Thursday, October 12, 2006


This week, my swell cousins S & R swooped into town. They are staying at an enormous hotel with a great neon sign. The lobby is ornate with drippy chandeliers that you know would crush you--or at least break your back and paralyze you--if they were to fall on you. When you ride the elevators, your ears pop. The floors, however, are not quite as lavish. There are scuff marks on the walls. The corridors are narrow and scream "Victorian-era fire trap!" Today when we went up there, the entire 2_th floor reaked of marijuana. I guess people go to hotels on their vacations, but come on! They are doing construction on the place. In the lobby there is an enormous stuffed bear wearing a hard hat and overalls. His name is "Bear Wittit" and he bears a polite sign asking hotel patrons to be patient with the renovations. I think it would be easier to do so sans enormous plush bear in the lobby. I can only imagine the person working at the construction company who came up with Bear Wittit. They must have said: "if we come up with something cute and enormous--preferably with a name like pun--people won't be as grumpy." Unbelievable. But the main point of this is not to get down on the construction company. Rather, it is to share the uncanny experience of observing new sights thanks to fresh (and familiar faces). If my cousins weren't in town. I wouldn't have ventured into the hotel solo. You can forget that. We've had a great time together. In the daytime, they roam around, visiting museums and parks and seeing all the other holiday-goers in action. In the evenings, we get dinner together. We've visited some of our old favorites and also sallied forth to test new culinary waters. The results have all been satisfying. Tonight, we went to the top of the empire state building. It was excellent. Please look at photos of us, and of the bright and blurry city lights.

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