roadtrip (41)

Out and about in the city

City footwork: My competitive running days are over, but all those years of training have given me the ability to move deftly through busy city streets. A lot of it is footwork. Also being able to shift your weight and spring left or right, ahead or backwards. Don’t obey traffic signals, but watch the traffic. Often I’ll do a quick speedwalk to get across in front of a lone car. I pretend like I’m a hunter out on the streets, shooting photos instead of game.

Architecture: The Seagram’s building (Mies van der Rohe, 1958), at Park and 52nd, still looks great

Map: Found this tiny map, fits easily in pocket, does the job for Manhattan: New Yorker’s Manhattan MiniMap

Sustenance:…”Guinness is good for you.”…Pescatore Italian seafood restaurant, 955 2nd (50th-51st) is my dream restaurant. Pasta is as good as it gets, reasonable prices..…Buttercup Bake Shop, 973 2nd, good latte, great cake…Le Pain Quotidien, a number of locations in NYC, recycled lumber community tables, artisan bread, best French toast I’ve ever had, hip workers, good vibes…Blue Ribbon Sushi, 119 Sullivan at Prince, had standing room only at 11:30 Tuesday night, v. hip looking.

Books: Stopped in at the Strand, 828 Broadway, venerable old bookstore, it was mobbed with book buyers (who haven’t heard that books are dead).

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Fleet’s in

It’s fleet week in NYC and there are white-clad sailors all over the city. On Thursday, from the cab on the way to the convention at the Javits Center), I saw the USS Iwo Jima coming up the Hudson, looking huge, with sailors lined up-side-by-side along the starboard and bow of the ship. Pretty spectacular.

Quiz: this photo could be from the ’40s, World War II-time, except for what item?

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The Reverend Horton Heat

The Rev is a mean guitar player, a master gunslinger and this 3-piece band sounds like a 5-piece. High energy,kick-out-the-jams, funny, rockin hillbilly/punk/blues and oh yes, rock and roll. I wandered into the Highline Ballroom last night having no idea what the band was like and I had a great time.

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Pod hotel, hipped-up remodel of Pickwick Arms

Lobby of Pod Hotel in Manhattan. They say: “High style and high tech converge at the Pod Hotel, which offers hip, convenient accommodations for the stylish and spendthrifty traveler. Formerly the Pickwick Arms, the hotel is located in the heart of New York City’s Midtown East neighborhood.”

I used to stay at the Pickwick Arms, it was inexpensive and just around the corner from Random House, my distributor for 30 years. The rooms are small.

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When she’s good, she’s very, very…

Lord, just stepping out of the hotel is like going into another dimension. Overdrive, baby. People here are so on-the-ball,  so alert. (This ain’t southern California.) There’s also a special chemistry when the weather is good. The city has its moods, and right now, good vibes are enhanced by comfortable weather. Once I was here in August on a Monday after a big parade; it was 95, high humidity, and the entire park smelled like piss. I went back to my hotel every hour or two to take a cold shower. Miserable. Locals were cranky. Another time I went for a run in slushy snow (at night) in January (my serious running days). Today, though, was sit-on-the-stoop or at an outdoor cafe weather.

Last night I went to Trattoria della Arte, across the street from Carnegie Hall, and sat at the bar, masterfully tended by Cynthia, whose judgment I invariably trust in what to order and drink. A woman was on the next stool and we started talking. She told Cynthia to bring me a plate and gave me a piece of her thin-crust pizza. She was from Amish country in Pennsylvania, on vacation from her 3 teenagers. The guy on the other side of me hears us talking and he’s also from Pennsylvania. A designer of stores and stage sets. The guy next to him has an iPad, and soon the 4 of us are yakkin it up like old friends. There’s an intimacy in NYC due to proximity, especially in restaurants, and many times I’ve had wonderful random encounters like this.

Afterwards walked down to the village and had vanilla ice cream and an espresso at Cafe Riggio (left).

I just got back from a massage with an extraordinary bodyworker. I’ve, yes, injured my left ankle, right hamstring in running, and needed some unlocking of scar tissue. I looked up “sports massage NYC” online and found Robin Rubenstein (646-337-8634) and as soon as she touched me I knew I was in good hands. I’ve been to tons of bodybworkers over the years, a necessity from a lifetime of physical activity, and Robin loosened tight muscles and got the chi flowing. Now it’s 10 PM and I’m going out into the warm night to find an Italian restaurant.

I think they’ll keep me down on the farm, but I sure do like Paree.

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