Two trains go directly between Charlottesville, which is station CVS, and NYP, Penn Station. I picked the wrong one. Well, it was beyond my control, because I had to be at New York University at 2:30 and the Crescent arrived at 1:46 p.m. and the Northeast Regional arrived at 3:20.
I did not get to the basement of Madison Square Garden until 3:36 p.m. I arrived at my 2:30 appointment at 3:45.
This was a business trip. Since it was in Manhattan, we figured any mode of transportation would have been better than driving. Flying seemed a little too expensive for a day trip, and I’m trying to avoid going to the Port Authority Bus Terminal again.
The problems began even before I officially left. The Crescent gets tied up with freight traffic before it gets to Virginia, so instead of leaving at 7:09, we left at about 8 o’clock. The Northeast Regional leaves Charlottesville at 8:53.
I don’t know we still wound up arriving after the Northeast Regional is scheduled to get to Penn Station. For all I know, it passed us at some point. Or it wound up being pretty close behind us. Or the entire passenger rail system went to crap on the day of my hometown’s 409th anniversary, July 9.
My boss and I caught the very end of the meeting before I changed into my suit (I brought a linen suit with me for that meeting, and I was going to wear it, damn it) in a restroom before the post-meeting reception.
Then we checked into our hotel room. At first, they tried to claim that we only purchased one hotel room. When they realized that mistake, they blamed it on the internet that didn’t work and it couldn’t be fixed until the next day because they “needed a part.”
WE ARE ON THE ISLAND OF MANHATTAN. IF YOU CAN’T GET A “PART” TO FIX THE INTERNET IN YOUR HOTEL WITHIN AN HOUR, WELL, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
After we went to our, thankfully, separate hotel rooms, we decided to just have a night out, since we couldn’t do work on a Tuesday. Good thing I didn’t have something crucial to edit. Oh. Wait.
Much like that terrible Myrtle Beach restaurant, I’m not naming the hotel.
We got dinner at Szechuan Mountain House, which mostly was delicious. I got a dish with cony meat. I had hoped it would be a grouper and not a lagomorph. It was a lagomorph, and some of the pieces of meat had tiny bones. After a while, it became hard to eat. The seasonings and everything else were fantastic. I would go again and do a better job of picking a dish.
Afterward, we walked around Alphabet City a bit. My boss lived there for a while and talked about things had have changed since he was there. We stopped at Ace Bar for a while, where we did not play any games (despite that being why we went there). Afterward, we stopped at Paper Daisy, where I had a dinner without bones. Then we got separated after ordering late-night shawarma from I don’t know where (and Google doesn’t either). It was on Allen Street. That’s all I know.
On Wednesday, I scheduled meeting one of Renée’s aunts at 1 p.m. because I left LSW9 there when we made a quick trip up to celebrate another aunt’s birthday in June. After needed coffee at The Bean and more Mediterranean food at Mamoun’s, we walked over to Sixth so our Lyft driver would have an easy time getting to Penn Station.
About 20 minutes in, I looked up and noticed we were on Madison Avenue.
WHY ARE WE ON MADISON AVENUE?
We got out of the car on THIRTY-FIFTH STREET and hoofed it to my wife’s aunt. I was late. So very late. I apologized over texts and in person and I’m certain she still is mad at me because it was a work day.
The train left two minutes early at 2:15 p.m. I was looking forward to getting into my apartment at 9 p.m.
But we were on the Crescent again.
Then we sat in North Brunswick, New Jersey, for 45 minutes. And then we got to Union Station.
Trains are electrified north of Washington. If you’re heading south, you have to wait a few minutes while the engines are switched out. Something was wrong with ours, so we sat. A train to Richmond came and went. I almost hopped on it. I tried to see if I could quickly rent a car. We sat for two hours. You know, basically the duration of the rest of the trip.
The duration of the trip back to CVS somehow took three hours. My Lyft didn’t arrive until 11:30 because who works for Lyft on a Wednesday night?
I got to the my apartment at midnight. I grabbed some fast food and, less than 12 hours later, I was on the road to Richmond. My boss and I scheduled two other business meetings on Thursday. It’s been nearly three months, and writing about this makes me tired.
And here we are. I’ll be able to talk about the weekend of Sept. 28 and include the wedding and I can mention seeing Pete in June, my wedding anniversary and the wedding I attended in the first part of that story because they’re somewhat loosely related. Other than a funeral, nothing of note has happened since that weekend, so we’re effectively caught up now.
Well, I still need to complete the album posts, but whatever. Oh, and I’ve just been playing Brand New Day by Sting a lot over the past three days. I inadvertently got After the Rain Has Fallen in my head and I forgot that I really don’t like Desert Rose.
But I digress.
May I never get this behind on posting again.