Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Things that didn’t happen while I was in New York City

I spent approximately 48 hours in Manhattan for a Dog Writers Association of America writing competition awards banquet and had a great time. But, since I’m me, there were a lot of unpleasant things that I thought had a strong possibility of happening while I was in New York City. Thankfully, these things did not occur during my stay in the Big Apple:

I did not drop my  late-grandfather-in-law’s very large coat into a toilet.

I have to pee approximately 4,576 times a day and in New York City, many of the bathrooms are ridiculously small (and really dirty). Every time I juggled jacket, scarf, gloves, pantyhose, and so on in these smelly shoeboxes I was certain that I had/was going to dip the bottom of my coat in a bacteria-filled john. Each time I walked out sans filth, I felt like I dodged a bullet. Bonus: I avoided getting anything questionable on the rest of me too.

I did not fall on chunks of ice.

Here’s what I didn’t know about snow: it might start out fluffy and beautiful, but it turns into ice, which is sometimes also beautiful, and sometimes gray and full of paper cups, cigarette butts, and other things I don’t want to know about. It lurks just below curbs to snag unsuspecting tourists. I guess I was suspicious enough, though, because I remained upright. What an accomplishment.

I was not mugged.

In fact, no one looked at me crosswise. This might mean that I’m unobservant (that’s actually a true fact), or that I clearly looked like someone who had nothing worth taking (see the part about me wearing a borrowed men’s coat). But there’s a chance that NYC is not filled with criminals out to take advantage of tourists. A chance.

I did not fall down (or up) the Statue of Liberty stairs.

My big coat, scarf, gloves, audio tour doohickey, sunglasses, and so on trekked up the 300+ steps inside the Statue of Liberty podium. I wasn’t the best balanced person on the planet, but I wasn’t worried too much about going up. Going down, however, was tricky. I was pretty sure that I would slip, fall, and bash something important and sensitive on the metal-edged steps. I could also pretty easily visualize myself in a brown-coated heap on one of the landings, oozing a sexy trickle of blood out of my ear (sexy?). Therefore, I clutched the railings like nobody’s business and made it down intact. Win!

I did not get blown off of any high object.

It was damned windy in New York this weekend. Not just “Oh, my hair got mussed” windy. We’re talking, “I really need to lean to counterbalance or I’m going to fall,” wind. And where was it the windiest? At the top of the Statue of Liberty podium. I am never interested in being a human kite, so I was super happy to remain on the ground and upright.

I did not lose anything.

I tried really hard to lose stuff during this trip.  I dropped my Statue of Liberty ticket out of my pocket (I’m clumsy in gloves) after arriving on Liberty Island but before entering the Statue security area. I retraced my steps and found it on the ground. I’m not sure why any of those criminals NYC is teaming with didn’t make off with it, but I’m grateful. 

Speaking of gloves, I also dropped single gloves at least three times. I can’t actually blame that on being clumsy while wearing gloves, though, since they were (of course) off at the time of the dropping. Each time I managed to notice/locate/retrieve the runaway glove with no problems.

I also lost hotel keys, boarding passes, credit cards, and other items several times, but they were always actually in one of my bazillion pockets. I’m not sure that this counts as “losing” something. I think it’s more “misplacing.” Or “idiocy” maybe. 

Probably idiocy.

I did not eat too much crappy food.

I like to eat, and I like to make the most out of my eating opportunities by treating myself to my favorite (fat-filled) dishes when I get the chance to dine out. But I was a really good girl, ordering appetizers instead of gigantor proportions, and eating lots of veggies. Don’t get me wrong, I probably didn’t lose any weight on my excursion. But it could have been worse. Much worse.  (I did have a half an order of fajitas at the Hard Rock Café, but I could have easily eaten the whole thing, so I still get an A- at least, right?)

I did not drop my cell phone from great heights or into a large body of water.

My phone is still relatively new, is expensive (to me), and acts as my camera (amongst other things). Therefore I was sure that while snapping pics of Lady Liberty, my phone would be blown from my frosty hands, fly hundreds of feet, and land in the icy water. I have bought the insurance but I’m not sure it pays out for “acts of ridiculousness.” Fortunately, I kept my phone firmly in hand all weekend.

I did not attract the attention of any security personnel at any checkpoints.

In addition to the normal airport security clearance points, I had to do full-out airport security checks twice on the way to the Statue of Liberty. They are not kidding when it comes to making sure no terrorists mess with that statue. So that means during 48 hours, I removed both coats and my scarf, emptied my pockets, took off my sunglasses, and so on, four times. I had to remove my shoes twice at airports but not at Liberty Island. I had to remove my belt both times when visiting Lady Liberty, but not at the airports. I’m not sure why my shoes are sometimes safer than others, but whatever. Regardless of the finer points, under no circumstances did I set off alarms or get patted down. I didn’t even get a hairy eyeball. I’m not disappointed.

I did not have a wardrobe malfunction at a banquet.

I should have bought a nice new top to wear to this banquet. I didn’t. The night before I left, I rummaged through a bunch of borrowed shirts and sweaters and then decided to wear a tank top shell thingo and one of two over-shirts (all of which were my own). I brought them both on the trip, and decided to wear the dressier one. After putting it on, I realized that for some reason, an excessive amount of underclothing was visible (I’m pretty sure excessive is in the eye of the beholder, but in the case of an awards banquet, I’m thinking no bra is good bra, if you follow me). Modesty and good taste dictated the more coverage of shirt number two. Still, without safety pins, I was somewhat concerned that I’d be flashing a little too much everything if I wasn’t careful. So I was careful. And to my knowledge, no one was scarred for life by seeing too much of me.

I did not not win my award.

Surprise! My newsletter won the award it was up for! Don’t tell anyone, but I was pretty sure we would lose. Pessimism and all that. But the announcer called my name and I got my picture taken in my underdressed outfit and super-fluffy hair. Big win!

Thanks, New York City, for continuing to bring the awesome and for keeping your alleged crappy side to yourself during my short stay. Now if you could just do something about how tired you made me….

UPDATE! Here's a link to an article about the award my newsletter won:


  1. The mental image I keep getting in my head with you wearing the coat, gloves, etc, is hilarious! Thank you for sharing.

  2. LOL! Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. Maybe I should share a picture, but it's probably not as funny as it is in words. :)

  3. NYC is smelly and dirty but not really any more dangerous than anywhere else. Funny the ideas people have about it. Also funny how people think that everyone who lives in NYS lives in NYC....

  4. I'm sure that New York varies quite a lot in it's various cities. I think I'd like to see more of it some day.

  5. Wow! You had extraordinarily good luck- for you. ;) lol
    Congrats on the honor!

  6. That is the truth!!!! Thanks, Maria! :)