This is the view from the hotel room where I have spent the past two nights. And for the first time in a long tme, i am in New York for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with writing, publishing, book promotion, or play rehearsals.
I came to NY because I had a free round trip ticket on the Limoliner (method of Boston-NY transportation chosen by all Thinking People) which had to be used by a certain soon-upcoming date, as the result of a previously cancelled trip. And for reasons having to do with the date (February) or the Economy (Doomsday), hotel rooms in NYC ---even this hotel room, with this spectacular view of Central Park----are relatively cheap at the moment. And in addition, a good friend of mine, a well-known writer, (whom I will call WKW since I am shortly going to tell a story about her which I do not have her permission to tell) was going to be in NYC, in this hotel, for these two days.
So I came down here a couple of days ago. Night before last I went to see Billy Elliot (for the second time, since I saw it in London last year), thereby effectively eating up almost the cost of my free Limoliner ticket. And yesterday, while waiting for WKW to arrive, I both worked a bit here in my hotel room (hotel rooms are a wonderful place to get work done since there are very few distractions, and the cleaning lady is quite happy when you say No, don't vacuum, it's fine) and then went out for a long walk, during which I stopped and got a haircut and, in another place, a manicure---(the combination costing more than a round trip Limoliner ticket).
Heading back to the hotel, I passed the Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, and slowed my pace to gawk. Something was going on. Many limos. Paparazzi. Plush ropes strung up to form a waiting-line area for very expensively dressed (in black) people holding what appeared to be black-bordered invitations in their hands. A surprisingly large number of the invitation-holders were gay men. Or maybe I am stereotyping on small evidence. It could have been, actually, that they were heterosexual Wall Street lawyers who just happened, on this cold damp Wednesday, to be wearing mink scarves and to be blowing air-kisses to other heterosexual guys.