|The Mall at lovely summertime Central Park|
Since Cody was flying with the rest of the crew, and I was on a different flight, I had planned to take our only cell phone. Unfortunately, I forgot to take it from him when I dropped him and the rest of the crew at the airport. He realized my blunder and stood outside, waiting for me to come back for the phone, but I didn't realize until the next morning. Oh well, I thought. I'll just call him from a pay-phone when I get there. No biggie. I arrived in New York's LaGuardia airport, found a phone and some quarters only to be sent straight to voicemail. Oh No! I was so prepared- I packed the charger in my bag, and the phone must be dead. Okay.. Deep breaths. You can just find a computer somewhere, find the contact information for Vertical Solutions, find a payphone, call Dustin, and meet up with them. Hopefully.
Fingers crossed and heart rate a little elevated, I took a taxi into Manhattan, asking my driver to take me to the Mac store, or somewhere where I could use the internet. Did he know if the library was open on Sundays? Lucky for me, Abraham from Egypt (my cabbie), was very helpful. He took me to a corner in downtown with a Best Buy, close enough to the library so I could walk there if need be. I was able to use a tablet computer on the demo counter to find the contact info I needed, and headed out into the street to locate a payphone. I asked a pretzel vendor if he knew where one was, and he offered me his cell phone. I called Dustin, who, by some miraculous act of fate, was two blocks away. I bought a pretzel and thanked the vendor profusely, and practically skipped down to the corner where Dustin met me in a cab. We were whisked uptown, where we met the crew and checked into our apartment.
|Park Avenue and 89th Street|
New York is full of wonderful food- 13,000 restaurants, according to one source. Cody and I had delicious thin crust New York pizza, loaded with mushrooms, just plain cheese, sausage... We drank Papaya juice from the famous Papaya King, just a few blocks away from our place. Hot dogs, Gyros, pasta, bagels and schmear, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian... There was a great deli across the street from our apartment that had fantastic salami and cheeses. The boys worked late a few nights, and I laid out a midnight snack of peppery, thin cut salami and some aged parmesan for them. The cutting board was all but licked clean in the morning.
|The view from Above|
Since the boys were working for several days, I had lots of time to see the sights on my own. I ended up buying a CityPass booklet, which included tickets to the major museums, as well as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I wandered museums on my own for the first several days, losing myself in ancient Greek and Roman Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the incredibly lifelike dioramas of the Museum of Natural History, (especially the Hall of African Mammals, and the Hall of North American Birds), and wearing myself out walking all over the Park and the City.
|Peregrine Falcon diorama at the Museum of Natural History|
|Temple Offerings in The Hall of Pacific Peoples at the Museum of Natural History|
|I'll never understand Modern Art.|
A blank Canvas at the MoMa
The Competition went extremely well. It was well attended, the walls looked great, the competitors climbed hard and interesting routes. The New York Times even covered the event! It seemed really short to me- it began at 2pm, and was over abruptly at 5pm. Putting up the wall seemed like a lot of work for a three hour event! The boys stayed late again that night to take the wall down.
|Men at Work. Cody is second from the left.|
|The Famous Flat Iron building|
|On top of the Empire State Building.|
We spent the next day in Salt Lake, then headed up to Lander, Wyoming, for the 18th International Climber's Festival. But that's another story. Until then... I hope you all are living your dreams.