Friday, August 29, 2014

Scenes from NY and the Open

Annually, myself and two high school buds meet in Queens and attend the USOPEN.  Yesterday was our day for 2014.  A number of thoughts from our rendezvous-- and my following day, today, in New York.

There is nothing like New York.   Within a few block radius from my hotel I could have eaten pizza, had burgers, gotten a hot dog from a vendor, gone to several happy hours, bought a dozen t shirts and/or shot glasses, purchased a suitcase for a song, stayed in a number of hotels, paid anywhere from 2.99 to 35 dollars for breakfast, seen 8 Broadway shows, taken one of a half dozen tours around the city, and of course visited at least 5 Starbucks.

The quality of play at the tennis center was remarkable.  A boy who looked like he might have been 14 played a terrific mixed doubles match against far more wizened opponents.  John Isner's serve looks unhittable.  The Williams sisters are so popular that spectators were hanging over a railing to watch their doubles match.  Even at the annually increasing ticket costs, the visit to the center for the Open is a bargain.  And I cannot be the only one who feels that way. The place was packed.  Citi Field where the Mets were playing concurrently, a few steps away, was half empty.

We three high school pals are getting older. Instead of discussing dates with former sweethearts, we discussed potential dates for retirement, best times for hip replacement surgery, the deaths of former teammates, and the medicine we should take before eating food that is not good for us so as to avoid stomach problems.

In mid town Manhattan I noticed that equal opportunity has hit Times Square. For years a person calling himself "the naked cowboy" had paraded about in his underwear, cowboy boots, and cowboy hat. Well chiseled above the elastic of his briefs, he posed for a sum with giggling women from around the Globe. Three women seem to want some similar action. In Times Square where thousands parade by within thirty minutes, these women were standing with nothing on but thongs.  Nada. They have, to demonstrate patriotism I guess, painted their bodies red white and  blue, but there are no duds at all north of the thong, just painted body parts. And there they stand willing to pose in any way one might like for a photo.  The naked cowboy and the naked ladies in Time Square.  Lots of folks were taking pictures.

Tsongas has lost some weight and he looks very good.  Won in straight sets against a fellow who looked mighty good himself.  Roger Federer has an easy draw and will make it to the finals.

I am not ready for football.  When I got back to my hotel last night there were games on tv but they had little appeal.  This is about the time of year for my annual rant against the silliness of college football's bogus champions. However, this year the NCAA has finally decided to employ a four team tournament at the end of the season.  This should make the season far more interesting--once I get into it.

I was on 56th and 7th.  One of the bellhops told me to go to 58 and 8th to catch the 1 train to 242nd street in the Bronx. Another told me to go to 49th and 7th.  This seemed like one of those math puzzles in school where you know there has to be a trick to it.  The guy who said 49th and 7th snorted that it was the faster way to go.  It did not make sense so I went to 58th and 8th.  The 49th and 7th turned out to be closer.  Complicated reason, but it was so.

Central Park is beautiful.  Plane flew over it when it came in from Chicago.   Remarkable green area in the middle of a city that has it all.

Waiting for the train to take me to Waltham. I asked about the senior citizen rate when I bought my ticket.  She said I have to wait two months.  And then she said, "it's half price then, but not worth it."

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