I am waking up very early these days. I guess it is a result of getting so much sleep during the day. Not sure. I was awake around 6 and finally rose around 7. I was looking forward to a cup of coffee.

Got dressed, went out for a walk. The staff at the hotel are so nice. Not just a question of opening and closing doors. Very pleasant and helpful. There is a coffee shop across the street, small joint, thought I would give them a try. I had a coffee at the hotel the previous day while waiting for Janet to get back from her facial. It was really bad. The doorman recommended the shop across the street, except they were closed. I walked around a couple of blocks. Nothing was open. New York was asleep.

There are few things better in this world than a city waking up. I think that should be a subject for a bunch of pictures. Staff at restaurants prepare for the new day by cleaning the sidewalk in front of their stores. They not only sweep, but wash their sidewalks in preparation for the crowds. I remember people doing this in Iran, except they did it in the evenings in order to cool things down, as well as to wash things.

I took a few pictures, not a lot, and one of them may show up next Friday or something. I have to look at it a few more times before deciding. A bit of exhaustion, a bit of nothing really worthwhile in our neighbourhood. There are a lot of restaurants, stores everywhere, buildings that could use a lot of work, spaces for rent. The city is still vibrant and alive. Not as alive as it used to be, but alive.

I got back to the hotel at 8 in time for the coffee. Nothing was open before 8. Imagine that. On a Friday no less. I would have believed that for a weekend, not a weekday. Ordered a double espresso and banana cake. Both were good. Ate them outside the coffee shop. They had a table and two chairs set up. The slope in the sidewalk meant that you felt like you were falling off all the time. Ordered a coffee for Janet and went back to the hotel around 8:30. Janet was still asleep. She did not like her coffee much.

We finally left the hotel around 10 to start our adventure. Hunted down a place to have breakfast. Service is New York is spotty at best. Most places are good, a few are great and a lot are pretty mediocre. The staff barely talk to you. They had to wake up early to serve you. What more do you want? The staff members who actually deliver the food are different from the waiters who take the orders. The serving guy served out breakfast to the wrong table. I don;t know about you, but if I had ordered eggs over easy with bacon, and received an omelet instead, I would be just a tad suspicious of the food. Not this guy. Dove in and started eating. The waitress later apologized for the mix up and did not charge him for the meal.

Wait just a minute here. Serve me his dish and don’t charge me either. How come he does get charged for eating my breakfast? I had to wait a while longer for mine to be served. No fair.

I went to the local AT&T shop to see if I could get a pay as you go SIM card for my iPhone. No such thing. Anyway, the salesman says, the pay as you go is not worth it for the iPhone. You use up the amounts almost instantly because of the amount of traffic that the phone generates. What about other pay as you go options? He winces. You have to buy the phone. The plan is minimal. $4.00 for 200 text messages. That is really all I wanted the phone for anyways. A phone with a regular keyboard is $80. You kidding me? For pay as you go? Not worth it. Not for the remaining 2.5 days. Amazing how bereft one feels without a phone.

Don’t go all Crackberry on me. My first cell phone was a motorolla flip phone. a huge unit that looked like it was made for the military. Janet made me get it when I was taking a trip to Sault Ste. Marie on a training gig. Must have been about 15 years ago. I wanted one just to keep in touch with Janet through text messages. She is shopping, I am walking around. You get the idea.

Janet decides to shop in this Japanese store called Uniqlo. I looked for a place to sit down. All the benches within site of the changing rooms were taken. I sat on the stairs. This young girl comes up to me and says I am not allowed to sit on the stairs. I tell her I am not feeling well. She says I can go up the stairs or look for the other benches. I explain that the benches are occupied, and I cannot go up the stairs. She has no sympathy. There is an elevator and there are other benches. The stairs are very wide. I am not in anyone’s way. I express my disappointment in her attitude and leave the store. There are no benches in NY, but there are sprinkler systems you can sit on. I did, and waited for Janet to finish her shopping.

I came across this service called Hello Rewind. They will take your old T-Shirt and turn into a computer sleeve for $49.00. Proceeds of the sale got toward stopping the sex trade. You can read all about it at the link above. The idea is that you make the purchase online. They send you a small box into which you place your t-shirt. Six weeks later you have you own genuine unique computer sleeve. Only one small flaw in the ointment,as it were. Does not work in Canada. You can make the purchase. They cannot send you the box. You have to send in your t-shirt. I figured we would drop in on them since we were going to be there anyways.

Their offices were about 10 blocks away from the hotel located in one of those nondescript areas that permeate so many cities. The office was locate in a newly renovated building. The security consisted of this young lady working on a computer at a round table located in a very cramped lobby. She called the office, and they let us up. The elevator was very claustrophobic. Janet felt a little queasy by the time we got the sixth floor.

What a fantastic layout. There was a row of offices separated by glass panels. Looked a lot like a cow stable where the animals are herded into their spaces in a neat row. The offices looked like they were between 60 and 80 square feet. Enough for two people to work in. Our contact was in the last office. The spaces were all filled and the place was humming with work and energy. Everybody was young and either hard at work or chatting with their neighbours. Our contact was quite happy with the space. Large enough to work in when you are there. A lot of other your entrepreneurs meant a lot of connections for more business. He was involved int he marketing of Hello Rewind. Janet and I fell in love with the concept. Not sure I could work for very long in those cramped quarters, a great concept nevertheless.

I was a bit knackered and took a power nap before lunch.

We met with Steve Landsberg for lunch in an Italian joint. Very friendly, great food, though I could not eat much. My stomach has been very active, due I think, in part to the type of foods I have ingesting. a lot of greens, meats, ghetti, and so on. Time to give it a rest of sorts. Complicated in a city which serves such large helpings. Steve was great. Commented on how good I look.

More walk, more sleep, more shopping for Janet. Felt so bad for. Obligated to do all that shopping. Went out for dinner with some more friends.

The fantabulous Sarah Kosteki, Dex and his wonderful wife Amelia. I had heard rumours of Amelia before. We have had several meals with Dex in Toronto. She was always absent on one pretext or another. We began to doubt her very existence. All those stories, sure, if you insist. The reservation was for 6:00PM. She was not there. Finally showed up at 7:00. OK, she is real, and charming at that, nothing less expected from anyone who would marry Dex. The conversation was fluid, the company charming, the food great. You look great was the first thing Dex and Sarah said.

People, get used to it. I look great for someone with the big C etched on his forehead. Really. My hair is thin but growing back. You would never know there was anything wrong with me if you met me on the street.

Meal done, made our way back to the hotel for 10:00PM. I went to sleep almost instantly leaving Janet to struggle with the TV.

2 Responses to “New York Vacation – May 21, 2010”

  1. Hey Farokh,

    What a wonderful description of your travel in around New York City! Fantastic! I can’t believe New York city wakes up late, very odd. In Europe, it is the opposite (well 27 years ago as I remembered it.) You keep talking about your looks ‘with cancer’…..Mmmm, you look normal to me, as all your friends say the same as well. So believe us! (Now I haven’t seen you for a while, so maybe you have changed a bit but I doubt it.)

    This computer sleeve…..still trying to grasp it….I am a very visual person so I am having trouble grasping this concept.

    So where and when is the next trip planned?

    p.s. yes, let’s see some pics

  2. HI Farokh –

    Just checking in on you! I"m glad to see you were able to go to New York and enjoy it so much. Wonderful descriptions – I haven't been to New York for ages. I love the buzz of big cities and New York has its own energy – although obviously not enough of it in coffee shops before 8 a.m.


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