I made it! I'm in New York City - back where I belong!
I had a nice ride in on Amtrak's Acela Express, although this time it wasn't quite so express. We were 30 minutes late getting into Penn Station. But hey, I'm on vacation. I have all the time in the world!
I took a look at the line of people waiting for cabs outside the station and decided to hoof it to my hotel - about 14 blocks. It was a little chilly and drizzly, but the walk wasn't too bad. There's just something about walking as opposed to riding in a cab.
When you ride in a cab, you feel like a visitor. When you walk, you feel like you're a part of the city. And I was part of the teeming throng of humanity, as I dodged between people, dragging my suitcase, my knapsack perched precariously on top.
A couple of times, I didn't quite make it up the curb to the next street, and the knapsack and suitcase toppled over. I had to quickly get out of the way to avoid being crushed by the teeming throng of humanity.
A few blocks from my goal I stopped for a minute under the overhang of an office building to get a tissue. I looked inside the lobby and thought it looked new and modern and nice. When I was ready to go on, I stepped back and realized I had been standing right in front of - The New York Times! How cool is that!? I wanted to take a picture, but it was raining and damp and I'd only had a granola bar and a diet Pepsi since breakfast, so I trudged on.
I finally made it to my hotel, dropped my stuff off, and walked down to the Edison Coffee Shop, the site of my first Broadway meal a little over a year ago, when I came to see Kevin Spacey in A Moon for the Misbegotten. I had the same thing I ate last time - a turkey sandwich on rye. And it was real turkey, none of the foul-tasting processed deli meat you get in a lot of places. It comes with a tiny cup of coleslaw, and pickle and all of the spicy brown deli mustard you want. (And I'm a big mustard fan.)
The Edison was started after World War II by two Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivors, and it's a real Broadway hangout, or at least that's how all the framed newspaper clippings on the walls describe the place. It's frequented by producers and starving actors alike. A group of magicians gather there every week. Neil Simon even wrote a play about the Edison, called 42 Seconds from Broadway, because it is actually 42 second from the Great White Way.
Well, it's almost time to head out to the first show of my firstBroadway outing of 2008. I'm seeing the much acclaimed Passing Strange tonight. I'm really looking forward to taking a journey with rock musician Stew, and see where life leads him.
I'll report back later on whether I see the ghost of David Belasco!