Packing and leaving at midnight turns out to be a rather peaceful way to travel. However, trying to sleep on an airplane with a non-reclining seat is less than restful. I think I slept for three hours, in fits and spurts. I awoke at 4 a.m. to find myself covered in tiny downy feathers which had escaped as I tortured my full-sized pillow in an effort to sleep. And nothing says “fashionable and grown-up” like black clothing covered with white fuzzy feathers.
A car service picked me up at 8:30 a.m. and delivered me to my hotel by 9:30 a.m. . . . at which point the woman at the front desk asked me how I intended to pay. I said, “Uh, my company is paying.” She insisted she need a Letter of Authorization. I telephoned my company contact person who said she’d be right over to make everything right.
Of course, I had hoped to make a first impression that did not involve smeary eyeliner and teeny feathers on my clothes. A girl can dream.
I did clean up and change clothes and then headed off to the office. Elizabeth showed me how to get a MetroCard and now I’m practically an expert at riding the subway. I worked until three (at which point my head actually exploded in an uncaffeinated display of terror). Then I came back to the hotel and waited for my friend to arrive.
She was here by 4 p.m. and off we went. We took the subway uptown, grabbed a quick bite to eat, walked around Times Square snapping pictures and then took a Night Tour of the city by a Grayline bus. Afterward, the tour director on the bus walked us to the subway and escorted us halfway to our destination, all while giving us tips for our remaining days.
We returned to our hotel, walked up the street and had some dinner.
And so ends my first day in New York City. I still cannot believe I’m here.