Tourists, Pilgrims & Other Travelers

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“Take more time, cover less ground.”
-Thomas Merton

My father’s taste in art leaned toward landscapes of the southwestern desert, hand-woven Navajo rugs, Native-American pottery and beautifully detailed Hopi Kachina dolls.

In the late sixties when I was living in New York, my parents came to visit. I booked a room for them at the Warwick Hotel located down the street from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

My wife and I had a studio apartment on West 76th between Broadway and West End Avenue. If the light was right and you squinted and you had a properly romantic view of life, you might have described our apartment as Bohemian. It wasn’t; threadbare would have been a more accurate description. Our neighborhood, which is now completely gentrified and pricy, was at the time called Needle Park; wasted addicts prowled the streets and needles and syringes were common in the gutters of the neighborhood. On the bright side, many artists, young actors, musicians and writers lived nearby. Rents were rent-controlled and cheap.

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