Tomorrow, Oct 3rd is the annual Blessing over the animals at St John the Divine. St John the Divine is my second favorite stop on the uptown loop after the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
My first visit here was over 15 years ago. Friends from Brazil had seen the Church on a tourist bus and decided to attend services before heading to the airport for the trip home. I agreed to meet them for lunch in the neighborhood. I knew nothing about the church and I am Jewish so I wasn't planning to attend church that day.
As I was leaving my health club to head over to join my visitors, one of my friends said "Isn't this the day they bless the animals?" I said, "What do you mean?" They said, "you'll find out". And, I did. There were dogs, cats, monkeys, a baby elephant, birds and a big snake all waiting to enter the church. I asked someone when the 11 o'clock service ends and he said that this goes on all day.
Well, my friends were expecting a quiet service. It was a rock mass. The smell of the animals was a bit much so they found the famous Hungarian Pastry Shop and then they found me. We went "restaurant shopping" (I will do a post about how to do this one of these days) and found the perfect place for our lunch before I sent them off on their bus to the airport.
Next weekend , Oct 9th and 10th, is Open House New York. This is another wonderful time to visit the Cathedral of St John the Divine and maybe take a tour.