Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer News and Blues: Cataracts, Technology and a little Marxist analysis tossed in

Sunday, July 15, 2018

This post falls into the category of NOGAC - No One Gives a Crap, so why am I posting this about my life? For me so I can remember what it was like to be active when I no longer can be. So if you're a NOGAC, don't click below the fold.

I can measure the kind of life I lead by how many steps I take each day. Check the city and Rockaway totals.

I lead a double life. I sit on my porch and I can see the skyline -- so far yet so near. I would never want to live in Manhattan as I would be running around like a chicken all the time. Most of the time I'm in Rockaway -- not doing all that much. My step totals are low. Work around the house and garden, take a walk, go to the gym, do some blogging, work around the theater --- but most of the time I am sitting on my front porch or back deck or in my secret hideaway deep in the corner of my backyard where my wife can't find me to give me honeydos, 
My hideaway
reading and listening to WFAN or NPR. I don't like being indoors and try to spend every minute I can outside.

I have an alternate existence via our little apartment in Manhattan (thanks to business unionism) - where we go - often around medical stuff or for theater, meetings and other events.

Tuesday I was scheduled for my 2nd cataract operation in the past 2 weeks so I had to spend a few days in the city. Below is a schedule of what I did between Monday through Wednesday last week in Manhattan as a contrast to my fairly passive schedule in Rockaway -- where I seem to have less energy and ambition. But maybe that is the great idea about Rockaway -- to chill. But there is just so much chilling I can take and need to infuse myself with a bolt of energy from the city.

My cataract operation on my left eye (the right was done 2 weeks ago) was scheduled for 7:30 AM on Tuesday and I had to be at the hospital 2 hours before, so we headed into the city on Monday.

Monday, July 9
3:45PM - we walk two block to catch the jitney to the ferry which leaves at 4:15.
5:30 - transfer to Astoria ferry which lets us off at 34th st in a 12 minute ride. Walk to apartment in 38th St and hang out there until 6:45 when we go out to eat at a Lasagna place on Lexington ave where we share a carafe of wine.
8PM - back to apartment where wife decides to stay in air conditioning while I feel stir crazy and head over to Bryant Park with a book before the Monday night movie starts when it gets dark --- Little Miss Sunshine.

The park is packed - every bit of space on the lawn is filled. I find a chair on the side of the lawn and do some reading waiting for the movie to start - they have to wait until it is dark enough.
Oh, goody, a cartoon. And then the movie which I saw many years ago but have mostly forgotten. We all love it and laugh and cheer at certain moments. There is noting like seeing a movie with thousands of people.

10:45 -- movie ends -- check out Yankee and Mets doubleheader results -- both split. Lots to listen too on FAN - I plug in my earphones. I have to get back to get some sleep and have to remember to put in my 3 eye drops.

11-11:45 PM - need time to slow down before going to sleep. Set alarm for 4:45 AM.
Steps 8,239 3.0m

Tuesday, July 10
4:15 AM - I'm up and no point going back to sleep. I want to leave around 5:15 as I'm walking to the hospital which is on E. 64 between 2nd and 3rd. My wife is going to sleep a few more hours and come to pick me up around 9AM.

5:15-5:45 AM --How great to walk in semi-darkness on mostly deserted streets. I love the look of the different buildings - some old, some new and the changing sky and skyline as I walk. I could stop and take photos every block.

5:45- 8:30 -- arrive, check in and go through the whole rigamarole which I will spare you of  -- though manage to wake up during surgery and see the lens being implanted in my eye --

8:30 - 9:45  - Wife arrives -- get checked out and so on.
Left eye had film over it and vision is a little gray -- but it was like that 2 weeks ago so I expected it.

Take 2nd ave bus downtown to an old style diner - Towne -we've discovered on 2nd ave between 38 and 37th st. I haven't eaten since the lasagna place the night before and order a big stack of pancakes with bacon (did I tell you I eat twice as much when in Manhattan?). The waiter dropped one of the pieces on the floor and I almost picked it up but he said he'd get me another and whisked it away. I still would have eaten it.

Wife is more judicious and orders an omelet. She wants to get back to Rockaway as cats need more care than me so she runs off to catch a ferry heading downtown. I finish and go back to the apartment and alternate listening to NPR and FAN.

11:30AM -- I hate being cooped in the small apartment.
feeling pretty good and decide to head over to Bryant Park to do some reading even with one eye. I stop at the 42nd St library to pick up a book -- The Dilemmas of Lenin -- with socialism on the horizon I might as well do some reading.

I buy a $5 pair of sunglasses that fits over my glasses from a vendor on the corner of 40th and 5th Ave --- if you need super cheap sunglasses that are not awful I recommend him --  and find a table looking across 42nd St. My left eye becomes clear around 12:30 - I can read signs across the street  ---- it is clearer than the right eye (which in some mix-up didn't get the lens to counter astigmatism)  but now my old glasses make things look weird. My eyes begin to bother me from the wind around 1:30 and I am also getting sleepy so I decide to head back to the apartment around for a nap but on the way stop in my favorite spot in Grand Central - the Apple store. Which I basically don't leave for the entire afternoon.

2- 5PM. I am still in the Apple store looking at Ipads and taking classes in using phones and ipads to make videos and talking to the people who work there about new computers I may or may not get.
My question is to what extent can I replace my 2011 macair with an ipod. 

An Apple employee, a young lady who is a Brooklyn native --I like that Apple seems to hire local people--- , spends a lot of time with me showing me all the stuff I can do on the ipad. She convinces me that the MacAir replacement I considered buying is outdated and the high level Ipad might do the trick. She is so nice and helpful I want to buy one from her when I decide to get it. I never get that nap but do go back to the apartment to rest a bit and take my drops. I may go back to Apple later to buy that ipad - or not.

