Tag Archives: travel

NYC stories

Story #1.

There’s a certain kind of older lady in NYC.  She’s short, often slightly hunched.  Bright red lipstick.  Perfect coiffure.  Glasses one or two sizes too big for her face. Walks with a cane.  And always has by her side a minder — either an adult child, or a helper of some sort.

I love little old ladies like this.  They are indomitable.

And endemic on the East Side, especially adjacent to Central Park.

Story #2.

The taxi driver this morning tried to scam me.  I got in his cab.  “So you want the $45 flat rate to LaGuardia?”  I replied that there is now flat rate to LGA, and things escalated from there.  His actions were illegal.  I left his cab.  And I think the hotel bellman was in on the scam: fleece this guy, keep it off the meter, and split the money.

I ended up paying more than $45 for the trip, but I was in the cab legally, as a paying fare, with all rights.

Story #3.

American Airlines to Atlanta.  Gate announcement three times: “The door is closing.”  For a 6.25 a.m. flight, the door closes at 6.15 a.m.

At 6.16, a guy rushes up, not from the direction of the check-in hallway, but from elsewhere further down the terminal.  The door is closed.  He throws his cap, then a fit.  Police nearby intervene.

One minute later, a businessman of some sort arrives from the security check.  He is cordial and immediately booked standby on the next flight.

And at 6.24 a.m., yet another guy rushes up!

I don’t get it.  Oversleep?  OK.  But pushing the clock that much?  Foolish.  I’ll never know the reason, except that the first guy was in the airport already!

“The bestlaid schemes of mice and men oft go askew, and leave us with nothing but grief and pain for promised joy!”
~Robert Burns

 

Proud teacher

Ben Love and Jacob Flekier performed their senior showcase in New York City this week.  Both are voice students of mine at Webster University.

I’m so proud of these guys!

Photos from the showcase performance:

Also this trip: I caught up with Webster University Department of Music alumna Jennifer Johnson Cano, who is tearing it up on the opera and concert stage, including this week at the Metropolitan Opera.

Cufflinks & books

Many of my daylight hours on Tuesday were spent with cufflinks and books.

The Missing Link is a local store in Chelsea.  I’ve written about them before.

And I spent too much  . . . ahem, time . . . there on Tuesday, leaving with eleven new-to-me pairs of cufflinks.  A sampling:

I went through these trays to find eleven pairs that cried out for me:

I could have done some real damage, with $300-500 cufflinks available:

But I left happy!

After lunch of chicken and a biscuit . . .

I headed to the Grolier Club for two extraordinary exhibits. One was written up in the New York Times last week:

From the miniature book exhibit:

Monday in NYC

A full day!  11,415 steps, according to the iPhone.  That’s 3.6 miles of walking. I believe it, based on how my feet feel Monday evening.

Looking west from my hotel room window, morning and late afternoon:

And looking north on 8th Avenue:

Notice how the tall buildings do not cast a shadow north of Columbus Circle. That’s Central Park territory.

Happy Socks = happy man.

Yufei and I had drinks at The Aviary at the Mandarin Hotel on Columbus Circle.  And we had some incredibly good Iberico ham.

From my walk back to the hotel tonight:

I took Jennifer Johnson Cano to lunch on Monday, and also spent a couple of glorious hours at the New York City Public Library performing arts branch at Lincoln Center.  Walking across Lincoln Center plaza with Jennifer felt like something out of a movie. And I had drinks and a nosh with my former student Jordan Parente Monday evening.

From the Library today, Jerome Robbins‘ Lincoln Center Honors award:

Yufei reminded me of why I love NYC so much:

Art on Paper

Yufei took me on Sunday to an art fair, Art on Paper, at Pier 36 on the East River.  Artists and galleries ranged from around the world.

Prices were incredibly high for my budget.  But I saw some wonderful items!  My favorites were the Dave Eggers prints, and some work by John Gibson in mixed media.

That banging you hear?  A coconut juice bar nearby.

The John Gibson work that so entranced me:

ROW NYC: the saga

My NYC flights are usually morning ones, most often the 7.30 a.m. departure on Southwest to LGA.

But district solo/ensemble contest was Saturday, and I booked the 7.20 p.m. flight instead.  That meant arriving at LGA around 10.45 or 11 p.m.  Then waiting for luggage (‘overpacker’ is my usual middle name, and was this trip).  Then being shuttled to the remote-location taxi queue.  Then the trip to Manhattan via the Midtown Tunnel and across Manhattan and up 8th Ave.

Since I’m with a Webster group this trip, I’m at Webster’s usual NYC hotel, ROW NYC.

I finally arrived at the hotel at midnight.  The queue for the front desk took another 12 minutes.

And at 12.15 a.m. I arrived at room 819 . . . to find a Do Not Disturb sign on the door, and noises emitting from the room that suggested the room was not empty.

With luggage, I went back down to reception. From what I could tell from the conversation, Security never did go check the room, and after about 20 minutes I said something about going to the Hilton down the street.  (I was actively checking the Hilton app.)

And just like that, I’m put into a suite for the night, with clear instructions to leave that room on Sunday morning, check my luggage, and return Sunday afternoon for an upgraded room (from the original 819).

The hotel made the situation right, and took care of me.  The two inconveniences — waiting an hour on Saturday evening for a room, and moving the next day — both brought apologies, and also thanks from me for ‘making it right.’

And I’m now in a corner room on a high floor, watching the fog roll in over the Hudson River!