Yeah, could hardly help it since it's one of the major lines. And it's my birthday. And I'm sitting in a really lovely place in New York. Damn, this is nice (and expensive--I've gone from $24/night to $40/night to $70/night). And yes, I'm getting what I paid for!
Trip to New York was relatively uneventful. I did end up having a bad run-in with a taxi driver in Tel Aviv--he overcharged me (although, in retrospect, not more than $8, which really isn't enough to get upset about. When he said my VISA card wouldn't work--as I'm about to get on a plane to New York--that was worrisome. Ten minutes later--after much yelling--he called his supervisor, who walked him through the process successfully. In other words, the moron effectively accused me of being a deadbeat when it was his ineptitude. Did he apologize? Why no. He said "ain baya"--meaning "no problem." To which I wanted to answer "yesh baya" meaning "uh, dude... there is a problem and it's you" (or literally "there is a problem" but I like my interpretation better). Or "baya g'dolah" (big problem). And no, I emphatically did NOT tip him.
After that had a lovely meal with Nurit and family.
Then to the airport, where I got through all the massive security in an hour (moving quickly but lots of checkpoints). Two high points: I got to leave my shoes on and apparently I have a cute accent/style of talking--the woman checking my bag began imitating me a bit, which I noticed and commented on and we giggled together. (In fairness, she may have been laughing at me, not with me, but I can live with that.)
Plane ride was completely uneventful--I slept, as did the whole plane. And then I was through customs, etc. etc. and on the A-train in under an hour. Made it to my new place by 9 AM--early but they were fine with that. It's grand. 4th floor in an area that's a hot new area. So looks a bit grimy but inside, they've done a bang-up job of redoing kitchen and bath and the works. Four bedrooms--two are offices; one for the couple (two women artists/graphic designers as best I can tell), and a tiny, but well-appointed room for guests.
Met Manoah for lunch and we went to a terrific restaurant in Harlem near Columbia called AmyRuth's. Salmon cakes and fried okra and grits for me. Waffles and chicken for Manoah--and a very long conversation that covered both our academic fields and our families. And now I'm back and ready to get some work done!