Monday, March 02, 2009

Change is good?

The climate is changing and I have nothing to wear!

I’m so confused.



Winter again.

I suppose that is the definition of climate change. It changes. A lot.

I’ve just returned from a quick trip to New York City, where I gave a presentation and participated in a panel discussion. This particular conference is always held at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square. It is a very nice hotel. I have found that I take photos of the same features every single time.

The elevators.

The view from my room.

The Peruvian flute players on Times Square.

This time I tried to branch out a bit.

I had a few free hours the afternoon I arrived so I got out of the hotel with the plan of walking around the city. I made it two blocks before I started to lose the feeling in my hands. Damn, it was cold! With cold wind! Ow!

I found the New York Times.

I discovered 8th Avenue is much easier to walk than 7th Avenue.

I learned that Dean & DeLuca has uneven service and should invest more in training its employees. They were good around lunchtime but laughably poor after 4pm. To wit:

The scene: one server helping create a salad for a patron. Someone who appears to be the manager, supervising two other servers, who are guarding the cash registers. A cleaner is sweeping the rug runner Brewgal is standing on. Brewgal moves off the rug at his urging. He sweeps very, very slowly. Finally the manager type shoos him off, where he takes up residence behind the counter.

Brewgal [after waiting for 5 minutes to get someone to notice her]: Can YOU take my order? [Brewgal has to catch a train in 30 minutes and is somewhat short on time.]

Sweeper: No. You’ll have to wait for her (motioning to the salad server, who is now ringing up the other patron).

Other server wanders over: Can I take your order?

Brewgal: I’d like a pastrami panini.

Server: A what?

Brewgal: A pastrami panini (pointing to large menu behind the server on which the sandwhich is clearly written).

Server: Ok. What kind of bread do you want.

Brewgal: Rye. It says it comes on rye.

The server locates and puts on a pair of latex gloves. Then he starts fondling the few remaining pieces of bread in the bread basket on the counter. After determining that these pieces are too stale to use, he retrieves a new loaf of rye from under the counter.

Server: Do you want regular mustard or brown mustard?

Brewgal: Which is spicier?

Server: The regular mustard.

Brewgal: I’ll have the regular mustard.

Server: We’re out of regular.

Brewgal (mouth slightly agape): Why did you ask me to choose if you were out of one of the choices?

Server: That’s why I asked you if you wanted brown mustard. Is brown ok?

Brewgal: Sure.

The server gets a bottle of brown mustard from under the counter and begins coating the bread with brown mustard. Brewgal starts to have doubts about the ability of this particular server to correctly make a pastrami panini, given that he is treating it as a regular pastrami sandwich, rather than a hot squished sandwich. This doubt is confirmed when, after searching under the counter (the apparent source of all things sandwich, sort of like a sandwich Tardis), he announces,

Server: We’re out of pastrami.

At this point I threw up my hands and said, “I have to go.”

I was forced to get a supreme burrito at Taco Bell for dinner.

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