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Thursday, January 13, 2011

When the Ship Comes In

Hilary of Poitiers - Bishop & Doctor

Okay well it has been an embarrassing amount of time since I have posted anything here.  My friend David described this in a similarly apologetic post as having "gone galt" so then of course I had to go see what that meant, and another ten minutes were lost.

So, what's been happening?  Well right after Thanksgiving, we went to Florida, which was fun although really cold (for Florida) which meant we had a great time in the theme parks because there weren't any lines to speak of.

We got to visit a co-worker from years back and her husband, ride round on golf carts and see alligators.

Then there was Christmas, and a ridiculous snowstorm or three.   We're in the thick of winter here, now, but as someone pointed out earlier, it was still light enough to see at 5 o'clock, so the days are starting to get noticeably longer again.

We did have a rather unfortunate experience on New Years' Eve at a restaurant in Montclair called Costanera.

Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2008
There is an interesting maritime event unfolding in New York Harbor as we speak, although I am unfortunately not participating.  All three ships of the storied Cunard Line are berthed in the city at the same time: The Queen Mary 2 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and the quasi-sisters Queen Victoria and the new Queen Elizabeth at the Passenger Ship Terminal on Manhattan's west side, the latter having just completed her maiden transatlantic crossing.  My friend Doug Newman was aboard, and you can read his account on his blog.

This is is only the second time the entire fleet has been together in the port, which speaks as much about the modern need for marketing pomp as it does the state of the company's affairs: in the 1950s they operated over fifty vessels, now they have just three.

Queen Victoria at the Passenger Ship Terminal
The first was three years ago, for the Victoria's maiden arrival.  At that point the legendary QE2 was still in service, and a friend and I took a boat trip out into the Upper  Bay to watch  as the the three ships preened in front of the Statue of Liberty under a fireworks display.

I was also on hand for the mammoth Queen Mary 2's first visit to the city; in fact my dad and I were aboard, having made the maiden crossing from Southampton in April of 2004.

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