Forbidden Nightlife (no smoking) and the UN

Campbell’s Apartment is one of the few surviving cigar bars in New York. Mayor Bloomberg, the ultimate RINO, has pushed through a smoking ban very similar to California’s but with no loopholes.

It’s a classy joint in Grand Central Station. Get into your nice clothes and smoke a Habano. Their martinis, excellent!

I met a bureaucrat from the UN there. She spouted the same garbage that Kofi Annan and that bunch of corrupt third world outcasts use against the US. “Pay your dues and do what we say”. What has UN membership done for the US lately? What have we gotten for all the billions of dollars we pour into that? To keep corrupt third worlders in New York?

How about this: Move UN headquarters to Boise or Des Moines and see just how plum that assignment is, eh?

Free Wi-Fi and great pizza

8 July, High Tea to Dinner Time

Wisdom of free Wi-fi

After my visit to the house of Nat, I sauntered across the street to Bryant Park. This is a community park that was taken back from the powers of scum (drug dealers and bums) by the powers of good. Besides free Wi-Fi that blankets the park, there’s a cafe and games and private security. Very safe and very busy.

So I sat under a tree in 90+ degree heat and went online. Did my business for two hours (!). Time passes when you have free Wi-Fi. Even in that kind of heat.

Met up with my Hells’ Kitchen friends at John’s Pizza near Times Square. A famous pizza palace in an old church. Mmmmmmmmm.

Hot Sticky New York AM

8 July, Early AM

It wasn’t too bad getting into town. Took the Airtrain to NJ Transit commuter rail into Penn Station. 40 minutes. Nice. Beats the subway from JFK. Faster, cleaner, less stops, place for baggage.

Subways are not designed for baggage.

The station turnstiles and gates are also not designed for baggage. Try going through these with a roller and a backpack!

Got an early check-in at the Helmsley Windsor. It’s on W58th @ 6th Avenue. Very nice location. Central Park is a block away, the Madison and 5th Avenue shopping districts are close. And the F line (subway) is across the street from the hotel. The hotel is a bit worn, but for $85/night, I’ll deal with it.

Went puttering with one of my friends who escaped San Francisco. She likes it here but misses her home in Southern California. Can’t blame her, but she IS in a better place than San Francisco.

We met at the Popover Cafe where they serve popovers with strawberry butter. Yummy place. Stuffed animals all over the place. Kinda cutsey. Stayed there for two + hours because of the heat and my need to recover from my flight. Lots of coffee…

Madison Avenue has all the chi chi shops and we puttered up and down the strip. Dunhill moved here from Park Ave and they have a very spiffy new humidor. I think we stopped at or poked into every fancy haute couture boutique before we split up. She went back to Hell’s Kitchen (where she and her husband reside) and I went down to Nat Sherman’s to pick up some supplies…

Red Eye moaning

7 July, late night.

I don’t like red-eyes.

I understand how they’re useful. Once you arrive at your destination, you have the entire day to do stuff. This is with the proviso that you can sleep on command once you’re airborne. Door closes. ZZZzzzzz.

I can’t do that. Not even in 1st Class. Granted, it was 1st Class on an A320 (small plane) but nevertheless, 1st class.

I wound up tossing and turning and sleeping for only half the flight. The 1st Class food was a coldcut sandwich served with a hot bun and nice plates. The coldcuts were pretty good and we had our own flight attendant. But still coldcuts! Can’t imagine paying full fare for 1st class and getting coldcuts.

When we landed, we emerged into Singapore heat. 95 degrees with 100% humidity. Crap! At least I packed properly. Lots of linen shirts and some shorts and pants too. Welcome to Newark.

Well, New York is closer…

I remember promising my Asia logs, but there’s a lot of stuff to go through. Pictures. Pages. Lots of work. But there needs to be new stuff to read.

So I’m going to post stuff from my July trip to New York. An easier read and not as boring. =P

Back to the Past

I was chatting with a friend via ICQ about traveling so I sent her to this page. The one you’re reading Right Now.

She said “There’s three pictures of planes on it”.

Soooo now that I’ve got this Blogger thing working right, I will, over time, be posting pix and commentary from my trips to Asia. This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for several years now. And since I’ve finally cleaned off my desk, this is the next thing to do on the “To Do” list.

Well, at least it’s something to read at work, eh?

Airport Security and teachers

Flew back to SFO on the same kind of jet.

Going thru security was awful. Only one checkpoint and a really long line.

Sloooooooow

I met a really attractive young woman in line behind me. She said she was a teacher of little kids. I asked, “San Francisco Unified”? She laughed a lot and said “Marin”.

She would get eaten alive in the SFUSD. If the students didn’t get her, the administration and union would. No one’s allowed to be attractive or young there.

The difference between a big and a little jet

When I associate Air Travel with airplanes, the concept of a big bus with 4 engines, some space and 1st class service comes to mind.

Or these

So when I have to fly a regional jet, all that goes out the window.

Isn’t this a tad too small?

In fairness, it’s pretty fast, if cramped. Smooth riding. No overhead compartments to speak of. Not too bad.

But still, isn’t this a tad too small?

Summer = Stay at Home Season

Amazing how quickly the year has moved…it’s already Memorial Day!

Over here in the US, Summer travel season begins on the last Monday in May and ends on the first Monday in September.

For me personally, this is the beginning of the “Stay at Home” season, since it’s high season out there. High airline ticket prices, high hotel rates, high humidity and temperature…

That’s not a problem in SF…we had 4 days of 80 degree (24 degrees C?) weather. That’s a lot of summer for around here! Now, we’re moving into our classic summer pattern of 58 degree days with gusty 20 knot winds blowing in from the west. In short, COLD!

What all this moaning really means is that everyone else in the world (or at least in the office I’m in for 9 hours a day) is getting onto airplanes and flying somewhere where they have to reset their watches. I’ve got a backyard full of weeds and an Elite 250 to reassemble.

I’d rather be traveling…

More UA rants.

Today, the flight was oversold, even though we got there on time. That AirTrain thingy that goes to EWR works pretty well. Just a little bit of drama before we finally got assigned some seats. We got on the plane, in row 32 of a 757. That�s near the verrry back of the plane, folks! Check out just how far back at seatguru.
Now about the so-called “food”…
They forced us to eat vegan (favourite food lifestyle of der furher) awful sponge like �chocolate chip cookie�. How do I know this? It said so on the stupid wrapper! I wanted to spill a drink to test how absorbent the sponge like cookie really was…
They ran out of the stuffed pasta shells so there was dry chicken rice like substance. It�s not that the stuffed pasta shells are the bestest thing out there, but if you are going to overbook the flight to assure that it�s full, perhaps you should make sure that there�s enough food for people. If it�s not enough that they are trying to force an alternative lifestyle on us with Coke being replaced by Pepsi, reminding us that we fly for the benefit of the unions at the beginning of each flight and we should be grateful for what slop we do get, having to deal with the nazi vegan thing is going waaaay too far!
Yes, I like quality cookies. If you’re going to serve them, make sure they’re good! And that’s what pretty much inspired this tasteless (pun) post.