I planned my escape with my usual skill. Presume disaster. Presume a screw-up, a locked door, a slow elevator, traffic. Scan the skies, feel for rumbles below. And so:
Everything was packed, except for the things I would need in the morning. Clothes laid out on the spare bed - no, I can save time by putting them on hangers on the bathroom door. All electronics packed and stowed. A seamless sweep from the moment I get up until I get out the door.
Ah, but then what? I’d planned to Uber to Penn and take the train back to Newark. Not crazy about it, since there was one train, and while it seemed extremely unlikely I would miss is, it was possible. To my delight it turned out that Rob was going to Newark airport the same morning; he’d hired a ride, and if I could make it to his place by 6:45 AM, we were good.
I timed the distance on Google Maps, and it said 18 minutes. Say 20, then. Build in some time for the Uber driver to arrive at the end of the ten-minute window you get when you make a reservation in advance. Okay, that’s nailed down. The only thing to worry about now: oversleeping.
Of course, you set two alarms. But then you look at those horrible times - 5:30, 5:31 - and you wonder what if? So you set a third. Well, if you’re going to set three, you might as well set five. You look at the list of alarms, and it’s damning: here is a man who simply does not trust himself.
What happens, every time, is that you wake early out of fear of missing the alarm. I woke at 4:30, and was delighted to know I had another hour. Then I woke at 5:28, and thought, no point in catching 90 seconds of shut-eye. I felt a little cheated, but also ahead of the game. So, let us turn off the phone -
Message from UBER
Of course it was, because the information had been stolen the day I arrived in Newark and used it at the train kiosk. Well, let’s update it, fast!
Here the first alarm goes off.
Dismiss that, remember that the coffee was ready to go, hit the button, call up the Apple Card info, copy, go back to Uber . . . it cannot update at the moment, because I am using this card for a reservation. But - but - but -
I am informed that Charles, the driver, will be along in 15 minutes. So it’s good? I decided to switch payment to AMEX, only to discover that the card had expired. Right, right, I got that new one, simply because it’s METAL, and incrementally more cool than the rote plastic it replaced. (My aesthetic preference for Amex cards resides in the original, the one at the bottom of the rung. I think it’s the most attractive.) So I update the Amex info, switch it to primary payment, shower, grab my coffee, and head downstairs.
The driver is there at the start of the window, not the end, and the drive takes ten minutes or so instead of 20. I'm waaaay early. That’s fine. It's a nice bright Manhattan morn. I walk a few blocks to Starbucks, past a man curled in a storefront who is either sleeping or dead. A nice bright Manhattan morn.
Got my coffee, headed back to the stoop, sipped and read the news. Rob came down at 6:50 and we headed off to Newark Airport, which has the worst designator code: EWR. It’s like an expression of ambivalence and mild disgust.
Went through the security line behind a string of amateurs. To be fair, protocols can differ from airport to airport, but these were full-bottle-of-water grade amateurs. And this was an airport that doesn’t require electronics to be removed from the bag. Me? Perfect. I had taken my belt off long before I got to the line. I had emptied every pocket. Everything was in the bin and pointed in the right direction. I assumed the position like a pro - they didn’t even have to tell me how to stand! But they did anyway. They always do.
Anyway, I felt as if I should get an award at the end of all this. A gold star. A little badge I could wear for the day. EXPERT AIRPORT GUY.
Then off. Then home.
We'll end the week with some various shots.
By the Native American Museum:
Same sculpture, different group. Guess the architect!
Well, what do you know: a relic. Unless someone's reviving the tag, or it's being preserved.
Revs is a New York City graffiti artist whose wheat paste stickers, roller pieces, murals, sculptures, and spray-painted diary entries have earned him the reputation of an artist provocateur over the course of two decades. "Revs" is his tag name; his real name is unknown. Before adopting the tag name "Revs" he had used the tag name "Revlon;" in a 1993 New York Times interview he said he decided to shorten it to "Revs" following an epiphany he experienced after contemplating suicide on the Manhattan Bridge.
Worked with Cost, of course. Everyone knows that.
You can see the problem when everyone uses the same material and hue. But it does have an interesting quality.
Not a collage.
The Emery Roth across the street, the office building? It's being converted to residential.
I saw it several times a day, since this was the view from the elevator lobby.
It had many moods. It's a rare sight to see it between purposes. This view was never available before; the hotel came after the office building, and I assume the floors were full of workers.
As I said, it had many moods.
That concludes our visit to New York, and I hope it was somewhat interesting. Next week: back to normal!
Or not. We'll see.