Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0001, January 19, 2015


      After 1001 Nutshells and 1000 Fresh Todays, comes the Next Big Thing on Marks and Remarks. Marks refer to the visuals, Remarks to the text. Proportion of one to the other will vary. Publishing intervals will vary (aiming for roughly six times a week, but don't hold me to it). Contents most certainly will vary. We shall have a number of regular and ad hoc Departments. Within each Department threads of micro-essays on a variety of topics will interweave, split, merge or die at the Editor's whim. Images will tend to come in sets of variations on a theme. Some will have stories associated with them, some not.

      As was the case with the Nutshell and Fresh Today, Marks and Remarks will undoubtedly evolve over time in unpredictable ways. In any case, my intention is always to be clear, real, concise and interesting. Tall order but at this point in my life I have no time for short orders.

      Inevitably, questions, suggestions and snarky comments by Prickles, the hedgehog I live with, will leak onto these pages. She is an amateur mathematician, philosopher and art critic (sunshine appreciator by profession) and is dedicated to keeping me humble and honest. ("A daunting but necessary task," adds Prickles.)

      Readers' comments, if any, and the Ed's responses, if any, may also contribute occasional content to these pages.

      And so, without further ado, here we go...


I Heart NYC

      My first visit to New York was in January 1948. I arrived on the M/S Batory which departed eleven days earlier from Gdynia, Poland. On the morning we were due to arrive I run out on the deck eager to see for the first time the skyline of New York but dense fog hid everything from view. As I stood at the bow of the ship deeply disappointed a shape began to emerge from the whiteout. It was the Statue of Liberty, my first sight of America. Over the next few days I visited her crown, viewed Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building, ate at the Automat and tasted my first Coke. I was thirteen.

      The next time I visited New York was three years later. I hitch-hiked from a summer camp in Ontario, Canada all the way to Little Neck in the Queens Borough, sleeping in the bushes along the way. My objective was to visit my New Yorker girlfriend whom I had met in Canada but it turned out she had found a local boyfriend. Despite this slight setback I loved my time in NYC. Most memorable: the best lobster Cantonese ever. The thought of hitch-hiking back (as I had planned) was too daunting so I flew back to Toronto where I lived. I had just enough money left to pay the air fare ($25). It was the first time I flew in an airplane.

      The third time I visited New York it was a high school graduation present from my parents: a week in New York, by myself, all expenses paid including hotel, a Broadway show ("South Pacific" with Mary Martin) and return fare by train. That was the week I really fell in love with New York. I even loved the shady character who tried to sell me a diamond ring - he "proved" it was real by scratching a shop window with it.

      Since then I have visited New York numerous times and eventually landed a job there. I lived in the vicinity and in course of twenty years or so that I lived and worked there I met my No.1 - that was 28 years ago and she is still No. 1 and still a New Yorker at heart despite a career move to DC. And so it seems I may be returning to New York, this time free to enjoy it pretty much as I did when I was seventeen and on the loose. (Below are a couple of views of New York that I had found appealing. But that's me.)

Copyright 2015 by S.W.Paul Wyszkowski

A View of Manhattan

59th Street Bridge


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