Well, it’s not Saturday night…it’s Friday night, but I just got home from my trip to New York a few hours ago, so I thought I’d pop my blog up here so I don’t miss my blog day (er…again…) And if you didn’t get that intro, you need to watch a little more Saturday Night Live…lol!
Anyway, my hubby had to fly out to New York on business last Sunday, and since I’m not going to RWA Nationals (the place where I would normally meet up with my agent and editor) this year, I horned in on his business trip to meet with them there instead. For various reasons I couldn’t leave with the hubby on Sunday, so a big thanks to Isabella Clayton for getting up at the butt-crack of dawn on Tuesday morning and driving me to the airport.
Now let me back up just a bit to tell you that I haven’t been to New York since I was sixteen-years-old, and that was to meet up with a band tour for the American Musical Ambassadors. (Yes, I was a band geek, and first chair clarinet for all those European countries we toured – Woo Hoo) Now as you can imagine, they didn’t let a bunch of young high school kids run wild in New York by themselves, so I didn’t really get to see much of New York then. So, I was pretty excited to finally get to come back and explore!
I had a pretty uneventful flight (although it was five and half freaking hours long) and I got an entire book read from front to back during that time, with some time to spare. I did get to chat a bit with the couple next to me who were coming to New York for their 30th wedding anniversary. And I kid you not – the couple right behind them were on the way to Germany for their 50th wedding anniversary…lol!
As you can imagine, everything looks MUCH smaller to me than it did when I was sixteen, but on the upside, since I’m a much more seasoned traveler than I was, it didn’t freak me out to hop into a cab and find my way to the hotel on 54th Street & Broadway in Manhattan. I’m sure I was gaping at everything like a total tourist, but after arguing with the cabbie that yes, I was sure my hotel was on 54th & Broadway, and not on 16th Street—we made decent time and I arrived at the front door to my hotel without incident. They even had my key ready at the desk since my hubby had told them I’d be checking in.
A perky doorman who looked barely old enough to drink grabbed my suitcase on his little wheeled contraption and I followed him upstairs to room 715—in fact he held the little envelope the front desk had given me with 715 written on it. We made it to the 7th floor and I followed him around and he tried the key in 716—which, shocker—didn’t work. I reminded him I was in 715 and he asked me if I was sure, so I reminded him about the envelope he still held in his hand. Only then was he convinced, and tried the key in 715. Voila! The door lock clicks and he pushes the door open to reveal my hubby in his boxers and nothing else laying on the bed watching TV. Now keep in mind, that throughout this entire episode, my hubby didn’t even move from his position in front of the air conditioner. (Granted, he had been doing heavy lifting all day getting ready for his AV <Audio Visual>show, and was trying to cool off, but it’s still funny.) Anyway, back to the bellman—he sees my hubby in his boxer-casual and turns to me and says, “There’s a guy in your room.” To which I reply, “It’s okay. That’s my husband.” Said bellman looks back and forth between us and then says, “Are you sure” LOL. I assure him that the half naked man in my room is in fact mine, and even though he looks a bit dubious (bellman not husband), once I give him his tip, he’s happy enough to leave.
A few hours later, we met up with my hubby’s co-workers and fellow AV guys for dinner at a local BBQ spot. Dinner was awesome and as is usual for an outing with these guys, the conversation was amusing and rambunctious with just a touch of raunchy. 🙂 Let’s just say if you are offended easily or can’t take some serious sarcasm and teasing, then you shouldn’t even try to hang out with this group—but I think they are a riot and I get along just fine. If you’ve ever read any of my books, you know sarcasm isn’t a hardship for me…lol!
Wednesday morning dawned and my hubby had to be at work at around 6am—shudder—and I wanted to get an early start, but that three hour time difference worked against me and I didn’t drag out of bed until about nine. But once I was ready, I was excited to get out and explore. I took the elevator down to the lobby with a spring in my step, even though I knew I was going to step into what the New Yorkers think of as nothing and I think of as a huge wall of stifling humidity (aka 40%). Hey—remember, I’m from Arizona, we only know what humidity means because it occurs in other places around the globe! Now I did check the weather report, and they said late afternoon showers, but since I expected to come back to the hotel on and off throughout the day to recover from my humidity overdose, I chose not to take my umbrella.
