Thankfully, my new job doesn't require me to dress up. It does require me to travel to New York City though on the train, which I always find to be an odd experience.
Generally, I'm more used to taking the train up to Boston, or the subway while in Boston. So the mass of humanity milling about, on their way to Connecticut or New York or Washington D.C., is fascinating to me. I managed to avoid having a seat-mate until the New Haven stop, about 90 minutes out from the city. (Unfortunately, unlike every movie I've ever seen about train or plane travel, a foxy Natalie Portman-like lady is not sitting next to me. This woman looks like Medea.)
Anyway, for the first couple stops out of Kingston, the people across from me were, to put it politely, trying to make a baby. Like, they were draped across their two seats, entangled and kissing. It was kind of... really gross. I hope they had a good reason for it.
Also on the early trip were a pair of young girls, who apparently were allowed to travel by themselves. By "young" I mean 10 to 12, which seemed REALLY young to me. They had to call and check in with their mom after each stop, which led to a somewhat comical 2-minute phone conversation each time, since the reception isn't really that great.
Girl: MOM! I'm in Westerly now. West-ter-ly. It's like in Rhode Island or something. I think New Haven is next. New HAVEN!
This repeated itself about five times, since she was wrong each time about New Haven being the next stop. Good times, good times. The Lovers didn't really think much of The Young Travelers, even though they were seemingly doing their best to create future Young Travelers.
My only companion during this long journey is my trusty MacBook. However, in the "Rhode Island Is Too Small" category, I did bump into a girl from college at the train station. I don't remember her name though, and she wasn't traveling alone, so again, I avoided the Portman scenario outlined above. (I wouldn't have minded this necessarily, although I'm not sure how well the "I don't remember your name" thing would have gone over.)
I will note that the MacBook has a ridiculously good battery. It looks like it's going to survive just about the entire four-hour trip. (4:17 p.m. to 7:40ish p.m.) I'm watching Criminal Intent, or at least, I'm trying to. I have the first five seasons, but the first season was skipping way too much, and so far, I've already seen the first 14 episodes of season two. (It is weird to see Holly from The Office and Beadie Russell from The Wire in "Suit Sorrow" though, now that I know who she is. And Daniels from The Wire in "Probability", which ironically cribs from the plot of the fifth season of The Wire.)
Anyway. I finally get off the train, grabbing a slice from one of those pizza places they have in the terminal at Penn Station. By now, it's about 8, and since it's overcast but not horrible out, I decide to hoof it the two miles to my hotel.
After about a tenth of the mile, it starts POURING. I get effing drenched, from head to toe. According to the news broadcast I saw, the city got about two inches of rain in a couple hours. Wonderfully, I waded through it, since I had no idea how much a taxi cost. (Looking it up after the fact, it probably would have been about $5 to $10, a price I would have gladly paid.)
Also, I may have inadvertently freaked a girl out. Apparently, she decided to walk from Penn Station to Broadway (where my hotel is roughly) as well, and I trailed behind her the entire time. This was mostly because I had two bags to carry, and couldn't really work up a good pace, since it was raining and all that.
However, once I finally made it to my hotel, the night got radically better. My room is ridiculously nice, and the only downside is that I just get one night in it. Womp womp womp. It was completely dark by the time I got here, so you might not get any pictures of the skyline from the windows. The room is very, very nice and spacious:
My bath tub and shower. I used this almost immediately, since I was trying to thaw out from getting soaked in the rain. As I was waiting in the lobby to be taken to my room, some people saw me and said, "Oh wow I'm glad we decided not to go out!" Yeah, well, I guess that was smart on your part.
A nice flat screen.
A ridiculously plump and cushy bed. I'm practically nodding off laying on it right now.
However, bookshelves continue to taunt me. My room has one, and it is full of classy books on art and conventional fare. Unfortunately, I don't really have time to read, otherwise I'd probably poke around a bit.
Considering my night though, I didn't feel bad about splurging on room service, the first and (probably) only time I will do this. Here is some of that delectable goodness:
Described as having taleggio cheese, caramelized onions, pickled mustard seeds and herbed fries. Whatever was on it, it was delicious, although not as good as...
Holy smokes these things are like a DRUG. I devoured them, along with the green herb stuff that accompanied them.
I also got some stromboli. It was fancy stromboli though, and it was delicious.
And last but not least, they have their own fancy, delicious mustard:
Anyway, as you read this, I'm on a train from New York City (7 p.m. Monday) to Boston (10:30 p.m. Monday) for the second day of training on Tuesday. I'll probably have an entry about that whole experience as I go through it ready for Tuesday night's post. I'm finally back in Rhode Island on Tuesday night, and probably sleeping off most of my travel on Wednesday morning. I'll be back to regular posting at that point.