NYC – Day 1: Octopus and a 16th century Laudato Si’ globla-warming chasuble

I am in Manhattan for a couple events and some R and R.

Yesterday I met a friend for lunch at a Japanese Ramen place.


Beans… lightly salted.

The ramen was good and satisfying, but not outstanding.

We then walked to the Met, some 30 blocks, for a first glimpse at the Christmas Tree and because – frankly – it is like spring here.  It was too beautiful a day to waste.

I always look for the pig – often on the bridge – and the monkey with the cymbals.

A couple of bagpipers… I can in my memory hear them in the Piazza Navona with the smell of roasting chestnuts.

There is an exhibit on textiles right now which I must explore a bit more, but an initial walk through revealed this late 16th c. French chasuble.

The makers projected onto its surface images of wildlife which we are endangering by global warning.

Look how sad the rabbit is.  The other is so distraught that she has turned her back on humanity, which is, like a foreign virus in Mother Earth’s body, destroying the planet with air conditioners.

See this peacock?   This peacock represents the hope of all who are working to reduce their carbon footprints.

Then it was back out into the late afternoon sun and a walk to the R and N for the ride to Holy Innocents for Mass.

Supper was consumed in a dinner in Penn Station.

On the way home, however, while waiting at the last stop light before my block, I had the scare of my life.

As I was waiting, someone on a small motor bike was slowing to turn the corner a few feet in front of me.  As he revved up into the turn, the bike backfired three times in rapid succession, in the span of about a second.  It sounded exactly like a large caliber handgun.  I do a bit of shooting and always include rapid fire drills.  Despite the fact that I was looking straight at the bike, that BAM BAM BAM just about freaked me out.  I beat it indoors, paced a while, had a sip of something with my host and watched some football.  It took a good half hour before I didn’t feel my heart pounding in my throat.

Sometime I talk about being aware of your surroundings and being prepared.  Given everything that is going on today, I am hyper vigilant here in the Big Apple, where citizens are denied their 2nd Amendment rights.  This experience also underscored some facts of human physiology.  Your hearing, vision, and perception of time change with different levels of threat.  Training is important to counteract the physiological and psychological effects of natural fight or flight responses.  And there are the aftereffects as well.

In any event, the weather is beautiful here.  I have lots of people to meet up with and things to do in my week here.

A nice shot from the Met Christmas Tree…


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TopSully says:

    Not just training Father, but constant training. The people in charge of the facility in San Bernadino were trained on “Active Shooter” scenarios. But when it happened for real they panicked and ran every which way. Training is one thing. Constant drilling is what makes it stick.

  2. NBW says:

    Stay safe Fr. Z. I love the bit about the rabbits turning their backs on humanity. Lol!

  3. New Amsterdam says:

    You can own a gun in New York City. There is quite a bit of red tape and rigmarole to go through, however, but then again you can’t swing a rosary without hitting someone in this extremely dense city of eight million.

    But even if Father Z had been legally armed on his ride out of Penn Station, I strongly advise against shooting from moving cars into the streets of Manhattan.

  4. Baritone says:

    If a peacock can inspire such hope, is it eligible for the Nobel Prize?

  5. Rachel K says:

    The bagpipers are an endangered species too!

  6. Matt Robare says:

    I’d be more worried about being struck by a car than being shot if I were you, Father. Not only is it much more likely in general, but I’m sure that if the Fishwrap’s Trangendered Feminist Womanpriest Assassination Squad (Lord have mercy on them) decided to strike, they’d want it to look like an accident.

  7. jameeka says:

    Charles Flynn: At least the Met is still allowed to HAVE a Christmas tree, with the beautiful Nativity scene! That tree is singing praise to the Lord at His coming, as the AdventcaZt today relates.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Excellent point Fr. Z about being aware in advance of the physiological effects of high-stress events. Effects such as time slowing down and auditory exclusion can be unusual sensations, compounded by the necessity of adrenalin management.

    Just thought I’d add: while attending to one’s duties during a lengthy high-stress event a quiet Hail Mary can be helpful, and Psalm 23 afterwards can be refreshing.

  9. We are constantly bombarded with stories that scare us. Almost as if we are being corralled into an environment of baseless fear. Fearful people are more easily manipulated. I do not wonder at your reaction to the motorcycle. We are all jumpy.

    Don’t forget the calming phrase: Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, let them that hate Him flee from before His face. [Psalm 67, effectively used in exorcisms, the devil flees at this hated psalm]

    Golly what a fabulous chasuble.

    Hope your week grants you the needed R & R, Father.

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