New York is like hot sauce in the morning. There is a subtle but noticeable trace of vinegar and a lot of spice.
I tried to hit Starbucks for a cup of green tea before heading to the training at WNYC, but I stood on the corner watching life go by a few minutes too long and missed my window.
I ran for the subway, the number 1 to Houston, pronounced HOWston. I learned this the hard way.
WNYC sits proudly at the corner of Varick and Charlton streets, a beacon-station, I’m told, for many reporters.
I joined a group of public radio reporters from around the country gathering to talk about transportation and all the issues surrounding it. No better place to do this than in New York city.
I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that you definitely rely on the facts they gather and the voices they use to explain things. They get you home on time. Or close to it.
I watched New York go by through the big windows of the performance studio where the training was held.
When I wasn’t completely immersed in some detail of the national transportation story, I’d drift outside to the cars heading toward the Holland Tunnel.
The rush starts early, but then it is a Friday, and I can imagine people are anxious to get back to their homes in Jersey.
When the workshop wound up, a group of reporters walked over to the Arctic, a bar a few blocks from the station. We curled up around a few drinks and talked shop, which if not our favorite thing to do as reporters, definitely comes in a close second, especially with a drink in hand and a boisterous atmosphere.
We told war stories, shared technology secrets and marveled at how other shops conduct their business.
After drinks, we made our way to The Ear, which used to mark the water line on a much narrower Manhattan. If you stand at the side of the bar and look south, you see rows and rows of buildings on what used to be river.
The Ear has been around for a long, long time. I believe it’s called the oldest working bar in Manhattan.
It was built for a James Brown, an aid to George Washington though, not the Godfather of soul.
It’s been a home to sailors and salty New York patrons ever since.
Kind of perfect for a bunch of journalist types to hang out in and talk about ghosts.
The folks from the national show “Marketplace” met us there and regaled us with more stories and pictures of spouses and kids. They even picked up the tab. Nice folks.
I pitched a story to one of the editors. They liked it.
Now I get to say I pitched a story in New York, even though John Haas works in Los Angeles.
New York factored into our discussions all day. I didn’t get to wander aimlessly around taking pictures today. In some ways we explored New York from the inside, looking at the way people get around and the structures that allow them to live their lives.
Sometimes I think journalists are the best people to hang out with. Their view of the world may be skeptical, but they see through many of the layers of this life better than the average Joe. That’s why we need them.
On the way back to the Cosmopolitan Hotel in TriBeCa, we talked about 1 World Trade Center and how you have tickets to get in to the 9/11 Memorial. I think I’ll do that another time.
We laughed at funny traffic control signs, especially when one of them flew us the bird.
After parting ways at the elevator, I briefly thought about trying to find the well-known Weather Up bar a few blocks from the hotel. But getting to know New York from the inside is a lot to digest in one day. I decided to let it all sink in over a good night’s sleep.
I’ve got a lot of city to see on Saturday and not a lot of time to do it in.