Tag Archives: nyc

The Starwood Elevator Dream

I’ve talked about my recurring dreams about elevators in the past. I’ve also talked about how in my dreams, I tend to be afraid of heights while in real life, I have no fear of height or elevators. Last night I had what I consider to be an “anxiety” dream. Again, it’s probably nothing more than my brain committing short term memory to long term memory, but with anxiety involved, it evolves a bit more dramatically.

The dream involved the dinner this weekend and a W hotel in NYC. In the first part of the dream, I found out that my brother and his family’s flight was delayed and they wouldn’t make the dinner. I was really upset and I hung up on whoever I was talking to on the phone. (I rarely get very angry so clearly this was a dream.) Norm had reserved rooms for several of us at a W hotel in NYC (something he was actually kind enough to do). Me and someone else headed to the hotel and found that it was still under construction. A foreman had to take us up to our room in one of those temporary construction elevators. Turns out our hotel room was on the 98th floor and we had a long ride up in a rickety elevator, while the foreman explained just how rickety it was.

But it gets worse. The elevator only went to the 97th floor. To get to our room on the 98th floor, we had to use a hook to pull ourselves up onto the roof of the elevator and then climb into the room. Unbelievably, I did this, with all of Manhattan spread out below me. The person who I was with got half way up and got stuff. I went to grab her hand and she was basically dangling 98 floors above the ground with no one but me keeping her from falling. I finally got her into the room.

We had to stay on the west side of the room because if we moved to the east side, the building started to tilt in that direction and we were afraid it would tip over. What’s worse, there was no easy way to get back into the elevator car without making a dangerous climb 98 floors above the ground, so we were essentially stuck.

Anyway, that was the dream–maybe a low grade fever was involved in it’s manifestation, I don’t know. But I hate dreams like that.

Second Annual Rainbow Room Birthday Bash!

Last year, I hosted a dinner at the Rainbow Room for some friends as a kind of birthday celebration. I never really celebrate my birthday, but last year, I figured, why not. It was so much fun last year, that I’m doing it again this year, and we are now just over a week away from the Second Annual Rainbow Room Birthday Bash.

Last year there were five of us, but this year, we’re doubling in size! In addition to me, we’ll have AJ and Denisse in attendance as well as jen_ashlock, jkashlock, the inseperable vickyandnorm, strausmouse and his very pregnant wife rmstraus, and kevnyc.

I’m really looking forward to it. The food and service was outstanding when we were there last year. All the guys have to dress up for dinner, which on rare occasions like these, can be fun. We’re going out for drinks before hand and hanging out afterward.

So all of you who are attending: I’ll see you one week from Saturday!

(And just two weeks after that is vickyandnorm‘s Big Disney Wedding in Orlando!)

Fun times!

Big shot

When last I was in New York, I walked one evening down 2nd Avenue with Jen, Jason and Jenn on our way back to Jen and Jason’s apartment. While walking, we passed by Elaine’s and I, said “Hey, isn’t that Elaine’s from the Billy Joel song?” But I couldn’t remember which song it was (I thought it might have been “Uptown Girl”).

Well, listening to my iPod on shuffle mode, Billy Joel’s “Big Shot” just came on, and shortly into the second verse of the song is the line

And they were all impressed with your Holsten dress, and the people that you knew at Elaine’s…

I feel much better knowing which song it was mentioned in.

What to do while stuck in NYC for an extra day

First, jkashlock and I had a big breakfast. Remember that I didn’t eat before my workout this morning, so I was pretty hungry when it was all over. We went to a little diner on the corner of 85th and 3rd and had eggs and bacon and hash browns and toast. Then we decided to do some book shopping. We went down to Strand Books. I’ve been to Strand many times and I’ve never been impressed with their science fiction selection, but with a dearth of used book shops remaining, it ranks as the only remaining large used bookstore that I know of in the city. I picked up two books while there: Son of Man by Robert Silverberg, and Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Next we walked to the other side of Union Square and headed briefly into a sporting goods store so that Jason could buy an $18 rubber band.

Then we went into Barnes and Noble. I didn’t buy any books there, but Jason did. All told, Jason got five books, compared to my two.

We headed into the subway and up toward Times Square for our next engagement: lunch with jen_ashlock (who was, apparently, one of the few people in the city who had to work today). We had a lunch at a hidden pizza place on 38th or 39th, and the pizza was quite good.

By the time lunch was over, we felt is was wise to head back home and catch up on some of our reading. But as we passed the apartment, I remembered my Cold Stone gift card, and we made a detour to Cold Stone so that I could get myself a large chocolate shake. Shake in hand, we climbed the five flights of stairs back to Jen and Jason’s apartment where I promptly fell asleep until just a few minutes ago.

