Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ninja Detection 101 (Adventures in Dog Walking pt. 2)

Last fall there was a beautiful Saturday. There was a few but this one was spectacular. It was like one day of summer transplanted to the beginning of October. A sunny day, mid to high 70’s, gentle breeze off the river. The kind of day where everyone in this city forgets their problems and goes outside and just walks and grins, knowing that soon enough the cold will be here and they’d best enjoy this reminder of the way every day would be if they lived in California while they can. That is live in California with all the kick-assitude of New York City, but that is a story for another day.

My lady, myself, and Jack, our West Highland White Terrier and I had taken a stroll from her place on the west side to the park that they have built along the Hudson in recent years. It is a fantastic spot that people from all over come and walk, bike, roller blade, sun themselves, people watch, and relax. The walkways by the river were jammed and people were smiling at strangers as they walked by… and especially at Jack, who always gets a lion’s share of attention.

We had strolled him down to the dog park on Leroy Street where we had spent 45 minutes watching him run, bark, and steer well clear of the kiddie pool at that dog park for the dogs to use and were on our way back. It is a bit of a walk for the little pup especially after the play session, just over a mile in each direction in fact. He gets along pretty well on those short legs, but I tend to let him overdo it and end up carrying him about halfway home.

He was enjoying the weather though and seemed as happy as everyone else as we headed home. We were chatting and then I noticed a black form on the horizon.

“Look,” was all I could manage to get out.

We stopped and stared as the huge black V-shape of a B-2 Stealth Bomber flew low straight at us.

After being here through 9/11 any time I see jets flying over this city I stop and think. Seeing a Stealth Bomber fly low is not a sight that instills any sense of comfort. But it was such an awesomely huge and dead silent sight.

It was flying so low and we stopped, mouths agape as it proceeded to fly straight over us and south towards the ocean.

There was a couple behind us who stopped and stared too and looked at us and all started kind of laughing because it was such a strange thing to see and in person an absolutely incredible sight. It seemed so alien in this environment, so alien.

As we looked around I realized something. Other than us and this other couple, no one else reacted. Hundreds of people around us and it seemed that NO ONE had noticed it.

We stood there for a minute then moved on, strangely moved and giddy after witnessing it. Even Jack got a tad more pep in his step.

It turns out that it had just come from a flyover of Yankee Stadium and nothing sinister was happening to ruin the perfect day.

Looking up in this city is deemed to be a tourist thing to do. People who live here don’t do it enough, but they really should. I do it all the time because I’m constantly amazed by the level of detail in the old construction and stonework on many of the buildings here. I notice new things every day, gargoyles on one building, or even some of the houses that are built on top of buildings. Yes, tiny houses built on the roofs of buildings here which I would kill to live in.

“Come over to my house.”

“Your apartment you mean.”

“No, my House.” I would say with a smile in my fantasy.

Telling about spotting the stealth bomber isn’t to tell you about my awesome stealth detection abilities that would have made me ultra-popular and rich in feudal Japan. They could have used me as a Ninja detector. It’s that there is much to see when you look up.

There is history in up. You never know just what you might see.

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