Grandma In New York City: Day 1
We started our day at 5:00am, beating the worst of Cleveland rush hour to get to the airport early. Lessons learned: There is no such thing as "Long Term Parking," only "we're so far away we might as well have WALKED here" parking. To whomever invented the moving walkway- you indeed are a god.
Our scheduled time of departure was 11:00am, so we dutifully arrived at Cleveland Hopkins airport at 9:00am. Grandma's technical status as a handicapped person in the state of Ohio earned her a wheel chair ride all the way to the gate. Lesson learned: the TSA has forged complex criteria for the character of a handicapped terrorist; Grandma fits the profile precisely. Lesson #2: those ramps are much steeper than they look; be careful when whisking your grandparents along the trenches of an imagined Death Star while closing your eyes, meditating and awaiting Obi Wan's command to fire.
As we climbed above the dreary midwestern weather damned to hit us yet again in New York, Grandma discovered the multiple remedies of gum chewing. The door to the lavatory was never completely latched, swinging open once and awhile and cracking the poor bastard behind us on the head. It was probably the closest we had ever come to the Flying Fortress Belgian Experience (coming to a Six Flags near you.) Lesson learned: "O Fortuna" is not the best song to cue up on the iPod when taking off to alleviate anxiousness. Classical music != soothing.
The first recognizable landmark seen from the sky was the Coney Island Parachute Jump, made famous by Darren Aronofsky in such movies as Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and Herbie Fully Loaded. Lesson learned: Google Earth ain't got SHIT on the capacity of one to obtain bearings based on movie recognition. To their credit, it's still only in Beta.
MTV gave us a ride to the hotel to commence our day of sightseeing. Grandma utilized the time to immediately walk a block to Time's Square to play some games at some of the many fine retail establishments along the strip of billboard adorned uberstores. Some folks from MTV came along to show her some things. Luckily, murdering Leo DiCaprio's father provoking an unrealistic vow of vengeance was not part of the tour; it turns out this particular incident didn't happen on their turf. Lesson learned: Grandma likes the naked cowboy. Who would have thought?
As the sunlight faded, I spent most of the time on the phone going over the itinerary for the studio and press work in the coming days. MTV promised fun, exictement and surprises; and Grandma is the sort of cat that digs all three! I could picture Grandma living in this city. The woman is in her element. I, on the other hand, dropped my precious lighter down a subway vent and walked up 7th Avenue until the price for a new one dropped from "I LOVE NEW YORK" $2.99 down to "I LOVE TITTIES AND BEER" $.75. I love New York, but I look and most likely smell like a tourist. Lesson learned: Al Roker is actually five inches tall and has a high and squeaky voice, much like Vanity Smurf; but the man seems to tip well.
Today we learned much. Tomorrow: we go to work.