Requiem in numbers…

New York City has become, for me,  a place of numbers. Who can reflect on the machinations of Gotham without ‘9’ and ’11’ quickly coming to mind. For those alive and old enough at the time, the images of the Twin Towers falling will be indelibly imprinted on the collective memory.

So, an immediate number of significance is ‘2’. The very footprints of these two subsequent icons of the imagination are now perfectly and emotionally represented in the form of two Memorial Fountains

The advent of the One World Observatory in the Freedom Tower raises the prominence of ‘1’ in the new landscape of the World Trade Centre

But who could forget the intervening ‘0’ of Ground Zero, with perimeter fences of heart-rending messages from loved ones. The site now partly accommodates the very moving 9/11 Memorial Museum

‘2002’ rings in a new chapter of hope…

And St Pauls Chapel provides an iconic place of sanctuary to share, or simply shed, a tear within the ubiquitous madness that is always Lower Manhattan. With a reminder you are in just one part of ‘5’ Boroughs devasted by the events of that fateful day…

Until we speak again, a new vista on the world has opened up to offer a future of innumerable memories and experiences…

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Meal of the day

They say it’s breakfast, right? Well, when in New York get some time on your side; and I dont mean the famous Times Square. From there take one block over and 12 down on the grid, which brings you to the New Yorker on the corner of 34 Street and 8th Avenue…

Tucked away in the very corner you find time is ticking for the start of the day…

Step aside Starbucks! You’re now experiencing a slice of Americana, in an authentic diner.

But beware, the menu involves reading a book; and for that, time is not really on your side.

So, I will offer you a brief taster, with a Denver Omlet of ham, onions and green peppers, hash browns and a side of toast…

One of my readers reminisces over the Eggs Benedict, but I take a rain check (during an unseasonal heatwave). Instead, maybe you have heard of the famous American breakfast of blueberry pancakes (with a side of atherosclerosis!)…

Until we speak again, I assure you I am not an American; these were consumed on separate days. And in any case, there is the clear consistency of self-deception, as I convince myself fresh strawberries and an orange juice make any breakfast healthy.

Dreaming of The Hamptons

My ‘surrogate nomad‘ tends to go off on rather strange trips, and thinks it is funny to ask me where I have been immediately when they return home. Even the menacing laser look doesn’t seem to stem the flow of nonsense from the failed comedian…

The eyes again

Chillout cat

So, the best I can do is curl up and dream of exotic places based on the incoherent mutterings of the ‘resident worker bee‘ with these destinations attributed to me despite the fact I haven’t left home. Forgive me on this occasion for dreaming of life in The Hamptons… the exclusive summer home of wealthy Manhattan cats amongst others. Exotic food immediately comes to mind, after all what am I supposed to do with this nouveau plastic cuisine?

Cat Mate

Meanwhile, my ‘culinary torturer‘ is happily socialising with fabulous company in somewhere called Dangs Vietnamese Restaurant

Dangs Vietnameseeating sumptuous salmon complete with green stuff and a side dish of white stuff, and a decorative pineapple (which should be a feast for a more deserving cat stuck here in Guantanamo/Cardiff Bay).

I am dreaming of a dramatic and welcoming skyline…

 

   … but then find I am engaged in a bit of the cognitive dissonance thing, as the best Cardiff can offer is the dreaming spires of the Millenium Stadium:

City centre skyline [2]

But this is nothing compared with the reports from the ‘lost wanderer‘ who speaks of such a warm welcome in The Hamptons, only for the dominant vision to be one of a prominent middle finger to the world!

Northampton skylineMy dream comes to an unexpected close with the realisation that the middle finger is the iconic message from middle England… I had been vaguely remembering that my primary  ‘comfort provider‘ had droned on about visits to Southampton in recent months, and was now returning from Northampton… it was all a bit Hamptons-lite in the end!

Until we speak again I intend being an inquisitive Juno, wondering what Northampton has that keeps my so-called ‘intelligent one‘ returning for the last 17 years.

In a New York Minute

I have never been one for thinking that close proximity to something means I have to do anything about it. Take music, for example… I have my own in-house D.J. to decide what we listen to, and when. The limit of my exertions are simply to just lie there and reflect on wherever the music takes me. Just the other day I did get a little confused, as Eagles seemed to be soaring indoors but outside there was nothing other than a flock of sea-gulls (think about it music lovers). Suddenly a beautiful version of Don Henley’s ‘New York Minute‘ filled the room:

In a New York Minute

Everything can change 

In a New York Minute

Things can get pretty strange

It is usually described as the period of time between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the driver behind you honking their horn. But it instantly got me thinking about my previous life ‘In a London Minute’, where a similar urgency and madness seems to be born out of people always needing to be somewhere else. For all of you readers afflicted by a similar malady, I say take a minute now and then to just chill-out. You don’t see us cats battling the traffic to get to the gym for yet another yoga class before we need to gargle the falling-down water just to get over the stress of the gym. Whatever you do, don’t try this yoga with cats thing on me, my take on it all is something like this:

More sunshine please

 

Why not take a few hints out of my new life… ‘In a Cardiff Minute’. I might live on the edge of the city centre of a capital city, but I still find it easy to seek out the spaces to be in the moment, without having to do the full Buddhist trip. Come on a journey around my local neighbourhood and see what I mean. No cars allowed down here:

Canal at 14[2]Lily pads [1]As for here, cars are allowed, but this is my kind of rush hour:

Rush hour dream [1]        Rush hour dream [2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They say that for a brief period back at the start of the last century this local dock was busier than New York… perhaps the Eagles first song was ‘In a Cardiff Minute’! Now it is where I prefer to practice my trick of walking on water:

Bute East Dock [3] However busy your life might seem, just look out for those still spaces and still moments. You can always check out the mindfulness and meditation websites for ways of chilling on the move… or take a look at the ideas that are set out on the happiness experiment blog. I’ve even trained my personal financial consultant in the ways of the cool cat… when you think about your workspace every office needs a bed:

Office [1]

 

I’m feeling so laid back I almost forgot who I was for a minute. Going back to the early theme of these musings, the Eagles… I am Juno, and until I see you again Take it Easy.