Australian General Semantics Society Inc.




Robert's trip to New York
for the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture -
a "personal account"

25 October - 6 November 2012



I was privileged to attend the Alfred Korzybski Memorial lecture (AKML) and Symposium
at the Princeton Club in New York 25-27 October 2012.


It was a great experience for me, and certainly a boost for the AGS liaison with our parent organisation, the Institute of General Semantics (IGS).  I am most grateful for the generous support of AGS and IGS in this venture.

My visit to New York was successful in terms of participation in the AKML and Symposium, and certainly a great experience personally, but not quite what I had anticipated, as Hurricane Sandy came in on the day before I was scheduled to return home!

I arrived in New York a couple of days ahead of the AKML, allowing a little time for sightseeing.  The sightseeing buses were a good way to get around a pick up lots of tips about which celebrity lived in which apartment building, and how Wall Street" got its name, etc:


I had promised my wife Jeanne that I'd check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("the Met"), so I got in early with that one, and acquired some souvenirs etc.  Certainly an impressive establishment, reinforcing my respect for nineteenth century grandeur, and the American tradition of giving money to public projects.

Met Hall

The Library and Museum etc were similarly grand.  I didn't bother taking many pictures of skyscrapers, as it's difficult to do, and impossible to select subjects!

Library Open

The Guggenheim Gallery (below), the Statue of Liberty, etc etc were all magnificent.


The World Trade Centre re-construction site was a huge affair, with ponds on the site of the two original towers that wer destroyed ten years ago.  The two ponds have a central area in which the water flows down out of sight into an "abyss".

Trade Centre RJ

The "Survival Tree" was the only tree (of many) to survival the pulverisation of the towers, and was carefully restored from being a shredded stump, then ripped up a hurricane, and restored again ...

Survival Tree

The "Stock Exchange Bull" was an individual sculptor's creation, not wanted by the Council, then eventually becoming a great attraction in its own right:


There were many little vignette observations, such as the "National Debt" sign, proclaiming a libility of >$16tr (trillion), increasing at about $10,000 per second.

Debt sign

and the large poster: ("If Mitt (Romney) had (our) storage, he'd be able to find his tax returns"):

Romney storage

Times Square was a wonderful extravaganza (I was present there for the midnight launch of Microsoft's Windows 8), and of course Broadway (39 theatres of 500 or more seats in a short space):


In fulfilment of a promise to our son Chris and his wife Claire, I attended a performance of "Bring it On" at the St. James Theatre:

Here's my $150/night hotel: the Chelsea Highline - Certainly adequate (until flooded):


On Sunday, after the Symposium, I took in the movie "Argo" at the Chelsea Clearview cinema, at which our host welcomed us to the movie, and at the end farewelled us with "I hope you enjoyed it ... " etc.  But I was surprised to see that all further movies were cancelled, as were the trains etc:


After some late din-dins nearby, on returning to my salubrious hotel, I was greeted by the Proprietor, who seemed to be packing up his computers etc, with "Good evening Sir, what are you doing here?" (Americans all seem to call me "Sir").  He explained that the hotel was being evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, expected the next day (Monday), that I'd need to collect my chattels and a refund of tariff for the two remaining nights, and accommodate elsewhere. 

"Where?", I asked somewhat boldly.  He gave me a list of a few addresses of shelters for hurricane refugees, so I set off at about 10pm down W.23rd Street ...   

... more>


(Updated by RJ 19/11/2012)

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