Monday, February 22, 2010

New York City (Part 4)

(May 2007)

I didn't write anything yesterday for several reasons.

One: I only paid for wireless for two days.

Two: I was running around the city with my new friend Mathieu.

Three: I had one too many martinis.

Yesterday started off quite well.

I got up, showered, got dressed (well-dressed I might add) and hopped onto the elevator taking me down to the 2nd floor for the conference. There were two men and a woman on the elevator with me. The men were well-dressed and speaking another language…it sounded Venezuelan maybe? I don't know. Anyhow, I smiled.

The two men began a heated debate about something…then as quickly as the debate began, it was over…ending with one of the men handing me his business card…which is in another language. I will have to get someone to look at it to determine what language it is. Then it hits me…were they debating over whether or not he should give me his card? That's really funny!

As I made my way to the first session, I heard a voice shout, "Amanda!" I turn to see Mathieu, the guy I met after the last workshop the day before. He has a big smile on his face as he runs to catch up with me. He's from Canada so he speaks with a French accent.

"How are you?" he asks me as he catches up to me. "Fine," I say with a big smile. It's nice to see him. He was the only person who talked to me the day before. Perhaps we'll hang out in-between sessions today so I won't be alone.

We chat about where he went for dinner and I tell him about my first New York Deli experience. I had accidentally happened upon this great little deli on 6th avenue. Actually, first I went to the McDonalds on 6th avenue because I just wanted a cheap meal. I can't believe how much food costs at my hotel! Wait a minute, yes I can…this is the Hilton after all. They charge 15 dollars for a cheeseburger. Ridiculous.

So I ventured out with a mission: to get a cheap meal in New York City. I went in to this two-story McDonalds and was appalled at how long it was taking for the cashiers to take orders. I don't know if I was just in "New Yorker" mode or if I just got really impatient all of a sudden, but I got so pissed off that I stormed out of the Mickey D's huffing and puffing about how it's supposed to be "fast" food. I walked only five feet and smelled food, good food …and looked up to see "Deli" right next to McDonalds. I walked in.

The deli was also part lounge, part grocery store. It was fabulous. I ordered a tuna melt (I'm all about tuna lately), a banana and a giant chocolate chip cookie. I took it back to my room and was in heaven for the 10 minutes it took me to consume it all. I then had a full-belly-black-out and fell asleep...only to wake at least five times throughout the night because of all the honking horns outside.

After the first and second session, Mathieu and I decided to grab lunch and take it to central park. It was a beautiful day. We grabbed Panini's from another local deli and hoofed it to the park. We found a nice grassy area and plopped down to eat. There was so much awesome people-watching going on.

I saw big business men (physically and metaphorically speaking) walking tiny little toy poodles. There was an older couple doing yoga at the top of one of the big boulders, a few kids playing baseball on the field, horses pulling carriages full of tourists, runners making me feel like a lazy bum, people singing (quite badly I might add) on the sidewalk for money, you name it, I saw it. It was great.

After the last session of the day, Mathieu and I decided to grab some dinner and I had my first New York Martini.

It was a white peach Martini, and it was strong. I had only one, and it was one too many. I got a wicked headache shortly after drinking it and went straight back to the hotel to go to bed...again...only to wake another 7 times throughout the night because the city never sleeps.

I can't sleep in the city. It's too loud. There's way too much hustle and bustle.

I awoke this morning to the sound of "booms" in the hallway followed by hushed giggles. I looked through my peep-hole to see one of the housekeeping ladies quickly rolling her cart past my room. "Strange," I thought. Shortly after that I hear another "boom"…and then hushed giggles again. I look though the peep-hole again and see the same housekeeping lady backing her cart of cleaning supplies and fresh towels past my room in the direction she had come from. I continue watching and see her quickly roll her cart down the hall past my room again…"boom,"……"hushed giggles".

I do believe the housekeepers are playing a game of chicken with their cleaning carts. =)

At lunch I decided to try my first New York pretzel. I went to the vendor, ordered my pretzel along with a "razzle dazzle" fruit smoothie and banana.

I hated the pretzel (way too salty) but the "razzle dazzle" was awesome.

I took my street lunch and sat on a bench to do some people watching…and low and behold, the D-Lister herself, Kathy Griffin comes walking down the sidewalk with an entourage of photographers behind her. They were apparently doing some kind of photo shoot with her standing in front of the same pretzel stand I got my salty pretzel from. Too funny!

Anyhow, as she was walking away, I was walking back toward the hotel and almost walked right into her!  She was walking with a HUGE attitude and wouldn't look anyone in the face. People were shouting that they loved her and she just kept walking, looking all pissed off about having to be out there. Freakin comedians.

Ok, so, after almost running into Kathy Griffin, I crossed the street to get back to my hotel (I had a walk signal) and a taxi just about hit me and then had the nerve to honk his horn at me!

An intense anger bore within me and before I realized what was happening, I had flipped that damn taxi driver the bird while yelling, "Watch it!!!!!"

Almost as quickly as the rage surfaced, it disappeared behind a veil of mortification. I could feel the blood rushing to my face. I hurriedly crossed the street and ran into my hotel, hoping and praying that nobody from the conference was out there to see my inner New Yorker.

After the conference Mathieu and I caught a shuttle to the airport. That was an interesting ride. It had just started to rain and thunderstorm and I thought our shuttle driver was going to hit at least 10 people. I could never drive in New York City.

We got to the airport and it was time to say goodbye to Mathieu. He hugged me and kissed me on each cheek (the French way) and we promised to keep in touch.

At the very moment, I'm sitting at the airport, watching the rain come down harder and harder and listening to the thunder and an announcement has just been made that three different flights have been cancelled.

My flight wasn't included in that list, but I'm not celebrating yet. The weather doesn't seem to be improving.

Flip! My flight has just been delayed. Damnit.


My flight has now been delayed a total of 5 times in the last hour and a half.

Currently, it's showing my departure for 10:20. We'll see if that happens.

I just want to get home.

I need to get the hell out of New York.

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