This was the view from one of the windows of my hotel room. The conference was held in the Affinia Manhattan on 7th Avenue. The marquee for Madison Square Gardens is on the left. The colorful lights of Times Square are at the end of the street. I loved the hotel. The rooms were spacious and included kitchenettes–great for storing cheesecake and leftovers.
Other than Times Square, I didn’t get pictures of the sights most tourists HAVE to take when they go to New York. Although this was my fourth trip, I still haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or the Empire State Building–and ESB was only four blocks away, and I could see it in the distance pretty much everywhere I walked! Next time, I’ll do the toursist thing, if only to get the pictures everyone’s supposed to take.
My pictures were of friends, an accident that occurred on the street below my hotel room window (more about that later!), and the subway. I even forgot to take pictures of my editors!!
But this first photo of the traffic jam was pretty much a theme. See that sea of yellow cabs? I think I know every driver. Not a one of them is born in New York, but every one of them is certifiably insane. They drive like kamikazes with a death wish. Myla strapped her seat belt on and bleated strangled screams as they dashed in and out of lanes and stomped their brakes to avoid bumpers and bodies. I treated our taxi adventures like amusement park rides and was thrilled with every honk, swear word, and profane gesture. I laughed wildly. Syliva Day’s taxi crashed on her way to see an editor, and I can tell you honestly I was disappointed it wasn’t me. Wierd, I know, and yes, Sylvia is fine–thank God.
But that’s just me. I find adventure in the oddest things. Take the rickshaws. In New York, when you can’t find a “real” taxi, you can take these tiny bicycle-pulled rickshaws. They’re even more fun than the taxis because they weave in and out without all the metal between you and the rest of the motorized traffic.
I convinced Myla to take one. She squealed; we both laughed hilariously, mostly because we felt super-sorry for the skinny dude who had to stand on his pedals to get our fat asses uphill. Don’t worry, he received a very generous tip.
Lastly, there’s the subway. Whoever said that New Yorkers are rude, never travelled with us. After Kate Duffy (an editor at Kensington) kindly showed us where and how to catch one, we had no problems. And when we needed help figuring out where we were and how to get to the next place, there were plenty of natives ready to help. There’s nothing like having a woman shout at the top of her lungs from the end of the next car down, “It’s your stop!!” She was very worried we’d miss our street. We even opened our purses to a man who looked homeless, but who showed us how to buy a subway card and swipe it at the turnstiles. I wish I had a picture of me looking fabulous, but after a day of schlepping it around a windy New York, I look pretty ragged–but doesn’t the subway look cool?