From the Right
11:13 PM AKST, March 4, 2013
I write this week’s column from a nearly frozen Big Apple. But of course it’s only cold for someone from the Imperial Valley used to the balmy winters of a desert climate. It is all of around 32 degrees in New York. For my wife and I, that means four sweaters, heavy jackets, ear muffs and gloves. For the typical New Yorker, a light jacket is all that is called for. Well, that is fine. I tell anyone laughing about the layers of clothing I am wearing to come enjoy a visit to El Centro in August. I have had very few takers so far.
So you might be asking why we have done a reverse migration of the snowbirds. Who, from our area, goes to New York in the dead of winter? There are two reasons actually. My lovely wife celebrated a monumental birthday this past week. Now since I’m a gentleman, it would not be appropriate to reveal a woman’s age but if anyone wants a hint, it rhymes with nifty. Reason No. 1 for this midwinter jaunt is that NYC happens to be one of my wife’s favorite places in the whole world.
New York is a wonderful city. Hard to believe I said that! For most of our lives together my wife wanted to visit and I absolutely refused to consider it. Because wives usually prevail, we went once finally, and we continue to come back, this being our fifth trip since 2001. Yes, 2001, we were here with all the kids less than two weeks before 9/11. Eerily, our Christmas card that year was fronted by a photo of the family taken across the Hudson River with the soon-to-be-destroyed Twin Towers prominent in the background.
New York is a wonderful city blessed with the old and new. No city could ever offer such an array of things to do as New York. We went to see “The Late Show” with Letterman, saw the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden, and who could go to New York without seeing a play on Broadway. Add a stroll through the greatest park every conceived of (Central), the always frenetic activity around Times Square and a little shopping on 5th Avenue and, well, you can feel like you’ve seen and done it all. We were hoping to drop in on his Eminence, the Cardinal, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but he was unexpectedly called to Rome for a matter of some importance.
The second reason for this midwinter visit was to meet up with an old friend. Father Allan White, whom many will know from his visits over the years to St. Mary’s in El Centro, is stationed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Greenwich Village. He presently serves as Chaplain of the Catholic Center at New York University. It’s a nice gig for a priest: the center is right off the famous Washington Square and has palatial new facilities.
Father Allan has been a good friend of the family, but truth be told, visiting him has proved a trial. We spent a few days at a lovely hotel we stay at each time we come to New York, but Fr. Allan invited us to spend some time with the Dominican brothers at St. Joseph’s. Only on arrival were we notified that both the boiler and the heating system had gone out. This might be considered just one of those things but I’m wondering whether it doesn’t contain a hidden message for my wife and me. You see, when Father Allan invited us to spend some time with the Dominican brothers at London in February of last year, lo and behold, both the boiler and the heater system there were not working there either. Is it us or is it the Dominicans that are jinxed to freeze in the winter?
We love visiting New York. Regardless of their reputation, the people are nice, even if a little strange, but really quite nice. Still we will be happy to get back to the beautiful 75-plus degree weather in the Imperial Valley. I think that from now on we’ll stick to having Fr. Allan visit us in the winters.
Jon Edney is a former El Centro city councilman.
Copyright © 2013, Imperial Valley Press