20 January 2014

Looking Out For Whitelaw

Today was mild, if not exceptionally so, for this time of year.  The temperature reached 46F (8C).  The skies were overcast and a breeze from the west occasionally gusted.

It was all good enough for me to go for a bike ride.  And, given that today is a holiday (the day on which Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday is observed), I had time for a longish ride.

So what did I do?  I rode to Point Lookout:  105 km (65 miles) round-trip—on my fixed gear.  The ride is flat, but it’s still longer than I might normally do at this time of year.  So I’m feeling good about that.  Perhaps I am in better shape than I thought I was, and that bulge I feel in my belly is a paranoid delusion. (Dream on!)

Of course, these guys (or girls:  I, of all people, should not be sexist!) are always in shape.  How could they not be?

And they’re more intrepid than I am:  When the snowstorm we’re supposed to get arrives tomorrow, they’ll still be flying around, swooping down and scooping up food for which people pay good money in nearby restaurants.  Meanwhile, I’ll be in my place, preparing  syllabi for the coming semester and, possibly, soup or tomato sauce.

The avian avatars will miss out on such experiences—and the irony of seeing this on Martin Luther King Jr’s holiday:

I wonder if residents of the neighborhood—Ozone Park, Queens—have ever noticed.  At one time, not so long ago, they were all white.  (I know; I had relatives who lived there!) Now many of them are South Asian and/or Caribbean.  Did they have “Whitelaw” in their old countries?

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