Monday, February 6, 2012

New York Day 1


The airline gods were smiling down on me today. Not only did they order up a clear, calm and warm day, they sat me next to a gorgeous dark-haired man in row 12. While we barely spoke, he had a warm smile and he offered to allow me to set my drink on his tray since my tray was broken. I imagined him extending that chivalry while helping me exit the plane in case we had to land in the Hudson River. We were on a U.S. Airways Airbus 320, after all.
Hottie Tray Man and his butt-hugging Levis stayed behind to take out his carry-on from the overhead bin while I walked off the plane. I saw him one more time getting in a cab. He looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. I have no doubt I’ll see him in a movie sometime and in the middle of the theater I’ll yell, “Oh my god! It’s Hottie Tray Man!”
I walked down the line to the next available cab. My driver was a very nice man, who I would guess is originally from somewhere in the Asian Pacific. He was helpful and kind and best of all, didn’t ask me a lot of questions. He even got me to my hotel in one piece without one swear word, and he let a woman cross in front of him at an intersection, smiling as he waved her through. He clearly has joy in his life.
We arrived at my hotel and he opened my door. I paid him in cash and he opened the trunk. The hotel bellman started to reach for my bag and the cab driver said, “No! I help you!” and he literally climbed into the trunk and lifted my bag out. I thanked him and went inside the hotel.
I was at the front desk checking in when the cab driver walked up and said, “Ma’am, are these yours? They were in the back seat.” He handed me my glasses and water bottle. The water bottle I could have lived without, but my glasses? No way! “Thank you, THANK YOU!” I said. He smiled. “Have a good day!” and he ran outside.(Later, in my room, I dug out my computer and looked up the cab company online. I sent an email to them about how kind and helpful driver 5393187 was. I hope they share it with him.)
The bellman and I went up to my room and when I walked in, I tried very hard not to gasp like a redneck. 
Not only is it bigger than my apartment, the drapes and sheers open via a button on the walls in the living room and bedroom, and the shower is the size of my car, equipped with two shower heads. 
You can bet tomorrow morning I’ll have both those babies going and I’ll do a Tom Cruise “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll” slide between the two, sans my socks, of course. 
Once I took in my surroundings, my Blackberry and I went out to lunch. We walked down W 55th and I spotted Benoit Restaurant and Bar. I was looking for a salad, something light. Four women were walking out of the restaurant and I asked them if the food there was good. “The salmon’s to die for!” “The chicken salad is fabulous!”
“Do they have salad salads?” I asked. Oh yes, they assured me.
“Thank you,” I said. As I opened the door to walk in, one of the women called out, “It’s very French!”
I didn’t realize she was talking to me because if I had, I’d not have gone in. But walk in I did and ask for a table for one. The host seated me and handed me a menu. Duck foie gras, pate en croute, escargots, cassoulet, choucroute… Uh oh. I really was in a French restaurant and I was totally lost.
I thought about leaving. Then the waiter came by and asked if I’d like to see the wine list. ‘You can do this, Lynn. You can find something on the menu to eat. You just have to ask a few questions.’
“Yes. Yes, I would, thank you,” I said, bringing out my best smile and manners.
I studied the menu like it was my medical terminology textbook. I ordered a glass of wine that was made at a winery on Long Island, and when he returned, I asked the waiter some questions. I explained I was a vegetarian and he was totally cool with helping me find things that weren’t meat based or cooked with meat broth. I told him the lentils sounded good, but he said they were prepared in chicken broth. He was very patient as I carefully chose the warm leeks vinaigrette hors d’oeuvre, the roasted beets hors d’oeuvres, and the Country Salad, sans the lardons, which I learned was bacon.
I didn’t know what to expect, but I was NOT disappointed. The hor d’oeuvres were fabulous. Small portions, but packed with flavor. Melted goat cheese is a rare treat for me. 
And the salad – with all its lovely frisee, a poached egg and tart mustard dressing – was really good. 
I ate the whole thing, all the while staying mindful of the fact that I eat salad like a cow chewing cud. I don’t mean to, but I’m pretty obnoxious with my greens. (Just an FYI in case you ever meet me and we go out for a meal.) I finished my meal, paid my bill, and headed toward 5th Ave.
Maybe it’s the Minnesotan in me, but I was out walking around Manhattan in the 50-degree weather with just a sweater for warmth. Everyone else, I swear, had on thick black coats, hats, boots, and scarves. I felt a little conspicuous, as I usually do in New York. When I’m here, I never feel as cool as the other kids. Is there no one here who doesn’t look hip and together?
Obviously I’ve brought clothes for tomorrow’s taping, but 15 minutes walking on 5th Ave gave me a complex. “Your clothes are NOT good enough. You’ll look like a dork.” Oh yeah…that FFG/inner negative voice was really enjoying tormenting me in Manhattan today. I finally said enough was enough, I needed some time to gather my thoughts. I walked back to my hotel via an organic market where I picked up sushi, light cheese, a box of crackers, fruit and an awesome assortment of raw veggies that included baby zucchini and snow peas. I’m set for dinner and breakfast tomorrow. It wasn’t easy, however, stuffing everything in the mini bar in my room.
I’m tired, but settled. Being alone here in my room, writing, reading, sending out a few texts to my family, I am in a place mentally to be most effective tomorrow. I’ll get up, work out, and then eat a piece of leftover sushi or two, as well as the big orange I bought and a piece of cheese. I’m meeting the crew at 10:30 in the clothes that I brought that may not be all New York and high heels, but it will represent me and my body and the maintenance message I hope to relay to the good folks in Australia.
…..deep breath, Lynn…..deep breath
Me chillaxin' in uncool but very comfy clothes :)


11 comments:

  1. Your hotel is gorgeous.where are you staying?

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  2. I think you are cool...

    Have a fabulous time tomorrow!!!

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  3. How exciting and wonderful! Enjoy every minute...

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  4. It's working for me now!! lol....just wanted to thank you for keeping us abreast of what's going on ... I know you are going to do GREAT tomorrow...remember to have fun too!

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  5. Well I'm glad to see that our Aussie 60 Minutes is putting you up in style. I can't wait to see your interview. Have a fantastic time.

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  6. Awesome - I love it, and I love that you are enjoying everything!!! No worries (mate)(there, I spoke Aussie to you) - you will look fab. Can't wait to hear more.

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  7. I am heading to NY today via the train and I am now thinking about you this morning. You will do fantastic this morning I am sure and can't wait to hear more about the show and outcome. Take a sigh, smile and enjoy this wonderful day! You keep me motivated and for that I sincerely thank you.

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  8. What a fun adventure Lynn! You'll do great!

    Love,
    Pam

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  9. Enjoy the experience, Lynn! Way to go!

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  10. Oh goodie! I love to read about your trips! You are going to be speaking to Australians, not New Yorkers. You always look great to me!

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