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This is how my city welcomed me as I came

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Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as Manhattan Solstice) is a
biannual occurrence

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in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west
streets of Manhattan’s main street grid. The term is derived from
Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices.

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It was coined in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the
American Museum of Natural History. It applies to those streets that
follow the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which laid out a grid offset
28.9 degrees from true east-west.
At sunset, a traveler along one of the north-south avenues on the West
Side looking east can observe the phenomenon indirectly, being struck
by the reflected light of the many windows which are aligned with the
grid. An observer on the East Side can look west and see the Sun
shining down a canyon-like street.

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I just returned from a two weeks vacation in Romania and Israel. From living with my family there I learned a few things:

. People elsewhere – even people so obsessed with politics as to watch news all day long – care about US and its personality cult way less than we think they do. In fact, except for the Michael Jackson binge, it was safe to watch cable news there. They simply are not that much into us.

Corruption and politics are one everywhere – we just take the cake in size proportion. And lack of coverage. While they have on TV high officials investigated all the time, they tell me nothing ever comes out of it except the rare resignation. But at least it gets covered – Rezko-cough cough- senate seat sale- cough cough.

All these places where I could drink tap waterΒ  last decade – I was told to stick with the bottled one.

If you go to Romania, a doctor in a mask and astronaut garb will show up in the plane to take your forms about contact with swine flu. Parents will forbid their kids (orΒ  at least try) to play with kids from US – for fear of swine flu.

The dollar isn’t worth dick.

The longer the plane flight, the more crammed the seats.

JFK terminal (Delta) looks and feels like a third world country point of entry – compared to every other airport I have seen and they steal your water and mustard.

And finally, moving around your birthday on 3 continents with family pays big!

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Oh, and one more thing: never write blog entries while on jet lag.

Not Your Sweetie

July 2009
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