Monday, December 23, 2002
Hello there folks.
I have gone to New York and returned and I'll bet you didn't even notice. Now, if I blogged every day, you would notice. So you see, my procrastination does serve a noble purpose! It keeps my whereabouts hidden, and it also keeps you insane readers of this blog from flipping out every time I go on vacation.
I have only your best interests in mind.
Anyways, New York was... well, it was OK. I have this to say, first and foremost: I like cities. I am a city person. I like Montréal, I like Pittsburgh, I love Boston. I DO NOT like New York at Christmas.
It is too damn crowded. There were way too many people there. I suppose that it did not help that we were staying in one of the biggest damn hotels, right in the middle of Times Square. The only cool thing about this hotel was the view from our rooms. We were overlooking Times Square, so all we had to do was look out the window and we could see those giant video screens, and the huge line of people at the half-price theater ticket place, and all that good stuff. That was kinda cool.
So we went to Rockefeller Center and we saw the tree. Yes, it was big ('tho not as big as I had thought it was) and yes, it had lights on it. Very nice, very pretty, whatever. Not my thing. There were too many people there. There were too many people pretty much everywhere in that part of New York.
Later that night we went to see the Producers. You know. The play. It was actually really good. It was funny. It was not as good as I think RENT is, but it was a pretty damn good play nonetheless.
But the next day. The hotel.
The hotel was huge, and it was pretty much full. The elevator situation was truly lamentable. The most horrid elevator experience came as we were trying to leave. We were standing around with this other family, waiting for the elevator. The elevator did not come. We waited some more. The elevator did not come. We waited some more. No elevator.
Eventually my mother got fed up, so she and Eli left in search of the stairs. My dad and I decided to wait for the elevator, since we were on the 14th floor, and we didn't really feel like dragging our luggage down 14 flights of stairs. More waiting. Occasionally an elevator would stop and the doors would open, but every elevator that did this was packed full of people. Waiting.
After a while, the family waiting with us lost all patience and just shoved their way into a full elevator. We watched them go and silently wished them luck.
We waited some more. An elevator finally arrived that was not completely full, but it was going up, not down. We decided that it had to go down at some point, and we got in. As we did, a harassed-looking hotel employee with a luggage rack said, "You are trying to go down too?" It turns out that everyone in that elevator needed to go down. The elevator, inexplicably, was going up.
So we went up some floors, and the doors opened and the people waiting for the elevator saw that it was utterly full and so returned to their eternal wait. A few did as we had done, and just forced their way on in sheer exasperation. We never went more than 2 floors up or down at a time. Up a couple. Stop. Up a couple. Stop. After a while, we started going down. Down a couple. Stop. Down a couple. Stop. It was starting to get just a wee bit ridiculous.
These elevators, by the way, were those crazy 'scenic' elevators. You know, the ones that are glass and that look out over the hotel. In any event, we were circuitously making our way in a generally downward direction when I happened to glance at the elevator next to us. It was maybe one floor below us. In it, I saw the family who had been waiting with me and my dad on the 14th floor before they got fed up and hustled their way into an elevator. That had been, oh, hours ago.
I brought this to my dad's attention. We both shook our heads with amazement. Those poor people must have hit every floor coming up and going down to be where they were at that point, still in an elevator, trying vainly to reach the ground floor. The hotel had 48 floors, I think. Maybe 46. While we had been still waiting for an elevator, these poor souls had been going up and down without getting anywhere. They must have been mighty close to losing their minds utterly. Our hearts went out to them for a moment, and then we were absorbed once again in our own terrible plight.
By now we were starting to develop a sense of comradery towards those trapped in the elevator with us. After all, we were all suffering together. Strangers taken together as prisoners of war must feel the same sort of fellowship. A couple of people jammed into the back of our elevator had to get off at the 8th floor. When we eventually got there, a number of us had to exit the elevator so that they could get off. Our fellows who remained in the elevator held the spots for us against the hordes of slavering hotel guests who had been waiting on the 8th floor for an elevator. We were verily the fellowship of the elevator, and although we had once been like this unruly rabble waiting for an elevator, no more. We were now like a family, and we looked out for each other.
More slow movement, more stopping, more warding off of the angry multitudes waiting without fail on every floor.
Finally we managed to reach the ground floor. It had taken an eternity, plus several years. We all streamed out of the elevator, each vowing to never enter an elevator in this hotel again. People gasped with joy inconceivable at the freedom that was outside the elevator. My dad and I went over to my mom and brother, who were standing at the valet desk, waiting for the car.
It turns out that they had not gotten there that much in advance of us. The stairs had proved no less of an adventure than the elevators. It took them some time to actually find the stairwell, and when they finally did, there were endless stairs to descend. This took them several years, probably about the amount of time it took my dad and I to begin heading in a general southerly direction.
When they did finally reach the bottom of the stairs, they found themselves... in the kitchen. I suppose that the guests were not expected to use the stairs, not when the wonderful elevators were at their disposal.
My mom and Eli had met up with similarly lost young boy on the stairs, who could not find his way out. He kept on going up and down, but no exit was to be seen. There was no way out of the elevator. He continued on his search, while half my family went into the uncharted realms of the hotel kitchen.
By now, according to my brother, my mother was dissolving into somewhat hysterical fits of laughter. Fortunately, a kindly woman working in the kitchen took it upon herself to lead them out of the kitchen, and out of the hotel. If she had not done so, my mom and brother would probably still be wandering somewhere in the bowels of the hotel, searching for an exit.
They still got outside before we did.
So, that was our hotel tale. Then we got the car and we went to the Queens MoMA, which was really cool, because they had the original 'Persistance of Memory'!! You know, by Dali? The melting clocks? You do know which painting I mean.
They also had the original Chagall with the guy with the green face looking at the goat, and they had a gorgeous Rousseau, and some Matisses, and a great big Warhol, and a Pollock, and Jasper Johns, and Motherwell, and other cool stuff.
The best stuff there, though, was the surrealism stuff. That's my favorite. They had two Dalis and a few Magrittes. They also had a DiChirico. It was gloriousness incarnate. I got very overwrought with joy.
So that kind of made up for the hotel debacle.
Then we went to my great-aunt and-uncle's 50th wedding anniversary party, which was nice. Then we drove home.
And here I am.
Those are my stories. You love them.
Until the next.