Hello all

Well, Valentine’s Day is done and dusted for another year, but I must say that the feeling has been lingering on for a few more days at least. You know what I mean, I’m talking about that feeling of … L-O-V-E.

As much as Geoff and I have never been huge fans of Valentine’s Day, I do love the way it reminds people to show love for one another. For instance, friends were making statements on Facebook like: “Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!”

Ahmed Ibraham the cabbie matchmaker.

Ahmed Ibraham the cabbie matchmaker.

It was rather nice to see all this camaraderie, but imagine my surprise when I opened my daily meditation book on the morning of the 14th February and read this:

“Some people looking for love have found help in an unusual place – a taxicab in New York City. Taxicab driver Ahmed Ibraham loves to set up blind dates for his single passengers. His matchmaking services have been featured on the Fox News Channel, the Wall Street Journal and NBC’s Today show.  He doesn’t assist just anybody though; they have to be serious about looking to settle down with someone. Ahmed loves to help romance blossom and he even hands out roses on Valentine’s Day.” (Our Daily Bread Devotional)

My immediate thought was “How come I’ve never heard of this fellow before?” The truth is we can’t know everything that’s happening in New York can we? However, I didn’t expect to learn about this cab driver from reading a devotional book!

After doing a search with the help of my friend Mr. Google I found many references to Ahmed Ibraham; he is very well-known in America it seems. It turns out that Ahmed came across this ‘vocation’ by accident. He explains how it all began: (Seattle Times.com/html/nationworld)/cabbie30.html

Playing Miss Lonelyhearts with a hack license comes naturally to Ibrahim, although he stumbled across the part accidentally. “I was joking around with this girl … who said she couldn’t find a boyfriend,” he recalled. Ibrahim took her number.

A man got in his cab three days later and bemoaned his bad luck finding a woman. Ibrahim called the woman and gave her the man’s number. She called back three weeks later and said they had gone on a date and were getting along great.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is my new project,’ ” he said. So he set about it with gusto, attempting matches for doctors, lawyers and students.”

So now Ibraham is in New York running a dating agency from his taxi cab! Another reference point says:

Since 2004, when he decided to spice up his work hours, Ibrahim has been collecting names and phone numbers of over 1,000 New Yorkers looking for the perfect match. He has organized more than 100 dates, and at least 30 of them have led to romances which have lasted for more than a year. www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/13/the-cupid-cabbie_n_822646.html

The original drawings of

The original drawings of The Wizard of Oz

New York city is certainly an interesting place and I was just mulling on this when Gabrielle from The Fitzyreport.com/why-childrens-books-matter/ wrote a post about visiting an exhibition at the New York Public Library entitled ‘The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.’ How I would have loved to see this exhibition!

But, the next best thing is to share some of it with you here. The NY Library website states that the exhibition is “an examination of why children’s books are important: what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them.”

Gabrielle – an Australian living in NYC – goes on to say:

“The exquisite exhibition celebrating children’s literature at the New York Public Library is the cause of many excited cries from the young and the older lovers of classic tales. Curated with the joy of storytelling itself, the exhibition displays not only books, but original illustrations, actual manuscripts and the inspiration behind many of our favorite characters.

The Wild Things, Pooh Bear and all the gorgeous irreverence of Dr Seuss take center stage. There is the wooden doll which served as a model for Mary Poppins (although perhaps not for Julie Andrews!) the original manuscript from The Secret Garden, illustrations from The Wizard of Oz and the drawings of Little Toot, as water-colorist Hardie Gramatky doodled and daydreamed in his studio looking out over the East River.” (read and see more photos over on her blog The Fitzyreport.com)

I love these books! Now, I am a great believer in reading to children and sharing books with them even when they are older. My granddaughter Alice (12) has given me the Hunger Games to read so I can understand why she loves the movies – and the books – so much. This is going to challenge me knowing as I do the savage nature of this book.

So friends, as I close this post I will leave you with a quote that I feel sums up New York – not that I have ever been there – but it seems to fit all that I have read about it.

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.” ~Nora Ephron

Just have to visit New York sometime soon …

PS.

So who is Nora Ephron? Nora co-wrote  Sleepless in Seattle (1993), a romantic comedy in which lovers Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are separated for most of the film. You will not be surprised to know that she also co-wrote When Harry Met Sally. She died in 2012 of leukemia; her last film was Julie and Julia. Such a shame that there will be no more screenplays from her hand as I enjoyed all of these movies.  Nora was born and lived in New York.

The prototype of Mary Poppins.

The model of Mary Poppins in the New York Library exhibition.

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