Saturday, November 14, 2015

A&O's Ernest O. Disney-Britton: My 5 favorite things about NYC

By Gregory A. Disney-Britton
Ernest Disney-Britton in the subway, wearing one of his blue Ralpha Lauren polo shirts. 
NEW YORK---My husband, Ernest Disney-Britton, creator of Alpha Omega Arts, is more likely to be found in a church than a club or bar. He also prefers the sacrament of Holy Communion to cocktail hour. Even so, he loves the mix of secular and sacred that is especially rich in New York City. “It’s the only place in America where I can see 12-different faiths walking the same block.” That's why A&O has returned here twice a year, each year since 2009. However next year, we will make a new city our biannual A&O destination, so I've asked him to share his five favorite things about NYC.

  1. Churches “I’m a Roman Catholic. I get a fair amount of grief over it from my gay and arts community friends who don't like its stance on gays, on sex, on divorce, on abortion., and one artistice freedom I let them have their say, but when I am in NYC, the most important part of my visit is prayer inside a Roman Catholic Church, and there seems to be one on nearly every other block, so it's pretty easy to do."

  2. Sunday Mornings "All week long the city is noisy, except for early on Sunday morning. I'm not even a runner, but when I lived here, I bought a pair of running shoes just so that I could go running on Sunday morning before the noise monsters of the city awakened again. Sure, someone is still out even at 5:00 a.m., but on Sunday mornings it's the small sounds that matter most, and it's then that I loved this city most.”

  3. NYC Subway “I never liked driving. In fact, in college I drove to NYC from Detroit and after 5-minutes in the city, I stopped the car and got into the backseat. The racing taxi cabs, and the endless honking, but when I am done, I'm done. That's why I love the subway. I can experience this city without having to drive with the idiots on the streets. Sure, there are idiots in the subway too, but I'm bigger than they are."  

  4. Central Park “Often when I'm in Central Park, I find it hard to believe anyone ever leaves. It's full of people, but they are not rushing to be anywhere else but here. Even standing on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you get that sense of spiritual contentment when you are in the park. My greatest disappointment about the park was the lottery for tickets to Shakespeare in the Park, so I never saw it. My greatest excitement though was discovering a Mister Softee Truck, which I'd not seen since my childhood. It didn't taste the same, but it looked the same, and the truck's music was the same.”

  5. Rubber Boots “I love tall rubber boots, and when I lived here, I was so envious of the colorful rubber boats that only women wore, plus a few men with small feet. I was so delighted after I'd moved away when Hunter started selling the colored versions of the boots to men online. I owe it to New York City for my passion for blue, and my purchase of a pair of blue Hunter rainboots.”
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