Near Yellow Mountain

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New York State(s) of Mind

I am in NYC for 50 hours. My wife and I wanted to see our elder daughter who works for a "Late Night" TV show that is filmed in late afternoon and then take her out for a Valentine's Day dinner. Part of what our daughter does is "warm-up" the audience before the show starts. Great to see our "baby" bring the crowd's energy level up so quickly and skillfully. Her workplace is the theater from where the old "Ed Sullivan Show" was broadcast when I was a child. A stage that made Elvis Presley, the Beatles and many others household names in America. It was great to see our little girl begin her working life in such an iconic place.

Many blocks to the south a much bigger story is playing out on the court at Madison Square Garden. A young Asian American who got no scholarship offers to play basketball in college and was not drafted after playing basketball at Harvard has become the Tim Tebow of the NBA. Like many people who grew up playing and loving basketball, the current generation of spoiled athletes in the NBA has completely turned me off to  the pro version of the sport. Jeremy Lin is a breath a fresh "eastern" air from the west coast. Confucian values hit the NBA. Foreign players are no longer noteworthy in pro basketball but an undrafted kid with Asian roots who just a week ago was sleeping on his brother's couch because he did not have a guaranteed contract has caused quite a stir in America's number one media market. I really hope Mr Lin has a long career.

On a more somber note, we toured the 9/11 memorial this morning. The joy of seeing our daughter thriving in her new environment and the buzz in this great city over an unknown becoming an NBA star overnight quickly were muted by the memory of 9/11. My wife and I were in Kobe, Japan on 9/11/2001. We saw the first footage of the CNN feed and then like so many around the world were horrified by seeing the second plane hit the Towers on live TV.

Yes, life moves on but certain memories will never be forgotten.