I am clean and eating an apple. My day has been long but incredible. I'll begin from the top.
Becky and I woke up early to do some morning walking and get breakfast. Since Mahin is celebrating Ramadan, she is currently fasting and can't join us. We let her sleep. Becky and I head out toward 19th Street and enjoy an NYC morning full of fast paced walkers, scaffolding, stench, and humidity. Becky and I noticed an authentic bagel joint the day before and decide to go there. I get a spinach bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. She gets a whole wheat with strawberry cream cheese. Both of our bagels have cream cheese 2.5 inches thick. Mmm, so good. We stop by a crappy Rite Aid to pick up Sudafed for Becks on the way back. I get a much needed bottle of water.
After hoovering our bagels, we get ready for the day. The Elite Limo is to pick us up at 9:00 am sharp. I bust out my honey corded skirt from J.Crew (it is my official NYC skirt because I have a different coordinating top to wear with it everyday I'm here...yes I'm getting my $50 worth.) The crew is ready at 9:05 and we head out to Brooklyn. But wait! I forgot my sheet. U-turn that car and it's all good. Leaving for Brooklyn, take 2.
I anticipated taking the Brooklyn Bridge there but our driver took the Brooklyn/Battery tunnel instead. Boring. We arrive in Brooklyn. It is noticeably quieter and roomier. There are not any speeding taxis flying around nor are there many pedestrians. We finally arrive at our destination....er, uh, or do we? Can this be it? Can this decrepit old brick and glass building be our final destination? It must be - the address is correct. We walk the perimeter and find an entrance that looks halfway inviting. We address doesn't match but it's the same building. We look at the specific floors. No sign of our client. While Mahin tries contacting Jack, I volunteer to go up to the 6th floor where we know our client supposedly resides. I take a crickety old elevator that is full of Spanish profanity. As it lets me off on the 6th floor, I am amazed. The sixth floor is nothing more than dirty concrete and cracked glass fixtures. There are hand made signs with arrows pointing to the various 'offices' located there. I take a right to see a wood paneled foyer with a boarded up sliding window (similar to those found in doctor or dentist offices). The next room is dark and painted an orangcicle color. The doorway out of the orange room leads to a hallway with another glass window. This overlooks a giant, dusted warehouse full of piled boxes. The warehouse is empty and I wished that I had had my camera. I notice a bullet hole in one of the windows. The place is starting to remind me of a murder scene from CSI. I quickly walk around to the other side only to find the same, creepy surroundings. Time to walk down the stairs to meet up with Becky and Mahin. Good news, Mahin knows the way.
We walk around the back (past the 4 yellow poles) and up to another elevator - 6th floor. It is then that I notice that the place is occupied by Hasidic Jews. Little curly cues and black velvet skulls caps. White shirts and black pants. We finally arrive at the 6th floor (I'd love to see the blue prints on this building) and are buzzed in. Walking inside we immediately feel the hot air of the warehouse. To our right are bins and bins of cell phone accessories. Jack, our client and Hasidic Jew, introduces himself. Becky and I make the mistake of shaking his hand which is not, evidently, customary in their culture. Faux pas.
Jack leads us to meet Jacob, the owner. We are seated in their little two-desk office of pale yellow which is, thankfully, air conditioned. Jacob is also a Hasidic Jew and we do not shake hands. We brought along a little projector so that they could see our presentation but the three of us searched for a wall with ample space to fit the screen. We looked like little birds with our heads twitching in every direction trying to find a wall big enough to accommodate the projector. No such luck. We decide to move on with just the print outs. The client meeting starts off like any other and we are soon joined by Jacob's wife. She is not at all what I had imagined her to look like (purely based on her voice over the phone.) She is young, dark haired and quite pretty. We proceed with the meeting. The meeting takes into lunch time. Jacob takes us to Coney Island Avenue in his Honda Odyssey with his wife. The whole row of shops, schools, and restaurants are all Jewish. The food is all kosher. We arrive at a very nice cafe. Jacob orders everyone kosher mozzarella sticks...mmm, deep fried cheese. Mahin, bless her, endures not eating while delicious food is served in front of her. I get a delicious arugula salad with feta cheese and vinaigrette. Jacob tells us he has 4 boys and they all started school that day. They just got back from upstate NY on vacation. Jacob is surprised when we take the bill, so he orders more food.
