Monday, February 22, 2010

New York City (Part 2)

(May 2007)

It's now 8:08 p.m. and I'm sitting here typing away on my laptop again…airing out my poor feet after walking more than 60 New York City blocks and anxiously awaiting my first ever room service meal.

I did more exploring after my last note.

I decided to "walk off" the tuna sandwich I had for lunch by heading toward the empire state building. My hotel is on 6th and 54th—the empire state building is somewhere in the 30s or 40s. Only I didn't stop at the empire state building…I just kept walking.

I was engrossed in all the sights, sounds and smells of the city. You couldn't turn a corner without passing a hotdog/pretzel/pizza/Chinese food vendor. Nor could you turn a corner without being accosted by some guy selling knock-off handbags. It was exactly as I imagined it based on all the movies I've seen about the city. Oops! Room service is knocking….will continue later. I'm hungry!

Later—I'm now fat, happy and slightly tired.

I ordered the Pappardelle Pasta with Meatballs, Tomatoes and Basil. It cost me a whopping thirty bucks! But you know what? It was brought to me by a well-mannered man in a nice suit, the table was set quite nicely and it just made me feel special. The room service guy pushed the table right up to the bed in front of the T.V. He was very polite, nothing like the check-in lady, and so I tipped him well. At least I hope 6 bucks is well. I delicately laid the napkin on my lap and dug in.  It was delicious….not quite 30 bucks delicious, but delicious none-the-less.

A word of advice on room service….I learned this while making my order…when you're perusing the dessert menu and it says "New York Style Cheesecake---$11.95", they mean one slice…not an entire cheesecake. =)

Back to my explorations.

Before I reached the empire state building I ran across a lovely open-air park where dozens of people were sitting at little black-rimmed tables, chatting, reading, playing chess or typing on their laptops. The mood was very casual and I would have liked to stay awhile, but I wanted to see what else I could find so I continued on. I later learned the park is called Bryant Park.

I walked to the empire state building and must have been the only nerd trying to actually look straight up to see the top…which is impossible from the very bottom of it. There was a 45 minute wait to go to the top of the building, so I decided to pass on that. I kept walking. There were lots of little New York souvenir shops around but I just couldn't convince myself to buy anything. Everything is branded "I love NY", but I haven't quite made my decision on whether or not I do.

At some point I realized I was now on Broadway and turned around to head back to the hotel.

Walking around New York City is really funny. In preparation for journeying to the big apple I was told by numerous people to be confidant…and to pretend to know what I'm doing at all times…even if I didn't.

So…I walked with my head up and eyes alert. I think I even had a kind of hip-sway going. I had attitude. I was completely amused when someone on one of the corners asked me if I was from here. "No," I say after a giggle. "Oh," the woman says, "you look like you are. I was going to ask how to get to the empire state building." "Oh! I can tell you that!" I was so proud to be able to help someone out. I walked the rest of the way with even more hip-sway. =)

When I got back to the hotel I felt as if I'd walked into that old Harrison Ford movie…you know the one…where he has to protect some Amish kid because he witnessed a murder? There must be an Amish convention here at the hotel, because there were dozens of them roaming around the lobby when I walked in. "Shalom" I said to one of them in the elevator. Ooops…wrong religion. That's Jewish right? Are Amish Jewish? I have no idea and so I'm not going to talk to anymore of the Amish while I'm here.

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