The Corner

On Amtrak

Let me describe arriving aboard an absolutely fully reserved Acela train at Penn Station Sunday at noon, security all over the train and at the Newark station and in Manhattan. Greeters and policemen all over the place in Penn Station. Squads of them in places. Heavy equipment, and a few powerful looking automatic weapons. Eager and friendly greeters and cops waved the herd of us toward a contrived 7th Ave exit (not the usual one) and then when we got to the street sent us back to the 8th Ave exit, where they said there would be cabs.

The famous artist Karen Laub Novak, whom I was escorting, and I each pulled three bags, beginning to puff and to sweat by halfway down the block. Hot. Muggy. 33rd Street blocked off to our side. Police all the way down. A siren and other police cars racing up 8th Avenue ahead. No taxis in sight. One taxi at the corner, about 280 patrons waving. Cop says, try walking up the Avenue, maybe 35th, 36th. (“Or,” I thought, “37th of 38th.”)

Hot. Muggy. Stop to switch hands on bags. Rearrange the top bag.

Just past 39th St. I remembered that Mother Cabrini, the first New Yorker declared a saint, is the patron saint of parking places and taxicabs. Swift prayer for help.

Taxi swings around 39th corner, out of nowhere, stops and takes us in.

New Yorkers really pull together. They’re going all out to be nice to the Convention, even from heaven.

Michael Novak — Michael Novak is Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat. The author of more than twenty-five books on the philosophy and theology of culture, Novak is most widely known for his ...

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