We drive back and wrap up the meeting. I am a speed demon at getting those pages flipped - this is now turning into a 5 hour client meeting (still not my longest, ahem, Michigan.) All in all, a great meeting with a splash of Brooklyn Hasidic Jew culture. They were sweet really, adorable even.
Jacob calls a car service for us and we are off. This time, we are sure to specifically request taking the Brooklyn Bridge. My oh my! What a beautiful bridge. Not as big as I had imagined and certainly not as long (the Golden Gate has it beat.) But, what a sight. So cool. Did you know that there is a secret waterfall underneath? Got a picture to prove it. As we head off the Brooklyn Bridge, I take some more pictures of the city and we are dropped off in Times Square. Our mission: to get Broadway tickets. Our destination: the red 'tckts' area. On our way, we take pictures of the Hershey and M&M buildings, the lighted marquees, and eventually get a Jamba to refresh ourselves. We stop off in the Renaissance Hotel in the hopes of finding a bathroom. This nice guy, Matthew I think, tells us to go upstairs where they have individual ladies rooms. Whoa, talk about luxurious urination. Yeah, each stall is equipped with its own fancy sink and mirror area. It's then that Mahin lets us know that she can now eat (I won't go into details.) That's actually when we decide to get the Jamba. Match green tea mist holla.
We quickly find the 'tkts' area and see what tickets are discounted that night. We narrow down our choices to Gypsy and Stomp. Mahin had already seen Stomp and I had already seen it on TV. So, Mahin and I get Gypsy ($65) and Becky gets Stomp ($40). Not bad. Becky, still feeling crappy from her sinus, decides to head home. Mahin and I head straight for 5th Avenue!
There we seek out the Saks 5th Avenue and raid their designer and couture sections, picking through Steve McQueen, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabbana clothes. We also look at the formal evening attire and drool over the pretty, pretty dresses that neither of us can afford. As we make our exit, the jewelry department is having a champagne and appetizer social. We are offered several times but decline. Off to Macys!
En route to Macy's, we stop by H&M and M&J Trimmings. We also get kicked out of a private building by a very cranky man. Macy's is in Herald Square and is supposedly the largest store in the world, at least that is what the sign claimed. We were sorely disappointed but it looked like every other Macy's. The only cool thing was, what appeared to be, very old elevators. We are talking wooden slats, not metail. The wood was worn down on each side near the hand rails and it moved just a little slower. It's getting close to showtime so we decide to leave.
We find our way to St. James theater and discover we have just enough time to get a slice of authentic NY pizza. We find Pizza Famiglia, evidently one of NY's favorite pizzas. I get a mozzarella, basil, and tomato and Mahin gets veggie. Unfortunately, this place was a Pepsi establishment and I had to suffer through a DP. God, how I wanted a DC right then and there. We eat our pizza and the friendly NYPD cops next to us ask us to take them with us. Not a chance buddy. We make our way back to the theater and get seated. Our seats are quite close to the stage and we are very excited.
The show was absolutely amazing! Patti LuPone is dynamite and my favorite number is 'You Gotta Have a Gimick.' My first Broadway musical was everything I could have hoped for! Bravo! Bravo!
Mahin and I walk back to Times Square and she urges me to take the subway. I am hesitant because of my track record of getting lost, but eventually agree to be adventuresome. We find the Times Square entrance and check the map and the man. Take the A line to 14th. Ok, sounds simple enough. So we buy our tickets, go down to the platform, and wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually, the A line comes but is on the other side of the platform. We get on anyways. Only to find we are going the wrong way. Ok, off at 59th Avenue. Wait for the A train going the opposite direction. And wait. And wait. Finally, Mahin decides to ask a nice woman if the train has stopped for the night. She says no, but if we are going uptown (which we are) we need to be on the platform above us. Der. This ain't San Francisco, ladies! We make our way up to the uptown platform and eventually get on the right train. The subway is hot and stuffy. Even though it's midnight, it's still filled with many people from all walks of life: business men, homeless people, old people, young people, gangsters, thugs, and smugglers. Finally, 14th street arrives and we exit back up to the streets for some fresh, well as fresh as NYC air, can get. Three blocks up and we are home again, home again.
Becky admits that she was worried since we weren't back in time, but we explained ourselves and she is not surprised that I got lost. Knowing me, it's not that unusual.
I shower and rub off the sticky film that has accumulated on my body and hair. I feel better. I blog, eat an apple, and fall asleep.