Posted by: Michelle | April 23, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Hello, blog! It’s me… distracted and dizzy.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! I could blame the ususal suspects but the truth is I lack the focus and fortitude to sit still long enough to put together some coherent thoughts on life’s experiences. Oh, I’ve been busy alright… been there, done that a few times actually but then that pesky squirrel runs by and I’m off doing something else.

So what brings me here today? To be perfectly honest, it has nothing to do with Earth Day. That is what they call a coincidence (after all, who would celebrate Earth Day in New York City… no offense to New Yorkers who I’m sure embraces the “green” life with all the enthusasim as those tree hugging people in Oregon who live across the river from me.) I’m here because… well, because why not? I actually was in the mood to put some thoughts down (metaphorically on paper) so I thought I’d better get to typing before my brain shifts gears and moves on to something else.

So as I mentioned, I’m here in New York (second time this year and will be back again next week). Work is a funny thing sometimes. You can go a year or longer and not set foot in a New York/Chicago/LA kind of place, then all of a sudden, you are in spending more days in said city than you ever imagined (or sometimes wanted). But I never complain about coming to New York. To sound cliche, there is a special kind of energy that lives in this place. And I like it. There are even times I imagine living here but then I think the crowds and noise would wear me out. How do I know this? Because history tells me so. I usually make it three, four days tops before I want surgical intervention for the constant buzz.  Therefore I will be content to visit here take in the sights and sounds before they give me a headache and I’m ready to head back to the relatively calm and quiet of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Self talk: Stop looking at Twitter. Forget about the racket next door! You’ve seen this episode of Modern Family several times. Finish this blog. Tonight. I should be ironing. I can do this in one sitting. Okay, where was I again?

I broke a cardinal rule of traveling and left my headset on the plane. Sigh. The gentleman next to me distracted me with questions about Newark and connections as I was gathering up my belongings. I am smart enough to never use the seatback pocket for anything since I watched some news program that showed just how gross the stuff in that pocket was (think of all the people who don’t wash their hands after using the lavatory). However, I did utilize the little slot that’s located next to the seat annnnd that’s where I left it. This would be the second time I left headphones behind on the plane upon landing at Newark. Unfortunately for me, this meant another trip to the Grand Central Apple Store to buy another set.

I am only three blocks from Grand Central. Then I broke another travel rule. I had looked at the forecast, which called for rain. So naturally, despite the dark clouds, I left the hotel sans umbrella. You can guess the rest so I will spare you from that experience. Also, did you know that there are many bakeries in Grand Central? As I exited the Main Concourse – looking for the Apple Store, which was actually at the balcony level of the main concourse but whatever – I turned the corner and there it was. A big display case full of delicious looking cake! Did I mention my sweet tooth? Sorry, folks but I’m convinced it is genetics. And if you knew my family, you wouldn’t need any other scientific proof. To make a long story short, it was the biggest genuis bar filled store that I’ve ever seen. Everywhere you looked there was a geeky, nerdy, glasses-wearing “genuis” in a green (Earth Day) apple tee shirt anxiously waiting to assit you with taking a lot of your money for their shiny new technology objects. (I did stop and wonder why someone would essentially go to a train station to buy a Mac, but leave it to Apple to have a primo location to rake in the big bucks from locals and tourists alike.) The first one, I’ll call him “Wolowitz” took me over to a table and told me to have a seat. The table “genius”, I’ll call him “Sheldon” was busy helping other table guests with their various technology challenges. I sat and played with my iPhone, because let’s face it, what else would you do in an Apple Store? I certainly didn’t want to get sucked into another Apple product so I kept my head down and told myself to be content with what I have. The 5S isn’t that much better than the 5 and surely the 6 will be released sometime this fall. Once “Sheldon” got around to helping me, he had me enter my name and email on an app on his iPad. Then he wanted to see my headset. I told him it was probably on its way to Miami by now which really confused him. See, apparently “Wolowitz” thought I was having trouble with my headset. He missed the “need to replace my lost headset” part of the conversation but that’s probably because he was lusting after another genuis named “Bernadette.” Once “Sheldon” realized the error, he called over “Raj” who took me to the front of the line apologizing all the way for the inconvenience. Finally “Penny” got around to ringing up my small purchase (yes, the head set is expensive but relatively speaking, cheap in the world of Apple) and I was finally on my way.

Walking back to the hotel to take a work call, I was serenaded by sirens while taking in the sights, smells (way too many people smoke here) and all the hustle and bustle that exists in the city. There are people from all walks of life here. If you stood at the corner you would inevitability see the poorest homeless person to Richie Rich; a traveling business man too busy to appreciate the city; a group of young people from Europe talking excitedly in French/Spanish/German/Italian; an elderly couple who’s lived her all their life; a single mother with a small child screaming for candy in a stroller; the locals who seem oblivous to anything and everything; and the very eccentric person who gives this place its character. This is what I experienced this afternoon on the corner in about 90 seconds as I waited for the light to change. I always try to stay in a new place, in a different area to gain new experiences. This time, I’m about a block from the United Nations, about a half mile from the office building on Park Avenue where I’ll spend the next two days. So just how great is this city? It is certainly never boring! It’s full of stories and always able to make you love it a little more with every visit.

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