Wednesday, November 22, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Two (Travel, Arrival)

I booked my flight with Delta as it was the only direct flight I to NYC I could find out of Gatwick for the time I wanted to leave. Ideally, I wanted to fly into Newark, but I had to settle for JFK. No biggie. So I get to the airport, planning to get away with just hand luggage. My bag is one inch bigger than the maximum dimensions allowed one way and one inch shorter another way, so the capacity is still the maximum allowed. However, unless your bag fits EXACTLY into this box they have at check in, you aren’t allowed to take it on the plane. So they made me check my bag. Bastards.

It then turned out to be Delta’s inaugural flight to JFK from Gatwick, so there is canap├ęs and cake at the departure gate, which is kind of fun. The flight itself is fine except it’s not quite full and I am lucky enough that the seat in front of me is unoccupied. So of course, the unspeakable cunt in the seat next to it, moves into the empty seat and then reclines and sprawls her ass across both seats for the entire flight. I spend 7 hours with my knees jammed pointedly in her back. It’s only when I land that things start to go a little haywire. It has never taken me more than twenty minutes to get through immigration and customs and then into a cab. But I’ve always flown BA up until now. As well as my flight from Gatwick, 7 other flights from Europe arrive AT THE SAME TIME. Consequently, the immigration line looks like the line for a theme park ride at the height of summer and it takes over an hour to get through. Fun. The line for cabs was similarly ridiculous. And then, there’s some crazy storm coming apparently (there’s a tornado watch in South Jersey and everything), so everyone is leaving work early and so Manhattan is gridlocked. Having landed at just before 2pm, I finally make it to my dear friend Eric’s office at 4:45pm.

Ah yes, let me just say a word about Eric. He’s been such a rock throughout the past year, I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him. I’m so excited to see him again I can’t hardly stand it. We immediately head over to Billy’s Bakery to indulge my craving for red velvet cake. He very sweetly buys me my slice and a cup of coffee. Then we wander up 8th Avenue to midtown and I try my luck at getting tickets for The Vertical Hour. Result, they have some partially obstructed view seats for $60. I am staying tonight with my equally dear friend Lottie, freshly moved to Noo Joizey from West Hollywood. I’m meeting her at 6:15pm at my favourite diner and have fooled her into thinking we’re seeing Spring Awakening. A pit stop at the Walter Kerr to say hi to another rock like friend, Jerby, pick up my cell phone charger and drop my bag in for him to look after and I’m at Renaissance Diner right on time.

It’s so exciting to see Lottie too. To find someone who is so on my wavelength about so much (though not of course everything) is a real rarity. We met 5 years ago in line at a Tori Amos concert and have been firm friends ever since. So we catch up on each other’s news and then before we know it, it’s time to head out to the theatre. We step outside to discover the much heralded rain storm has most definitely arrived. A short walk from 50th and 9th to 45th and 8th results in being absolutely soaked to the bone. Thankfully the seats directly in front of us are not sold as they’re too obstructed view-wise, so we get to hang our coats up and drip dry for the two and a half hours of the play.

And what of the play? Sadly, it’s not great. It was very weak and everything about it felt very forced. David Hare hates Americans so much that he can’t write a convincing American character anymore and thus poor Julianne Moore is struggling with some clumsy material. Through no fault of her own, she is acted off the stage by Bill Nighy. Somewhat more troubling for her is her character in it is in favour of the current conflict in Iraq and the kind of people who are going to go see the new David Hare play on Broadway aren’t going to be in favour of that. Consequently, they hate her character and her reception at the curtain call was muted, to say the least.

And then it’s time for the purchasing of the new laptop. After the horror of trying to get served in the Apple Store in Soho last summer, I decided it would be easier to go late at night to the new 5th Avenue Superstore. I was right. I am served with my new and beautiful iBook in moments. It’s so white and shiny and pretty. He needs a name though, something to reflect his streamlined beauty. I’m still thinking on it, all suggestions gratefully received. Slight hiccup in my card being declined so I had to call them and prove that it was me, I was in NY and I was trying to spend $1200. Not what you need when you’re heading into the 24th hour of being awake.

Then it’s back to Lottie’s absolutely enormous loft apartment in New Jersey. We catch up some more and I play with the new laptop and then suddenly it’s 2am and I am shattered. I crash out on the couch, safe in the knowledge that such tiredness overrules the jetlag and I’ll sleep right through to 9am at least. So I’m obviously thrilled when I wake up at 4am and despite my best efforts, I don’t go back to sleep….

To be continued.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I hear all the cool kids are naming their electronic gadgets Eric these days...