City and Tranquility

Traveled to NYC for work, stayed in the Financial District, which is my favorite part. This is the oldest part of NYC and a couple areas still maintain that vibe. Additionally, I switched to a Google Pixel XL 2 phone which can take better pictures than my old iPhone.


It took a lot of waiting to find a time where the bull and girl were not surrounded by tourists, a 2 second window opened and I snapped the picture below.


After a long day of work, I walked over 20,000 steps (according to my watch), I was heading back to the hotel and the light hit this building in a very warm way.


The weather warmed up a little this weekend and I took Benny to Ohiopyle for a hike up to Baughman’s Rocks. My car was the only one at the trailhead parking lot, the town was in full hibernation except the General Store who sold me a bottle of water and beef jerky that I would share with Benny. When I hiked up to the overlook below, it was amazingly quiet. I start these hikes with so many tasks and thoughts scattered all over my mind, when I am home I feel like they are all organized and filed away in the right spots. Would love to see what tranquility I would find if I could ever hike the entire Appalachian Trail. It had been awhile since I last hiked, my legs were the tiniest bit tired the next day…need to get back at it.


The picture below is from Manhattan in the Financial District, a Vietnam War memorial. This is just one letter of many inscribed on the illuminated wall.



For a couple of weeks now, this is what I see every day. It is so darn cold, even though we shoveled, we couldn’t peel the layer of snowy ice from the walk/driveway. We start the mornings in single digits and get up to 10 or 15 degrees during the day. This weather ruins ambition!


Had the opportunity to visit New Orleans for a sales meeting. We had a free night and I went to Frenchmen Street which is known to usually have good music. I walked into a bar that had a brass band blasting amazing music. I went up to the bartender and asked for a Coor’s Light and he gave it to me on the house, said it was a big celebration for a cigar company’s 50th anniversary. It was open bar with amazing music, a good deal. The band was doing an amazing show when they started marching off the stage (while still playing their hearts out) and then marched by all the people in the audience towards the back of the bar, people started to follow them, I followed too. They led us through a long dark hallways and we emerged in a courtyard (pictured below) where the band played a couple more songs and everyone was smoking cigars…New Orleans, I love that place.


On my way to New Orleans, my flights were delayed. It was snowing and everything was freezing, this was the view outside my plane window. A briefly occurred to me that this is not ideal weather to fly or land a plane, but I pushed that thought away and listened to music. I’ve gotten super into the band called The National, I am not sure many other people will enjoy them as much as me, but I am feeling them now.


My kids have shown on a number of occasions that they forget they are really from the eastern part of Pennsylvania, they are Philly kids. To them, they have spent the more substantial part of their existence in Pittsburgh and they much more identify themselves with that part of the state. To remedy this, I took them to Philadelphia to give them a deep indoctrination of what makes Philly great. We saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Ben Franklin’s printing press, made them try a cheesesteak at the Reading Terminal Market, and the were pretty much unsatisfied with the experience. On our way back to the car the kids saw the ornamental street decorations indicated we were a block away from Chinatown and they begged me to let them walk through Chinatown. I said, “Sure, you can go to Chinatown, but you will not like it. You’ll see dead ducks hanging in the windows and lots of advertisements for massages, nothing you’ll like.” The kids persisted and found the store pictured below, it was the most magical store the kids ever discovered, filled with all the things they loved. This was the highlight of their trip to Philly.