• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

    October 31st - 11 November Caribbean cruise to break up the winter.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    August 2  I lined up on the geriatrics bench to get tickets for Christine and me at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last week. I set out early and reached the bench  before 9.30 in the morning thinking that I would be among the first–I did not want a repeat of the great disappointment of the previous week when the last ticket to be given out at noon went to the man immediately in front of Susan and myself! But I was wrong again; the bench was already two thirds full of aggressive oldies and I was once again on tenterhooks until the noon distribution. I was joined by Christine’s friend, Barbara, who , with her husband, were to make a foursome for the event. Both couples brought a bottle of wine to enhance the evening.

    And what an evening it was! Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” has never been done better in my view. Absolutely suited to the outdoor theatre. The set included a fairy forest with changing colored lights which added mystery to the actors who passed in and out of it. The cast included a nightclub singer. The costumes, not confined to one era, included a modern suit and gown.

    The mechanicals were a child’s delight. Part fairy tale, part pantomime the action was played at a spanking pace and was continuously amusing. What is more, Shakespeare’s words came across wonderfully well.

             

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Tunnellers’ progress – extraordinarry safety measures!

While constructing the wall around entrance number 2 on Second Avenue and 94th Street, it was discovered that the last section of the excavated  slot was not quite vertical owing to some rebar material protruding from the bottom of the massive retaining wall along Second Avenue.  A diver was required to go down and cut the extraneous material away. The slot is four feet wide, about 12 feet long and sixty or more feet deep. It is temporarily filled with a liquid chemical mixture which reacts with the earth sides to solidify them enough to  prevent any earth slides. Never-the-less, it would be too dangerous to send a diver with his cutting equipment directly into the slot.

A long steel tube about 30″ in diameter with openings cut into it was lowered into the slot and the diver worked from inside it–never leaving its protection and with no fear of being crushed by an accidental collapse of the slot. However, there were other hazards. The cutting flame reacted with the chemical liquid to give off a toxic gas. This was taken care of by a system which modified the chemicals immediately around the cutting area and allowed the gas to escape to the surface. Oxygen was pumped down to the diver but, in case the pump failed, a portable tank could be dropped down the tube immediately. And finally, if worse came to worst, equipment was  put in place by the side of the tube so that the diver could  exit the tube from the escape hatch and be pulled to the surface. Safety is taken very seriously, and MTA sent their top safety officer to supervise the operation. Click on the pictures for greater detail.

The Area Chief Safety Officer was kind enough to explain some of his concerns

The steel tube being Prepared

Lowered into the slot

All that remains above ground

All went well!. The diver being decontaminated after his work was finished

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