And so there you have it, all the excitement one can dream of packing into an extra day while stuck in New York City!

P.S.: frustrated with the seat I was assigned for my 7:30 flight back home, I realized that the plane was a 757 and decided to upgrade my seat. The upgrade went through no problem, so while I might be getting home late, I am nevertheless flying first class.

Stuck in NYC

I just found out that my flight at noon today was canceled due to weather. The weather doesn’t seem bad here right now, but maybe it will be later. Anyway, I called and the earliest I could get re-booked for was 7:30 tonight. I tried rule 240, but because it’s weather-related, all they can do is book me on the next available United flight. So I guess I’ll be spending the day hanging around NYC.

Workout #34 (Cardio)

I worked out with Jen and Jason this morning at their gym in New York. I skipped my workout on Saturday, but I was back to my routine this morning. I didn’t have a chance to eat beforehand, but I still did okay.

Today’s workout

In the city with friends

I didn’t go the gym on Saturday, but it wouldn’t have worked out, given the time constraints that I had. Instead, I went out to get some wrapping paper for Norm and Vicky’s gifts and then jen_ashlock was kind enough to help wrap the gifts, as I am a terrible wrapper. Now that Norm and Vicky have their gifts, I can tell you all that one of them was a set of note cards with their names on them, and matching envelopes with their new address. The cards were designed and created by Jen and Jenn and their company, Buttercream Cards and I thought they came out really well.

At noon on Saturday, I headed over to DTUT, which is just around the corner from where Jen and Jason live. That’s where Norm and Vicky’s “Jack and Jill” wedding shower took place. strausmouse and Ryane were already there, as were Norm and Vicky and many of their friends. We had the back room to ourselves and the whole event was really well done. I met Vicky’s mother for the first time. There were some games that were played, food and drinks that were served, and Norm and Vicky opened their gifts. Vicky deputized me as official photographer, apparently unaware of my total lack of talent when it comes to the taking of photos.

When the event wrapped up, we headed downtown. Ryane had a maternity massage treatment that Eric gave her for her birthday, so we dropped her off at the massage place, and then we parked the car and headed to Mickey Mantle’s, where we met Jen and Jason. We spent a few hours at Mickey Mantle’s (where Eric made fun of the guacamole) and where we had a few drinks. Then we went for a walk in the park while we waited for Ryane to finish up. Eric had to browbeat his way into a hotel bathroom, but other than that, it was a fun walk. The weather has been unusually warm, although it has also been overcast.

We picked up Ryane and then drove up to Norm and Vicky’s in Nanuet. We went to Martio’s for dinner. Afterward, we spent the evening playing games. I got my butt kicked in Apples to Apples (where the Albany contingent dominated), but I got my revenge when we played Phase 10. I won by 4 whole phases and more than 100 points less than the second place person. Shortly after that game, we all retired for the evening.


I was up at about 8 AM this morning, Sunday, my “free” day. Norm made us all breakfast: scrambled eggs and bacon. This seemed to mystify Eric because Norm hates eggs and claims to never have tried them in his life, and Eric couldn’t understand how Norm could know the eggs were any good while he was cooking them. But the eggs turned out just fine and I wolfed them down.

Later in the morning, we headed up to Stony Point to walk through Norm and Vicky’s new house, which is getting ever closer to completion. Then we had to go to White Castle so that Eric could get his fix of mini burgers for the next several months. After lunch, Eric and Ryane headed back home, but not before we all got a chance to see Ryane’s new car. Meanwhile, Norm, Vicky and I headed back to their place and they proceeded to bombard me with questions from some trivia game. I actually did pretty well.

Sadly, I left Norm and Vicky’s place at about 3:30 and caught the 3:45 bus back to the city. It was actually an interesting trip because it took backroads through New Jersey. I fell asleep at one point, however, and when I woke up, we were at Port Authority and everyone was already getting off the bus.

I’m now back at Jen and Jason’s. As a thank you for their hospitality in letting me stay at their place this weekend (and three weeks ago), I am taking them to Ruth’s Chris for dinner this evening. We have an 8 PM appointment. Which means I need to get changed as we will have to leave in a little while. More later…

New York Minute

I got into New York around 7 PM last night. I would have gotten here a little earlier, but there was a ground-stoppage going into La Guardia so my plane sat on the taxiway at Dulles for 15 minutes until the stoppage cleared. I got to Jen and Jason’s around 7:30 and shortly afterward, we headed up 2nd Avenue for dinner at Taco Taco. The guacamole was terrific! I ordered the carne asada tacos and they were good too. I mostly ate just the meat, since I am not supposed to be having carbs for my last meal of the day. Jen, Jason and I shared a pitcher of passion fruit margaritas.

