Posts Tagged ‘Macy’s’

Letter From New York 05 30 2016 Memorial Day thoughts from the Vineyard…

May 31, 2016

A dense fog is beginning to settle on Edgartown harbor after a wet, chill day; rain pummeled down in sheets for a time and then there was the damp aftermath.   I was delighted that I had thought to bring a sweater with me to the bookstore.

There was a steady stream of customers through the store and while it didn’t seem busy, when we closed out we had had a rather good day, he said, sounding like a shopkeeper.

Bookstore front

I have a whole new respect for people who work in retail.  I have always attempted to be nice to them.  I will work even harder. 

One elderly lady was in the store, with her daughter I think.  My colleague, Stav, took care of them.  Her credit card said her name was Gimbel and he asked if she was any relation to the department store Gimbels?  And they nodded and said yes, they were.

It was Gimbel’s Department Store in New York that started the Thanksgiving Day Parade, watched by millions every year, now the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  But back when they made the original “Miracle on 34th Street” it was Gimbel’s that was making the parade.

Gimbel’s and Macy’s were both sold to Federated at some point and they phased out the Gimbel’s name in the 1980’s.  The daughter said that no one young remembers them but Stav is younger than me by far and he remembered them.

Macy’s was the child of Isidor Strauss, who went down on Titanic with his wife, Ada.  She would not be parted from her husband as the ship was sinking. 

There are several memorials to their love in New York, most famous is the small park near 106 and Broadway, by which I have often walked.

It is Memorial Day and I don’t want that to go unnoticed.  I thought about it when I was swinging, at last, out of bed today.  I went to bed early last night, incredibly tired and slept long, having wild murder mystery dreams.  [One of the things Joyce asked me to do was make suggestions for new mysteries to order…]

It is Memorial Day and I was thinking of all the men and women who have served  the US in all its wars. 

And always, on Memorial Day, I think about Greg Harrison, with whom I went to high school.  Older than me, he enlisted in the Army after high school and died in some rice patty in Viet Nam.

He was a gentle soul.  He once teased me about something and when he realized he had touched a chord that hurt, became protective of me.  And I remember him every Memorial Day.  I went to his funeral in Minneapolis and could not comprehend he was not with us anymore.

I still cannot quite comprehend that he is not with us anymore.  I still remember the moment when he realized the tease hurt me.  He had not meant to and after that, he was very good to me.

When this day comes, I mourn him.  And will, until I die. 

I am not in Minnesota and so cannot bring flowers to my parent’s graves; my brother does that, thankfully, as he does to our Uncle Joe, who was the most important father figure in our lives.  Our father was a reticent man, not much given to social interchanges.  Uncle Joe, however, was, and living next door to us, embraced us all. 

When I was twelve, my father died and Uncle Joe did his best to be the best uncle he could be to me.  He loved all his nieces and nephews and did his best to be fair and generous to us all. 

He is remembered, too, this Memorial Day.

In the meantime, politics plunges on toward whatever end.  I am weary and wary, fearful and fretful and it will be what it will be.  And when I return from my summer sojourns, I must do what I can to see Trump is not the next President.

Ah, fog envelops the harbor.   At this moment, no boats at anchor can be seen.  Time for dinner, a little time and then to sleep, perchance to dream…

Letter From New York July 02 15 Of debt crises and Presidential Candidates…

July 2, 2015

Well, the grey summer is still holding. Yet another warm but grey day here in New York. I’m getting ready to leave for Baltimore and it looks like it might be on the grey side there too. It wears on me a bit, day after day of grey. It could be winter out the window.

It’s another day without a solution in Greece, a country pretty much shut down until the referendum on Sunday. One reporter there described the situation as “weird.” Hotels are pretty full, the sun is shining there, restaurants are pretty full but the country is running out of money and might have to start issuing IOU’s as early as this month.

On Sunday, the Greeks are voting for a deal that doesn’t even exist anymore as it expired on Tuesday night. That is part of the weirdness. European leaders are saying vote “yes” while the Greek leaders saying: vote “no.” The Greek voters are not sure what they’re voting on. Their government is saying “no” as they think it will give them more leverage in the negotiations with their creditors and the creditors are saying that a “no” means: bye-bye!

Tsipras wants the biggest “no” vote he can get, thinking it will send tremors through Europe. It probably will send tremors but maybe not the kind he wants.

The Boko Haram have killed approximately a hundred people praying at mosques in Nigeria. They target mosques where clerics are too moderate, according to them.

The deadline has passed for the nuclear talks with Iran but everyone is still talking and shuttling between countries to see if a deal can be done. Obama is saying he’ll reject a bad deal and conservatives are saying, nah, he won’t.

Angela Merkel has summoned the U.S. Ambassador to her office to discuss the latest revelations that the NSA may not have just eavesdropped on her but also on over 60 German officials, including some of her ministers. I wouldn’t want to be the student in that principal’s office.

This is for everyone who fears Artificial Intelligence. A robot in a German auto factory picked up a 22 year old man and crushed him to death. The auto plant is thinking bad programming. You might note that Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking are all worried about the potential for AI to decide we are too imperfect to be continued.

Probably will not happen in my lifetime unless I stumble into some rogue robot like the poor young man in Germany.

While it seems there is Republican entrant to the Presidential basis on a daily basis, today another Democrat has thrown his hat into that ring. Jim Webb, former Senator from Virginia, has declared he is a candidate. A former Republican turned Democrat over his opposition to the Iraq war, he will do his best to make his voice heard, though he fears being drowned out by the avalanche of money. Yes, it is hard to be heard sometimes in the waterfall of dollar bills unleashed by Citizens United.

You’ve heard of “Shark Week” I’m sure. It was thought up by a group of young programming executives more than twenty years ago at Discovery Channel as counter programming to the political conventions. One of those young programming executives was Steve Cheskin, now head of programming for Reelz Channel. Reelz is going to air the Miss USA Pageant from which NBC and Univision have run since co-owner Donald Trump opened mouth, inserted foot about most Mexicans who come to the United States. Steve knows a programming opportunity when it’s around and this is one. Good work, Steve, on the programming front. Still, I kind of wish everyone had boycotted Trump.

Macy’s has sent him packing. One of the products that bear his name is underwear. Creepy.

Trump is suing Univision for a half a billion dollars and says he’s going to sue NBC too. It will be interesting to watch this play out, some good reality television, I’m guessing.

Uber, the car calling app, is fighting the City of New York, which wants to halt its expansion while a study is completed to see what effect it is having on congestion and pollution and on the fate of yellow taxis. Uber called for a big rally yesterday here in New York and offered free rides to those who wanted to go but not many showed up. They brought food that ended up being given away to hungry tourists, of which there are lots in the city right now.

PAnyway, I’m now on the train, getting ready to pull out for Baltimore. Until tomorrow…