Am I boring you yet? I’ll try and be more interesting once we get to Europe. At the very least I’ll post some great pics. We started our morning at the vet. The dogs had to have their papers filled out 120 hours before leaving the country, plus had to get a rabies vaccine and some other crap. I started working on this process with our LA in February. I wanted to make sure there were no cock-ups, so that by the time the trip rolled around all we had to do was 1) see a vet in NYC to get rabies vaccines; 2) then schlep to JFK to get the papers stamped and approved. Turns out that our vet in LA – or the vet’s front desk- totally fucked up ALL the paperwork from LA. I love our vet and I can’t bear to think it’s her fault. Unless the errors were corrected, we weren’t going anywhere. Needless to say, I went ballistic. I called our vet in LA, but she was on vacation. Had it not been for a young woman named Indira, our hero, who worked for the NYC vet, we’d be on our way back to LA. Indira is brilliant. She knows all there is to know about this insane process of international dog travel. She saved our entire three-month trip by employing some unusual techniques to “correct” our paperwork. By the time she was finished three hours later (the paperwork is insanely complicated), it was too late to go to JFK because the USDA office was closed. Tomorrow it opens from 8:30 AM o 11:30 AM. That’s our last window before flying out Sunday. If I believed in prayer, I’d be doing that instead of writing this.
NYC has changed so dramatically in the last few years. Like London and LA, the entire city is under construction. The number of high rises going up is staggering. Block after block of 70-100 story glass buildings so densely packed they form corridors blocking all the natural light. And, of course, all the older buildings are being torn down to put up new flashy ones. Even our old ‘hood, in the West Village (Meatpacking District) which already has been gentrified, is losing its character to huge high rises. Directly opposite our old apartment window on Horatio Street is the new Whitney Museum. As excited as I’d be to live across from the Whitney, I’d be equally pissed off at having to look at a wall of metal or whatever material the building is made of.
Then there’s the “Freedom Tower” aka “Hit Me Again, Motherfucker.” Don’t get me started. I agree with Chris Rock. Nothing could get me into that building. The first twenty stories are concrete so they won’t collapse if somebody flies another plane into it. But everything above it will still collapse! The cost overruns are so massive the City has to raise all the mass transit fares and it costs $32 per person to take the elevator to the top of it! I’m sure the 9/11 families derive great solace from the 1776 (1776, get it?) story building (see pic), the macabre memorial pits, and, of course, the people hawking pictures of victims jumping from windows. It’s a quintessential American tableau.
The evening ended with a lovely dinner with Jim’s old law partners and their spouses at a beautiful restaurant on the water at the tip of the Battery Park. It was a spectacularly beautiful night. After dinner we took a walk, then sat on the promenade overlooking the Hudson River, enjoying the delicious breeze and view, while Jim and his former partners, Michael Smith and Ron Reosti smoked cigars and discussed politics. Everything is in bloom. It smells heavenly (provided the wind isn’t blowing the cigar smoke in our direction) and looks gorgeous. I’m amazed how deserted the green spaces and the promenade are in Battery Park, even on a perfect night like this.