Sunday, September 26, 2004

9/19/04 My New York Trip

Twelve long, painful hours of travel. Literally. From 6am until 6pm. Three hours in the Chicago airport and a really rude Super Shuttle driver. He was mean, mean, mean.

The Riverside Inn. It's advertised as a hotel. It's more like a hostel/dorm room.

A few bad things:
No toilet paper.
No towels.
The bathroom light doesn't work.
Roaches.
Strange men smoking cigarettes in the stairwell.
Road construction in the streets below.
Starbucks, everywhere.

A few good things:
Right next to Riverside Park.
Family/quiet neighborhood.
A few blocks from the 96th metro stop.
A diner around the corner that serves a mean Black Forest cake.
A few blocks from Central Park.

I went running this morning down Riverside Park. I felt like I was meant to be there. As if running through the park, I was a part of something, like maybe I was a New Yorker too. However, runners in Austin are very friendly. They smile, they nod or say "Good morning". Not so much in New York. I tried to make connections with fellow runners. No deal. They look down or over to the side. They don't really smile. They just run.

Met my dear friend, Maya for brunch this morning in Brooklyn. I could be wrong, but I think it's been over seven years since I've seen her. She's still gorgeous, still as vibrant and full of life as I remember her to be. The only thing that's really changed is her location. Sitting next to me, I can't help but grabbing her and hugging her for as long as I can. She was always a mother figure to me. She took care of me in college and looked out for me. She was the voice of reason, the arms that held me and gave me comfort.

We ran into Marie Marshall from Austin while registering. She's volunteering at the market. It was nice to see a familiar face.

My feet haven't gotten too tired yet. We're sitting in our orientation right now, waiting for the panelists to start telling us what we should expect from the conference.

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