Taki Taki

High life | 8 June 2017

A night with Fred and Ginger, a dinner for Broadway biggies...  then it’s London here I come

New York

  Main Street is a place, but it’s mostly an idea. It’s where locally owned shops sell stuff to hard-working townies, as we used to call the locals back when I was at boarding school. The townies had dependable blue-collar jobs in auto plants and coalmines. Their sons played American football hard, cut their hair short, and married their high-school sweethearts. I went back to my old school recently with my old buddy Tony Maltese, a wrestler who never lost a match. We had a nostalgic lunch with the wrestling coach and talked about old times. The feeling was one of community and of having control over your life. I talked about Britain, and how the Brits have lost control of their lives because of open borders. Then came the news of the latest London outrage and one couldn’t help thinking how free and safe we used to feel, and how now only Sadiq Khan and the protected politicians feel that way. Mind you, throughout the Rust Belt — Trump country — the image of Main Street is now one of empty storefronts and abandoned buildings, and Amazon and McDonald’s. Oh, for a magic wand to restore the small shops and get rid of the behemoths. Then it was back to the big city, crossing Times Square with its overwhelming electronic ads and costumed performers who coerce the yokels into taking their picture and paying through the nose for it, or else. From Times Square it was on to Brooklyn, where all those who were once called yuppies have ended up. There is no longer a Brooklyn accent — the place is now multicultural. I remember when the Brooklyn Dodgers were still located there, and when a grammatically challenged announcer by the name of Tex Rickard reminded the customers in Ebbets Field: ‘Don’t throw nuthin’ from the stands.’

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