I normally don’t write travel logs, as I don’t really get to many places, but last weekend I made a brief stop in Manhattan to visit friends. There were some scenes that I thought worthy of passing on. They were, for me, moments that for whatever reason at the time, sparked my interest enough to get out my Android and take a shot. Like the picture above: a street fair so common in NYC, but this time right in front of the Opus Dei headquarters on the corner of Lexington and 34th Streets. I had never been welcomed to my dwellings with such a party before, and I felt especially at home by the greeting! My travel companion wanted to go to Saturday Mass for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and so we walked to the pretty Church of St. Agnes nearby, and did just that. Priests of Opus Dei (not me) are soon to staff this church, and it was a special moment to pray for them and the parish (interior below).
In Greenwich Village later in the day I visited the very peaceful Albert’s Garden on the corner of 2nd Street and Bowery. The space once served as a stage for the photo shoot for the legendary power-pop album, The Ramones. This album changed a lot about music in the 1970s, with its simple melodies and simultaneous distorted guitars. Here’s a picture of the Garden:
And the song, “Listen to my heart” with the band lined up against the very same wall (40 years ago!):
I have to admit that it was difficult to imagine Johnny, Tommy, Joey, and Dee Dee favoring such an idyllic spot, which has improved so much since 1976! In honor of the event, Mike Aquilina, the writer, and yes, my companion for this trip, agreed to pose in front of a nearby mural of Joey Ramone (RIP). Mike’s on the left…
But our visit was not all about rock-n-roll and churches. We spent a moment of silence in front of Alexander Hamilton’s grave in the cemetery of Trinity Church near Wall Street. Since we didn’t have time or the money to see the mega-hit musical Hamilton, we thought it a good substitute:
Despite such a short visit, I felt blessed to have seen so many interesting places in such a short amount of time. I sensed God’s presence through it all, and travel always makes one appreciative for home once again. I was thrilled to fly over my home (for the moment), Pittsburgh, clouds and all, and know God’s presence there as well!