Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stuyvesant Square and Surrounds

My friend Shirley Sender died much too soon and whenever I am in New York I think of her.  This trip was no exception.

On the Lexington bus headed downtown, I passed (too fast to take a shot) a restaurant awning  Shirley.

I was going to see one of Shirley’s best friends (one of two Nancys) who’d recently had open-heart surgery and (thank the Lord) was doing very well.  Despite feeling as if she had been rammed by a car and a truck (one in front and one in back),  Nancy was sitting up, talking, taking short walks, and wise-cracking like her pre-surgery self. 

She was at Beth Israel Medical Center, down on First and 16th, in a spacious room (bigger than her West Village apartment, with French doors no less!) and a beautiful view  despite the scaffolding that wrapped the building outside her window.  In addition to seeing Nancy doing so well, meeting her multiple friends (Bryan, Dodie, Christina & Josh) and sharing stories, I got the pleasure of perusing the neighborhood once I left.


Stuyvesant Square Park  actually two lovely parks, back-to-back on either side of the avenue.  Though it was November, the leaves were turning and falling all around me, still there in the park were flowers in bloom…


       a beautiful strong and stalwart church standing guard  ready to slay dragons if needed…


and the quiet majesty of the Quaker presence  with their meeting house from 1786 (with plain but elegant moveable bench-pews painted dove-gray with worn red velvet cushions) and their Friends school.  Here I visited another friend-of-a-friend who was tending children while their Quaker parents communed in the hall upstairs.

The Quakers have their own tenets of truth.  Some emblazoned outside for all to see…

and other more subtly displayed to embed in one’s conscience.  Inside, where the children stayed and played while their parents discussed the problems of the world and how their social activism could help, I found a little truth for my own.

I was wearing the scimitar pin Nancy saved for me from Shirley’s collection.  

Maybe I’ll be slaying some dragons of my own.

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