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The town's throaty rope

TRAVEL LETTER: It's not for nothing that this is the most mythologized city in the world, and perhaps one of the most fussy.

My daughter-in-law had never been to New York, and when my son was going to spend a trip on her (like a delayed 40 year-end gift), he took the leaf out of his mouth and wondered if we could take care of our two grandchildren (five years and three years) during their long weekend in this crazy city; it's not going, said my wife, you have to take a whole week, and I added; we can be a babysitter over there just as nice as here.
And so it was, with direct flights – seven hours – from Oslo to New York; tight-fitting as always, and always there is one in front of me who, on death and life, has to lower his back and I get equally annoyed every time, even during dining; it's like taking a meal in a cage – brought in hair loss and dandruff from the type in front of me – both arms close to the body and the impossibility of having to use knife and fork after spending a quarter getting the food wrapping paper, cutlery foil as well as a plastic glass of beer that was about to fall into the lap of the sideman, who was, by all means, my daughter-in-law; her youngest had the window seat.
She was sitting on a stick when she saw Manhattan illuminated; it was evening, so she missed the Statue of Liberty's narrow silhouette at the mouth of the Hudson River, but all the lit candles were overwhelming, and she stretched her neck to see as much as she could; after landing, after the luggage terminal (our son and daughter-in-law had a lot of luggage), we were left in a taxi queue and again I smelled; this was in March, because in the summer, the other times I've been to this city, when in Manhattan itself, it smelled of smoldering and roasted chestnuts; here in the queue it smelled of cigarettes and a mixture of oil and gasoline.

NEW YORK: The Freedom Tower Spencer / Platt / Getty Images / AFP
NEW YORK: The Freedom Tower Spencer / Platt / Getty Images / AFP


We split in two and I sat with my son and his son, without the intention of the taxi ride being gender segregated; we had to cross to Manhattan, but I do not remember which bridge we took, we were going to Sixth Avenue, a hotel. . .

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