Some of you are about to get postcards from New York. The only problem was, after several days of searching the streets of New York, I was never able to find either a mail box or a post office, so the cards were actually mailed from Seattle. But, they were written in New York, if that's any consolation.
So, It's One More For My Baby, And One More For The Road
Sitting here at the coin-op internet terminal at the youth hostel waiting for the shuttle to take me to JFK for the flight home. It's raining, just the right weather to get me back into a Northwest frame of mind.
It was a great trip. The two and a-half days of meetings were extremely productive, meeting with my counterparts from the other 25 Equity Liaison cities, plus all the national councellors and assorted and sundry staff from the other office cities. The union does this every three or four years (although I'm told it's been six since the last one), and this is the first time the Liaisons have been invited to attend. Evidentally, it was worth the effort and expense, as I've been informed that everyone was so impressed with our input that they now plan to include us for every such future meeting.
We spent most of the time talking "big picture" issues: how can we increase the ability of our members to secure work, forming strategic alliances with the other performing arts unions, whether and to what extent we should get involved in political activities, what's our current financial state, how's our health care plan working -- those sorts of things. The Liaisons are forming up our own communications pipeline amongst ourselves, as it became pretty clear during our meeting on Sunday that many of us are trying to invent wheels that are already attached to moving vehicles in other cities, and so why not take advantage of our collective brain-power?
Also, for the first time in the union's history it was agreed that Liaisons should be able to sit on standing committees, something previously limited only to Liaisons who were already elected national councellors. As a voluntary, democratically elected representative system, that's a pretty big step, and one that indicates a willingness to open the process even more to members outside of the Big Three Cities (NYC, LA & CHI). I had the honor of being the first non-council Liaison actually appointed to such a committee, and the Liaisons will collectively recommend some additional appointments to a couple others, once we get our group email system set up in a few days. Pretty exciting stuff, all things told.
Although the meetings didn't leave me a lot of free time, I did elect to stay for a couple of additional days to "see the sights", which given the sheer size of this town is woefully inadequate. I've seen five shows in six days, and walked countless miles through most of Manhattan's neighborhoods; from the Upper West Side to Tribeca, Soho, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, the East Village, Chinatown, The Bowery, Midtown, The Theatre District, and who knows where-all else during the course of the past week, and gotten to see the city from a resident's viewpoint to a certain extent. Didn't set foot inside a single museum, gallery or other major cultural institution, simply because I knew that spending five or six hours in any one of them a.) wouldn't be nearly enough time to do it justice, and b.) that it would mean missing some other event, activity or place. So, walking seemed the only reasonable alternative.
Chances are most people reading this have been to New York at least once, so you-all probably know what I'm talking about, but I did feel like I did as much as I could reasonably expect to do given my time and budget limitations (which I greatly exceeded -- my US Bank Platinum card is even now keeping my backside all warm-'n-toasty), but it was worth it. Well, except for that rather overpriced, underrated "breakfast" I ate at Lindy's last night (stick with the cheesecake, and you can't go wrong), and Tuesday night sitting in the hotel bar watching BOTH the Mariners and Sonics lose, but otherwise, I have to say it was a great trip.
Now, for the long trip to the airport for another two hour plus wait, and then the long flight home.
See ya' later NYC. Here's hoping we'll meet again someday.
Up since 4:30 am Pacific Time, so even though by body-clock reckoning it's only 6:00 pm it's 9:00 in New York. Flight was fine, but getting from JFK (would definitely recommend La Guardia or even Newark for future visits) into Manhattan took more than two hours, including standing around waiting for baggage to be off-loaded.
By the time I checked in it was already after 7:00 pm local time, and even though I'm only about a block and a-half from Times Square, I just couldn't get up the gumption to run down and try to pick up a discount ticket to anything. Considering I hadn't eaten anything substantial since 7:00 a.m. (evidentally meal service has gone the way of the dodo on cross-country flights), my stomach won out over other considerations.
Am going out now for a bit of a walk, since it seems to be roughly 15 degrees cooler outside, and will try for a good night's sleep before hitting the first of my meetings tomorrow afternoon.
Coming down to the wire. Most of my bags are already packed, just need to throw the suits and dress shirts in the suit bag, load up the computer equipment, tie up a few loose ends, and I'm all set to go.
Shuttle Express is picking me up at 5:30 am tomorrow, which means I'll need to get up by about 4:30, something that shouldn't be too difficult seeing as I frequently wake up at around then anyway nowadays, just about the time it starts getting a bit light outside. Flight leaves at 8:40 am and I should be touching down at JFK at around 4:30 pm local. Then, it's grab the checked baggage, catch another shuttle into Manhattan, and with luck I should be checking in to my hotel at about 5:30 or 6:00, with just enough time to maybe run down to Times Square to see what shows are left at the TKTS booth for the evening. If nothing looks promising (it's New York, so what would be the odds of that?), then I'm sure I can find something interesting in the neighborhood with which to occupy my evening.
Don't have my first meeting until 1:30 Sunday afternoon, so that gives me the early part of the day to do a bit of exploring. Afterwards, we have some sort of buffet dinner arranged for us at a restaurant near the Equity Office on W 46th. Then, more meetings Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday, Thursday and Early Friday as "free days", before it's back to the airport for a 4:20 pm flight home via Salt Lake City, with an arrival at Sea-Tac around 9:30 or so. I'm checking into Edgewater for the evening, in order to burn off a coupon I got as part of my prize package for being crowned King of Hold My Hair Back (a fundraiser for Theater Schmeater) last year.
I fully realize there isn't going to be nearly enough time to do even the barest fraction of all the possible things I'd like to while there, so my game plan is to simply leave my itinerary as open as possible, and let serendipity dictate what happens -- that seems like the "New York" way to go.
Light blogging the past couple of weeks. Not much going on, really and aside from Friday evening, when I evidentally became an unwilling participant in "Death Race 2005", (AKA "CapHill Dodge 'Em", take your pick) things have been fairly unexciting.
Did have a couple of job interviews last week: one at ACT Theatre, for what turned out to be a glorified receptionist position for which I was grossly overqualified, and another at the Seattle Symphony for what would be a rather exciting job working as Executive Assistant to their new Executive Director, as well as Liaison to their board of directors. Hopefully, I'll hear about a third interview before the end of the week.
Otherwise, it's been gardening, getting publicity materials in shape for the show at CHAC, writing reviews, working the day job, and trying to tie up a few loose ends before the trip to NYC this weekend.