Thursday, September 21, 2006

New York

"Good girls keep diaries...the bad girls don't have time to." -- Tallulah Bankhead

In all honesty, and probably to your great disappointment, I haven't exactly been as bad as Ms. Bankhead would have liked me to be, but I have been a busy little gal. Hence the perception that the blog has been stuck at September 3. Perhaps the best and most sharable of these developments would probably be my pre-9/11/06 trip to New York City. I hadn't been back to the city since the blizzard in February which is truly, appallingly, unacceptable. It won't happen again. Happily, for the first time in over a year, this visit featured beautiful, warm weather. I walked until my feet hurt, and two weeks later I still have sores. That's bad-ass.

Whither did I walk? Damn near everywhere. The delightful $20 Chinatown bus plunked us right in the middle of Herald Square, and I immediately started marching Uptown toward 30 Rock, finding myself in the middle of the belated-Labor Day parade as I went. 30 Rock and I shared a Godiva chocoalte drink in the Promenade, and in the end I couldn't really be all that mad at the building for making me lose my eyeglasses in the ladies' room.

Then off to the obligatory Met trip. I've decided that a 30 Rock stop and a Met stop are required components of each visit. Everything else is free to vary as it may. I reunited with London pal Crissie, whose cushy job copyediting historical novels and erotica for Penguin publishing got us in for free on the corporate sponsors' discount. Sweet. So there wasn't much pressure to squeeze the admission price worth out of the visit. We ambled about leisurely until we got hungry.

We went downtown for the NYU Victory Lap from Union Square to Houston Street and off to Brooklyn, where we walked through Prospect Park in search of soul food, but settled for Italian on 4th Avenue. For our entertainment, some black guys in garish cowboy outfits periodically galloped down the avenue on horses for no discernible reason. The evening was capped off by attending a comic book signing for an author I had no familiarity with, but who was offering free beer in the loading dock. Score.

Did you know that there's a funky solar-powered Cuban lunch truck that offers brunch and a flea market near Lafyette Street in Brooklyn? Neither did I, but old college pal Theo did. I still can't tell you where exactly it is, but if you Google any of the keywords above, you'll probably find it.
I went home that night, and the next day was the first time that I've been gainfully employed and had to go to work on 9/11. I was a bit concerned how this would go off, as previous run-ins this year with anniversary-related media have triggered unpleasant and sometimes embarrassing reactions. And despite having recoiled at the announcement that CNN, et. al would be replaying the coverage from five years ago, I found myself riveted to MSNBC's replay of the Today show. Some parts were especially hard to watch, and I had to turn it off and regroup. The moments of impact and collapse in particular triggered a touch of some of the good ol' dry heaves of yore. Good times. But when I got past that and started watching again, it was fascinating to see it all play out in real time. Although I remember exactly what I did and saw that day, it seemed strange to me that I could have fit it all into the time frame. It made a little more sense watching it play out when you knew what was coming. It was also interesting to be reminded of how little anyone knew about anything. One woman on the phone at the time of the second impact swore that there must be an air traffic control problem, which sounds positively stupid now, but I remember initially thinking it must have been a crazy accident as well when I first heard. I wouldn't recommend it to everybody, but there was a bit of perspective to be had from watching it again. It's not something I need to do every year, but after spending most of the morning watching it in my office, I found that the afternoon passed much more easily than I thought it would. Who knew?