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Got up, hung around, walked down the block for breakfast, then readied ourselves for a trip to the United Nations.

208. “A city called, “New York.”
209. “Guardian of Jess and Amy’s flat: Lucy.”
210. “Amy’s sister is an artist. Here’s a crop of one of her mosaics.”

Grabbed a cab and shot up the east river to the U.N.

211. “End all wars.”
212. “Previous UN top brass rug portraits.”
213. “One of my favorite New Yorkers: Jessica McMenamin.”
214. “The Secretariat Tower, looking south.”
215. “A gift from Morocco.”

We were tickled to be on “International Soil.” Think about that for a second. That little plot of land doesn’t belong to the United States. It belongs to the International Community. Kinda heavy.

Usually, these tours just sorta go fast and it’s all a blur. What was refreshing was the chance to ask questions, to learn about U.N. global initiatives and of course, some history of these famous chambers.

216. “The Security Council Chamber.”
217. “The U.N. peacekeeper’s main symbol of neutrality.”
218. “A mosaic of Norman Rockwell’s painting that depicts all the world’s religions. 20,000 pieces of glass!”
219. “Woodcut prints lined the walls. Global rights.”
220. “Burnt clothes from Hiroshima.”

Some things to think about: This is the room where Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe and ruffled many countries feathers. During the entire Cold War between the US and USSR, the two countries sat directly next to each other. This is due to the alphabetical ordering of the seats. Same applies for Iran and Iraq, who were at war for a decade also. Fascinating. 192 countries are represented equally.

221. “The General Assembly, representing all 192 countries.”
222. “The pursuit of Peace…”
223. “A proud building.”

We cruised and picked my car up from the garage. I grabbed my gear from Jessica’s flat and headed north up to my cousin Tom’s brownstone up in Harlem. Took me a good 45 minutes to go 130 blocks. Phew. Ya gotta concentrate when driving in the city. No way around it.

We had a great dinner of chicken, rice, beans, salad and breadsticks. Yum. We caught up on a list of subjects, outfitted Tom with some gear, said some goodbyes and hit the road back downtown. Little Ella and little Owen are growing up well. Eight and six, respectively. It’s always good to see my favorite New York family.

224. “Cousin Tom, outfitted for the upcoming winter, with ample DDC crap.”

For the hell of it, I took Broadway allllll the way downtown. Forgot that that little street goes right through Times Square. Phew. Took me 20 minutes to go five blocks. Remember that guy who played guitar in his skivvies? The “Naked Cowboy?” Well, there’s a girl there now, topless except for pasties on her nipples, strumming away for Freedom or something. Hmmm.

225. “Times Square gridlock.”
226. “A little logo we did, on a gigantic billboard some 10 stories high. Weird, right? Yes.”

Got back downtown, found Ben and headed over to his friend’s place for a cold one. Beautiful Brazilians, taking it easy in their Chinatown loft. Quintessential New York loft living. It was cool to see it firsthand.

227. “Ben and Camilla, high up in a Chinatown loft.”

Said good bye to Ben, grabbed one last slice of New York pizza for the road and started heading east to escape. Took a drive by Ground Zero on my way over to the Holland Tunnel. Did a lap and thought about the time Baker and I went to the top of Tower One. Surreal.

The word was that Bush was going to be there the next morning paying respects. Kinda interesting, in a sad way.

228. “Ground Zero, late at night.”

I got on i-76 in no time and got out into New Jersey for a good 30 miles started to see double and triple and decided to pull off and crash in a reststop. Zzzzz.

For whatever reason, this time in NYC was just a little, uh, “ovrwhelming” or something. I wasn’t down with it, so, I threw the towel in and hit the road. That’s how it goes sometimes, right? Right.

There Are 2 Comments

Anicetas Simutis was the consul and then ambassador to the UN for Lithuania. The only problem was that for most of the time that he held that post Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Because most countries didn’t recognize the illegal annexation of Lithuania, he retained his seat in the general assembly for over 50 years representing a country that he couldn’t visit. His job was essentially to give hope to the Lithuanians in exile that their government would continue and that they would be a free and independent country again. His second duty was to be a thorn in the side of the Soviet Union whenever they claimed to represent the Baltic countries.
He held the post for almost 60 years drawing a very small salary from the lithuanians in exile. My grandfather was finally able to retire a couple years after Lithuania regained its independence in 1991 and the transition to the new government was complete.
Another bit of UN trivia… They have a guy who announces your arrival at all the UN receptions who can perfectly pronounce your name no matter how bizzarre and unpronounceable your name might sound to most americans. A human parrot with a good ear and excellent pronunciation.

Posted by: Andrius Simutis on 09/11/06 at 9:51 AM

Know what ya mean about NYC now…it’s just a little too much at this point in my life also, especially living “out West”. Canyons of buildings?

Doing a great job on the blog…makes me want to quit my job and take a roadtrip.

Look me up if you hit SLC on the way back…and listen to our newest station 100.7 MOViN. Chic hits from the 80’s and 90’s. Girl Power stuff. But cool, like Prince. They also have one in Seattle.
Read Blue Highways also sometime…and hit’em like you’ve been doing. Good on ya.

Mark Annis(the guy you don’t remember from your pre-fame Nickel ad days)

Posted by: Mark on 09/13/06 at 1:10 PM
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