Expecting a friend visiting NYC this weekend

I am always excited by the prospect of seeing friends from Manila visiting New York.  One of my former colleagues from my last job before I left Manila for NYC is arriving this coming Friday.  We are good friends — and she even refers to me as “Ate Dinns”, much like most of the younger girls in the office.  (Those who weren’t close to me called me “Attorney Dinns” instead.)  Sometimes I even get excited by the prospect of friends of friends, or friends of my siblings visiting us here.  So this one is special because she is actually MY friend, and we share a history together.

I look forward to her arrival all the more because save for a last-day breakfast with my dear friend Reggie at the Intercon during this last visit, I failed to spend time with my friends from the old group unlike during my 2002 visit when we had several opportunities to get together.  (I watched a concert of The CompanY with them, even.)  So I didn’t get to see Nerris or the other girls this time around.

It doesn’t matter that she is with another girlfriend I don’t know at all.  I have already committed to spend Saturday with them — and as soon as I find out how long she will be in New York, I will go about planning which side of NYC I will show them.  I always tell friends a weekend is never enough to get a good feel of the true vibe of this city.  A week is much too short but should be good enough. 

Unfortunately, I cannot take any days off because I’m all out of vacation days, with the last few on hold for that Paris trip this Thanksgiving.  So I promised to see them during the weekend and after work.  Not the best time to go out for extended lunches because the boss is in town.  (Talk about timing!)  He doesn’t leave until the 13th, and I am not sure Nerris will still be here.  The 13th, by the way, is Alan’s birthday party.

I have written walking tours of New York for friends and friends of friends.  It’s about time I wrote it here on my blog.  So to hit two birds with one stone, I’ll do that while chronicling what we will do during this visit of Nerris.  My brain is on “tourist mode” the next week or two..

Where we are in the grand scheme of things

One of the crowd drawers at the Central Park Zoo was this polar bear which was trying to cool itself in this pool of water.  He seemed bored to death by the crowd of people oohing and aaahing below.  I guess his main concern was this place just wasn’t like “home”.  But he was making do there — just passing time.  This is one bear who will be very happy when the temperature starts dropping again.

At first we thought he was a stuffed version of the real thing until he yawned and stuck his tongue out.  His movements were very graceful and slow — robotic in a sense.  But he was real.. very real.. chilling out in his corner of Central Park.

This trip to the zoo reminded me of my childhood when a trip to the Manila Zoo was always such a treat!  I even remember one field trip when I was in elementary when we made a stop there.  I do not remember any of the animals in the particular, but there is a sense of awe and excitement that I can still feel when I think about those early childhood memories of the zoo.  That’s one reason I so wanted to bring Angel to the Central Park Zoo for starters — and then maybe next summer, we might actually go to the Bronx Zoo which is the real pride and joy of New York.

Seeing all these beautiful creatures helps one appreciate his or her place in the grand scheme of things.  Their power and beauty can be both humbling and awe-inspiring.  Their inferiority in terms of intellect, though, serves as reminder that we were created with a higher purpose — and it’s our responsibility to live up to the demands of that gift.