Gala in New York

I was happy to get back to Washington, which is a city I love.  It feels like home. I have been coming back since 1984, but I still recall when I first walked around the place.  It was exciting to be in the capital of the United States.

But my main event was in New York.  I took the train.  It is better, IMO, than the plane.  It takes about the same amount of time in total, when you count in all the time in airports, taking off your shoes and passing thorough security checks.  Beyond that, the train deposits you at Penn Station, which is already in Manhattan.

Manhattan is a wonderful place.  It feels very familiar because we all have seen it so often in movies.  I think I could be happy living there, but I could not afford it. 

It is a very walkable place and easy to find your way around.  One reason NYC was so successful is its good planning.  It is mostly a grid pattern and as the city grew, developers could anticipate where the city would go.  This was very important.  Crime is down now.  It is hard to imagine the way it was not long ago.  There are also lots of bikes, including those rental bikes.  I was lucky to have a nearly perfect day.  It got up to about seventy degrees with warm, but not hot sun.

I came for the gala at IIE.  It was supposed to honor Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, but she didn’t make it.   Education Minister Aloízio Mercadante accepted the Kaufmann Prize for her.  He is a very charming guy and he gave a perfect speech about the importance of education and Brazil’s commitment to moving forward through education.

It was good to hobnob with the classy folks, but these are not my favorite things.  I need a role to play and at these sort of events, I really don’t have one. I bought a tuxedo for the event.  I figured I rented one too often and it was time to own.  They never go out of style, so when I take the road to glory Espen or Alex can use it. They are about the same size as I am, or will be. 

Tuxedos cost a lot to rent and the rental firms set it up so that you really cannot get it back in time, so you always have to pay a fine.  

Who knew that tuxedos don’t have belt loops?  I bought the 43 long from Joseph A Banks.  That is my coat size and it fits nearly perfectly.  I used to wear 42 long, but to my amazement I became much more muscular as a got older. I developed especially massive muscles around my middle.  But even with that body change, the pants are way too loose.  This has not been a problem with my suits.  I don’t believe in spending the big bucks to have my pants tailored, so I rely on a belt to hold my pants up. That is why they invented belts.  In the absence of that important piece of fashion tech,  I felt a little loose all night. Fortunately, I didn’t lose it.  That is the kind of thing that goes viral.  There is always someone with a video to catch all your embarrassing moments and share them with a world inexplicably eager to revel in the embarrassment of strangers. 

I have a really nice belt with a big Texan buckle. I got it a couple of years back and use it will all my clothes. It gives me a mark of distinction. I had intended to wear it with the tux, but no. 

I walked back from 55 Wall Street to my hotel on near the start of the Holland Tunnel, about two miles. They say that New York is the city that never sleeps, but it does at least in the financial district.  I thought about how safe the city has become and hoped my information was right.  I made it back w/o incident, so I am here to tell you that a tuxedo clad guy can safely walk the “mean” streets of New York at 10pm, even as he has to often pull up his gradually falling pants. Potential assailants probably thought it a too much trouble to mess with a crazy guy.  If you can’t be tough, be crazy.

My picture up top is Mercadante with some SwB kids. Below is a drum band. They banged on those things to announce the call to go to tables. The others are street scenes.  I took them with my BB, so the resolution is not as good as usual.