By Zachary Moses
I departed Key West bright and early. I hardly even remember the flight to New York for the GLBT Expo. I was so sleepy that I spent the majority of my time on the plane sawing logs. Due to a delay of my flight from Atlanta to Newark, I got the opportunity to eat at the airport McDonalds, although if I had known the amazing McDonalds that was waiting for me in Times Square, I would have waited to have this most cherished experience….
When I finally got to Newark Airport I helped a nice Canadian woman and her daughter figure out how to book train tickets into Manhattan. Cocky! I had no idea how to print train tickets into Manhattan, but every time I hit a snag, I just complained out loud about the worthless NYC transit system. They seemed to accept this well. I sat with them for the whole journey, and chatted all about the wonders of Canada. I had not actually bothered finding my hotel on any map before arriving in New York, so the Canadians returned my worthless favor of pretending to help them, by walking with me through the city pretending to help me find my hotel.
For dinner, I had my first ever New York Kebab from a street vendor. They put the kebab in a hot dog bun. Why would they do this? There was a pointy stick involved. I can’t eat a hot dog bun with a pointy stick running through it. This could have killed me! All I could think about was Inuits hiding flexible seal bones encased in frozen meat to kill polar bears. I kept looking over my shoulder while eating my kebab bun, to make sure I wasn’t being hunted.
In the morning I got out bright and early so that I could get some video of people acting rude, immoral and downright inappropriate for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. I got plenty of video of twenty-something’s ruining all their chances of ever running for political office.
The trade show got off to a great start with lots of people coming by the booth to see me and Marty. Marty runs Grand Canyon Expeditions, the supplier of the boats and superb crew that we use to run our Splash! Grand Canyon rafting tours. We had a lot of visitors to our booth, because Marty and I were giving away a free week-long Grand Canyon rafting trip to one lucky winner.
My feet hurt so badly by the end of the day from all the standing. I was also doing so much talking that I was starting to lose my voice. I sounded like Fran Drescher after getting a face full of corn starch. I started to eat candy like some kind of home-schooled teenager (who had been denied sweets his whole life), just shoving it in with the heel of my hand in order get the juices flowing and to prevent a sore throat.
That evening I went out with the sales manager of Lucky Strikes Lanes in New York City. He happened to be manning the booth across from me during the show. We, of course, went over to see the Lucky Strikes facility. Wow! Did you know that there is a bowling alley in New York City where you have to cross the velvet rope? Seriously, there are doormen, bouncers, hot employees and even a bathroom attendant (whom I still owe money to, since I had no tip money… I was not expecting to have to tip a bathroom attendant). After “slummin’ it at the bowling alley” Bryan showed me the Hudson River waterfront. Along the way, I had to pee so badly. Doesn’t anyone realize that you should have urinals along any waterfront? I had to duck behind a building to relieve myself. I walked back around the front of the building only to realize it was an NYPD building. Luckily for me, no one was looking. Whew…
The following morning I got on the subway train and went over to Central Park. It was really refreshing to just sit and take a break from the hustle bustle of the city, although “break” is a term I use very lightly for this city. I’ve never seen people in such a hurry to live their lives in my Life. It was nice just sitting and people watching for the morning, even if the passers-by were all jogging while drinking quadruple shot Americanos and chatting on their blue tooth headsets with “clients.”
After the expo that afternoon, I decided to go out exploring on my own. … This was a strange experience. No one said hello to me while I was out. There were a bazillion people in New York, all acting like no one else was there. This is so different from the One Human Family attitude of Key West, where one can spend 20 minutes of any given day discussing with random strangers about how hot our (openly gay) police chief is.
At some point this really good-looking guy sidled up to me and started following me around. He kept asking me all kinds of questions. “Where are you going? How long are you in New York? What do you do?” Ack! I was ordering pizza when it occurred to me that this guy was a total psychopath … I felt in this moment that if I didn’t remove myself from him that I was going to get robbed by him (note to self … not all people are flirting with me). Wow! It was soooo exhilarating! Potentially robbed?!! My god, I felt like an adventurer first class: danger, thrills, excitement … like something right out of the Hardy Boys.
Really, though, I just tucked myself in a corner and awkwardly ignored cookoo-bananas-guy for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile I spent my time sending cryptic text messages about my plight to loved ones and Facebook. Eventually he left, and I booked it back to my hotel, putting a stop to my spiraling paranoia.
Of course I should have gone straight to bed, but I couldn’t resist a quick pop into the hotel bar. I met a personal trainer in there, who told me I was working my butt out all wrong. Ouch! Until now, no one has dared question my posterior-size-maximization-techniques. It was like an open-hand slap to my ego, followed by a nice barefoot kick to the ear … although, I will admit that the new exercises are working and my butt now hurts every single time I take a step. Thank you mysterious-personal-trainer!
From here, mysterious-personal-trainer and I took our over-sized booties out on the town and got lost in the hubbub of Times Square. It is amazing to me that companies spend so much money to put video screens up on all these skyscrapers with moving ads. I will admit that it did captivate me to see these New Years-like scenes in person, and that I stayed out a little too late, but it was worth it. In fact, it totally gave me the chance to get pictures of myself standing on a pointless lighted red staircase to nowhere. Hooray!
New York, you are lots of fun! Although I think I came home with just a touch of sleep deprivation and a few new gray hairs.
Here’s more about the trip I was promoting at the GLBT Expo in New York: Splash! Grand Canyon white water rafting tour
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