Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York State of Mind

And... my New York State of Mind is "bitchy."

Flight was due in at 4:00, and I needed to get through immigration and customs and out to midtown in time to check-in, change, eat dinner, and get to a play by 8:00.  Knowing that the taxi line can often be long, I reserved a limo (well, a town car) -- billed at $60, but it ended up over $100 once they added in tax, tolls, "meet & greet" fee, and gratuity.  Fine, just get the damn car there when I need it.

So, plane lands, clear immigration, get bags (both of them!), clear customs (all by about 4:20) walk out to where six limo guys are standing with signs for passengers, and my name is not among them.  I call the limo people and they make various excuses about being caught in traffic, and I'm thinking I could be in a fucking taxi right now for half the money.

Note the expletive.  I'm in New York -- it seems to come with the territory.  So I'm pretty much on a hair-trigger and these idiots are pissing me off.  The guy eventually shows up, and starts walking me to the car -- he takes one of my bags and leaves me carrying the other.  Really?  A $12 "meet and greet" fee and a $12 tip and I'm hauling a bag?  F you, people.

Yuri apparently reads minds, because he reaches for my second bag when we're halfway to the parking lot.  He then attempts to mollify me with the fact that they sent a stretch limo rather than a town car.  Same rate.  I am somewhat impressed, but the fact is, I would've taken a taxi if it would've gotten me to the city sooner.  It's about speed, not snootiness.

After some initial difficulty with my credit card (natch), we eventually get on the road (4:45) and make it to the hotel at around 6:00.  I make an enemy of the doorman by refusing to let him take my bags.  It isn't that I'm against bell guys on principle -- and I'm not against tipping a few bucks either -- it's just that when they take your bags, you don't get them back until after you're in your room already, and I'm in a fucking hurry.  So when doorguy tried to grab my bags out of the limo (probably wrongfully expecting a big spender), I say I'll take them.  He says he'll take them.  We're having a standoff in the middle of the street, and I have to raise my voice and say, "Sir, I will take my bags!"  I was inches away from actually using the word "unhand" (or "damn" -- it could've gone either way).

So, here I am, in my room (small, but functional, and with free wi-fi -- yay America!), tidying up and getting ready for the theatre.

Last night:  "Frankenstein" in London.  Tonight:  "Spider-Man" in New York.  From the sublime to the ridiculous.

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