Biting the Big Apple

New York City still feels a little bit like home to me. I feel nostalgic whenever I return. Today, my drive in from Pittsburgh was going to be a long one, but it was broken up by paying a visit to an old client in Loganton, PA. This is a guy who's seen me twice before when I passed through PA; in King of Prussia once and in Carlisle once. This time it worked out best for me to come to him. He lives on a farm in a rural town. They have one stop sign!

It helped to break up my seven hours of driving, and I also made some money. He also fed me. He had some shrimp and vegetables on the BBQ when I arrived, so not only did he feed me and get a session with me, but he impressed me by serving up a healthy meal.  And then I was back on the road.

The last time I came through NYC was a challenge in many ways. The parking, the traffic, my state of being and the things I tried to organize all seemed to be working against me. They weren't impossible, but they offered up great resistance. Not only that, but I did a quick stretch after a class and pulled a small but important postural muscle in my back, so for a week after that, I was also battling with being in pain.

Everything seemed to go much more smoothly this time. Starting from the very beginning when Mini Nav set my course for Manhattan via central Pennsylvania. I would have gone straight for the cluster-mess that is the Lincoln Tunnel, but Mini took me way up north.

I crossed a bridge in Montague NJ that only cost $1.50 (It is $13 to go through the Lincoln Tunnel.) and there was no traffic. I can usually count on waiting in at least an hour's worth of backed up traffic approaching the Lincoln Tunnel.

Not only did I save the money and the traffic aggravation, but the drive itself was beautiful. Instead of the Interstates and Turnpikes, I was on Scenic Byways and driving alongside the Hudson River.

 I breezed into NYC and found parking literally right around the corner from where I was staying. It took me no time at all, as if the spot were waiting for me. And it wasn't a metered spot. It was free until street cleaning, which was 11am the next morning.

So we quickly settled into the apartment.

And enjoyed a walk in Central Park while Michael, our host, rehearsed with Tommy Tune in the apartment.

They were doing a full run-through of the show and taping it for time. After our time in the park, River and I came back to the apartment where I was going to drop him off and head downtown for a client.
But when I brought River in, Tommy was in the middle of his show. He had just gotten to a part where he's referring to a person in his story and made a big sweeping gesture (Tommy Tune makes no other kind of gesture) right toward River, who is easily spooked by big people.
So River let loose with a string of barks and had to be calmed down. They were recording the session, so River made it onto the recording.
I put him in the cage quickly and left the apartment for my appointment. Tommy and Michael didn't miss a beat through all of this.
At the elevator, I heard River's voice again. I guess his cage was too close to Tommy Tune's tap dancing. So I rushed back in and escorted River into the back bedroom, away from the action. Again, the pros never even looked up as I ushered the dog across the 'stage'. The reports I got later said that once River was in the bedroom, he was quiet.

The morning I arrived in NYC, someone left this art installation in Union Square. I didn't get a chance to see it before it was taken down.
A long-time student of mine, Robyn, decided she wanted to put together a second NYC class for me. I taught Amazing when I was here back in June and she was there. She was also one of the ones that was there last year when we were creating the routine.
She organized a class for Thursday night and got about 20 students to show up. It was a jam packed class in a steaming hot studio. I had a blast. It felt really good to be in a rehearsal studio in Manhattan. As an actor, I spent much of my time in buildings like these and I love the energy of creativity that hangs in the air.
I kept myself busy rushing around to all of my old haunts and seeing my old clients. And of course, seeing that River's needs are met in the middle of urbania is also something to be factored in. He gets very excited by all of the activity, and there's no places I can really let him "loose" but we manage.

On Thursday morning, as I was moving the car to a new parking spot because of street cleaning, I got a warning light on the dashboard of Babe. It said to contact the service center because I needed to new brake pads and to "Drive Moderately". Usually Mini is all about Motoring Hard, but now they're asking me to exercise restraint. Since I have the dog in the car, I tend to drive gently anyway.

But this was actually an exciting prospect in the city. It meant I could possibly set up an appointment with Mini of Manhattan. They could fix my brakes and I would have a free place to keep the car by leaving it on their lot. But they didn't have any appointments open before I was to leave town.

I set up an appointment for one of the few days I was planning to return to NYC at the end of the month. So now I have an automatic free parking space for my next trip here. YAY! All I have to do is survive my drives through New England in the upcoming week.  I figure the warning light comes on long before there is any real issue, so I think I'll be fine.

Four days in the city feel like a lifetime, and yet they fly by like it's just an afternoon.  Before I know it, I'm off to my next destination.


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