Monday, May 24, 2010

AFunny Thing Happened on the Way to the Jewish Book Council

I got to NY yesterday afternoon, and had dinner with a friend at a restaurant about a mile from my hotel. This being NY, naturally I walked. I blended in well with the native New Yorkers because I, too,was murmuring to myself, but in my case, I was rehearsing my presentation for this afternoon, with a stopwatch app running on my phone at the same time. Still coming in at about 2:10 or 2:15, and though I doubt there will be others who don't make the 2:00 limit, I WANT to make the limit. So I dropped a few clauses, turned some multi-syllabic words into monosyllabic ones. If I can remember the new edits, I should make the two minute limit - - with breathing. I followed the same routine walking back to my hotel, with one difference: I popped into a little market to pick up a zero-calorie drink. That was a big mistake.

Somehow, I came out of the market and retraced my steps, ie, I headed in the wrong direction. It was only because Rockefeller Center suddenly looked so familiar (I had taken a different route on the way to dinner) that I realized I was facing the wrong way. At that point, I didn't know which way was East or West, or North or South. I knew the hotel's address: 45 W., and knew that, in Manhattan, "W" refers to west of Fifth Avenue and "E" means east of Fifth Avenue. When I was finally pointed in the right direction -- downtown, I walked from Fifth to Sixth and found 45 W., but it wasn't the hotel. (Insert Twilight Zone sound effect, here). Now I was really confused, and not a little shaken up. But I'm willing to admit my mistake, so I went over to a cab driver, told him that I had 'misplaced' my hotel and could he direct me? He didn't have a clue. I stopped someone going into a high-rise apartment building -- clearly someone who lived there because she had a key, and asked her. No clue. Finally I went into a Holiday Inn, and the woman at the desk directed me to the hotel, which was on the next block. What I still don't understand, though, is why there are two "45 W." on the same block, and why one is on the east side and one on the left.

But I think I just figured out the answer: As I Mapquested the location for the Jewish Book Council presentations, about 3 miles away, I typed the Origin as the name of the hotel, rather than the address, and it was then I discovered it is actually on the East Side. So there's no 'Mystery Spot' in Manhattan, and the world is orderly. It is just I who was confused. I think later I'll find a Compass app. on my phone to keep me pointed in the right direction.

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