Sometimes bad things happen for a reason and we don’t initially know why. Today was one of those days. The morning started off with me very proud of myself for awaking early enough to walk the dog, hit the gym for an hour, take a bubble bath and eat breakfast before making it to my 10 am movie screening of “My Life in Ruins” on Broadway and 49th with 10 minutes to spare. My perfectly planned day was on track and I wasn’t rushed for once.
Imagine how pissed off I was when I was told there was no screening scheduled and that the Fox Searchlight publicist erred by scheduling the screening tomorrow. I had no choice but to go back home (a waste of $4 in subway fare) then come back through midtown en route to Queens for my 1 pm Mets game.
But wait! The day, weather-wise, was turning into a decent one after the morning rain that was predicted in the forecast never arrived. There was sun! Instead of going all the way back home, the day was clear enough for me to high tail it to the Empire State Building, which is exactly what I did. I got to cross another activity off my things-to-do-before-I-leave-New York list!
With no lines at 10:15 a.m., I paid $20 and was whisked up to the 86th floor. I shelled out another $15 to go to the 102nd floor observatory deck, where I was disappointed to find the windows closed and no air. But still I marveled at the offerings from my bird’s eye view. The older blue-eyed male employee who took me from 86 to 102 asked where I was from, as he routinely does anyone. I explained to him that I have lived in Manhattan for the past four years but had never been to the observatory decks. With my pending move back to LA, it was a necessity. He divulged that his brother had lived in NY for years and never visited the landmark either. That was comforting.
I chatted with a couple from Argentina and the woman, making sure she used the proper words, asked where I was from. I explained to them that I lived in NY. And you have never been here, she asked in wonder. How long have you been here? Four years I told her. She gave me one of those “Americans sure are odd” looks and went on her way.
I must have spent an inordinate amount of time on both decks because when I finally descended, two of the employees commented on me still being here. I could have stayed there all day long if I didn’t have the Mets game to attend. There was so much to see!
After I bought my first ticket, I was asked if I wanted to rent an audio guide. No, I scoffed at the two female employees. “I live here,” I said with attitude. “All the more reason,” they shouted to me in unison. I shouted back that “I know the Flatiron Building.” Once on the 102nd floor I silently tested my knowledge of the bridges and buildings. According to me, I passed with flying colors. Although my ancestors did not disembark at Ellis Island, seeing the historical chunk of land and the Statue of Liberty made me proud to be an American amidst the mostly foreign tourists. So what if it did take me four years to get to the building.
Well, to be honest I had been in the building before but just to pick up brochures from Croatia’s tourism office. I guess that doesn’t count though, eh?
When the wind isn’t blowing, my hair looks kinda decent!