Sunday, December 30, 2012

Priest and rabbi: Giants need an act of God (courtesy of New York Post)

THE ODDS COUPLE: Father Peter Colapietro (left) and Rabbi Dovid Cohen pray for a Big Blue win. The two Manhattan holy men believe prayer can help lead this team to the promised land. ("Football 'pray'-offs" was their other corny tag) By BRAD HAMILTON Last Updated: 7:05 AM, December 30, 2012 Posted: 12:22 AM, December 30, 2012 Keep the faith, Giants fans. With the team needing a win today and help from above to make the playoffs, Father Peter Colapietro and Rabbi Dovid Cohen are praying for a holiday miracle: Another postseason for Big Blue. “That’s why we’ve got Saint Jude,” said Father Pete, referring to the patron saint of lost causes. “It’s for this specific situation. Hey, it worked for Mickey Rourke,” he said, noting the deeply depressed actor prayed to Saint Jude in 1995 before resurrecting his career. Cohen was similarly confident in a higher authority. “In the Talmud, it’s forbidden to give up hope. Even when they have a sword on your neck, God can still save you.” “When things are dire, one speaks to God in his own words,” said Cohen, who, as rabbi at Young Israel of the West Side on West 91st Street, serves a congregation packed with fans of the defending Super Bowl champs. “If you’re a Giants fan, I can imagine saying something like: ‘Please, God, let the Giants make the playoffs. I will be so thankful.’ ” Or you could strike a deal with the Almighty. “Some people will make an offer, like a promise to attend services more often, if their team wins,” Cohen said. Father Pete, pastor at the Holy Cross Church in Times Square, knows the gridiron like he knows the scriptures. He’s attended 17 Super Bowls, two of them won by the G-men. His game-day ritual? “Simple sign of the cross,” he said. But he acknowledges that this team — which lately has stunk to high heaven — could use divine intervention. “It’s not only a win” they need, the priest noted. “It’s three other things.” At 8-7, the Giants can only make the playoffs if they beat the Eagles today at home (1 p.m. kickoff, Ch. 5) — and if Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota all lose. If all those stars do not align, they’ll miss the chance for the team’s first back-to-back Super Bowl titles — and to move into a tie with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys for second-most Vince Lombardi trophies. “Now is the time to pray,” said Cohen.
Additional reporting by Gary Buiso and Cynthia Fagen

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Not a good day to be homeless on the streets of NYC...

Only 26F (-3C) today and at lunch time there was an hour of this wet snow/ice, which set in more steadily later in the afternoon. Xavi will be very disappointed he missed it, although not much accumulation except on surfaces like car windshields.
I'd be moving to Florida this time of year if I was her (yes, her. Very sad. Same problem with community-based mental illness here as in Sydney {Tale of 2 cities, chapter 3} and in fact according to the NY Post, one thrid of the 33,000 homeless on the streets of NYC have a mental illness and many are capable of acts of violence, including the crazy schizophrenic woman who pushed an innocent Indian man under a subway train in Queens last week as an act of "revenge" for 9/11)

Xavi not having any trouble adapting to driving on the wrong side of the road

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tale of Two Cities version 1.2: the white whale & the brown berry

in NYC this hour its 0 deg C, -6C in the wind, with a wintry mix of rain, ice and snow. They chose the right time to leave. Glad they arrived safely.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

Cold and clear here this morning, 36F (2C) and 31 (-1C) in the wind, after 3.5 mm of "wintry mix" including some wet snow overnight but no accumulation. Good weather for flying, which M&X are doing this afternoon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve in NYC

Hi! We believe it's hot and Christmassy in Sydney. Very cold here but no snow, although there is a storm tracking up the Appalachians that could bring some wet snow on Tuesday. Here we are this morning on the East River ferry coming back from a coffeee and egg and bacon roll at Toby's Estate in Williamsburg. It was 3 deg C, and -1 in the wind. Then this afternoon we went to the Lord & Taylor flagship store near Bryant Park for their Christmas window display, replete with fake snow. Xavi was fooled.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gotta love Joe Biden

The unspeakably shocking incident last week has really inflamed the gun control debate. The Vice President Joe Biden (who is a fantastic straight shooter and probably single handedly salvaged Obama's campaign with his debate performance) has been put in control. This You Tube clip from 2007. shows there is some sanity in this country after all....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy 18 months, Xavi

Where has a year and half gone?? He went to the pediatrician today for his well baby check, and got a great bill of health - weight stabilized at 10kg as expected, on 30th percentile, 70% for height (32 inches), and head circumference 93%. Achieving all his milestones. Good news for him is there was a Hepatitis A shot today, then no more until he turns 4. "Il signorino" will be back in Sydney very soon - here's a sneak preview!
Birthday dinner at Bareburger restaurant

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tale of 2 cities, version 2.

We are having another spell of mild weather with above average temperatures for December and no sign of snow at least until New Year's Eve, much to Xavi's chagrin. He forlornly says "snow?", "snowman?" each morning when he looks out the window. But it looks like we only have climate change in the USA, when you compare our weather with Milan (I guess they are well inland).
Coincidentally, the NY Times published this article today on the gloomy outlook for the $10B ski industry which employs 187K people across 38 states. Here is an excerpt from the full article "Rising Temperatures Threaten Fundamental Change for Ski Slopes" by Katherine Q. Seelye. The full article is at NEWBURY, N.H. — Helena Williams had a great day of skiing here at Mount Sunapee shortly after the resort opened at the end of November, but when she came back the next day, the temperatures had warmed and turned patches of the trails from white to brown. “It’s worrisome for the start of the season,” said Ms. Williams, 18, a member of the ski team at nearby Colby-Sawyer College. “The winter is obviously having issues deciding whether it wants to be cold or warm.” Her angst is well founded. Memories linger of last winter, when meager snowfall and unseasonably warm weather kept many skiers off the slopes. It was the fourth-warmest winter on record since 1896, forcing half the nation’s ski areas to open late and almost half to close early. Whether this winter turns out to be warm or cold, scientists say that climate change means the long-term outlook for skiers everywhere is bleak. The threat of global warming hangs over almost every resort, from Sugarloaf in Maine to Squaw Valley in California. As temperatures rise, analysts predict that scores of the nation’s ski centers, especially those at lower elevations and latitudes, will eventually vanish. Under certain warming forecasts, more than half of the 103 ski resorts in the Northeast will not be able to maintain a 100-day season by 2039, according to a study to be published next year by Daniel Scott, director of the Interdisciplinary Center on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. By then, no ski area in Connecticut or Massachusetts is likely to be economically viable, Mr. Scott said. Only 7 of 18 resorts in New Hampshire and 8 of 14 in Maine will be. New York’s 36 ski areas, most of them in the western part of the state, will have shrunk to 9.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Xavi having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit

Xavi wasn't too impressed by Santa when we went to get his photo taken at Bloomingdale's - needed a lot of encouragment. Also freaked out by the giant snowman when we went to buy a Christmas tree today, although he likes the tree once we got it home and decorated it. Maybe he'd be happier if we try celebrating Hannukah next year :)