It’s taken me a couple of weeks to getting around to posting this New York City summary blog, but hey, better late than never.

The trip was a lot of fun, actually. We took the train to Union Station in Toronto, and then caught a shuttle bus and ferry to Toronto Island for our flight via Porter Airlines. That was a pleasure, although it left about an hour late. It was not a problem to wait in their beautiful lounge though, what with its free Internet, snacks and drinks.

The flight arrived at Newark airport only about 30 minutes late, and we quickly caught a train to Penn Station. After getting oriented, we found our hotel, the Radisson Martinique on Broadway only a couple of short blocks away. Despite being a $350/night hotel, it was pretty ordinary. I’m glad I didn’t pay $350/night, but instead used Amex points to book the room. The room stank of paint fumes, because I guess it had been recently repainted. We had to keep the windows open and the heat cranked to be comfortable. Being NYC, the room was pretty small too. I don’t consider that to be too much of an issue though.

That first night, we rested up a bit before heading out to see Harold Night at the UCBT. Seeing how the UCB runs and promote its shows was very inspiring. The sold out theatre and standby line that stretched down the block was testament to this. For the most part, the improv was excellent too.

We slept late the next day, which was relaxing. But, we still managed to get to see the Guggenheim, despite getting lost a few times on the way there. It turns out that people in NYC don’t know where things are unless they’re in their immediate neighbourhood. We knew when we were getting close to the famous giant-snail-shaped museum when people started having a clue what we were asking about. The Guggenheim turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The big spiral ramp, which is the defining feature of the building, was closed for the installation of a new exhibit. Since the building depends on this ramp for its easy navigation, we were forced to use back staircases and elevators to get from floor to floor. We were constantly running into other confused visitors who couldn’t figure out how to get around the place. It was a bit of a relief to leave there. That night, we had awesome Korean BBQ across the street from the hotel with a friend of mine from journalism school. I haven’t seen her since 1996, but she still looks the same, although more glamorous now that she’s a TV news reporter for Time Warner.

The next day, we hit the MoMA, which was very cool. I really enjoyed seeing the Picasso works in person, which play into something that Laura and I are working on, but I’m still not ready to show yet. There was also a great exhibition about photography printing techniques, which was pretty technical and fascinating to me because I’m a geek.

That night, we walked for quite a long time looking for a place to have dinner. We eventually settled at Five Ninth, and had an amazing meal. We even got a free dessert and 20% off our bill for being subjected to the filming of their TV commercial during our dinner. After dinner, we took the subway to Central Park for the obligatory touristy horse carriage ride. I’m sure we could have negotiated a better price, but we were so excited about finding the horse carriages that we just said, “WE’LL TAKE IT!” and jumped in. Both of us, masterful businesspeople, really.

The next day, we were headed back to Canada again, reversing our route through Penn Station, Newark airport, Toronto Island airport and Union Station. It was an easy and quick ride home.

I’m posting these snaps, even though Laura hates how she looks in them. I think she looks great, and that I don’t look like much of a prize, but to me, the memories of good times are more important than the vanity. Right?

The NYC Subway system makes me feel two different ways:

I’m certain my life was shortened considerably by the air quality underground. The way it made my eyes red and watery was reminiscent of the most industrial zones of China. Especially when we passed by a guy massaging his bare blackened foot that we could smell from a distance of 50 paces.

For some interesting retrospect, here’s a photo of Times Square in the 1940’s from the Library of Congress.