t has a particular smell. Dazzling strobe lights. Head splitting sirens. Everything feels larger. I’m moving a few seconds behind everything. Leaves, a hundred shades of green, with the odd maroon maple. Scarlet tulips in street side planters. Fountains and parks for weary feet. Already feeling the effect of hours walking on hard pavements.
I stood clueless gazing at the lift panel keyboard. No simple Up or Down button. Was there a security code required? I held the barcode of my temporary pass to the strip of green above the keypad. No reaction. Back to the security desk. Enter the floor number the helpful response. Correct number pushed, and a lift door opens. Lift whizzes past my floor. Back down and try again. Slow to understand that when entering the number, the display shows a letter which indicates which lift. Pushing the 0 to return to the ground floor doesn’t work here, as the ground floor is 1!
Salad lunch from the Armenian. Part of the city that hasn’t changed. Disappointingly the chicken was dry and the lettuce reduced to a semi-compost state. They also seem to have forgotten that lettuce isn’t the only salad ingredient available.
Rainy morning. Grand Central Station for the shoe shine and to visit the Tiffany clock. As per the script, a women runs across the concourse in her red dress, suitcase obediently trailing. An ancient couple arguing on the staircase as to which platform, and shouldn’t they be at Penn Station?
The ability of New Yorkers to balance their day long caffeine fix, umbrella, bag, mobile phone and open doors, with only two hands, impressive.
Something surreal about standing in the Security Council chamber that has been part of so much history. The focus, to prevent the 40million deaths of the two World Wars from happening again.
On the streets this early, only homeless, policemen, joggers and jet-lag insomniacs. Mist playing between the spires. The smell of coffee and superheated air from Starbucks. Gentle Jazz and country music, perfect.