I got here, safe and sound, and much to my own surprise I picked up my luggage, walked out through the sliding glass doors of the airport, boarded the Super Shuttle and did not die. This is the first time I’ve ever landed in a city and didn’t have someone drive up in a car to rescue me from whatever danger was waiting to smack me in the face. I’ve always had this anxiety about walking out of an airport by myself and my friends know this and accept that weird little bit of my personality. Therefore, I’ve always triple double checked everyone’s travel plans, making sure I was either on someone else’s flight or the last one to arrive, so someone else would have a rental car and come get me. I know it’s a ridiculous thing to be afraid of but that yawning maw of the great beyond on the other side of the glass door is scary. So this trip, completely on my own, was a very big deal. Someone even called it bold. Indeed.
I am beyond tired right now, so I decided to just post a list of the things I learned my first day:
- It’s going to take 2 hours for a shared van to get from LaGuardia to Mid-town Manhattan and there’s nothing I can do to make the traffic move any faster.
- When the van driver drops me off on Madison Avenue, a block and a half from my hotel and tells me it’s just around the corner, I should grab the handle of my suitcase like a boss and fake it until I make it. Always smile at the doorman when I finally find it.
- In Manhattan, nobody drives in the marked lanes; they go where they please and even run a red light to get in front of a tour bus.
- I will never drive in Manhattan.
- It’s a long way to walk from 44th and Madison to Delancey and Orchard but worth every step and there’s a Cuban restaurant on 23rd with really good croquettes.
- I shouldn’t have worn the dress with the full skirt because it’s windy here and also, there’s the subway grates.
- The Lower East Side is full of the most interesting people.
- I love the Tenement Museum and all the tour guides are fabulous.
- New Yorkers are very friendly, helpful to lost visitors, and love to chat about their city.
- I walked 14,000 steps and am very glad I wore my Keen’s. They aren’t the most fashion forward of cute shoes but my feet don’t hurt at all and that makes me happy.
Nighty, night. It’s an early morning tomorrow.