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The whole object of traveling  is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.

My mind keeps repeating this simple mantra: New York City is awesome! So awesome that the city of hyperbole and superlatives has 98 names. (see below).

I, on the other hand, am not better than New York. I am, however better than I used to be. After all, doing things right the first time is an obscenity. Growing old isn't optional, growing up is.

As a  student living in New York City, if your food comfort zones  ain’t broke, don’t just break them, break it before someone else does. There were restaurants of every shape, size smell and color, and that was what I was- a connoisseur in starvation. I  wasn't  a gourmet chef but I was a gourmet eater. This was my one act of rebellion- eating what I wanted, not what was on the menu.

Putting the fun in dysFUNctional meals, We had two staples growing up--- Steak and Potatoes, and Spaghetti and Meat Balls. Once a month we would eat liver and bacon. No Chicken. and absolutely no fish.  It was like living in a mansion but only using one room.  Oh yea- We always had hamburgers and hot dogs- My baloney had a hundred names.

My Mom, like  the Nazi's ,was only "following orders", from S.A.D. (the Standard American Diet) and  my Dad, who ate chicken every day in the military and refused to have it served on our plates. He actually thought he was doing us a favor. I got news for you Dad- It all tastes like chicken! Anyway, I don't eat much meat these days anyway. I've always been a vegetarian wanna be.

In my 20's, I studied German, but  I didn't speak it or French or Spanish or Japanese yet--But I did  venture out to eat a lot of Guacamole, Sushi and spent quite a lot of time in the cheese aisles at Balducci's. I even ate mangoes and soy beans, tofu and other banned items from our household menu.

When you meet someone who says “I’m really just a meat and potatoes guy,” he’s really telling you that he’s most comfortable when things are the way they’ve always been. That’s not a bad thing, unless you’re a change agent looking to shake things up. The way we eat is the way we think...Show me someone who’s experimenting with Mexican  cuisine this year (after mastering Japanese last year) and I’ll show you someone who is a risk taker and not afraid to try new things in other aspects of his/her life.

For all my culinary short comings, when I was a kid  my mom  always said  that happiness was the key to life She was right!
CNN verses The Alphabet

 When I went to NYU, however  my Economics Professor William J. Baumol asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. He  told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told him he didn't  understand life.

Once the culture shock  honeymoon period of leaving rural Long Island for the bright lights and big city was over, I made the switch from country bumpkin to city dweller. I was what I pretended to be Urbane. Yet to be truly cultured and have worldly experiences. I couldn't just be a book worm.

In the end, New York was just my roommate, and we simply shared water and electricity. I never felt "at home". I bought the the t shirt  "I love New York".  Love, however, is a verb, you have to do it.  I was driving the bus but falling asleep at the wheel.

Ed Reif (1981) Hair Today.Gone Tomorrow
As I went   through the meat grinder known as college, a four-year round  vacation, Hamburger helper for me was  listening to “Watching the Wheels"  the legendary  1981 single by John Lennon, released posthumously after he was shot, in 1980. I wanted to be more care free and laid back, and I"just had to let it go" and get out of Gotham City.

You don't quit cities, you don't quit jobs-you quit people.

Rude, pushy, snobby, and always in a rush Hell was other New Yorkers; their National Anthem, Frank Sinatra’s  “I Did It My Way. Rudeness was a fashion statement.

 In fact, I really didn’t see New Yorkers as they were, I saw them as I was- rude, pushy, snobby, and always in a rush.

Unique New York-

1. America's Leading Tourist Resort
2. America's Mecca 
3. Father Knickerbocker (referring to the type of trousers worn by the early Dutch settlers)
4. Gotham (name given to New York City by Washington Irving in the Salmagundi Papers, 1807) 
5. The Bablyonian Bedlam (allusion to the confusion of tongues at Babel, described in Genesis XI) 
6. The Bagdad of the Subway
7. The Bagdad on the Hudson 
8. The Banking Center of the World 
9. The Big Apple 
10. The Big Burg 
11. The Big City 
12. The Big Town 
13. The Biggest Gateway to Immigrants 
14. The Burg 
15. The Business Capital of the Nation 
16. The Business Capital of the World 
17. The Capital of Finance 
18. The Capital of the World
19. The Center of the World (Trygve Lie, first United Nations general secretary, on Sept. 7, 1962) 
20. The City 
21. The City at the Crossroads of High Diplomacy 
22. The City of Cities (book by Hulbert Foother) 23. The City of Friendly People
24. The City of Golden Dreams
25. The City of Islands (the borough of Manhattan and numerous other small islands within the city limits) 
26. The City of Light 
27. The City of Orchestras (music center and 'Tin Pan Alley") 
28. The City of Skyscrapers (the tallest building in the world; the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, 60 Wall Tower, etc.) 
29. The City of Superlatives 
30. The City of the World
31. The City of Towers 
32. The City that Belongs to the World
33. The City that Never Sleeps 
34. The City with Everything 
35. The Cleanest Big City in the World 36. The Coliseum City
37. The Commercial Capital of America 38. The Commercial Emporium 
39. The Corporate Capital of America 40. The Crossroads of the World
41. The Cuisine Capital of the World 
42. The Cultural Capital of America 
43. The Cultural Center of the Nation 
44. The Cultural City 
45. The Empire City
46. The Entertainment Capital of the World 
47. The Fashion Capital of the World 48. The Fear City 
49. The Financial Capital of the World 
50. The Financial Hub
51. The First City of the World (the most populated city in the United States, approximately 8 million) 52. The Friendly City 
53. The Frog and Toe 
54. The Front Office of American Business
55. The Fun City 
56. The Fun City on the Hudson 
57. The Greatest All-Year Round Vacation City 
58. The Greatest Industrial Center in the World 
59. The Headquarters of World Banking 
60. The Hong Kong of the Hudson 
61. The Host of the World 
62. The Hub City of the World
63. The Hub of Transport 
64. The Information City
65. The Land of Surprising Contrasts
66. The Mecca for Young Adults 
67. The Media City 
68. The Melting Pot (drama by Israel Zangwill, 1908) 
69. The Metropolis 
70. The Metropolis of a Continent 
71. The Metropolis of America 
72. The Metropolitan City 
73. The Mighty Manhattan 
74. The Modern Gomorrah (one of the cities if the plains destroyed by fire and bromstone because of wickedness, mentioned in the Old Testament) 
75. The Money Town 76. The Most Colorful Exciting City in the World 
77. The Movie-Making City 
78. The Nation's First City 
79. The Nation's Greatest City 
80. The Nation's Largest Communications Center 
81. The Nation's Largest Port 
82. The Port of Many Ports 
83. The Printing Capital of the World 
84. The Restaurant City 
85. The Science City 
86. The Seat of Empire (named in 1784 by George Washington) 
87. The Super City
88. The University of Telephony 
89. The Vacation City 
90. The Wonder City 91. The Wonder City of the World 92. The Wonderful Town 
93. The World Capital of Fashion 
94. The World's Capital City 95. The World's Fair City 
96. The World's Financial Capital 97. The World's Metropolis 
98. The World's Most Exciting All Year Round Vacation Center


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