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The problem with the past is that it is in the past – you really cannot go back.

Manhattan Skyline

I miss New York sometimes.  Especially early mornings before the sun rises as I’m sitting in the dark with coffee and the dogs.  My mind wanders.

I moved to New York City when I was 25-years old.  I was very young and believed that, as the song sings, if I could make it there then I could make it anywhere.  I was gifted with young naivete, and I was thrilled to leave the safety of my home country behind for a bite of the Big Apple.

Early morning Brooklyn Bridge; I always meant to walk it at least once, but I never did. During the 9/11 crisis, thousands of people had to walk it to get into Manhattan because all causeways into Manhattan were shut down.

In the beginning, I worked at a bakery on the edge of Soho.  An acquaintance I met let me live in his store during business off-hours.  I used to have to open up the metal sliding security door each evening I arrived with a key that I had been given.  Then I would enter the building next door that shared a basement with this storefront, feel my way downstairs, and enter the storefront through a trapdoor in the floor.  Then I would have to re-trace my steps, close the metal security gate, and lock myself into the dark, eerie space for the night.

Every morning I would travel to a friend’s place a few blocks away to shower before he left for work in the morning, then I would head to my job at the bakery.

Passengers & Subways; the New York Subway System is something to be experienced at least once in a lifetime!

I worked at that bakery – and at the outdoor flea market on 25th Street and Sixth Avenue – for a year and a half before I landed a job at the United Nations.

United Nations Headquarters, where I worked for 4+ years after the bakery.

My first job at the UN was as a messenger for the 49th General Assembly.  It was a 3+ month contract, with no guarantee of renewal.  I bought a couple of suits for work, and tried to be the best-dressed messenger in the building.  I also worked very hard to keep the job, and to try to land another contract after this one was up.

My work as a messenger in the Office of General Assembly Affairs in the Department of Political Affairs took me to this room every day.

I worked in various capacities at the United Nations after my messenger contract was up.  From the Publications Division and selling UN literature and novelties over the phone, to my one-year stint as the Administrative Officer at the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre in Iraq; I was always learning and doing and growing.

One of various sculptures in the garden at UN Headquarters.

I once attended a celebration of Winter at the beautiful Trinity Church.

I left New York to move to Providence, where I received my A.B. from Brown University after 4 years of classes.  When I returned to New York, 4 years later, it was to attend Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan – my ill-fated journey into law school!

The lights in New York are brilliant to see; the evening of the big blackout, I sat on my rooftop across the river in Brooklyn and watched as Manhattan turned silent and dark.

Graffiti on the Williamsburg Bridge just a few blocks from where I lived in Brooklyn during Law School. This is one bridge I used to walk often, primarily because I was too broke to ride the subways then.

Manhattan scene at night.

The lights of Times Square.

In the beginning I was overwhelmed by the size of the skyscrapers; I soon learned to feel at home among the structures.