In New York and Escrow

Well. This has been quite the week in our household. Two rounds of golf with the crazy babes (an annual trip) out of town, home, accepted an offer on the sale of our house, greeted Nancy, the dog sitter from Ridgecrest, and her sister, Ginger, from Georgia, finished my packing and left for Turkey yesterday as promised. Never a dull moment. If the house deal goes thru, we must be out by July 31. EEEKKKKK. But can’t we all count on things like this. Murphy’s Law, it’s known as.

We are wedged between monster buildings just around the corner from The New York Stock Exchange. A 7 story hotel among high-rise buildings. It’s location has advantages and disadvantages. The city gives off a constant hum as though a group of giant generators lay just below the cement…think turbines at Hoover Dam. It’s amazing in it’s consistency. The only noise that attracts attention are the occasional wale of a police sirens, an occasional rowdy yell of an inhabitant down below. Closing my eyes I imagine the surf of the Pacific roaring. And it was that sound that lulled me into a deep sleep midday in midtown. My body was upside down with the time change and lack of sleep yesterday. Oh, I did manage to sleep an ambien-induced sleep practically sitting straight up in the cattle car of the fuselage of coach class of our Delta 757. I barely remember the take off and struggled to wake up for the landing. A restless leg kept waking me up but the ambien, she was strong and kept putting me back under once the twitching stopped. The Rayman thus struggled with a half awake traveling princess off the airplane at JFK and into the sweet arms of terminal 1. We had managed to carry on one bag with wheels, a backpack, a rolling computer/everything but the kitchen sink type carry-on. We checked one big orange rolling suitcase which we now had to find. But a Peet’s coffee cried out and we stopped to get our caffeine fix which then required carrying cups and thus became a big pain in the arse.

Overlay on top of this scene the knowledge that it would cost us $52 by taxi, $17 by bus, and $7.50 by subway to get to our hotel, I pleaded with Ray to take the subway. He relented and things were going swimmingly well until we got lost and didn’t know whether to take the train on the left or ride side to reach our destination. Rayman was becoming agitated. And then we discovered that there was no elevator to lift us up to ground level which meant he had to pull up two suitcases and while doing so lost control of one of them (the heavy one), and it went tumbling down the stairs back to the platform. It is very interesting to see a seemingly calm man erupt so quickly into poisonous four-letter word spewing man. Something about hearing the words “”me, I’ll never do this again, I’m too damn old for this”… knitted together in one long sentence with a snarling face that tells me to shut up and act cheerful. After that passed, Rayman retrieved the fallen luggage and we went on our way and eventually found ourselves out of the subway and onto the quiet calm of the City…quiet except for his huffing and puffing. The was hardly anyone there. Saturday morning is a great time to be in uptown, or is it downtown? I’m not sure. But all the 1% had left town for the weekend and we had it almost to ourselves. Except for the filming crew for the new Walter Mitty movie starring Ben Stiller (Ben Stiller, really? Walter Mitty? I’m not convinced that he was the best guy for that role. Wasn’t Walter a hen-pecked type shoveling through life without enthusiasm?) Walter would never had a tirade in the subways, would he? No. So…the Rayman wasn’t a good casting choice either. But I digress.

The film crew was shooting car scenes with old cars. I wanted in the worst way to jump out unexpectedly into the street in the hopes of being captured in digital form securing my fame for posterity…but I was afraid of the unintended consequences on the Rayman as he was still in recovery mode. Silently we both stood watching the cars go forward, the director yelling, “Cut”. The cars backing up to their previous spot. My. These guys are meticulous.

It was too early to get into our room, but the lady behind the desk let us store our bags and out we went to find a bite to eat. This led us to Wall Street where I took some pictures which I shall add later because I FORGOT THE CAMERA CONNECTOR CABLE. and now have to go out and find one to buy. Which I will and add the pictures later…say tomorrow. In the meantime, we were standing in front of the American icon for the the rich, the NYSE, and I noticed a big brownish red doberman. That got a conversation started with the dog owner. “Does he live in an apartment?”, I asked. “Yes, I live in this building right here.”, he announced as he gestured his head toward the building behind and above us directly across from the NYSE. (How much could that cost, I wondered.) “Do you have doggie parks?”, I inquired. “Yes, but we frown on doggie parks. They are not clean. We prefer just walking our dog.”, he replied. “How about a beach?”, I continued. “Yes, there are beaches, but that’s not ideal. We owners let it be known that we don’t like dogs on the beach and so it is frowned on.” , he further explained. Blaise or Blaze was the female dog’s name. I wonder how it all works for the metro dog. Then he told us he will be taking the dog to Newport Beach on Thursday for some beach time. This dog knew how to pick it’s owner assuming she liked the travel. $150 each way please for the canine ticket. “oh, I’ve been flying her since she was a puppy so she’s used to traveling.” OMG. The 1% really know how to live. Below is a pic of a NYC dog park complete with fake tree and a real water feature.


While looking for a place to eat, we came across a bunch of vintage police cars as well as the General Lee. Guess they were there for the movie. You would find more car aficionados looking at vintage cars in Morro Bay than were there in Manhattan. NYers apparently aren’t into that sort of thing. The General Lee is pictured below along with an old vintage police car with interesting roof gear.




