My goodness, I came home from New York with the promise (threat?) of stories to tell and then I clammed right up for a week. To the dozens of you who read this blog, I apologize. I came home from my bite of the Big Apple and promptly fell into a black hole of laundry, grocery shopping, and reacquainting myself with the two tiny humans in my care who have barely forgiven me for the temerity of leaving them for a couple days.
Just to make something clear: Traveling to the east coast and back in three days and then getting a couple hours of sleep a night wears a person out real well. It took me a week before I stopped feeling drowsy all the livelong day. If I ever get to go back, I’ll see if I can’t finagle either more time or more booze to help me sleep.
I can’t even begin to describe the thrill I got when the plane banked over New York City and the Statue of Liberty, tiny and glowing in a black pond, startled me. I wasn’t expecting to see a celebrity! The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building both jumped out at me as well, and before I knew it I was swimming through the humid air and into the most rickety airport shuttle of my life.
When the shuttle dropped me off a few minutes later, I looked up to get my bearings and BAM! Grand Central Station. It is the prettiest building I’ve ever seen, and so opulent on the inside. I can’t believe people go through it every day just to get to work!
My hotel was nestled between Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building, which is so gorgeous during the day I spent as many minutes as I could spare staring up at it.
The conference kept me busy, but I had a few hours to spare late Friday night so a friend graciously volunteered to show me around after he got off work. I walked 28 blocks downtown to meet him (sounds like a small number of blocks, but is actually a substantial walk) and he showed me around The Strand (an old bookstore, very big and very cool), the St. Marks area near NYU (very seedy in the best kind of way), and then we grabbed dinner at Katz’s Deli (where Sally faked it in When Harry Met Sally). After dinner, we caught the subway at Bleecker and parted ways.
Two things: That deli makes the best reuben I’ve ever had. The matzah ball soup wasn’t bad either, but I have a friend who makes it from scratch and her soup has my loyalty. Also, riding the subway after midnight is a little scary but not too bad. It’s a marvelous system! The walk that took me an hour and a half took me seven minutes on the subway!
I saw so many wondrous things and had so many adventures. I jaywalked (if you live in Seattle, you know this is quite bold), I walked New York fast, I met R.L. Stine and Anne Rice, I ate a bagel from a deli and a hot dog from a cart on the street, I saw a half-naked homeless guy blowing a rape whistle and drumming against his own naked thighs. I had as much fun as a person should be allowed to have, and I haven’t even told you about the conference yet!
Long story short: New York City is well worth the hype. I have a crush on Manhattan now and will certainly have to return.