where’s paris?

Greetings from early America.
The Big Apple; I knew I’d arrived when it cost me $45 and took an entire episode of Lost to get from JFK to Manhattan. Getting in under cover of dark last night, I got a decent view of Manhattan skyline while crossing the bridge – but I’m so unfamiliar with the layout of this city that I didn’t know where to look for anything. The hotel, like many hotels it seems, is insanely posh on the outside – the lobby lush with giltwork and marble, brass fixtures and fountains, etc. But the insides are likely the same insides that were built on day-one – chinked and dirty baseboards, funny-smelling behemoths of air conditioning units, and worst of all no in-room broadband aside from the citywide pay-as-you-go access I can pickup in the room (thankfully). In this day and age I don’t understand how a hotel that caters to a business crowd gets away without having high-speed access, it seems unthinkable… Maybe I’m spoiled by the Sherwood, the measuring stick to which I hold all hotels to.

Getting up at 6am here is hard for my I-know-it’s-really-3am sleeping habits, and I found myself snoozing the alarm for forty some-odd minutes, all the while telling myself I’d padded the wake-up time anyway. One interesting thing about this trip – I probably have less of an idea what I’m actually going to be doing here than any other trip I’ve been on in recent times. I mean, I know I’m presenting at some point – but I just received the material last night; and I know I’m standing on the conference floor flogging product. It’s the logistics of it all that’s got me wondering. I don’t know when the thing starts (I did read that 8am today is when we can 1st access the conference area to setup), what the running times are, when I’m presenting, etc. Heck, they didn’t even have my reservation in the system when I arrived last night – I’m lucky I even got a room here. But… in the end, things worked out. I flopped into this ratty old office chair around 11pm last night and promptly ordered a sammich from room service while firing up the wireless radio in search of a signal. Watched a couple more downloaded episodes of Lost (yes, I am hopelessly addicted), and called it a night.

Oh, and I was totally pumped to learn that the San Francisco to JFK United flights have AC outlets in all their seats, even economy. I plugged in mid-flight and was able to run the laptop the entire time (of course, continuing to tear through season one of that damn addictive show). Seeing how impressed I was by the power, the attendant told me that all their planes had also been wired for wireless access – and we’re simply awaiting the FAA’s nod of approval to “flip the switch” and turn it on. How cool is that? I really don’t think it will be long before the internet is as ubiquitous as radio is today, and you’re able to pick up a signal just about anywhere and get online. My kids will laugh when I tell them that we used to have to plug our computers into the wall to get online – how antiquated – like having to get up and “flip” a record or tape to listen to “Side B.”

It’s 8am here now, which is when I wanted to be walking downstairs. I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to set up, in case the show happens to start at 10am or something. I think, I think I remember hearing somewhere along the lines that this thing doesn’t officially “kick off” until tomorrow – and operating under that very sketchy info I opted not to shave this morning, figuring it for a preparation day only. I truly hope this is so. I would like nothing more than to be able to head downstairs now, be setup and configured in a couple hours, and then have the rest of the day to tour the city. Otherwise, I’ll be headed back up to the room for a shave and change of clothes before being thrown into the fire.

And well, now it’s time to head out. Glad I could manage an entry today, the outlook was grim around 1am last night when I was too tired to write. See ya.

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