Letter From New York 04 14 15 Working to see with tourist’s eyes…

All around me the city of New York is thrumming, filled with the sounds of a city growing, being alive. Sitting in the office of a friend doing some work for him, the street below is filled with the clatter and the clanging of building.

This morning, as I was waking and sipping my first cup of coffee, I decided that I wanted to look at the world a little differently, as if I was a tourist in spots that were well known to me, to keep my eyes and ears open for new sensations and experiences.

Walking to the subway, I noticed the play of grey light on the sidewalk, through a cloudy sky that was hinting of rain, which didn’t seem to want to come.

There is a plastic milk box between what was the Radio Shack store and the upscale mart for sports shoes. Every day there is someone sitting on that box, begging. But it’s often a different person and today it was someone I’ve never seen before. I wonder if it is first come, first seated or do they change shifts during the day?

Certainly, it’s been an interesting day out there in the world. I’ve attempted to keep up with the world while I’ve been hunched over my laptop, doing research for my friend/colleague Todd Broder.

I have discovered that we haven’t discovered any other life in the hundred thousand galaxies we have been searching. We thought that if some civilization had advanced enough that it could have a galaxy wide imprint, we might be able to detect them but no such luck. But there are more than a billion galaxies out there and a hundred thousand is just a small fraction of the possibilities.

It is also noted today that it’s Equal Pay Day though it remains to be seen if employers will step up to achieve equal pay for equal work for women. But we have a day to mark the effort to that goal.

And also today is the 150th Anniversary of the shooting of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth, the first assassination of an American President but not the last.

150 years – an amazing amount of time and a huge chunk of American history has happened since then. The Republic wasn’t yet a hundred years old when Lincoln died.

The somber visage of Lincoln stares out at us from those haunting photographs, a window into a time long gone and just beginning to be chronicled by photography.

In Washington, Obama wants to set Cuba free by lifting its designation as a state sponsoring terrorism. If that happens, the floodgates will open. There was also a story of how ubiquitous the American flag has become in Havana, flying everywhere and on t-shirts and painted on jeans.

Currently at the Acela Club in New York, there was a huge delegation of important people heading out on the 6:00 Acela to Washington. There were police guarding the doors and the group and then they slipped out and down to the train. One was a military figure from some European nation. Everyone seemed to be paying a great deal of attention to him.

A great deal of attention is also being paid to what is happening on the first steps taken on the campaign trail. Hillary has driven to Iowa and is doing her listening. Paul Rand is back from a five state tour and Marco Rubio is facing scrutiny about his immigration and tax stands. No news of Ted Cruz today.

Today Space X successfully sent another capsule toward the space station, carrying supplies. Its first stage attempted once again to land on a platform at sea. It hit the platform but too hard.

Still, to me, it’s a step forward. Have to admire Elon Musk and his steadfastness to his vision.

The markets today seemed to do well though Google will likely face anti-trust charges in Europe.

The world in the Middle East is still very complicated. A drone attack killed a leading Yemeni Al Qaeda cleric. Russia is planning on selling missiles to Iran. Iraq’s PM was in Washington, where he got some money and a warning that Iranians in Iraq should be reporting to Baghdad.

And now I am going to go out into the streets of New York and do my best to keep my eyes open and see what I can see, with open eyes. I am off to get a martini and a bite to eat, while I continue reading a very good book, “The End of Life Book Club.”

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