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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The business of closure

Unsuspecting city liberals seeking rural adventure… beware. Upstate New York may look quaint, but they promise no fireworks, which is why the Pawling Fire Department is located in an empty field…

There may be something sinister lurking on mainstreet, as the tumbleweed has been hidden away with the welcome mat…

If you are here on business, think again buddy…

What they have aplenty are invites to long walks off short piers!

And if you do attempt to prolong your stay beyond a respectable Republican minute, the facilities are designed to weigh heavily on your New York minute state of mind…

If you are in need of any guidance as to where to go, it can be quite simple…

Fortunately for me, I brought my New Orleans badge with me!

But there is always an NRA message somewhere close by, to hurry along your exit. They certainly display their priority when it comes to spending the entertainment dollar!

Until we speak again, scratch the surface with care, and you may just find a dreamlike welcoming experience…

Where am I?

Sofa perch

Having just informed you, my readers, about my home grown credentials, I realise it’s early days in my new home. But, between you and me, I think the odd job I see walking around this place is trying to confuse me. Take the photographs on the wall, this doesn’t look like the Cardiff I know and love…

Twin Towers pics

 

What’s more, there seems to be some kind of artistic thing going on around the place with further worship of things New York!

My drawings [1]

My drawings [4]

Cardiff, Cardiff… so good they named it twice; well that’s my mantra, and I’m sticking to it. Though I might just share some of my worldly reflections in later posts. For now, I need to recalibrate my bearings, so lets go out for a stroll around this cauldron of Welsh culture. Anyone for a taxi? Hang on, what’s this, a pink Cadillac! Whatever happened to the good old Morris Oxford?

Pink Cadillac [2]

All of this confusion just serves to remind me I need to sharpen my claws. Ah, that arm rest will do, and perhaps a moment of madness with the conveniently placed pink fluffy dice…

Pink Cadillac [4]

The stress of all this geographical dislocation has generated quite an appetite; perhaps something indigenous and rustic is what’s called for. Oh no, not the American takeover vibe again…

Eddies Diner

Even the sweet stuff has been appropriated by the land of the buck…

More Americana

Roller coaster blue sky

 

Where has my Cardiff gone? Until we speak again my world has been turned completely upside down… anyone got an atlas?

Turkey, anyone?

Juno was never oneJuno and turkey to miss the lip-smackingly tasty opportunity of turkey…

But even she would have been proud, if initially confused, of what her native London has recently served up under the name of Turkey.

To begin with there was the strangely un-metropolitan surroundings offered up by a gentle stroll along the Regents Canal between Mile End and Angel. Who would think from the following view that you were in the centre of one of the world’s largest and most recognised cities?

Regents canal [1]

But gradual progress was to take us into something more akin to metro-land as we approached the newly gentrified Islington…

Regents canal [2]

Upper Street is widely known as one of London’s premier eatery locations, with much of the world’s cuisines represented along its mile. Yet, as with Broadway in New York, you can be well served by a glance just a few yards off the main drag, as we were to be on this occasion. From Istanbul to Beirut was a call not to be missed… conjuring up all of the culinary allure of a Turkish and Lebanese fusion.

Kilis Kitchen [2]

Kilis Kitchen comes with nothing but the highest of recommendations; small but intimate at the front but with a lighter additional room to the rear.

Kilis Kitchen [3]

But you need time to takeKilis Kitchen [4] in the fabulous menu (and even try the Turkish red wine).

Dolma (stuffed vine leaves) with Sucuk (spicy lamb sausage) made a tasty mix from the starter…

Kilis kitchen [5]

 

Then comes a shish kebab to make you forget whatever it is that those fast food take-aways churn out. Succulent tender char-grilled lamb skewers proved a truly mouth-watering taste; but I am sure Juno would have turned up her nose at the lightly grilled green chilli pepper, and the tastiest of side salads, let alone the basmati rice (to her it would have been a waste of plate space better devoted to meat and more meat!).

My vegetarian companion was equally complimentary about the char-grilled halloumi starter and pan-fried marinated sardines main course. What’s more, the evidence emerged that Turkish-Lebanese combinations have learned the art of perfect chips!

Juno readyThis meal left both of us feeling like Juno’s more usual post-banquet pose…

But we had to make do with another stroll along the busy boulevard of Upper Street as it teemed with the late evening diners.

Until we speak again, don’t be drawn to the main drag when some of the real jewels are often just left-field.

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.