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Three Days to See(9)

2005-09-12 00:00

  I start from my home in the quiet little suburb of Forest Hills, Long Island. Here, surrounded by green lawns, trees, and flowers, are neat little houses, happy with the voices and movements of wives and children, havens of peaceful rest for men who toil in the city. I drive across the lacy structure of steel which spans the East River, and I get a new and startling vision of the power and ingenuity of the mind of man. Busy boasts chug and scurry about the river - racy speed boat, stolid, snorting tugs. If I had long days of sight ahead, I should spend many of them watching the delightful activity upon the river.

  I look ahead, and before me rise the fantastic towers of New York, a city that seems to have stepped from the pages of a fairy story. What an awe-inspiring sight, these glittering spires. these vast banks of stone and steel-structures such as the gods might build for themselves! This animated picture is a part of the lives of millions of people every day.

  How many, I wonder, give it so much as a seconds glance? Very few, I fear, Their eyes are blind to this magnificent sight because it is so familiar to them.

  I hurry to the top of one of those gigantic structures, the Empire State Building, for there, a short time ago, I "saw" the city below through the eyes of my secretary. I am anxious to compare my fancy with reality. I am sure I should not be disappointed in the panorama spread out before me, for to me it would be a vision of another world.

  Now I begin my rounds of the city. First, I stand at a busy corner, merely looking at people, trying by sight of them to understand something of their live. I see smiles, and I am happy. I see serious determination, and I am proud, I see suffering, and I am compassionate.

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