Yesterday was stuffed with activity. It didnt seem like much but I woke exhausted.
The plan was to do a little shopping and then take the Downtown Loop to check out Soho and finally check out the Statue of Liberty.
Yeah well, I'm not very hurried here at all. After sauntering around the neighbourhood, checking out stores and shops and having a leisurely breakfast at herald Square, I stumble across St Francis of Assisi church and I'd check it out. A mass began just as I made my entrance and so I spent an hour and a half listening to my first New York Catholic sermon. The mosaic above the altar was spectacular and I must admit I was enchanted by the artwork through the church. One in particular showing Dante Aligheri and Christopher Columbus was especially attractive. The church was built in 1929 - not its not terribly old. however it has that real 1930s New York feel to it. (Like Empire State Building and the New Yorker hotel which is home for a while) There is an air of creativity and freshness and the new with this style of decor that is juxtaposed against its dated colours.
The fransiscan priest spoke in the thickest of New York accents I have heard so far and his whole sermon was dedicated to the love of the Jews. Apparently there is vicious rivalry in NY between Catholics and Jews. (Catholics being Irish and Italian) I chatted to an old man after the service who recalled his youth in the violence of racial and relgious uprisings in this regard. Forgive my ignorance, however I have seen so many Jews since being in New York. I say that word carefully, it is merely an identifyer for people dressed in traditional clothing, the hat and the curly hair down each side. I've not encountered contact in thsi way in Brisbane - ever. So it is fascinating to be introduced to a whole new world here.
Sitting in the church, taking in the images and listening to the words, I understand a little more about the symbolic language in this "story" and feel quite priveleged about the education I have been given. A mass in the middle of the day in busy New York city, people from all walks of life and it is jam packed! Wow you'd be lucky to have 100th of that number attend on a Sunday - the prime time in Brisbane. Very interesting!
Suitably inspired, I leave the church and become hopelessly lost somewhere between 6th and 5th avenues. I emerge right next to Victoria's Secret stores. It's a Sign!!!!! :-) Oh Alex - this shop is divine - just perfect for a Capricorn birthday shopping trip! :-) Then I visited JC Penney and checked out the levels of fashion options. Bought a couple of things for myself - another religious experience!
Back home to sleep for a couple of hours as I am off to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame concert tonight at Madison Square Garden featuring: Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, U2, Lenny Kravitz and Metallica. It's great to be so close to this concert hall. Walking back home I watched the aging stage hands bump in the incredible truckloads of gear. Those guys have probably been on the road for most of their lives. Now grey haired, they still look as hooked on the music as ever.