On the way home

Our Lyft ride (not using Uber as much anymore until they get their act together) was provided by Hemad whose family hailed from Kabul (Karte Seh – district 4, where we lived). He was pleasantly surprised when we tested our rusty Dari on him.

He took us to the Tic Tock diner, a fabulous round-the-clock (tic-tock) eating establishment on the west side near Penn Station. We had a wonderful breakfast and then parted – Axel to the MMA and me to the second day of the event.

It was not as much to my liking as the first day – there was simply too much talking to us. Over the years I have learned a thing or two about large group events, and this was one; what to do and what not to do. I would have made it more engaging. There were simply too many interesting people around me that I didn’t get to meet because we had too many and too long plenary sessions, people talking too much. I found myself consulting my watch, a sure sign I was bored.

By 4PM we were done and I met up with Axel downstairs. We took another Lyft ride downtown to the West Village and were looking for the old Speakeasy Chumley’s which was bought and redone in a way that it is no longer an inviting place and, apparently now only for the wealthy (a $$$ sign on Yelp). It had the old forbidding speakeasy door (I presume) which aimed to hide rather than publicize itself. We walked on.

We ended up at an Italian restaurant with a line of inviting chairs and small tables along the length of the restaurant. We sat down, started with just a drink and nearly 200 dollars later had had the most amazing nueva cucina (small) plates put in front of us.  Everything in NYC is overpriced for the hapless tourist. We got used to the steep prices and with every meal ventured a little further over the line of what we considered expensive only 3 days ago.

On Sunday and Monday it rained, feeling more like a late fall day. As we approached Newport the weather become more and more blustery, not a day for sauntering around this summer tourist town. We toured the old library (the oldest in the US I believe), visited the boatbuilding school and then made a tour along the summer ‘cottages’ that have made Newport famous.

The next day we had breakfast at the yacht club, surrounded by yachts and things bigger than. I imagined that the purchase price could feed and clothe the residents of whole provinces in Afghanistan for a month. And then there is the upkeep, the hauling and painting and the staff needed to do it all – probably good for another few months of clothing and feeding.

Most of the yachts were from Georgetown (Bahamas I suppose) – sleek and no doubt fast. they were preparing for a race around Narragansett Bay. One of the yachts had Amsterdam painted on its stern and flew a huge Dutch flag. We accosted a young man who was leaving the boat – disappointingly not a Dutchman. He is part of a group of people who live and work on yachts and belong nowhere and go everywhere, He didn’t seem happy. We, on the other hand, were happy to go home.

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July 2017
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