Monday, August 04, 2014

New York

I'm actually home on a Monday morning! It's very exciting. And I should be home all week. I had to restock the cupboards and fridge yesterday because I had to resort to mac and cheese from a box for Saturday dinner when I couldn't face another restaurant meal. But now I have good, nutritious food and maybe I can shed a few of the pounds I've discovered I put on this summer while eating out way too often.

The trip to New York was wonderful -- just long enough to feel like I was there, but not so long that I had time to totally wear myself out. The bus/subway thing for getting into and out of the city worked brilliantly, other than a few unexpected delays (they were doing some construction on the railways at one point that slowed things down and kept the express trains from running), but I think it was still faster than a cab would have been if there had been even the teeniest bit of traffic on the roads. I had to fly Spirit on the way there, and it was like flying on Greyhound, so I won't willingly do that again. It's not so much the airline as that it seems to attract people who don't fly often, so everything takes twice as long. Like, getting off the plane took forever and I wasn't even that far back.

I had lunch with my editor at a little French place just down the street from the Flatiron Building, then after checking into my hotel I went uptown to the Museum of the City of New York, where they had an exhibit on Gilded Age New York (research!). From there, I visited the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park, then did some general park wandering, ending up at Bethesda Terrace, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I'd been thinking of heading down to one of my favorite Italian restaurants for dinner, but I was tired and hungry and had been walking too much, so I splurged on dinner at the Loeb Boathouse overlooking the lake in the park. I had a salmon dish that was to die for and totally worth the money. It was also a lovely atmosphere, though the tables were so close together that I felt like I was a fifth wheel in what seemed to be an early-in-the-relationship date going on at the adjacent table about six inches away. They were holding hands across the table, but he seemed to be working way too hard to impress her and seemed to be hinting at wanting the relationship to be more than it was, while she was a little aloof, other than the handholding.

And then I went back to my hotel and crashed. I was staying at the Roosevelt, which is a 1920s hotel very near Grand Central. The lobby was spectacular, and the room wasn't bad for an old hotel in New York, though definitely wasn't the kind of hotel room that it's relaxing to lounge around in.

I spent Friday at the conference, where I picked up a few ideas, though the conference was aimed well below my career level (otherwise there would have been no point in having me speak). I think my session went well, but it was hard to get a sense of the crowd response. The session was in a gorgeous Jazz Age ballroom, so it may have been the most beautiful place I've ever spoken.

Then my flight home was delayed by weather, so I got in very late. I startled the parking shuttle driver, who thought the airline had lost my luggage. He couldn't believe that I had all my luggage, even if it was just for one night. I did acquire one book on the trip since I finished one of my airplane books on the plane and the bookstore in Grand Central had a book I've been looking for. Good thing, too, since all the delays meant I finished my other travel book before I got home.

And now I may actually be home for a while. I have a lot to get done this month, but I've told myself that if I accomplish the to-do list, I get to take an extended Labor Day weekend "staycation."

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