Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New York

It is not everyday that we walk right off the gangway onto 12th Avenue! We were in New York over the weekend for a huge development event that raised a lot of much needed moolah. There was live music all over the ship, including a band named Milo-Z. Micah Diamond (yes, son of Neil) had photos from his Spring 07 voyage hanging from the Union.  A life ring from the S.S. Universe sold for $8000 and get this -- people not only agreed to go to a screening of an un-signed MTV reality show, they paid thousands of dollars for it!!

At around 0700, we slowly pushed our way towards Ellis Island where a helicopter crew took aerial footage of us in front of the Statue of Liberty. I've been to New York many times and have seen the statue from multiple angles, but there is something about seeing that large icon from the waterfront. The thought of anything having to do with America and freedom tends to make me grimace these days. But as I leaned against the railing and imagined the moment that an immigrant might feel -- having fled god knows what only to see that large icon of liberty welcoming them to a new land of prosperity. That's what it is supposed to be about. I felt a little odd broadcasting Neil Diamond's "America" over the loudspeakers given our guest. But tradition is tradition.

Speaking of stardom. A few weeks ago, when the Spring 08 voyage ended in Florida, our disembarkation from the ship took 7 hours versus the normal 2. Why? One ironic and unpredictable answer -- Michael Bolton. His daughter sailed on our voyage, and thanks to his ass I got stranded in the terminal for eight hours -- hungry, tired, and umbrella-less beneath a pouring sky. I think that's why I find it particularly funny that someone would pay thousands of dollars in our auction to sit through a reality show, but an evening with Michael Bolton only sold for $600. He really should've kept the mullet.

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