Manhattan 2005, part 3


A year ago this 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]

SoHo, SoBro, mofo

I’m off another retail errand or two, so it’s into the bowels of the subway system. I’m not sure I’ve ever taken the subway here (though I’ve taken plenty of other places, so no biggie). All I really need for the ride is a New York Times, which, ironically for me, is somewhat difficult to get.

I never seem to have enough change, and for some reason, I keep missing the zillion newsstands. But it shouldn’t be hard to get one in giant tunnel area beneath Rockefeller Plaza.

So I get my Metrocard (a 7-day pass, which is probably overkill), and wander for a paper. There’s a Krispy Kreme, a coffee shop, a drug store, a boutique. Weird — if you’re always taking the subway, I guess you could end up getting your wardrobe replacements underground.

But no paper.

After much searching, I find a newsstand. As I head back to the platform, I see a small one just off the main tunnel. Dammit.

It is even hotter waiting for the train, which isn’t surprising. We’re underground, there’s no circulation, and it’s 90 degrees up top.

soho.jpgBack on the street in Lower Manhattan, I wander around, heading past a row of restaurant equipment/supply shops (with signage in various languages, mind you). Somehow, I stumble into SoHo, on the right street, headed for the Apple store.

All I need are those little rubber pads that go under the laptop. The shipping is a ripoff, so hey, why not fly to New York, buy a $24 subway pass, walk 10 blocks to save six bucks.

Good plan.

The store is packed. Everyone is on a laptop or an iMac or a G5. Upstairs, at the so-called Genius Bar, the plasma screen says the next available appointment is 7:30 p.m., in seven hours. Oh good God.

I wait in line and tell the staffer what I need. “Oh, we only do the replacement here, we don’t sell the kit.” “But I just want the kit.”

Crap. I didn’t bring my laptop, and I sure as hell ain’t gonna wait on it.

I would’ve bought all of you Shuffles, but I was too pissed.

Getting into the heart of SoHo, I found some quaint boutiques known only locally: Ann Taylor, Levi’s, Banana Republic. Just like the fine cuisine around Times Square: Bennigan’s, TGIFriday’s, Applebee’s.

I did find a lovely stationery shop, along with another Fossil store. But I’m pleased I managed to avoid temptation. What good is living in New York if you blow it all on hats?

Trying it out

Back in the newsroom, I’m ready for my first evaluation. It’s reasonably painless, though I woulda shoulda coulda. No matter, on to the three stories for tonight’s tryout.

Again, things are humming along. It’ll be interesting to see how they play the Scrushy case.

Really, all I want is some ice cream. Specifically, Ben and Jerry’s about two doors down.

Instead, I settle for trail mix and a candy bar. As I wrap for the night (early again, but hopefully not a bad sign), the two guys running the desk invite me out for lunch tomorrow. Drat. Looks like I’ll have to postpone MOMA till Friday.

But another chance to talk about me and the Times and the sky so blue.

The ride home

I walk back a different way. I want a steak.

I check the menus at several places, ignoring the Zagat scores.

One place catches my eye, doing brisk business for the after-show crowd. I place my order and sit at the bar. If it weren’t a tryout, if it weren’t the end of a shift, if I weren’t in a suit and tie, I’d eat and out and drink and watch the world go by. As it is, I’m content to grab my to-go bag, dress down, cool off and watch “The Daily Show” in a dim living room with the A/C window unit grinding away.

So much to do, and yet, it’s halfway done. If not this trip, then next we meet.


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