Afterward, we stopped by Jen’s friend’s house, Jenn. Then we headed over to Mustang where we were all very conservative in our drinking, as compared to recent occasions. We left the bar at 11:30 and headed back to Jen and Jason’s apartment and it was lights out shortly there after.

I was up at about 8 AM. Jen and Jason are still in bed. I am supposed to go to the gym this morning to do lower body, but it may not happen today. I need to eat an hour before I go to the gym. That means if I ate right this second, I could got to the gym at about 9:45. My workout takes about an hour and 15 minutes, meaning I’d be done at 11 AM. Norm and Vicky’s shower starts at noon. That doesn’t give me much time to shower, wrap their gifts, mail my manuscript and head over to the place where their shower is happening. So from a practical standpoint, I will probably have to skip the workout today, which bugs me a little, because I am doing so good. On the other hand, you really can’t argue with practicality.

To New York City

I’m about ready to head to the airport. I have a 5:30 flight but I don’t want to rush. I’m all packed up and I’m really looking forward to this weekend. It should be fun. I printed out the 102 page manuscript to “Graveyard Shift” and packaged it up so that I could send it to ANALOG tomorrow morning. I’m hoping I’ll be at Jen and Jason’s by 7:30. We’ll see how things go…

Busy day, busy night

I’ve made good progress on what I should be working on today and I feel good about that, but I can’t rest on my laurels this evening, the way that I did yesterday. I’ve got a lot to do. I fly up to New York City tomorrow afternoon. So I have laundry to do. I have some general cleaning up to do. I have to finish reading through the revisions of a story. I have plane tickets to print out. I have lunches to make. Oh, and I’d like to try and actually watch the new episode of Smallville tonight live, rather than on TiVo. I still have to finish reading “Sanctuary”, finish up volume 1, issue 2 of SCIENCE FICTION AGE, and finish reading The Engines of God. Plus there’s work on the new story, too.

As strausmouse would say, “Oh dear…”

The next trip to NYC

I next head to NYC the weekend of January 13-14 for Norm and Vicky’s wedding shower. I made my travel arrangements last night, and once again, I’m flying because it was half as much as taking the train. I head to NYC on the evening of Friday, January 12 and I return home on the morning of Monday, January 15. I’m looking forward to seeing Norm and Vicky as well as strausmouse and Ryane.

Rendezvous at Penn Station

It might sound like the title of an Agatha Christie novel, or even some science fiction thriller from the 1950s. But this is, in fact, a true story, though no less dramatic and suspenseful than its fictional counterparts.

You see, I can add to the list of science fiction writers I have met. Yesterday, at about noon, Jen, Jason and I were at Penn Station to meet Michael Burstein and his wife, Nomi (a.k.a. gnomi). They were coming into town on a train from Boston and Michael and I had arranged to meet some weeks beforehand. Readers of my blog will know Michael by his LJ username: mabfan, a frequent poster-of-comments to my blog. We talked about baseball, and science fiction, and of course, writing and I had a great time and I’m very happy that we finally got a chance to meet in person. Michael and Nomi took some pictures which will be appearing on his blog, and when they do, I’ll post a link to them.

As a wannabe science fiction writer, I look up to anyone who has already made it, and Michael has certainly “made it”. There is objective evidence for this not only in the quality of his stories, but in the list of awards he has won or been nominated for. And yet, he is a very down-to-earth guy and I felt more like we were peers than with any other science fiction writer I have met. We only had a short time to meet before they had to leave, but I am really glad we got to do it, and my one regret is that I forgot to bring along my September 2005 copy of ANALOG (with Michael’s novella, “Sanctuary”) for him to autograph. (Incidentally, “Sanctuary” is another one of Michael’s stories up for an award this year.)

Michael encouraged me to attend a science fiction convention. I’ve never gone to one before, but if the people who attend conventions are as nice as Michael and Nomi, then I think it would be fun to try one out in the near future. Michael also commented that it was pretty rare for an s.f. writer to work out to the degree that I do. He suggested I writing a story that involves a workout of some kind. At LaGuardia last night, waiting to board my flight, I came up with a really good idea for a story where I can incorporate workouts in an interesting and science-fictional way. It involves mountain-climbing, however, something I know nothing about. Fortunately, brainwaster recommended a book to me a while back, Into Thin Air which I might read as research for this story sometime early next year.

So thanks, mabfan, for suggesting that we meet. It was a lot of fun. And thanks for the continued encouragement with my writing and for knocking loose a few ideas here and there.