A nap ensued. Practically passed out but I only had one bloody Mary with my eggy quesadilla thingie I had for breakfast at a covered table in the alley behind our hotel. Not bad. Slept like a baby and so did the Rayman. He’d had a traumatic afternoon. After counting sheep, we showered, dressed and headed back to the subway. It was time to see Times Square. At this point the author must pause the forward button to do some reflection. Oh, a picture of me at brunch.


We were two of maybe five white people on the subway. The subway subterranean way of transport is supported by the fares of people of color. The white people are all above ground haling taxis, jumping into limos, boarding buses leaving people of color underground. It smacks of a caste system. Having said that, everyone we engaged with was helpful and pleasant. We were relieved not to have suitcases in tow. Free at last. So we rode the subway to 42nd Street, Times Square. What a place. A lot like Las Vegas without the legalized gambling. Wall to wall people doing silly things, taking pictures. In a way it was depressing. One big commercial ad. The signs were enormous. Read wasted electricity. The shops were gouache. Bubba’s Shrimp, Olive Garden, M&M’s. Give me Champs Elysees any day. I guess it is quintessentially all-American. But I found it over-the-top-commercial. The other reflection is that the GOP politicians don’t ride subways. First. They are white. Second, if they did ride they would discover all the invisibles who might vote in the future. Their GOP party of above grounders’ days are numbered if they keep going the way they are going. And it seems to me that that is why the GOP is doing everything they can to 1.) support the 1%. 2) suppress the voting rights of poor people and people of color 3) get all the laws change that give them all the advantages…because the people may rise up in the future and they will need all the anti-people rights laws they can get. It also occurred to me down under the earth that perhaps Lincoln was wrong. Perhaps he and the country should have let the south succeed. The south really controls the U.S. government today. The speaker of the House is from Ohio which isn’t too south, but the Speaker of the Senate is from the South. Both Bushes were from the south. The previous speakers of the House hailed from Georgia (Newt) and Alabama (Lott). LBJ was from the south. Carter was from the south. Clinton, south. Sam Rayburn from Texas was from the south. And when they weren’t in the majority… they were the minority leaders. The southern way of governing has been contaminating the whole direction of this country for years and years. And I do find many leaders from the south uneducated, mean spirited, hypocritical, religious in a bad way. They fight against equal rights. They did it then. They are doing it now. They rail against the “government” while they benefit from more tax dollars going to their states thereby being supported by the northern states. They influence our text books (creationism/anti science), they fight a woman’s right to choose. They are dead wrong on most issues and yet those merry band of mean spirited guys wield much more power than they should… given the population. It therefore means that their backward ways keep this country from progressing. And they do it while representing a lot less people than the say New York or California. So, I think we should invite them to leave. I’m tired of my CA taxes going to Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas et al. Invitation to leave the union has a nice ring to it. Having said all that, don’t fact check everything. I may have a detail wrong here and there. But on the whole, I think I’m right. But I digress.

Back up on the street there are hop-on-hop-off buses and we were going to take one but the sales guy was just all transmit, no receive and we ended up saying thanks but no thanks. Then there was the guy that had two tickets he wanted to sell because his friend was sick and didn’t want to go. Right. We passed on that offer. It smelled funny. The camera cord was missing and so I was on a mission to find a camera store. Finally, after blocks of walking a camera store appeared. The guy sold me a device that would solve my problems. Then about an hour later, it occurred to me that the cord might be in my camera carrier. About that time Rayman said, “After spending all that money on that camera gadget, I don’t want to hear anything from you about how expensive the cab is if I want to ride in the cab.” Silence was forthcoming. I got the drift.

Finally, we took the subway from Times Square to Grand Central to see the architecture and eat. We crawled into the Oyster Bar restaurant and had a wonderful meal of fresh fish and veggies. Oh, and a bottle of wine. And that’s when things got really interesting. We actually, sat down, relaxed and had a meaningful conversation. The Rayman explained to me how annoyed he was with the suitcase/subway/only $7.50 fare. Apparently, I was still in a fog of sorts. Think of it as an ambien hangover. While I was semi dazed and confused, he was struggling with the two bags while climbing the stairs and a woman grabbed the bottom of one of the bags and said, “Here, I’m going to help you with this.” “Dianna, the Rayman, explained, “I’m too damn old for this. I’m not 40 anymore and it is just too hard. I lift and strain things. You lift and strain things, think France. Then the back goes and that really puts a damper on vacation. I don’t want to do it that way anymore.” We lifted our wine glasses and toasted our new agreement. From now on, no more penny pinching when it comes to transporting heavy things. This maybe very good timing. Moving requires lifting heavy things…hiring that out…priceless. I think the move just got easier. Subway art and the Rayman, Times Square and moi followed by a view from our table at the Oyster Bar Restaurant.



The rest of the evening was lovely and on the way back to Wall Street on the subway, we met a couple (he offered me a seat which I accepted and I offered him one when it opened up next to me) from Istanbul. We are on the same flight tomorrow. Ain’t life great?

As a postscript, I did have the camera cord after all…I am now missing the battery charger. Son-of-a-biscuit.

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