I love New York and not only because editors want to see my book! The trip was a success – more on that in future posts. This time, I walked everywhere and though most of my time was taken up with meetings, I still caught up on a few of the sites I’d neglected over the years.
Stayed at the Library Hotel (card catalog behind front desk, rooms numbered according to the Dewey Dec system; I stayed in the Encyclopedia Room on Gen Knowledge floor) right around the corner from Grand Central Station, so one night was dinner at the Oyster Bar. Took an hour to explore the NY Public Library and late on a foggy night, I finally made it to the Empire State Building where they asked me at least six times if I was aware there was zero visibility. Yes, I get it. I saw the view from Windows on the World years ago and want to preserve that as my only ‘view from the top’ in NY.
The top of the ESB in fog is cool as clouds swirls around lit by colored lights – not for most, I suppose – but I heard the greatest funny/macabre exchange between an Australian tourist and a former NYC cop who works there that wouldn’t have happened at any other time. Certainly not in the crowds there on a clear night.
There were less than a dozen of us on the observation deck. There was the anecdote about the guy insisting it was snowing in 70 degree June weather (no buddy, that’s probably asbestos blowing which is one reason it’s against the law to stick your face through the grate – tourist continued to insist it was snow) Anyway, the main exchange with the Aussie concerned jumpers and I debated about pointing out the enormous bad taste in addressing this with a NYC cop post 9/11, but obviously the cop could hold his own. Not much is going faze New York’s finest who, not surprisingly, got the last word. When the tourist said he’d heard an angel takes your soul right before you hit but would miss you in this fog, the cop – with perfect timing – looked at him and said, ‘the fog don’t go all the way to the ground; I figure he’ll get you around (floor) 26 or so.’ On that note, I headed for the elevator.