice.  I really enjoy taking classes from Kaoru.

It was a hot day in New York, but fun.

Sally's Day(June 27)

I returned home last night, unpacked, and slept before beginning a new day of adventures.

I went to Bryant Park for a author's event with Dave Hill, who contributes to This American Life on NPR, and Janeane Garofalo, a comedian actress.  Very funny.

Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library at 42nd and 5th Avenue.  The library  building is famous for the two large sitting lions at the bottom of the steps. The park brochure states that the park re-opened in 1992 after a "dramatic urban public space transformation" from a "dangerous, derelict, and underused park." (I interpret that to mean that many homeless men hung around the area.  I don't know where they went after they were dislocated by the "transformation.") The Park is an amazing place. Two restaurants.  The most elegant public restrooms I have seen (picture of outside below).  Inside is a huge urn of fresh flowers and classical music covers the sounds of people on the toilets doing their business. It is immaculate.  The park offers lots of free activities- yoga, fencing lessons,lots of musical performances, juggling lessons, birding tours, fly fishing lessons, and many games.  There is a book club- and they give you the book to read- no strings attached.  I received a copy of Madam Bovary, which I need to finish by July 10.  The fellow also wanted to give me several more books, but I thought it best to take only what I could commit myself to reading.  They also have knitting lessons on Tuesday "yarn and needles are provided"- so that will be one of my outings next Tuesday.  I don't know how the park is supported, but whomover funds it is very generous.

The bathroom.
I also took a picture of the clock on Grand Central Terminal where I got off the subway because I thought it was beautiful.

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