Saturday, May 17, 2014

Syttende Mai—Good Neighbors

My Manhattan Street in Turtle Bay (Midtown East) has some establishments that are more genteel, less raucous, than many others in New Yawk, New Yawk. We have the apparently decorous Turtle Bay Music School and, right across the way from me, the Norwegian Seamen's Church (Sj√łmannskirken). They wish all visitors "Hjertelig velkommen," which, thanks to cognates, needs no translation. Today, May 17, Norwegian Constitution Day, known simply by its date, syttende mai (seventeenth of May), gives them a chance to cut loose in a remarkably quiet and orderly way, as opposed to the generally riotous parades and celebrations of other ethnic groups which the city hosts periodically. They don't need Fifth or Sixth Avenue; one crosstown block is sufficient for them, and their charming parade, well populated with towheaded, flag-waving youngsters, lasts only a few minutes. Con Edison's periodic tearing up of the street makes a lot more noise than they do. Long may they remain in the neighborhood! (They always clean up after themselves, too!)