anhattan Mornings


October 15, 2002

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Quiz Answer: MVS, Eatontown, NewJersey

Eatontown, NJ DMV office, Gerry & Jan

We're smiling because we've got new driver's licenses in our hands, good for four years. Since we started our big travels we haven't driven much but it would be a real pain to be without lawful driver's licenses. They serve as handy identifications, much smaller than passports, and — amazing — they get rental car companies to rent us cars on the few occasions we drive each year. Furthermore, and most important, when we leave Manhattan (where are are now) we expect to be doing a lot of driving.

Since September 21 when we last updated this website:

Jan's Darlington HS Photos and memories. This actually belongs to our last web update but we forgot to link it in. Jan had a great time in Darlington looking up old friends and then trying to label some photographs she got from them.

We've already documented Reunion Fortnight : our first two weeks in the USA.

Our most recent book review: Angela's Ashes Book Review : Jan really liked it and Gerry is reading it now.

With friends at Dinah and Mick's party
Friends at Dinah and Mick's Wedding Party

At the end of September we gave up the comforts of home for more travel. First we went from Darlington to London for a day of partying and two of sightseeing. Our long-time friends, Dinah and Mick, were celebrating their retirement and earlier, Spring, wedding with a large gathering for friends. Many, but not most, were our friends and acquaintances, so we had a nice time catching up. In between time we walked around Hampstead and surrounds, including up to the Heath, and over to Swiss Cottage.

US Flag with Nazi cross at Anti-US protest
US Flag with Nazi Swastika at Anti-US Protest

One day, Gerry walked all the way into London (it's only four miles). It was the day of a big anti-American protest. President Bush had given a warning to the Taliban in Afghanistan and was seeking UN support of action against them.

From London it was off to New York. Our goal was to attend the wedding of another long time friend, Moshe Rozenblit, to his bride to be, Cris Vieira, whom we had never met.

We'd tried long and hard to find an apartment in the City so that we could stay more than a few days. At last we did find a place, for a month, on 55th street on the east side.

On October 1 we flew over, everything at both ends going very smoothly. Being in the USA was a novelty for us, we had been traveling so long. We made our familiar trip from Kennedy to Manhattan the usual, cheap way: via subway. In town all went well, and we smoothly moved in. Now we're trying to figure out how long we'll stay. We definitely have the place we are in until the end of October. We now are negotiating to extend it through November. Whenever we leave we'll go south, possibly staying in the Washington, DC area.

US Flag with Signatures at World Trade Center Site
US Flag with Signatures at World Trade Center Site

One day our old New Jersey neighbors, Virginia and Sheri Daggett, mother and daughter, were in the city and we went with them to the remains of the World Trade Center. The American flag we saw there, with its signatures of those who won't forget, was quite a contrast to the defaced American flag in Hyde Park.

In our two weeks, going on three, we have made some discoveries about NYC. We noticed there was a Duane Reade drug store (chemist) on almost every block. And a Starbucks coffee shop. And we noticed that Fed Ex, the package delivery company, has a truck on almost every block and sometimes four or five on the same block. After thinking about this for a long time we realized that the main economic activity of NYC is selling coffee to FedEx drivers and that their main activity is deliverying coffee to Starbucks shops. Where do the Duane Reade stores come in? At first their presence seemed to argue against our deduction. If they aren't a front for Al Qaida then we guess that the FedEx drivers get traffic and caffeine headaches and are the principal shoppers at Duane Reade.

There are a few other shops. One of them is the Barnes and Noble bookstore, which also sells music on CDs. New to us are the "listening points" that say "Hear any CD". Just put on the attached earphones, pick up a CD, and pass its barcode reader under scanner. Music plays. Its really just a giant iPod with a large MP3 library, but it is neat to have it in a store.

We've already managed to take care of one really important piece of business. Jan's license expired in February, 2002 and Gerry's was about to expire at the end of October. We had been wondering just how we were going to get a new one for Jan and extend Gerry's. We gave up on it in England because the process is slow and we didn't start early enough. We thought of doing in New York State but there was a major obstacle: we didn't have anything with our address on it, which is what would be needed for a license.

And that was the key that made it simple in New Jersey: The very thing that had an address on it was our old licenses, including Jan's. We went to New Jersey to see old frieds and after lunch decided to give it a try. We went to the MVS office, asked if we could renew, and they said — get ready — yes. So for filling out a form, paying  $18 each, and waiting 25 minutes, we had them in our hands. Thanks Harold, for driving us down and waiting for us.

October 15, 2002