6:30 PM 10PM - I'm starving and head over to a salad place, then to Apple one more time still trying to decide if I want to spend a grand on an ipad pro with pencil and keyboard or take it down a few notches since it probably will end up gathering dust. I can't decide what to do and stroll around until I head downtown to get some frozen yogurt and listen to the Yankee game - which is not fun -- but the Mets do win.
Steps: 15,000 - 5.8 miles --- See how I move around in the city?

Wed. July 11
I have to see the eye doctor on 61st and Park at 10 AM. There is a class at Apple from 8-9 on the ipad and like a lemming I go back to Apple at Grand Central -- I could live in that store and in GC generally -- the pulse of people moving and the beauty of the place. There are 2 of us in the class and it is informative about the iphone too -- I learn a few tricks and also get some issues with the phone clarified. At 9 I get some breakfast in the main entry hall at the Scandinavian place. It's a mile to the doctor so I take a leisurely walk up Park Ave. and get there 15 minutes early.

Everything seems OK with my eye - I now have 20-25 vision in my left eye- which was my weaker eye and is now stronger than my right eye. Did I tell you it cost me $2500 bucks for the astigmatic lens since medicare doesn't cover it? (Our local guy charges $1200 for the lens but these are Manhattan docs.) So while my right eye is not perfect, I saved $2500 on the lens screwup - which I will use to buy me some toys at Apple.

I head over to Central Park where I meander around until I see a little entrance to an area I've never been to. The Hallett Nature Sanctuary -- a very private area of the park with interesting view points. It was so different from the general atmosphere of the park. A Quiet place.

I wandered around but when I wanted to leave I kept hitting dead ends - no exit signs. I meet a couple also lost and we finally stumbled out. Here are a few pics.

I love those tree benches.

11:45- 3:45

What to do next? One idea was to head over to the United Nations area to explore an area of the city I had not checked out yet. But I am lured by stopping by MOMA - as a member I feel obligated. So close and I can do an hour of museuming until I get bored. But then I see they have a film at 1:30 and its' Good Morning Vietnam - which I have never seen. So I wander the upper floors of the museum checking out some new and old exhibits - Starry Starry Night attracts a big crowd -- and check out the major Picassos.

Them down stairs to the movie - which was wonderful. And very political about controlling the press. Robin Williams is astounding.

Next - There's a monthly Democracy at Work lecture by Richard Wolff at the Judson church in the Village at 7:30. And I want to see "Sorry to Bother You" at the Angelica, so I have a plan.

I can make a 4:40 show which will end before 7. I can get some pizza afterward and then go to the lecture.

At 4PM I grab the E train to W. 4 and walk to the Angelica, passing loads of packed bars with people watching the England/Croatia soccer game --- I stop to watch -- it is in overtime and there's a tie. I stop at each bar for a few minutes -- I walk down the street and hear noise - I just missed the Croatia goal. Many of the guys who work in my buildng are Serbians and I wasn't sure exactly how the relationship with Croatia is working out -- I asked my doorman and he is rooting for them, so I did too.

At the Angelica the gal behind the counter asks me about my Morikami Gardens hat - where it that in Japan? I tell her its in Del Ray Florida -- she says her aunt lives there and she loves Japanese Gardens and wants to move to Japan and is trying to learn the language.  I love these little encounters when I'm in the city. I grab a large bag of popcorn and head into the movie. So many interesting movies here - The Ruth Bader Ginsberg movie and a few others. I could stay here all night.

The movie is wonderful  - along the lines of Get Out, with one of the featured characters starring. It deals with so many issues - exploiting workers, feminism and race and union organizing. Also some bizarre aspects where you can sell yourself into slavery in exchange for food and lodging - a cot. The Democratic Socialists are having a movie night next week on a field trip to see the movie, so it must pass the politically correct test.

I go upstairs and grab a table in the lobby so I can put in my eyedrops - 3 of them 5 minutes apart. Then to pizza and the lecture -- which is really interesting. I meet Lisa North there. Lisa became a distributor for Ed Notes back in 2002 and was an original ICEer, GEMer and MORE founder.

Hard to fault some of the logic of Richard Wolff about the fault lines of capitalism. There will be another crash -- how bad it will be depends. I take good notes for future reference -- which I may write up in a separate post. But here is the link and it is worth watching, especially if your TDA is all in the market.

I decide to try to make as many of these monthly events as I can.

It is a beautiful night and I walk back to the apartment from Washington Sq. Park to 37th St and 3rd Ave with a stop at my frozen yogurt place on 30th St. Back in apartment before 11.

Over 18,000 steps and over 7 miles. I feel spectacular.


morning - catch an 8:07 downtown ferry to Wall St. and get there at 8:20. There is an express to Rockaway at 8:45 so I rush to a bagel place a few blocks away and rush back. But the ferry didn't come so we have to wait for the 9:15 -- except we find out it did come at another berth but they didn't tell us. I'm back in Rockaway at 10:15, grab the gitney and back home by 10:30. Then off to the theater to help out with a new shed coming in - as long as I don't have to lift anything -- which means I will be giving advice.

Thurs Steps: 5,426, 1.8 miles

Friday: An old friend comes over and I take her to Fort Tilden to walk along the beach there. Then tape the opening night that evening. steps 5,260, 1.7 m.
Sat - out to cousin in Long Island with entire family - lunch and dinner and massive bloat. steps 974, .3m
Sun - do nothing -- steps 48

COMING SOON: Monday - I  better get my ass back to Manhattan.

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