Posts Tagged ‘AirAsia’

Letter From New York 01 01 15 Passing from one year to the next…

January 1, 2015

The sun is setting again, just like it did last year and as it was when I finished the last Letter From New York, 2014. Just yesterday. Today, it is 2015 and, frankly, I started the day on the cranky side.

Somehow, during the day, I managed to work myself out of crankiness, a not usual feature of my personality. I listened to Zubin Mehta conduct the New Year’s Day performance of Vienna’s Philharmonic.

The day was spent unproductively except for a couple of loads of laundry and some other mundane household tasks. I took a short nap and felt better.

It is a brilliant first day of the year, chill but not really cold, with golden light playing across the woods outside my window. Unusually, there have been no deer sightings today.

Here in the little town of Claverack, all is peaceful.

It’s not so peaceful out there in the world.

A year ends and another begins in sadness. A transgender teen took her life; it appears, by putting herself in the way of a tractor-trailer. Such despair breaks my heart. In Florida, a schizophrenic man decapitated his mother with an ax because she was nagging him to take boxes to the attic. In Syria, the death toll from the war there climbed in 2014 to 76,000 and in Shanghai 36 people died in a stampede in the waterfront area not long after midnight. The bodies of victims of the AirAsia crash have started to be identified.

Life has a way of going on, flowing from one year into the next and stories from the end of 2014 continue to play out while new ones begin.

It is nearly two years until the Presidential election but the contenders are jockeying to be THE contender. Jeb Bush has resigned from board posts and Marco Rubio is seriously considering challenging Jeb Bush for the GOP top spot. And there is Chris Christie, too. The Democrats have Hillary and Joe Biden and maybe Elizabeth Warren. It will be interesting to watch the year unfold in politics.

Hillary has slipped a bit in some Democratic polls causing worry that she might be wearing out her welcome a bit as the Democratic front-runner. She hasn’t declared her intentions yet. I suspect she is being coy. And, of course, there is our own Governor Cuomo, who was inaugurated today for his second term as Governor at the newly built World Trade Center. He was sounding rather like he was interested in being something more than Governor of New York State.

Standing next to him was his long time girlfriend, Sandra Lee, whom I knew a bit back in the day in Los Angeles. She was dating a friend of mine then.

As I have been writing this, it has turned dark, the golden light has faded and I will turn on the Christmas lights in a few minutes. My tree still stands and will for a bit more time. I always have a hard time taking it down and surrendering the Holiday season to the fullness of the new year.

Letter From New York 12 31 14 Some thoughts at year’s end…

December 31, 2014

Outside, the sun is setting and I am prepping for my New Year’s Eve – as probably are all of you. I am following what has become my tradition of the last few years and I go down to Hudson, have dinner at the bar at Ca’Mea or the Dot and then attend the Red Dot’s annual New Year’s Eve party.

To avoid all the dangers of driving on New Year’s Eve, I check into the Inn at Ca’Mea and make it a bit of a holiday. I don’t have to worry about driving and I don’t have to worry about other drivers.

As I was driving back home from checking in, the obituary writer for the New York Times was being interviewed on NPR. She posited that the industry hardest hit by deaths during the year was Hollywood, with many of the last that went through the old studio system passing away, such as Lauren Bacall and Shirley Temple, as well as those who went too young, like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams, both having so much left to give. And let us not forget Louise Rainer, who died this week, having been the first to receive back-to-back Oscars for her work in the 1930’s. She lived to 104. Today saw the passing of the great character actor, Edward Hermann, best known for his work in Gilmore Girls.

This last day of the year is a good one for contemplation. To think about the ones who have gone before us and to hold close to our hearts the good things that have happened. I find it a bittersweet day and not one I particularly like. That’s one reason I make a plan for New Year’s Eve and probably make one that is not dependent on others.

As I often do, I peruse the stories breaking around the world and the world is going on its drumbeat. 2015 has already begun in Australia. New York security is supposed to be tighter than a drum. A two year old accidentally killed his mother when he reached into her gun-loaded purse.

Out in Asia, bad weather is hampering recovery efforts for the AirAsia flight that crashed. The news is the news; often not much good is reported. But I like to remember that good things happen, too. My friend, Mary Dickey, brought me a Christmas gift today, a battery powered toothbrush, just the right size for my backpack. We share a passion for brushing. I’m taking it with me tonight.

It is that blend of good and bad that makes the world so interesting and so unpredictable as well as frightening. Nature plays with us. It will snow in California tonight, I understand.

Dark is falling on Claverack. The old year is ending. The new one will begin. May you all have the Happiest [and safest] of New Year’s!