New York and Beyond

It is getting close to the holidays, which, for my wife and I, means a trip. We get out of town for Christmas instead of try to choose between our five families (two sets of divorced parents and my sister with the only niece and nephew). It works well, but it means I spend the weeks leading up to when we leave frantically trying to get everything done.
That was the story this last weekend: we went to New York to see my wife’s family. That will be the story next weekend, when we take my niece for the weekend to give my sister a break. And then we are headed to Mexico for a few weeks of thermal restoration.
So my LPJ work is likely to be spotty until I get back. Or, if I wind up taking my computer, it might just have a different flavor.

I wanted to get this out there, however, before I get busy again. (Lots going on today. There were several drug related arrests this weekend, and the third person allegedly involved in the home invasion was arrested. Busy day.)
I was in New York, at a birthday party for one of my step-in-laws, when someone asked me what I do. I described working for the paper, and they were interested in Berlin. I described the city as best I could, including its challenges, and several people sat in rapt attention. My description of a pace of life and a world where everyone knows one another obviously uncovered a nostalgia many of the urbanites had worked to bury. I described many of the things I describe on here, and they were amazed such a place still exists.
Berlin has problems: landlords, jobs, drugs, poverty. But it also is so special. I really do think many people in Berlin don’t realize it is because they don’t leave often enough. They don’t spend enough time in the high speed world, where it’s more important to avoid eye contact with a stranger than it is to avoid bumping into them.
I like leaving Berlin, because every time I come back. I drive into a town that feels like it is perpetually waking up, never moving at the full speed of the day. It is a treasure, and when I tell people about it they act I’m talking about Narnia or Atlantis. That pace, which Berlin takes for granted, is what so many people are yearning for. I can’t help but enjoy the fact that I get paid to come up and slow down every day.

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