So we got on the road in Norfolk, Virginia, at 7:00 in the morning. We took two vans and drove up the Eastern Shore in order to avoid the traffic of Richmond and Washington, D.C. The rain moved in and made it a very wet drive.
But, as I told my mom in an email from my phone, we’re Sailors. Water is our business.
Getting into the city was quite an adventure. The water vapor in the air, the headlights on the vehicles, and wet roadway created a crazy light show in the Lincoln Tunnel. Then we were unable to get into the loading zone in front of the New Yorker Hotel and spent 35 minutes making large, square-shaped circles until we could get back to the hotel and try again.
The New Yorker Hotel originally opened in 1930 and is an explosion of art deco styling smack dab in the middle of Manhattan’s collision of humanity. I’ve never stayed in a room on the 35th floor before. My room is nicely apportioned for a room in the middle of city. In other words, it’s the size of a closet (much like the hotel room I stayed in out in Naples back in early 2016). But it’s more than adequate.
To make this even cooler (and you know I get a charge out of history), Nikola Tesla spent the final ten years of his remarkable life living in rooms 3327 and 3328 of the New Yorker. He finally passed away in 1943 in room 3327.
I went walking around downtown with a couple of shipmates tonight. Got some great street photos with my phone, but also took note of the people. Two people on the same corner, one male with a red jacket and red shoes, the other a woman with purple hair, purple jacket, and purple shoes—both on the came corner completely ignoring the world while puttering on their phones.
I’m sure a bit of alcohol was involved, but at one point a small coterie of people behind my two companions and I started talking about how nice we were in a heavy Bronx accent.
“I think people are nice. These three people in front of us are really nice. I mean they’re nice people. I don’t know them, but they’re nice people and its nice there are nice people in the world like these three people in front of us.”
New York, Paris, Naples…you just never know who you’re going to (not) run into!
The city was busy; New York never really sleeps. I find in fascinating to study the people as I pass them and imagine their stories. Think about it; each one of these people who crossed our paths tonight for, what, maybe a few seconds? Each of them has a life and a story and, to them, we were the barely-noticed people maneuvering along the sidewalks.
I did manage to startle the grape jelly out of a young lady at a street corner. She and her friends were crossing towards us as and, as is wont to happen when the crowd shifts, she and I bumped. I turned to look at her and apologized, saying “Oh, excuse me!”
She and her friends looked at me like they didn’t know whether to say thank me or mace me.
Tomorrow the real work begins. We set up the Media Operations Center (MOC) over on Pier 92, go through event orientation and send out a couple of my Sailors to cover the first event. For now, it’s time to rack out!