This year's third trip to New York was going swimmingly:
- Redeye care of EliteRewards: easier than ever.
- JFK meetup with my transportation concierge and travel buddy Christina: seamless.
- "Check-in" to Caspian's Castle aka the Dorman Brownstone Residence: smooth as silk.
- Spin at New York City Sports Club 3 blocks up Columbus: endorphin-rich.
- Times Square Church and Redeemer Pres and meeting up with friends: all good.
- Coffee in Greenwich Village: realllyyy good.
- Observing uninhibited breakdancing in subway: really FUN.
- Ellis Island: wow. Required viewing for any anti-immigration American.
- Moby's "Teany" tea shop in Lower East Side: though failing to satiate, swank.
- Real Turkish kebabs next to Teany's: satisfying.
- Central Park on a calm just-before-Thanksgiving day: dreamy.
- The Met: Big. The Met's Renaissance art exhibit on love: replete with timeless themes.
- Culture and thinking: everywhere.
- Patty's new digs: phat.
I'd like to think that the theft of my iPhone was so destabilizing and disruptive for more erudite reasons than feeling the instinctive sting of injustice as a victim of theft...both by the NYSC member as well as AT&T, which does not provide insurance and locks you into a new contract when your uninsurable device is stolen but ah I digress...sort of....
No, I'm jonesing to claim more sophisticated reasons for my indignation, far better articulated by the indescribably sage media visionary Marshall McLuhan, who wrote that, in fact, our media "shapes and controls the scale and form of human interaction." Yes, of course! I was in fact so poignantly paralyzed by this loss precisely because media technology (of which the iPhone proves incredibly illustrative) "alter(s) our sense ratios (and) patterns of perception"....and "configure(s) the awareness and experience of each one of us."
AppleStore: cathedral of current-day thing-worship
Fortunately my umbilical cord to the modern world was restored within hours, after a trip to the divinely salvific AppleStore on 5th & Park and the calm, steady hand of Jonathan Clem, Genius helper, and ever-solid travel and life companion Christina who did the final iTunes hookups later on and thoroughly ignored my impudent whining (who is how old again?).
AppleStore professional Jonathan Clem Brechtan-ly takes on the horror of my loathesome prolifigate spending so I can stay in my happy place and focus on the mileage credit....
So by 3pm I was back. Back to perceiving, attuning, intuiting, processing, communicating and connecting the way I've so quickly become accustomed to doing and feeling fully justified for my reaction to the whole debacle given McLuhan's advanced observations.
I read about the Wal-Mart employee trampled to death on aptly-named Black Friday - a tragic picture of the sickness of our consumer culture which has led us to our current economic condition. Perhaps the grimmest thing I read:
"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, 'I've been in line since yesterday morning.'....They kept shopping."
At what point do we become so embroiled in our own existence that we lose all sense of right and wrong? Of the well-being of others?
I hope I will always be awake enough to avoid the gentle slopes and instead keenly identify where the signposts of my behavior are pointing to ensure ongoing, eternal course-correction.
NYSC: home to spin classes and iPhone thieves.
Re-connected and pacified at Rockefeller Center that evening.