Manhattan 2005, part 7


A year ago last month, The New York Times invited me to try out as a copy editor. I filed these travel dispatches originally by e-mail. [part one | two | three | four | five | six | seven]

Leaving on a jet plane

After staying up late getting the apartment cleaned up, I’m ready for a short early morning trip to Central Park. At least I finally caught some public access, which at four in the morning is a loop of escort commercials with nudity and carefully edited sex.

Public access, indeed.

Naturally, I’ve got less than an hour, so I grab a muffin from the cafe and walk the eight blocks to the park.

It smells like horses. Unlike the streets, that often smell like piss.

I wander in, but don’t really have time to see the carousel, or the other sites. I can’t even find a bench, so I keep walking, juggling a half-eaten muffin, a semi-warm Diet Pepsi and a Village Voice.

When I do sit down, I have exactly 11 minutes to enjoy the scenery before heading back. Go.

It is a great Saturday morning, but I am tired and haven’t really seen the park, It’s like going to the lobby of the Louvre — you ain’t seen nothing.

Oh well, gotta save something for the next trip.

Heading back, I grab my stuff, drop off the keys and head for the subway. Yep, screw the cab. I can do this whole subway/bus thing right to LaGuardia.

Like clockwork, I hop the metro, get off at the wrong stop, get back on, then head down the steps to the bus stop. Perfect timing, as the bus pulls up. I stumble over the other bags in the aisle and plop down in the back. The hapless family getting on before me couldn’t get the metrocards together and ticked off the bus driver.

A few minutes later, we’re at the Delta terminal, I’m checked in and ready to go.

With two hours to spare.

The gates are crowded, so I sit at the gate one over, plugged in, mostly tuned out.

I don’t even look out the window as we take off. I’m buried in a new book, about the New York Times and the Jayson Blair fiasco. My watch is already back on Central time.

After a week, the Big Apple seems much bigger, and a little smaller.


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