My first round of stops included the front of the David Letterman Theatre (which was right around the corner from the hotel), Rockefeller Center including the tiny icy rink (I thought it would be bigger), Times Square and most of the Theatre District. I even stopped at a great little Deli called Roxy for the freaking hugest Corned Beef sandwich (1 lb of meat) I’ve ever seen. However, I could only eat a quarter of the thing. But then it was time to head off for my tour of Kensington.
My editor, Audrey LaFehr, is on her honeymoon, so Hillary Sares was kind enough to step in and give me the grand tour. My preconceived notions of what the Kensington offices looked like were totally blown out of the water. Even though Kate Douglas told us when she visited, I guess the picture in my head hadn’t yet changed. The reality was one floor instead of several, and cubes and offices just like you’d find in most other Corporate America companies. I even got to see the so-called slush pile—which for Kensington only counts mail that comes in not addressed to any specific editor—there were only four or five envelopes in that pile. Audrey’s office has a bookshelf full of manuscripts, books etc, and Hillary’s is similar with tons of covers and lots of fun knick knacks everywhere. Unfortunately, Audrey’s assistant Amanda, wasn’t there and neither was Kristine who does the trade-sized covers, but I did get to see where they sit. And I even got to see the 2008/2009 schedule up on the wall, all in neat color-coded cards. Triangle of Seduction which is scheduled for August 2009 is up there, too! Woo Hoo! Everyone was very nice and it was terrific getting to sit and chat with Hillary while I was there. I’ll definitely have to go back when Audrey is in, and have some chat time with her as well.
After my Kensington tour was complete, I headed back toward Rockefeller center to go to the Top of the Rock conservatory. You know that picture of the 1930’s construction workers sitting on a beam that looks like it’s really high up in the middle of nowhere? That was taken while they were building Rockefeller Center. See, learn something new every day, I know I did. 🙂 After getting my ticket, I took the turbo elevator up 68 floors to the roof lookouts on the 69th and 70th floor. It’s basically a 360 degree view of New York and was totally and completely amazing! I can’t even begin to explain what it was like up there looking down over New York in all directions watching the soft fog of the impending storm move in. (Yes, this is the part where I realized I should’ve probably brought my umbrella.) It was sprinkling lightly while I was still breathing in the beauty of the 70th floor, by the time I made it back down to the 1st and threaded trough the maze of stores the exit dumps you out into rather than outside, it was pouring.
Oh yeah, did I mention I was wearing a white shirt? LOL. I’m a fast walker, but even skirting close to the edges of the buildings and under some of the awnings, by the time I got upstairs to my hotel room and looked in the mirror, I realized that half of Manhattan got to see the white with light green designs bra I was wearing under my white shirt. Gee—that shirt didn’t seem quite so plastered to me while I was speed walking through Manhattan! Oops!
After drying off I went to dinner with the AV guys again, and I know you’ll be shocked, but they wanted to go to Hooters. Yeah—eight guys and little old me go trooping into the Manhattan Hooters. I wasn’t a fan of going—not because I have any issues with the waitresses or etc, but because if I want, I can go to a Hooters just down the street from my house. So, in New York, I’d rather go somewhere that says New York to me. Let’s just say that by the end of the night, everyone wished they would’ve opted for something else. The service was far less than stellar. Truly scary and not an experience I wish to repeat. But hey—I guess more blog fodder even though I’m not going into detail.
Thursday morning started a little earlier than the day before and allowed me to get breakfast at a nearby restaurant while I perused my map and formed my plan of touristy visits. First on my list was Central Park. I’d seen it on TV in Sex and the City and in You’ve Got Mail, and now I would finally get to see the reality. My view the previous day from the Top of the Rock assured me that I wouldn’t be disappointed by how small the park was in person, and up close, it was everything and more than I had hoped. It was a tad less humid (only 30% – Woo Hoo!) but as an Arizonan I still carried around a bottle of water all day to stay hydrated. The first several hours were spent just walking around and exploring.
