Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today in NYC

For a city that has existed for almost 400 years, there can only be a few single, solitary days that are worthy of the history books (January 1st, 1898 or September 11, 2001 spring to mind, obviously). October 16, 2008 will certainly not go down in the history books as a particular memorable day in NYC history. But it's a day that, in my opinion, shows the dynamism that is our city -- something comes, something goes, something is ... fought over. To whit:

The Queen Elizabeth II, one of the grandest transatlantic ocean liners to ever traverse the globe, made its final visit to New York harbor today. After over 800 visits, it left our city for the last time tonight, on its way to Dubai, the great Middle Eastern capital. There it will become a floating hotel, never to visit our shores or ports again. Something will never quite be the same in our city without the QEII docking here. But things change, and some things are lost to those changes. And life goes on.

Meanwhile, the City Council is hotly debating term limits. Should they be extended -- and how? By the council? By the voters? Should they be abolished? Should they be extended at all? Passions and voices are flaring, tempers reaching the boiling point. As I type, the council is hearing testimony both pro and con. How this will be resolved no one knows. To be continued ...

And yet, in the middle of losing the QEII and the maelstrom over New York City politics, there was a quiet triumph. In 2001, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine suffered a brutal fire and it's main organ was destroyed. But in the last few months, it was reassembled, piece by piece. And now a great house of worship has a great functioning organ once again. It took a long time and wasn't easy, but it finally happened. It shows that, while it may take time, problems can be overcome.

So on this day, NYC shows it's a place of constant change and constant drama. Never a dull moment. Would we have it any other way?

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