Meshuga Mints

Meshuga Mints

So my daughter goes to New York for break and brings me back “Meshuga Mints.”

“Meshuga” in Yiddish and Hebrew means crazy.

On top it says they are “Crazy Strong!” and it has a picture of fiddler on the roof on it.

She got these at the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, which has restored apartments and shows how immigrants lived when they came to this country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries–over 7,000 people from 20 nations lived in this 5-story building of just 22 apartments. The units were very small and housed between 6 and 14 people each. Most were sweatshop workers and people just trying to improve their lives. It’s eye opening to see how people got by with so little.

The mints themselves were a perfect gift, and I am so glad she had a great time visiting Times Square, Coney Island, the Staten Island Ferry, the 9/11 Memorial, and more.

It’s interesting for me, having been a native New Yorker, to see my daughter go back and experience life there even for just a few days.

New York City is definitely an exciting and meshuga place. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

People Watching

Mime

Over the holidays, I was fortunate to be able to spend some time in South Florida–one of my favorite East Coast vacation spots.

Between the sunshine, the ocean, the palm trees, and more generally the beautiful flora and fauna–I am one happy camper!

This time, we actually saw a couple of pretty large iguanas just casually walking along the causeway…not something I see everyday in D.C.

When I’m down in Florida–aside from working out and having a good time–one of the fun things for me to do is just to “people watch.”

People come from all over the world–the “Spring Breakers” who party hearty, the South Americans investing in real estate market, the Europeans still enjoying the strong Euro, and of course, many U.S. family “snowbirds” who come for Disney and the other attractions in the warm climate.

In Florida, it is hard not to notice the wide discrepancy between rich and poor–I saw what looked almost exactly like the TV image of an extraordinarily rich man in the open collar and blazer and women in fancy hat and scarf in a Rolls Royce with a little white dog sitting on the lady’s lap–these two were just “perfect” and apparently had the perfect life going on.

At the same time, there are so many unfortunate people walking around in tattered clothes, eating from the garbage, and so on, it is heart-breaking and scary.

When the Occupy movement rails against the 1%–I think this is sort of what they must mean.

Then there are the proverbial weirdos–nothing personal–but these are the folks who are do things either for the attention, a little extra cash, or because they may just be at the other end of the “normal” spectrum (would that be a political correct to say it?).

There is the guy who bikes around town with a live chicken on his handlebars, the mime lady in white (head to toe) who stands like a statue all afternoon and evening for some pocket change, and then this guy pictured on the blog who walks around in a pink bikini and red handbag (yes, quite a fashion statement, indeed!).

I wonder whether back home, there are equally strange and interesting people all around, but I’m just not noticing them the same way, because I’m busy with daily life, in “work mode” and not sitting around on vacation just “taking it all in.”

It’s good to stop a while and “smell the roses” and see the variety of beautiful and interesting things all around us–even if they shouldn’t be wearing that bikini in public!