Monday, June 20, 2005


I’m relaxing in my hotel room hard by New York’s La Guardia Airport after a meaty dinner in midtown Manhattan.

The flight in on the Great Silver Aerial Bus was uneventful. I sat by a starboard window, which gave me a magnificent view as we made our approach to the Big City.

The familiar scenery unrolled past the window. Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Coney Island, with the skeletal remains of the old Parachute Jump. Belt Parkway. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting eastern Staten Island with Brooklyn.

And then, Manhattan. We flew directly over the Hudson River, past Lower Manhattan with the intricate traceries of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge just north of it, spanning the East River. I looked right into the enormous gash in the ground at Ground Zero.

Can anyone look at the place where the Twin Towers once stood without feeling a momentary pang?

Still over the river, we passed midtown Manhattan, the needles of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings seemingly close enough to touch. Then up past Central Park. Columbia University. Grant’s Tomb. Then, the long swoop over the Bronx, toward the distant Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges, lining up for the La Guardia runway.

As many times as I’ve seen New York from the air, it still takes my breath away.

Checked in to the hotel, there to be met by Italian Tommy, our ace New York sales rep. Then into Manhattan for dinner.

Tuna tartare for starters, then a nice, juicy hanger steak with garlicky broccoli rabe on the side. It was a lot like the one I made for myself last week, only this one cost six times as much. Fortunately for me, the Great Corporate Salt Mine pays the freight on adventures such as these.

Now, I’m back, in a ruminative frame of mind. And it occurs to me that Harry Potter would know just what to do in my situation: He’d wave that wand of his at his distended entrails and say, “Digestio!”

And now I need to work my own kind of magic. “Alarum preparatio!” “Obtenium shuteye!”

Until tomorrow, Esteemed Readers. Sweat City beckons!

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