Saturday, November 11, 2006

new york: in the company of friends

i woke up this morning ready for what the day would bring. i worked on my computer for a few hours and then set out to meet some friends katy and i had made on our cruise to greece this past september. matt and irina live in a beautiful neighborhood close to central park. i arrived early and walked around the park, shooting images of golden leaves, watching children crunching them with their tiny feet, a man walking a purebred french bulldog huffing and puffing along, a son throwing a tennis ball to his mom, then to his dad. i smiled at the communal feeling emanating from this small borough of the city.

i received the grand tour of their house, complete with a backyard, attached to a communal backyard. their son dennis recounted how hung over he was and how that contributed to his growing hunger. we walked, the five of us 10 blocks to a quaint restaurant (see puertadelapanza for my thoughts on it). willy, their middle son rode on the broad, strong shoulders of matt as we walked. it was a perfect fall afternoon. i learned over lunch that in russia, they drink vodka straight and with a meal, never mixed (sober looks underlined this point from around the table). they commented that next time, when i have more time, they will take me to the russian nightclub and it will be quite an experience, which i can only imagine. we hugged and irina asked if i needed them to walk me to columbus, to which matt responded, "no she's fine. she'll get where she needs to go." i think he picked up on my inner new yorker verve while we were meandering the streets of greece.

rewind to this morning's work at the hotel: one of the boxes essential for my booth is missing. i had called the airline company four times already and their non-answer sent me over the edge this time. i called my boss and she got on it, like a hound dog sniffing out the prey. by the time lunch was finished, i had received a call from her with a budget from our travelers insurance and a list of locations to go get replacements for the booth items.

i must have walked 20 miles today (well not really) but i did hustle around the city in my red crocs, zipping from pottery barn to gracious home to the javits to the fabric store to the flower store back to javits and then back to gracious home. the booth will look beautiful and i'm glad that this mishap turned into a blessing so quickly.

i stopped in to bouchon bakery at time warner for a chocolate bouchon- an incredible treat of rich dark chocolate goodness. afterwards, i sailed to the upper east side to meet a colleague for dinner at my favorite veggie restaurant. while i waited for her, dr. andrew weil was exiting the restaurant. we had a creatively energizing discussion and such a yummy meal... can there be better things in life?


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