Wednesday, April 15

The Hardhat Diaries: Bright Lights, Big City

So when I said I wanted to go to Maine in the dead of the craziest winter ever, I knew I was insane. But that's just how I roll.

I knew in my head that while my mother thought it was a huge deal, what with all the snow and all, that it shouldn’t be a big deal actually getting there. MAAAAANNNN, was I wrong.

Of course, I picked the worst day of the week to fly north, as a big snow and ice storm hit NYC RIGHT as I landed, leaving me, but shockingly somehow not my luggage, unable to get to Bangor. That's right, I was left with NYC for a day and night, while my bag traveled from NYC to Detroit, Detroit to Boston, Boston to Bangor.

Once it finally registered that I was actually alone in NYC for a day and night and staying in the heart of Times Square, with nothing but my camera bag, a totebag from the flight up and my fur coat, I think I actually started to cry.

See, I was dressed for a day of traveling, not a day of romping about the city. Nevertheless, I made it work. I bought a subway pass, charged up my phone (only to have it die on me) grabbed some cash and headed to "experience" New York.

Since I was on my per diem, and hadn't budgeted for an NYC experience, I tried to "do it" fairly inexpensively. At lunchtime, I found myself in Little Italy having one of the most phenomenal meals of my life. For $9.95, I had a three course Italian meal that literally warmed me to the core.
 Honestly, why have I never thought to dust my pasta gravy with cayenne AND crushed red pepper? And, I won't even talk about toasted sesame seeds on an Italian loaf…needless to say, this hole-in-the-wall is highly recommended.

After my adventure to Little Italy, still full and happy from my two red wine glasses and pasta arabiatta, I meandered around Chinatown, trying not to vomit into the snow at the various items for sale.

I wandered over to the Public Library and enjoyed a few open exhibits, which is sadly where my phone decided to stop working, leaving me alone with my thoughts in the city that never sleeps. It was incredible. I moved at my own pace, I fantasized about a life I'll never live, and only sang "Welcome to New York" to myself once. Okay, twice.

I headed back to my room before dinner, I had been up since 4 a.m. for my flight, and needed to decide about a dinner plan of attack. I ended up choosing the Heartland Brewery around the corner from Times Square, where my meal was "fine." Some of the best restaurants in the world, and I have a "fine" dinner. Alas, I was plumb worn out and already stressed about a week of interviews, my lost bag and knowing that I would once again have to get up around 4 a.m. to make my flight.

Thankfully, after one last late night stroll to Times Square, and a request of a friend back home to selfie with the fur, I said goodnight and goodbye to the busiest place on Earth
…only to be caught up in a "Stop, Don't Shoot" protest.

God, I love my life. Even if I spent a solid hour staring at the New York times Building, willing myself to go inside and demand to speak to HR: #thehardhatdiaries aren't too shabby. 

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