A few weeks ago, on August 8th, I had the pleasure of riding into NYC from northern Westchester on a MetroNorth Commuter Railroad Harlem Line train that was as crowded as most weekday morning rush-hour trains I take.
The train completely filled up at White Plains and I found myself surrounded by a very pleasant family speaking to each other in German. Me, being me, I asked them where they were from, how long they'd be visiting, and so on. They told me they are from Austria and they were in the USA for several weeks, beginning with NYC where the son would be participating in a music festival at, I hope I got this right, Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.
Little incidents like this make aware that there is more pleasure in meeting people, face-to-face, chatting, sharing, maybe getting to know some new people or a new person, maybe only spending a pleasant thirty minutes with someone you will never see again, than sitting with my face to a computer monitor meeting people on-line that I don't know what it feels like to be in their presence. There is no substitute for a physical presence.
These people were nice and I liked the young man, his mother and his sister. I hope he succeeds in his aspirations to become a professional violinist. It will be a very difficult path, requiring much effort - though for a 14 year old he showed uncommon wisdom in noting the more he practiced the more fun practice and playing
With their permission, I shot some photos of them. They were all excited and I think I would be the same if I were visiting say, Vienna in Austria and participating in some sort of festival.