Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Empire State of Mind

Right now I'm in Brooklyn. It's my first time in Brooklyn. I've been in New York for three days now, and I'm flying to Chicago tonight.

 The first night in New York I hung out with a friend I met in Jaffa last spring. He's a long-time Israeli activist who's now getting his PhD at Columbia. We walked around Central Park, Mid-town, Times Square, and ended up in Greenwich Village. It was great to do a long, touristy walk around the city, and hearing my friend's stories of Israeli airport interrogations was a crack-up.

Approaches security in a three-piece suit and pink bow-tie
"Alright, strip search him."
'Well alright, but I want him to do it, and sweetie, just two fingers and no latex, I'm allergic."
(*awkward looks*)

To see someone so at ease with their activism is incredibly refreshing. No dancing around, just brutal honesty and with that an extreme sense of calm.

The second night I stayed with my mom's cousin, who runs a Lutheran church in the Upper East Side. It was amazing to sit in that service and look around, knowing I was part of the family that shaped this church. I wondered which pieces of art were my grandfather's.

The pastor and the congregation were so welcoming. After the service I got bagels and coffee, and was directed to my mom's cousin's apartment, where I stayed for the night.

Now I'm at the Institute for Middle East Understanding office, bouncing news and names and ideas off the walls with my friend Chris and new friend Andrew. I don't often feel like the one who's behind on Israel-Palestine. Now what if I did this for a living?

Hmm *strokes chin*

Now I'm off to LaGuardia! Tonight I will be in Oak Lawn, Illinois. I'm meeting with the Palestinian American Council tomorrow, then going up to Evanston on Wednesday to see Iyad Burnat and present at a house party with some of Rabbi Rosen's contacts and congregants.


Lookin good, Trump Tower...
Times Square!
NYC on a Saturday night is a little crowdy