Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Whirlwind Weekend in NYC

Not the one in Paris
Would you like to fly ten hours to New York and ten hours back . . . for the weekend? Heck yeah. Why not? It takes me four or five days to get over jetlag when I travel to the US, so last weekend was, in every sense of the word, a whirlwind.

The flight to Newark was delayed an hour (the flight was actually operated by a United Airlines crew, which meant that the on-board service was incredibly unpleasant and sparse). I ended up sitting behind one of my favorite passenger types for ten hours. I've written about this type of passenger before. He's the animal who doesn't know exactly what he bought when he bought his ticket.

"Are these bags yours?" he asked as he opened his overhead bin.

"One of them is." I smiled because I'm cute when I smile.

"Well, they're in my overhead bin."

"Hmmm. Does it have your name on it?" I didn't say this.

"It has my seat number on it," he said.

Rockefeller Center
"Well, then you need to tell the guy behind me to take his luggage out of the overhead bin that has my number on it," I said.

"Alles falsch eingeräumt [everything's in the wrong place]," he said, shook his head and proceeded to put his bags in the overhead bin two rows behind his seat. People who do this make me crazy. When the plane lands, they'll have to go against the flow to get their bags. Always put your bags in the overhead bins in front of your seat, not behind (if the one above your seat is already taken).

Here's the big news for the guy in front of me: when you bought your ticket, the overhead bin above your seat was not in the deal, bub.

Time Square

Then . . . Then! When he was done reading his newspaper he stuffed it under his seat on top of my feet. You can imagine what I did: I kicked the newspaper into the aisle. A few minutes later he saw it and tried to stuff it over my feet again. At this point he had an ah-hah moment. The person (me) behind him actually had legs just like he did. Here's the second bit of news for the guy in front of me on the flight to Newark: when you buy your ticket, you do indeed purchase the space under the seat in front of you. That space is for your legs, not for other passengers' newspapers or pillows. He stuffed a pillow on top of my feet later on. Was he that stupid, or was he trying to piss me off. Hmmmm. I like to believe in the goodness of others, so I'm going for stupid on this one.

In NYC I was fortunate to spend a few hours with three writers whom I've become acquainted with over the last few years. Sara Lippmann, Julie Innis and Susan Tepper--all dauntingly brilliant. I must apologize to them if I seemed a bit tired. I'd comment on the conversation, but I don't remember much. I was Jet Lag Man (JLM) the entire weekend.

Playwright/ Screenwriter Lori Fischer
I spent much of my weekend with my close friend Lori Fischer. She's working on so much these days. Screenplays, plays, songwriter nights, writing seminars. I had the treat of previewing her new film, in which one of the characters mentions my name and my writing. I'm still smiling about that. How cool is that? Very very very cool.

At the weekend, we went all the way to the top of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock), ate at Lori's favorite Italian restaurant, Azuri Café with its three tables and great food, a Thai restaurant on Ninth that I barely remember (JLM strikes again!), and a diner on Ninth for breakfast each morning. On Saturday night we saw a cabaret show at Don't Tell Mama, and on Sunday we walked for three hours in Central Park.

Central Park
Needless to say, I slept the entire flight back to Munich. If the guy in front of me stuffed anything under my feet, I have no idea. JLM was out to the world.

Stay tuned to I Must Be Off! I have so many trips planned the year, it's freaky to think about it. My next trip is to Bilbao.

I must be off,
Christopher (JLM)