Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's a wonderful town

Just back from a great holiday in New York City with my mum and husband. Rob was on a course during which he got to meet the mayor, some disgruntled parents of a school about to be shut down in Harlem and lots of thrusting chief executive types, but Jackie and I were there strictly as tourists with a classic agenda – all the major buildings, landmarks and shopping we could pack into four days.

Here are my best bits:

Feeling full of hope on top of the Empire State Building the morning after the Obama win
On our first morning in New York and Obama’s first morning as President Elect, Mother and I headed out early to the Empire State Building. Not only was it amazing to get such a great view and literal perspective on where we were and what we might be able to see that week, it was also extra special feeling the city so full of hope and positivity.

OK and, to be honest, watching Sleepless in Seattle a million times over a million Christmasses together added to the excitement for the pair of us. Into the bargain, as we were so early and the town so empty (post marathon, post election, pre Christmas I guess), there was no queue at all. I did tire a little of my mum saying “I don’t remember Tom Hanks doing all this” as we snaked our way through the maze of empty queuing systems.

Feeling full of late night sandwiches with Robert in Sarges after seeing Gypsy on Broadway.
It was Friday night, we’d been out to see the musical Gypsy with the incredible Patti LuPone taking the lead, Rose; great music and story as ever – plus incredible orchestra and amazing acting from all the actors. And Robert was hungry.

Leaving Jackie in her room to a bag of Lays and a handful of Tanqueray miniatures (courtesy of very sweet BA steward, Shahid who discovered our trip was a birthday/Christmas treat), we changed into jeans and "sneakers" and headed out for eats from the city that never sleeps.

Sure enough within a matter of minutes we came across a great 24-hour Jewish deli/diner Sarges that served the most amazing sandwiches (the one pictured actually from breakfast there the next day) and fries and had the most charming staff I’ve ever come across in a restaurant at 12.45 am.

Being reminded of the futility of believing you can control anything on a rainy ferry back from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
This photo is part of a triptych. In the first, Jackie closed her eyes accidentally, in the second, Robert closed his eyes accidentally.

At this point I expressed my frustration with the pair of them in no uncertain terms. For the last time, I extended my arm, instructing them to concentrate, look in the camera and smile relaxedly like THEY WERE HAVING A GOOD TIME (italic caps = shouting through gritted teeth). You can see the resulting picture below.

My husband’s insistence on calmly and deliberately shutting his eyes expressly to frustrate me made me laugh with more tearful abandon than anything has done in a long time.

Enough personal soppy nonsense - back to work - and unfortunately not a time necessarily for the "best bits" final compilation.

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