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From Eagle to Angel (intermezzo)

December 12th, 2015 by Willem Jan Renders

Just text this time and not about art at all. Consider it a background for what is to follow. Or just don’t read it.

So I woke up in the city that never sleeps and discovered that my little town blues had melted away… only to see that there’s already a big traffic jam in the street of my hotel at 7 a.m. while I am eating what is considered to be breakfast here: spongy bread, dry scrambled egg and too salt fat sausages. The watery coffee and a concert of hooting cars playing in the background make this sad meal complete. Eating alone in a restaurant was never my favourite pastime but this is pretty much near the limit for someone who is used to a quiet table with good bread, a well-baked omelette and fresh orange juice. Or some yoghurt with home made marmalade, small pieces of apple, nuts and raisins if you wish. And then a good espresso. Of course some of this would be possible, also in a cheap hotel like this, but someone would have to want it first. And no one seems to want it here. All guests seem perfectly satisfied. I really need to find a restaurant with good organic food because I won’t last very long on this junk here. The throwaway plates, cups and cutlery match this lousy breakfast. What a total waste!

The traffic jam is still there when I walk on the sunny street to take the subway to Manhattan. Next to my hotel there is a gas station with a little supermarket. I already went there yesterday for my daily two bottles of mineral water, but you can also buy fresh food there. Well, fresh… Somehow this seems a good combination though: selling gasoline and food. If you had to, what would you choose? Food of course! But the gasoline here is probably better for cars than this food is for humans. Ever since the warnings for global warming we know that the two are related in another way; the more fuel we burn the less food we can eventually grow. But the collective effort that is needed to get our oil consumption under control and our food production improved seems far away here. Unfortunately I fail to see how a conference on climate change can bring any difference whatsoever in this day-to-day New York endemic. Or in the similar one the Netherlands for that matter. We will have to try very hard.

But where was I? Oh yes: on my way to the subway station, looking at the solid iron overground construction with trains going high over an overpass for cars and the traffic on the ground moving slowly under all this. Next I was going down the stairs to catch the E train to 53rd and Fifth. I like the sound of that: the E train to 53rd and Fifth. It should be pronounced in this fat American English that you also hear when entering the trains: “Stand clear of the closing doors please.” 53rd and Fifth: that is almost on the corner of MOMA, in the limo and blinded SUV neighbourhood where only money makes the difference.

End of intermezzo.

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