I went to NYC for work again this year during the last week of May. We took the train up. I got a bit of work and some reading done on the way, though the ride seemed longer than I’d remembered. They were doing construction on Penn Station, so we had a hard time figuring out where to go to stand in a taxi line. We ended up in the wrong place but there were a string of cabs and one took us to our hotel.
I checked into my hotel room. From the view out the window, I could see a cafe. I was starving, so I made my way there. I’d forgotten how expensive everything was in New York. But I noted that the cafe had a lot of breakfast options. I headed back to my room and spent the night working on the newsletter copy and going through one of my PHP/MySQL courses. I also watched the last episode of Arrested Development on Netflix. The hot spinach sandwich thing I had was WAY too spicy for me–thank goodness I bought two drinks along with it!
I had a big breakfast, knowing I wouldn’t be able to eat for a while. We took a cab to Monaco-Longe headquarters and had a very informative and productive meeting all morning about marketing and all the aspects that come with that. It was nice seeing the consultants again; it’s been almost a year since we launched the newly redesigned (I can’t believe it’s been so long).
Then we headed over to BEA to meet up with others from our office who had taken the train to NYC that morning. I almost teared up to see how empty the registration lines were mid-day. I asked a question of the guy in the bright green shirt holding the “Ask me a ?” sign. And then I headed into the exhibit hall to explore a little. They didn’t have free BEA totebags this year, which I’d counted on, but I did manage to talk my way into a totebag from one of the booths. I wanted a heavy-duty one, but couldn’t find any at the booths that CLEARLY had them. It like like all of BEA was conspiring to make me uncomfortable LOL I succumbed to hunger and hit the food court downstairs for some Chinese food. Then I met up with coworkers and explored more of BEA. I picked up some nice swag and took a lot of photos for work of signage, different areas, booth presentations, etc. The quiet reading/napping lounge was neat. The book remainders section was tempting. But a lot of the neat stuff there is available only to wholesalers.
We left BEA before it was over (I think we only spent about 3 hours there in total–I could have spent days) and walked many blocks to a restaurant. The bag on my shoulder was hurting me, I had a killer headache, and my stomach started acting up. I felt terribly nauseated by the time we got to the restaurant. I ordered some mashed potatoes and, slowly, made myself eat it. I felt better after a little while. After I broke away from my coworkers, I called my mother. Turns out my cat’s heath was getting worse and they ended up doing exploratory surgery on the little guy. They found a lot that was wrong but nothing that really explained why he was so sick. They took a biopsy and closed him back up and was recovering all right but still not eating yet. I wished I could have been back there with him; I felt not just helpless but physically not there for him.
I had a ticket to the opening night of Potted Potter. So after stalking the theater until it opened, I headed inside. My ticket was one of the cheap ones, for the second-to-last row. But because the performance didn’t sell out, we all got moved down to the beginning rows of the cheap seats. So I had an excellent view I wasn’t even planning on. The performance was quite entertaining. The guys did a great job of condensing all seven Harry Potter books into a 70 minute performance, though they sort of skimmed through my favorite, the third book. It was worth it, though, because the dragon for book four was absolutely outstanding. This was their first time back on this side of the pond in years and they quickly learned what jokes worked and which flopped a bit (our chocolate cake is of a different consistency, apparently). I enjoyed the performance and was glad to have had the opportunity to see it in NYC. You can see from the chalkboard that my house was significantly outnumbered in attendee representation–lots of brave Gryffindors seeing the show on its first night (my mark in Hufflepuff is the third mark, a yellow line that curves messily; I also added “Remus” in yellow ad my favorite character). Afterward, I walked a few blocks over to the Times Square area to get a cab and ran into a Potted Potter trashcan.
For one of the first times ever, I managed to hail a cab without too much difficulty. It was walkable, but not for a girl alone at night. I called home and got more details about Max. Then I spent the night almost completely unable to sleep because of worry.
I met up with coworkers for breakfast in the hotel cafe and had some fruit and a bagel that I shouldn’t have eaten because of my diet, but I wanted something less acidic for my stomach right before getting onto a train. We headed to the station and sat around for a long time. The way Penn Station handles the train schedule is so nerve-wracking. Once the train platform is announced, a few minutes before departure, everyone SPRINTS to the gate, causing a huge amount of unsafe chaos as people shove and bottleneck to get to the escalators. At any rate, we got seats together on the train and I spent most of the trip emailing people at work, working out a problem on the website and also finishing up a book on writing that I was reading for a swap. The trip home seemed faster than the one to NYC had.
I took the VRE home, once I figured out how. I got directions to the ticketing machines, which I’d apparently walked right past before. I found the system to be confusing, but I guess if you commute that way every day, it’s just normal. There was such a businessy culture on board, with all sorts of social rules about who gets to sit where and how to line up in order to get off the train at your stop. It was far more stressful than I had anticipated, and I was worried about doing the wrong thing (after I did two wrong things that were pointed out to me by fellow passengers lol). I walked home from the station because my car was in the shop. It was a nice walk, but I was tired and hot and I discovered that the sidewalk disappeared as soon as I got into my housing development! Oops! I made it home and immediately had something to drink and changed so that I could go pick my car up and then visit my cat who was being held at the vet so the tubes could give him nutrients.
Overall, the trip was far more stressful than I think it should have been. There were plenty of enjoyable moments and I learned a heck of a lot, so I’m glad I did it (and now I’m prepared if I ever need to take the VRE again), but the timing just wasn’t the best.