Don’t worry, be happy!

New York as depicted by Mario Miranda
New York as depicted by Mario Miranda

Happy, zappy, never nappy – that’s my picture of New York. And that’s how I would like it to be all the time.
It was way back in April 1988 and New York was the last leg of my American adventure that took me from Washington to Minneapolis, Harrison, Little Rock, San Francisco, Buffalo and Philadelphia.
New York jumped at me and stayed up. It was truly a vertical city with skyscrapers soaring into the sky. I rode up the Empire State Building and looked down at the other high-rise buildings that seemed dwarfed in comparison and the automobiles below looking like ants on the move.
Walking down 5th Avenue you walked tall trying to keep pace with the brisk walkers, men in smart suits, women in miniskirts and black stockings. All eyes were focused as though there was a mission to be accomplished.
Today, I can picture the old-world charm of St. Patrick’s Cathedral set against a backdrop of a concrete high-rise – a study in contrast. I can see the punks and bums and hear the sound of the subway musicians.
And I can hear the cheery sound of someone enquiring “How you doin’?” Well, I was doing just fine even while taking time to lock and unlock an apartment at Jackson Heights in Queens.
Memories linger of so enjoying a Big Mac in the Big Apple and inserting a coin in the vending machine for a soft drink. What should I have? Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Sprite, 7 Up, Dr. Pepper’s …
Mostly, I settled for a Budweiser beer. Yes, the cheer was on and the Statue of Liberty stood tall.

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