A break from beds that were too small and no hot water or heat in the winter. There was only one downside on this trip. The Egyptian authorities wanted to detain me. They suspected me of being an Egyptian radical.
At the Red Sea in Hurghada, Egypt – January 1996. Coffee and Reading for breakfast.
My overseas assignments were not always 5 Star Hotels, Caviar & Tuxedos or Limo pickups from the airport. Most times I was roughing it. This is me in my hotel room in Samara, a city in southwestern Russia. (November, 1996) Notice the legroom and the wonderful assortment of brilliant colors!
I rarely get a lot of time to sightsee during business travel. Once, when I was on assignment for a project in the Chicago area, I worked 9 days straight without a day off.
Day10 was a Sunday and I thought about going into town to watch a guy walk a tightrope from the top of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) to the top of another skyscraper. I didn’t go. I wasn’t in the mood for the crowd plus I was tired. I just wanted to sit, chill, ponder, eat and go to bed. I would be right back on the manufacturing plant floor the very next day, starting up another 5 to 7 day work journey.
Most times, that is the nature of business travel. Sometimes, however, I get a moment to myself. It is 5pm. I knock off early and head to my hotel. Sunset isn’t until six. I change shoes, remove my blazer and throw on my gym clothes. I lock my laptop in the safe, leave my room, take the elevator downstairs and head out the door. The bay that sits at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico is only five blocks away. As I walk, I think: Good afternoon Sarasota! Good to finally hang out with you. It’s good to take a moment to myself.
On weekends, I venture into New York City from my little condo in Danbury, Connecticut. I drive eight miles to Brewster, New York. I park. I hop on a metro train and ride for an hour and a half to Grand Central Station. I walk through Vanderbilt Hall just to see if any new exhibits or events are taking place and then I make my way down to the lower east side. On Foot. (And I am grateful that I can walk like this for many cannot)
Today, January 26th, a Sunday, I leave Grand Central, cross the street at Pershing Square restaurant and make my way down Park Avenue. It is cold this morning but I am overdressed. That morning news person went on and on about the wind chill factor. “There’s going to be a wind chill factor in the 20’s, there’s going to be a wind chill factor in the 20s, chirp, chirp, cluck, cluck.” Okay, Chicken Little, I listened to you and now I’m burning up. It feels more like 40 degrees than 20.
I turn on my step counter and step it up. I want to stop in Chelsea today for my break, therefore I turn right on East 37th and I cross Madison, Fifth and Broadway. I turn left on Sixth. I meditate while I walk. I turn right on West 30, walk more and the I take another left at Seventh. I cross West 27th and I make a stop at a little place called “…Kinahan’s.” Merlot’s are $5. I order one and take a load off.
Step Counter: 1.77 miles
Stay tuned for more posts about New York City Walking