"Oy" is the go-to word for nearly every Jew in the world. When things are disappointing or bad or scary or unfathomable, what else but to utter "oy"? And "oy vey" and even "oy vey iz mir" for extra effect, certainly. Latinos say "ai" in much the same fashion, at least in New York City (I suspect elsewhere as well). The Germans say "ach" and... well, "oy"  and "oy oy oy" serve us in so many situations.

Lately the news has been full of sorrowful stories, aggravating situations, fraught debates, horrors and more. The whole world is afflicted with pain, violence, natural and man-made disasters, unfortunate events, and the like. Some people may bury their heads in the sand, some drown their sorrows in drink or other poisons. Many turn to prayer. And of course some people mix and match, depending upon the time and day.

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I know that I need to find some light-hearted diversions and more so in recent months. So what could be more enticing than visiting the OY statue of Brooklyn Bridge Park? I read online and in print about a newly placed (and temporary) bright yellow statue that reads "YO" if you look at it in one direction...and "OY" if you stare at it from the other side. So I took my two daughters last Sunday to pay homage to one of my favorite words.

We managed to find a decent parking spot for the car, and hiked over to the Park. There were lots of people out and about (it was sunny and the weather was mild) and we walked over to get closer to the "OY." Alas, or "oy," we could not get too close because there is a fence for several yards around the statue. The reason? Grass reseeding. Yeah, right. Anyway, we joined lots of other people, residents and tourists alike, who were posing and selfie-snapping and gaping at the "YO" and the "OY."

My older daughter in particular seemed to get a kick out of seeing this statue. You could get nice views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, seaport lower Manhattan, and the old brick warehouse buildings along with the "YO" and "OY." It was a fun time, snapping the photos.

But I came not only to take pictures and then post them on social media, as did so many other people. I also came to this statue in order to pay homage to "my word." "OY" has long been my fall-back expression for so many things. "Oy" is more than just a single syllable. It is more than just two letters. It packs a great deal of emotion, at times. It is a sigh, a groan, an opinion, hurt wrapped in humor, a kvetch. Then again, "YO" is more than just the Spanish word for "I." (As in Yo Tengo Mucho Dinero... not!) "YO" is also one of those simple declarations, but it tends to be a more physical word, a word with swagger. "Yo yo yo" you might hear people declare in Brooklyn. "OY" and "YO" are more than just reverse words: they have very different emotions, impacts, occasions.

"Oy" to the world, "Oy" to Brooklyn, and may we all live to see the day when "OY" is always a harbinger of good!

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