Archive for February 17th, 2008

New York Sleeps: I do not

Posted by mikedaum on February 17th, 2008

We’re in NYC this weekend for the wedding of Elena’s lovely college friend Amy Mushlin.  So far it’s been a nice affair, and a good chance to catch up with the Branford crowd, many of whom we have not seen in a long, long time.  In addition, it’s the first time we have travelled without the kids, who are happy as clams back in Toronto under the watchful eye of our excellent friend Imelda.

After spending our first night in town at the home of friends Mari and Sean, we checked into the Barclay hotel yesterday, where Amy had booked a block of rooms.  Our first encounter with the hotel was lovely, and we marveled at the way service can be elevated to a high art in this country as the bellhop ran circles around the lobby grabbing our bags, getting WiFi access codes from the business center, etc.  The room looked great and we had plenty of room to unpack.

Then we heard the baby in the next room.  Not a screamer, just a steady nagging cry.  And then the parents comforting him.  The door between the rooms was paper-thin and I swear the sound was as if they were right there in the room with us.  Ah well, when we got to the lobby, reception was mobbed so we asked the concierge what could be done.  He told us that if the problem continued we should go to reception and get the room changed.  We were rushing to the rehearsal dinner, so we decided to stick it out for the night and re-address in the morning.

Worst.  Call.  Ever.

I don’t think I got more than 2 hours of sleep in a row.  At 5:30 when I was awakened for the 300th time I quickly judged that further sleep was improbable.  I put my coat on and went down to the lobby and complained.  Then back to the room.  Put pants on in silence and headed back out.  As I opened the room door there was a knock.  There was a man in the hall in hotel uniform who I shushed down to a whisper immediately.  Noise complaint he said, but he had been standing there and didn’t hear anything.  So much for the service as an art thing.

So I went down to the lobby and the coffee shop was still closed.  But it’s New York.  I’ve been woken up in the city that never sleeps.  Just cross the street to one of the any number of wide open establishments which will offer me hot coffee and plentiful WiFi for the next 3 or 4 hours.  Nope.  Streets are dark and empty.  Stores are closed.  Alright, over to Times Square.  Surely that place is wide open — centre of the known universe, right.  Mixed results.  Many bright signs and Giant TV’s flashing and telling me things, but still very sparse on the humans.  Hundreds of closed Starbucks.  All stores closed, and have no hours posted on the doors, almost like they’re ashamed to admit it.

Back to the hotel.  Waitaminnit, isn’t that the gold Rockefeller Center thingy they skate in front of in the movies?  Go closer…my god, it is!  But the whole thing’s tiny, like they made some Disney replica of the actual article.  Rink’s so small I don’t think you could even work up a sweat.  But I don’t skate anyway.

Back to the hotel.  Business centre.  Internet.  Power.  Coffee soon.  Nap later.