I started at Columbus Circle, which was a quick walk up from the hotel, and just followed the general flow of joggers and dog walkers. I think I just spent those hours absorbing all the beauty and nature around me, because I felt totally refreshed and ready for more. On my way back to the front, I decided to do a horse-drawn carriage ride, which tours you through the lower part of the park. Not a bad deal for around $40, and again, very relaxing. Once I was done there, I strolled along Central Park South and found a few souvenirs to bring back to the kiddos at home, and then found a fresh bottle of water and an obliging park bench to people watch and just be.
A quick walk back to the hotel to dump my purchases and I found a quaint little Italian place just down the street called Basso 56. They had a fixed price lunch for $18.50 with an amazing array of choices. I went with mushroom soup and sea bass with veggies – YUM!
After lunch, I was revved up and caught a cab up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’d never been to the Met and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I started with the Greek and Roman Art section—my favorite are the sculptures. There was a young boy with his mother looking at the statues nearby. And in that “silent” voice children have that tends to carry, he told his mother he bet that all the males portrayed in the statues were divorced. His mother, of course, asked him why he thought that. His answer? “Whenever you threaten to divorce Daddy, you always tell him you’ll rip off his penis, and all of these statues already have theirs broken off.”
I can tell you, I wasn’t the only one laughing in that wide open room! Ahh, children 🙂
Anyway, after that I hit the Egyptian section—which is AMAZING! Then the Armor, the American Decorative Arts and the Cloisters. My feet were throbbing by then, but I wished I would’ve had time to see the Musical Instruments, Photographs, European Sculptures, Drawings & Prints, Costumes Institute, and a few others. But maybe I’ll hit those on my next visit.
Next was a trip to the Toys R Us that has the huge Ferris Wheel inside it. The line was too long, or I would’ve ridden the thing! What can I say—I LOVE Ferris Wheels. Then I hit the Hershey’s store, the M&M store and bunch of other touristy places in that area. Then it was a quick cab ride off to Folio Literary Agency to meet with my agent, Paige Wheeler. Paige and I went just across the street for drinks and had a great time chatting and catching up. She was only in town for a few days this week, so I’m very glad we were able to hook up while I was there.
After a cab ride to the hotel and a quick rest, I saw my first New York flasher. He wasn’t wearing a trench coat—too hot, I guess. He just had some low slung shorts and boxers and as he was walking down the sidewalk toward me and the bevy of giggling college girls who happened to be walking behind me, he just popped the front of the shorts and boxers down and—well, to put it politely, me and all the girls were laughing our butts off. Let’s just say that Vienna sausage would be giving the guy more credit than he deserves. (poor guy!) Anyway, the female cop that saw him present his “attributes” seemed about as amused as we were with the “spectacle” but cuffed him anyway. LOL!
Next came some down time at the hotel and getting packed for the flight the next morning, and then a late dinner with the AV guys—Thai food this time. I had never had Thai food before, but I was able to find some non spicy stuff that was really pretty good, and the company was entertaining as always. Then it was a slow meander back to the hotel to finish getting packed for an early alarm clock.
Our flight was supposed to leave at 9:55 this morning, so we were ready to catch a cab at 7:30. However, I got one of those cell phone alerts from US Airways that our flight was delayed for “Operational Issues.” Since the hubby and I were already walking out the door, we caught our cab and were at the airport by 8am and through security by 8:15, where the rest of our group was told the plane was delayed because of “weather.” LOL! I had to laugh. Whatever the reason, the plane didn’t actually take off until 11:25am.
Yeah, gotta love that extra time to just hang out and poke around the airport…lol! But it wasn’t total loss, I did get some writing done, and read nearly an entire book on the flight home, which was filled with turbulence—the flight, not the book!
Now I’m home and not even unpacked yet, but I didn’t want to miss my blog day. So I hope you enjoyed my little slice of New York 🙂