Flying into the Arms of Love
I stayed up all night preparing for my journey. My steadfast friend Lani Harriman rose before 5 AM and drove me to the San Jose Airport. The first leg of the flight, I began making a second copy and update of my address book. Friends have married, died, moved, changed numbers and names; many opened, closed, and sold businesses, myself included. An airplane trip is an ideal time to do a tedious desk job of this sort--unless one has missed a night's sleep, inwhich case the risk of copying errors greatly increases. I elected instead to read the introduction from Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking by Jessica Mitford, the book a gift from Bob Treuhaft. Jessica Mitford writes delightfully about writing itself, mostly about how to research and report, which I now understand as never before. Lots of sneezing and coughing erupted on all sides of me--in the airport, on the plane. I fortified myself with echinacea tincture in water and Chinese flu pills (gan mao ling). Happy to know I have tools with which to deal with adverse circumstances. I feel fine tonight.
Jenny and John
After I changed planes in Cincinnati, I found myself next to a delightful woman psychologist named Jenny who lives on a ranch near Tucson and was on her way to Greece (via New York) where she would begin writing a series of childrens' books. We chatted non-stop to La Guardia, where we were met by her boyfriend, John, who insisted on renting a luggage cart for me, and, eventually, paying my cab fare into the city. We were all heading to mid-town Manhattan as it turned out, and we parted with hugs, with the possibilities of meeting tomorrow at the Ornette Coleman concert or on November 3 at my booksigning at Antigone in Tucson.
The view from the window of the apartment where we are staying
My great friend Tama Starr, author of three books and owner of Artkraft-Strauss, a company that for nearly a century has built spectacular signs in Times Square, including the New Years Eve ball, provided me with a room with a view--this view--for my stay here. I had only been here a few moments, when in walked Joe Gallivan, delighted to see me, delighted with our spacious and well-appointed lodgings, and wearing a rugby team shirt from the national team of Fiji.
We met Tama for the best Thai food we've ever had (and we eat a lot of Thai food) at Topaz Thai. A lot of laughter and talk from the heart, sharing about the artist's life, about travel, about Hawaii, where we have all spent many years. Afterwards, a walk around the neighborhood (Carnegie Hall, the Hard Rock Cafe, rivers of taxis, a stop in bagel shop), loving the sheer New Yorkness of it all.