31st: If any one far surpasses others, either in age, estate, or merit, yet would give place to one meaner than himself in his own lodging, the one ought not to accept it; so he, on the other hand, should not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice.
I'm a proud
LOST AND THE BIG APPLE
24 September 2004
It was perhaps not the wisest thing in the world to watch the premier episode of the new series, "Lost" right before leaving for the airport. The show opens with people screaming and crying, surrounded by the wreckage of their plane, which has blown apart and then fell to a deserted island. Great stuff to watch right before you board a plane!
I am here at Kinko's, a 15 minute walk from our hotel, where I am paying 30 cents a minute to type this journal entry, so I have to be quick! When I get home, I will go back to these entries and insert photos, just so I can keep a record for myself.!
We got to the airport in plenty of time, parked in the brand new garage, and proceeded to the JetBlue gate, where we discovered Paul's 2nd grade teacher and her husband, on their way to New York on the same plane to hear their daughter give a sermon at the big Presbyterian church in Manhattan. It was very weird seeing her since we have not seen her in about 15 years, though they live only half a block away. We did have a nice chat, and then sat there, awkwardly, our conversation having run its course, waiting the 45 minutes for the plane to board.!
The flight was uneventful. Jet Blue is a nice airline, with TV screens in every seat (with lots of uninteresting TV to watch, and no movies), and I was even able to sleep for a couple of hours.
We arrived at JFK right on time, at 7 a.m., NY time, which was 4 a.m. our body time.
My idea of going on vacation is always getting to the airport, hopping into a cab, and sitting back in luxury while the cabbie does all the work. Walt's idea is discovering how the public transportation works. I'm never happy schlepping luggage all over an airport and transferring many times and then walking from a station to the hotel, but actually this wasn't bad. The air tram took us right to the subway, we had one change of subway trains to make, and it let us out 2 blocks from our hotel, which was just fine....and $7 for the two of us vs. $50 or whatever it would have been for the cab was definitely a good thing!
We stopped en route for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts (Walt thought Jeri would appreciate that!) where we had an immediate cliche moment when a NYPD car pulled up and an officer rushed in to get donuts.
We are in the Colonial House Inn, in the heart of Chelsea. I recognized it immediately by the rainbow flag flying over the door. It's a charming little place that reminds us of the Barry House in London, only much smaller. When I made the reservation, the guy asked my "friend's" name. When I explained my "friend" was my husband, he was careful to point out that "this is Chelsea, you know, and we cater to a gay clinetele--but we accept anyone." I assured him it would be fine.
We were, of course, too early to check in, but they offered us breakfast anyway, and I changed my shoes before we left our luggage in the charming, but minuscule lounge. We were off in search of theatre for tonight.
My friend Michael had clued me in on discounts that were to be had by joining Playbill.com, and I'm so glad he did. I had copied off a few shows that I wanted to try to see. We called about one, "Forbidden Broadway," but that has no performance tonight, nor did "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change." But we saw that there was a performance of a new play, "Reckless" with Mary-Louise Parker and we thought we'd try to get tickets for that.
After an abortive attempt to get on the bus (they don't take dollar bills and we had to go find a place to buy a card), we finally made it down to 47th Street, where the box office for "Reckless" was not yet open. We wandered around Times Square, where we saw a guy dressed as Shrek, another dressed as a red lobster, and the famous nude cowboy (well, almost nude).
Everything about New York is oversized, from the huge posters to the huge buildings to the huge crowds. I felt like a country cousin wandering around, slack jaws, exclaiming "gorsh, Clem!"
We finally got back to the theatre and found a line forming, so we joined them. We discovered that tonight is the first preview performance of the play, and we were able to get tickets, so we're all set.
Then it was time for lunch. Shelly had told us that we had to have pizza in New York, so we found Mama Somebody's pizzeria and had a slice of plain cheese pizza. It reminded me of days of my childhood in San Francisco, where I would go with my father to the place where they made pizza. They made their own dough, we'd watch them toss it in the air and then roll it out, fix it with all the ingredients, and then bake in brick ovens. I'd forgotten that pizza used to taste like that. It was delicious.
We stopped at the tourist bureau, where we sent video messages to the kids and to me, since they were free--I hope they all arrived all right. Little 10 second videos.
We also found cards advertising "The Big Voice" there at the tourist bureau and the guy who was handing them out was impressed when I told him that we had traveled all the way from California to see the show. "Is it really good?" he asked. I told him we'd seen it in Chicago and enjoyed it so much that we had to see it in New York. I hope he decides to check it out! !
Next we hit the streets again and wandered over to Rockefeller Center so we could see where Katie, Matt, Al and Ann hang out every morning, and we toured the NBC gift shop, where we did NOT buy any "You're Fired!" souvenirs.
By this time we were both getting pretty tired, since we hadn't had much sleep, so after taking pictures of what would be the ice skating rink in winter (but now was filled with restaurants and a farmer's market), we headed back to 7th avenue to catch the bus back to the hotel.
We were able to check in and were given a room two floors up. No elevator, of course, but we took it slow. The room is lovely--utilitarian, but nicely utilitarian (always stay at a gay-run hotel!) We have two beds and a sink and that's it. The toilet is across from our door and the shower is down the hall a bit. But we were so glad to be there, finally.
We cranked up the air conditioning, and both collapsed and slept for about an hour and a half. I left Walt coming back to life after his nap and I walked up here. When I leave here we will grab a bite to eat and then head over to the theatre to see "Reckless."
On the whole, not a bad first day in New York. And no disasters yet. Be still my heart.
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