My summer started, with my expectations of city folk about to be derailed.
I walked ‘bout a half mile up 33rd Street to Broadway, locating the hotel I‘d booked for the night. Only catch – check-in wasn't until four. With a suitcase mostly filled with books (I’d be attending the New York Book Festival tomorrow – in the same hotel) and two business-casual-changes folded in the large shoulder tote, taking a bite out of the Big Apple on arrival day wasn't going to be easy. Crowded New York street crossings are not suitcase-on-wheels/stuffed-shoulder-totes friendly. Conventional wisdom told me throngs of city dwellers and workers weren't necessarily friendly on a number of levels, no less on the corners of their congested streets.
But there I stood at the revolving door of the hotel. The doormen looked more business-like than polite as they waved guests in and out of the threshold’s spin-around. Yet, it wouldn't hurt to go in, I thought. I'd ask if there was a place I could leave my baggage until four (even as I questioned how secure is secure behind the front desk of a big city hotel). I waited in line for my turn with a desk clerk. A sympathetic desk clerk I hoped.
“I’m booked here for tonight,” I explained. “I was wondering if you had a place I could –“
“Name,” she interrupted.So much for sympathetic.
I gave my last name. Almost immediately she followed-up with my first. Then asked for a credit card. Her fingers clicked the keyboard, her eyes glued to the computer screen
“Your room is ready,” she announced.
“Really?” I said. “And I was just hoping to be able to leave my bags some –“
“Christmas in June,” she remarked, then cracked a smile. “The first elevator will take you up to 18. It’s the highest level,“ she said as she handed me my scan key.
“Even better than Christmas in July,” I said. “Thank you so much.”
I headed for the only elevator that went to the top level, and said a silent prayer there’d be no fire !
(to be continued)