Posted by: PD Warrior | May 3, 2007

The Melting Pot

Parkinson’s Unity Walk: Fact 3 – Several celebrities showed up for the cause. Michale J Fox was there. Not only was he one of the speakers (his foundation had a booth set up at the walk) but he took the time to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and talk to his fans. Michael J Fox wasn’t the only star that was there. Muhammed Ali’s wife Lonnie was there, as was May May – one of Muhammed Ali’s daughters, along with Davis Phinney.

Open eyes, and open mind; if you truly want to get the most out of New York City you must have both. There is so much beauty and so much culture to be experienced, but if you don’t go in with open eyes and an open mind you will miss everything.

For example: After my wife and I left the Metropolitan Museum of Art we took a subway ride, and set out to find Rockefeller Center. On the way, we stumbled upon St Patrick’s Cathedral, and once again I was struck with awe. The Cathedral is something I feel everyone should see at least once in their life, regardless of religious beliefs. The architecture is simply magnificent. I have seen many pictures of St Patricks over the years, but to see it in person is humbling. The buildings on either side of the church are far taller, yet they stand eclipsed by the Cathedrals beauty.   Then we stepped inside–again, it is something that my insignificant words cannot describe. It must be experienced in person, if for no other reason than to glimpse the craftmanship of all the ornate woodwork and wonderous stained glass windows.

Here is where the melting pot comes in– Across the street from St Patricks is Rockefeller Center (or at least part of it). I am not exactly sure which building in the Center I was looking at, but directly across from the Cathedral, in front of a more modern building, was a large statue of Atlas holding up the earth, and he appears to be riding some sort of serpant or dragon. The craftmanship of the statue was also marvelous (I love art, if you can’t tell) but I couldn’t help but wonder at the irony of this statue being directly across from the church, not because of the Greek/Roman mythology thing, but because of the serpent. There was no rear to the serpent, only the head and neck protruding from between Atlas’s legs like some sort of phallic symbol. (I don’t know if that was what was intended, but that is what it looked like) At first I was almost offended – not by the art, but by its location across from the church. Then I realized something. The irony of the whole situation was exactly what the City seemed to be about. There are so many cultures in NYC that coexist side by side every day in harmony with each other. If the rest of the world could only do the same, it would be a much better place. I urge everyone to look at their neighbor, and instead of fearing or hating them because they are different, recognize the beauty in the culture that is there. Ethnic cultures are exactly like the statue of Atlas and St Patricks Cathedral – they are beautiful works of art that can stand alone if they must, but when placed side by side their beauty is greatly magnified by their differences -the very same differences that each one seems to fear in the other.

To be continued…

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