New York Carrot and Stick

I think I’m safely out of New York’s clutches. The Portuguese coast is on the monitor so I can write that. It was touch and go for a while, it seemed like New York was trying to keep me. It was kind of a carrot and stick approach. Funny, it wasn’t so many years ago that New York was trying to get rid of me.

The carrot was planted early, on the bus ride into New York. In Providence, RI a fellow got on the bus and sat next to me for the long ride into NYC. Jason turned out to be a very interesting, very sweet and very smart guy (not bad to look at either which I gotta tell you is a rarity on an intercity bus!). We chatted the whole way in and met up a couple of times after too. It punctuated one of the great things about New York: you meet such interesting and diverse people. I mean, I met 4 filmmakers in 2 weeks. Not that filmmakers are inherently but you get the point. For a guy who just finished ‘What Should I Do With My Life’ (by Po Bronson), it opens up the mind to many possibilities. I was also reminded that I already have some great friends in New York. I managed to stay with 5 (!) of them during my 2 weeks in the city.

Of course, the other carrots of New York is the amazing scope of what’s happening here. The city is just so big that anything can happen there. I didn’t hurt either that September is a great time to be there. The weather is pleasant which makes all the difference. And a day on the beach in Fire Island or Sandyhook is only a few hours away. I flirted with the idea of living here again. But ultimately I wasn’t convinced. I know what a hassle it is to live there: incredibly expensive, noisy and everything just takes an extra effort to get done (don’t ask about the 4 hours I spent in a bank branch-urgh).

So here’s where NY wielded the stick. I got sick as a dog a few days before I was to fly to Spain. Three or four days of fever, extreme exhaustion, neck and shoulder muscle aches and my head so cloudy that I managed to launder my entire wallet when I was trying to get ready for the flight I didn’t end up taking. I made the smart move and changed my flight for 2 days later. It didn’t feel like any flu I’ve ever had. Wednesday I woke up with my head clearing and my muscle aches receding. On the way to the airport yesterday, I was reading an article on West Nile virus and there it was. My exact symptoms were described right down to the fact that 3-5 days later, the fever would clear up (although the article stated I have two weeks of low energy to look forward to). The article actually mentioned that an estimated 500,000 people get West Nile every year. We hear about the handful of deaths but I guess it’s now part of our landscape to stay.

Wednesday went well until I got to the train station to get the train to Newark Airport and there was an immediate announcement that there was a power failure to the whole Northeast corridor and all trains were cancelled. Yikes. Anyway, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, I got a bus, I got my plane and the fact that you’re receiving this indicates I made it to Spain (hey, that rhymes!).

And now, soon I’ll be arriving in Spain. I’m looking forward to being in a culture which appreciates the small things in life. New York is a little more big picture than that. Actually, I was really motivated to write that by how undrinkable drek this airline coffee is. We got a 7 course meal but the coffee tastes like dishwater. I don’t even want to consider that croissant knowing we were provisioned in New Jersey.

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