March 11, 2009
After I checked out of my hotel that day, I went to City College of NY (CCNY). From my hotel, I walked 3 or 4 blocks to 50th street, took the Metro train 1, got off at 181st street, the "city college stop". I will meet my host for the day who was also my host for 2 days on my first visit to NY in 2004, Dr. Vince Boudreau. Vince teaches at the Political Science Department of CCNY, he speaks fluent Filipino, been to the Philippines countless times, married a Filipina, Tonette, and would give occassional lectures at the University of the Philippines (UP) from time to time.
CCNY has a big and sprawling campus in uptown NY. I noticed that most of their students are Latinos and blacks, a few Asians, then white people. My picture here shows 3 of the academic buildings of the college.
Vince is also the Director of the Colin Powel Center for Public Policy Study. The office is in honor of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Armed Forces. Gen. Powell was the first Afro-American to hold such position. The Center is on the 5th floor of the white-grey building, it has a good view of the surrounding areas of uptown NY.
I was looking for a place where I could connect to the internet for free with my laptop, so Vince offered me his wide cubicle in his office. He also introduced me to his staff in the Center, they are nice and friendly people. They asked me what would I need that they can help provide, I said "nothing, just internet connection" :-)
Vince left for a meeting, came back by 6pm, and he pulled me to a nice bar in downtown NY where we had several glasses of various beer classes/tastes. His wife Tonette later followed us in the evening for a dinner at a Venezuelan restaurant, another yummy-yummy dinner.
I stayed at Vince's place for the night, then headed to LaGuardia airport the following morning for my flight back to Manila.
I did not take my picture with Vince while I was there, but my Filipina friend Lalaine Sadiwa-Stormoken, has a picture of him.
Visiting old friends in their places, a good chat over beer and nice dinner, are among the most fantastic and memorable activities one can do when travelling abroad.
I am very lucky to have good friends Vince, and Jojo Chan who hosted me for 2 nights in his place in NJ.