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new york

Itchy Feet


So I haven’t really traveled in a while. Save for a quick trip to New York City last winter, it’s been almost a year since I’ve been anywhere of consequence. Those of you who know me know that, for me, a year without travel is a very. long. time.

Anyway, I’ve discovered that – thanks to Ipsos-Reid and the folks over at Expedia – there’s a name for what I’m feeling: Vacation Deprivation. Yep, it seems that this condition is suffered by 33% of Canadians, so I’m definitely not alone.

But perhaps more astoundingly, 29% of Canadians aren’t taking all their vacation time that they get from their jobs. Considering that for most North Americans, “all” vacation time amounts to a paltry 10 days a year, that is definitely tough to believe, but it’s true: nearly 41 million days of vacation time went untaken last year.

Rest assured, I won’t be one of them. Starting with this weekend, when I plan to go camping – hopefully not in the rain. But my itchy feet will soon be taking me further away. Stay tuned.

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Real-life heroes


They’re rare, but they do exist. Check out the story of this New York construction worker who risked his life and jumped on a subway track to save a complete stranger who was having a seizure:

While waiting for a downtown Manhattan train, Autrey saw Cameron Hollopeter, a 19-year-old film student, suffering from some kind of medical episode. After stumbling down the platform, Hollopeter, of Littleton, Mass., fell onto the tracks with a train on its way into the station.

Autrey, traveling with his two young daughters, knew he had to do something.

“If I let him stay there by himself, he’s going to be dismembered,” the Navy veteran remembered thinking.

He jumped down to the tracks, a few feet below platform level, and rolled with the young man into a drainage trough — cold, wet and more than a little unpleasant smelling — between the rails as the southbound No. 1 train came into the 137th Street/City College station.

The train’s operator saw someone on the tracks and put the emergency brakes on. Some train cars passed over Autrey and Hollopeter with only a couple of inches to spare, but neither man suffered any harm from the incident.

Hollopeter was taken to a nearby hospital; Autrey refused medical attention — and then went to work.

According to bystanders, Autrey had time to shout to people to take care of his daughters before the train came. I can’t imagine what was going through his mind when he did it, but he was probably acting more on instinct than anything else:

Meanwhile, Autrey said the impact of the risky rescue was sinking in.

“It’s all hitting me now,” Autrey said. “I’m looking, and these trains are coming in now. … Wow, you did something pretty stupid.”

Perhaps, but it worked out well for him. It’s really nice to know that, with all the bad news out there, some people still care about others.

Happy 2007, all.


NYC transit strike


The Montreal transit strike two years ago was horribly unpopular, but at least I have a car so it wasn’t so bad. I’ve been to London during an Underground strike, to Barcelona during a public bus strike, and to Venice during a public boat strike. All of those were, er, interesting experiences, to say the […]

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New York in December


Some random observations: New Yorkers complain about the cold even more than Montrealers do, or at least it seems that way. Fifth Avenue is pretty with all the lights. Stuck for a gift idea? No problem. There’s a street vendor at 73rd and Broadway selling Christmas sweaters for $2. Lots of tall buildings arranged perpendicularly […]

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Just checking in


Yes I’m still alive. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, the flight home from New York was late (again). No, I have not yet unpacked. No, I have no idea how I’m going to catch up on work before the Holidays next week. No, I probably won’t have any time to blog about the zillion things that […]

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NYCLU sues city over bag searches


Looks like the New York Civil Liberties Union has its priorities real straight: it has sued New York over subway bag searches: New York’s random searches began on July 22 after a second set of bomb attacks on the London transit system. “The policy of searching thousands of subway riders daily without any suspicion that […]

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Random musings from New York


Business trips, as a rule, are not much fun. You don’t usually get any time to appreciate the place you go to, and all you generally see of it is the inside of some conference room someplace. This time I was in New York for 4 days, so I set out to make them as […]

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Things have a way of working out


A business trip this week to New York just so happens to coincide with a Collective Soul NYC tour date. Sometimes, Murphy takes a nap.

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Speaking of New York


Unlike last year, I didn’t walk into the middle of any Israel Day parades. And no, I did not see Ariel Sharon. I did, however, see some people wearing the “Gush Katif Forever” t-shirts entering a subway station in Midtown. Personally I prefer the “I love NY” t-shirts, but hey, that’s just me.

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Seen on a Times Square billboard


The website was promoted on a billboard that I walked by at least a dozen times this week while in New York. I admit, it worked, because it stuck in my head and I went to check it out. The site is run by a group that seems to be a thinly-disguised cover for […]

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