Thursday, February 12, 2009


1131 days ago

On Friday morning I talked to my Swedish (half Hungarian, half Finnish friend Veronika. We first met in spring 96 (or autumn 95). She was working for the European Center for Roma Rights in Budapest and I was doing my graduation work about the Roma (gypsies) image in the press. We met a few times more, up to the summer of 98 when she hosted me in Budapest for a couple of days. I met then her boyfriend Jim Goldston, now her husband, a real New-Yorker - lawyer working for the Soros Foundation. Today in Colombia, tomorrow in Africa. Tough life.

When I was on the ships I got one of those collective e-mails saying Veronika moved to New York and works for the Human Rights Watch. I looked her up the Internet, she still works there. So I wrote to her to that e-mail address and MIRACLE! after that many (5-6?) years without any news, we were back in touch.

We arranged to meet at the Scandinavian house. She's still tall and slim and pretty as always, didn't change a bit. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera so no pics She has a baby too, will have to see him live next time. They live in Brooklyn, close to my friend Michael. Agreed to meet again, either New York or Montréal. World feels so small sometimes. Or we meet again when we are meant to.

I went to the Penn(sylvania)station afterwards to get my ticket to Philly. It got a lot warmer outside so I went to Sears to buy myself some short socks and a belt as I had forgotten mine in Mtl (found a nice braided one The Central Station is also beautiful - a huge lobby with a blue ceiling with the Zodiac signs.

I spent my afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), it is free on Friday afternoon. The line was loooooooong, but to my surprise it didn't take longer than 35 minutes. I had three hours there. More 19th and 20th century masters. Had an opportunity to see some Jason Pollock, an American famous modern painter. Not impressed with his stains. Like I'm not into the dark cubist period of Picasso and Braque. Much happier to see Modigliani. And an exhibition of feeric drawings and book illustrations of Odilon Redon - a dreamlike world, very romantic and troubled.

I was disappointed though by the absence of Francesco Clemente, a contemporary Italian that was supposed to be there, apparently not all works in the collection are exhibited. I simply love his work and I only saw albums and a small exbition in Naples, Italy, his city of origin.

I felt pain to see the works of Brancusi (Romanian sculptor that emigrated to France and knew Rodin), I even cried. His work was abstract but he took inspiration from traditional forms of art, his Romanian origins playing a great part in it. Under his name it reads "French, born in Romania". WHAT A SHAME!

I finished the evening going to see a friend of my cousin - Nicoleta, to pick up the "cozonac" (traditional Romanian Christmas cake, similar to brioche and panettone). I spent about two hours with her - a nice smart girl (Girl? She's probably slightly older than me, and I'm 31! I guess as I'm not married I lost track of time

On the 24th I just went with my cousin on the 5th Avenue up to the entrance of Central Park - the Time Warner building - took a lot of photos that are still in his computer or camera, I'm waiting for them. We spent a very simple quiet evening, no Xmas tree. Cooked some shrimps with rosé wine and olive oil. Then "cozonac", the traditional Xmas cake. He cooked his sausages, some stuffed mushrooms and we talked as usual. It felt good being with somebody from my family even if we didn't know each other from before. We had good talks and laughs and he did his best for me to have a good time.

On the 25 I went to the St. Nicholas Romanian church and I was back in time for lunch with a Romanian older, very nice couple. We were 8plus one kid. I felt good, like real Xmas time. In the evening we visited Nicoleta, the girl I met two days before. There was another friend of my cousin too, quite young. Very animated discussions, contradictory, but fun after all. The morning after I left for Philadelphia, a bit regretfully, I was getting along fine with Nicu. I wish I could do something for him

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