I’m coming for you, New York

My flight to New York wasn’t until the evening, so I had a whole day to kill. I spent a good portion of it going through the edits Nikki had provided on chapters I’d sent her the previous night. She’s such a star, though I fear I broke her with the number of chapters I sent through in one hit. We’ve come to a new arrangement whereby I still get the benefit of her wisdom and expertise, but she doesn’t end up knackered. Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend all day editing, which is actually what I really need to do. (Maybe going on holiday wasn’t a smart idea.)

I’d managed to rent our parking space to a woman in the building and on Monday we met so I could hand over the garage door remote and she could give me cheques. Unfortunately, the fob that comes with the remote which allows you to get into the building wasn’t working. As the property manager had gone home (it was 5:30 when we met), I promised I’d get it sorted on Tuesday and leave the remote at reception for her to collect.

When I went to talk to the property manager on Tuesday, he turned me over to the concierge/security guard to look into it. We then had one of those moments whereby he said the remote is registered and in the system but I said it doesn’t work. There was then that awful pause where neither quite knew what to do or say, in case one party suddenly found himself liable for a cost or was committed to some action. He said I’d have to talk to the property manager as it was likely the remote was broken (even though it opens the garage doors, but does not operate the lifts) and would need to be replaced – for about $75. Considering I don’t use it, I was less than thrilled about the possibility of having to pay for a new one.

I talked to the property manager again and he said he’d call someone about it and then call me. I got confirmation from him that he would call me that day as the new renter needed it that evening. I then went back upstairs, ate lunch, edited, finished packing, and decided I couldn’t sit and stare at my own words much longer. As it had by then been a couple of hours since I’d spoken to the property manager, I decided I’d go to the gym, stopping in to talk to him on the way to see how he’d progressed.

Luckily he was there and hadn’t gone home. He had called someone (just not called me) and long story short, he replaced the remote with another one, free of charge. Hooray! I went to the gym, came back, activated the fob, and left it for the woman to collect in the evening. That little bit of stress out the way, I went back upstairs, showered, dressed, zipped up my suitcase and set off to Royal York to meet Julian.

As I was about an hour early, I went into Starbucks for a cup of tea and took a seat to work more on my book. I didn’t get very far. I don’t know how all these people in Starbucks get any work done. While there’s not a cacophony, it’s not exactly mausoleum-quiet. There’s music on the radio, people are talking, and the coffee machines are hissing. I think I got through about five paragraphs before Julian showed up just before 5:30 and we left.

We waited for his parents to arrive so his Dad could come with us to the airport and then take Julian’s car home. We checked in at terminal 1, surprised at how quiet the place was. There was no queue at check-in, no queue at US border control, and no queue at security. We were through in about 15 minutes, Julian actually taking longer to get through border control than I did, which is weird because he’s Canadian.

With plenty of time to spare, we looked around duty free (we didn’t buy alcohol but we bought Toblerone), and then went for dinner at Molson’s. Two turkey club sandwiches and a lot of talking later, we headed to the gate and waited to board our 8:45 flight to New York. We boarded a little late so there wasn’t any room in the overhead bins for my carry-on suitcase. It got checked instead, which was fine as Julian had checked in luggage too.

We left on time, and then about 15 minutes into the flight, the captain comes online to say that we’ve hit a very good jet stream that’s going 400 km/h and we’re going to be arriving into New York early. How early? About 30 minutes early. Magic! I barely had time to get through another couple of paragraphs of my book.

We landed at LaGuardia, collected our bags and then went to wait for the Lincoln town car we’d booked to take us into Manhattan. No doubt it was more expensive than a cab, but it was comfy and we didn’t have to wait in line. The only downside was the guy had BO. Traffic was bad, but then again, I don’t think it’s ever good here. We got a lovely view of the Manhattan skyline as we drove towards Williamsburg Bridge. I’ve not seen the skyline at night in real life so it was quite pretty to see.

Once we’d dropped off our luggage, we headed down to Monster, a gay piano-bar (as opposed to a ‘gay piano’ bar) where we had some very strong drinks. I kid you not, my bourbon and coke was four-fifths bourbon, while Julian’s had about the same proportions except with gin and tonic. We were pretty merry by the time we left sometime around 1. The bar wasn’t all that busy but there were a few people in there, and a gaggle of men standing around the piano belting out showtunes. It was a fun place, not as cozy as Marie’s Crisis (another piano bar) but at least at Monster you can sit down. On the walk back we even found Gay St. I wonder how often that street sign gets stolen.

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