And am I excited! Born and raised in San Francisco, the most beautiful city in the US, but, but…it never fails when the cab crosses the river and we enter Manhattan, my pulse kicks up a few notches. I like to take the red eye, can never can sleep on an airplane anyway, get in to the hotel around 8AM. Half the time a room will be available, but if not, I check my backpack suitcase (Rick Steve’s model that fits easily in overhead bin — I’m never checking baggage on a flight again — got my gear stripped down) and hit the streets. Years ago I discovered that if I go for a run in the park, after about 45 minutes and sweating, the jet lag is side-stepped. I stay up until that night — no naps –and voila, I’m on NYC time.
I’ve probably been to NYC 50 times, used to go at least twice a year when Random House was our distributor. Hotels of note over the years: Gramercy Park Hotel in the ’70s; then for some years, the Pickwick Arms, in east ’60s, around the corner from Random with very small cheap (like $60) rooms. It’s been redone as the iPod or something. Then the Mayflower at the southwest corner of the park (my fave part of park), wonderful hotel, big rooms, European feel, good restaurant.
I hit the streets with zest. All the years of running training have given me manuevearble street skills. Watch the traffic, not the lights, I tell my kids. In my fanny pack, a camera, notebook, pen, phone, glasses, magnifying glass, etc. Last week I was walking around in the Valencia district in SF with friends, a great part of the city nowadays, but it seemed bleak in comparison with, say, the Village, with its trees and density of people and shops and restaurants.
Now as Hank Williams is singing Hey Good Lookin and it’s a windy clear day, I’m getting ready to go.
Watch for dispatches from NYC next week.