Sunday, May 18, 2008

A New York Day

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Somewhere near Times Square, NYC.

After enjoying the birds of Central Park for the morning, it was time to hit the streets and subways to make my various appointments. First stop was the Hearst Tower for an interview with The Daily Green an new environmental e-newsletter. Dan, the editor who interviewed me, told me a lot of interesting stuff about the tower, an example of green building. For example, much of the steel used was recycled, the glass in the walls was designed to be both passive solar and more resistant to window strikes from birds.

The Hearst Building, New York City.

Cooling water cascade inside the Hearst Building.

In the giant lobby there was a water cascade coming down the center wall. This, Dan explained, was rain water collected from the roof and it was moved through the building to offer both cooling and added humidity. Cool idea.
Sirius Radio offices in midtown Manhattan.

After The Daily Green and a lunch at The Algonquin Hotel, I bolted over to The Avenue of the Americas for a radio interview on The Martha Stewart Living Today show. Sirius Radio is the broadcaster of the show, which is produced at their offices on the 40th floor. Inside the office doors the walls are covered with Plexiglas and the Plexiglas is covered with autographs and graffiti from the various famous folks who've been on one of the Sirius Radio programs. I did not want to be a gherkin and stand at the wall looking for artists I knew. So I sat across the room and scanned the walls with my binoculars. This might have been worse. The hipsters sitting and hanging around the office stared at me pretty hard. Oh well. Sometimes you just gotta be a gherkin.
The Sirius autograph wall had some great bands on it, including Bell XI and A Fine Frenzy.

The interview went well. Host Mario Bosquez is a pro who knows that enthusiasm beats all, so he fed me underhand questions that I could easily crush. It was fun. We took listener calls from all over the U.S. mostly with bird questions which I did my best to answer.

Best question: "I'm in Wisconsin and I've got a bird at my feeder that's black and white with a pink throat."
The throat part almost fooled me. It was a rose-breasted grosbeak.

BOTB and Mario Bosquez, host of the Living Today Show on the Martha Stewart Radio channel on Sirius.

After my "Martha" interview I headed downtown for a meeting with a fellow blogger, The Grrl Scientist who blogs at Scientist Interrupted. We met at the NY office of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, publishers of The Young Birder's Guide. Walking in the door, it was a thrill to see my book there on the "brag" shelf with some other recent books from HMH. Not sure if they removed it after I left, still it was neat to see it there—a tiny window on Nature amidst all the novels and narratives.

The YBG on parade inside the Houghton Mifflin (NOT Dunder Mifflin) Harcourt offices on Park Avenue South.

Indiana Jones sat in on my meeting with The Grrl Scientist.

Time had gotten away from me. I was way downtown and needed to get on up to Midtown to clean up in time for the swanky dinner I was invited to that night. There needed to be a shower in there somewhere, too. So I hopped on the 7 train at 14th Street then took the S-shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square and hoofed it back to my hotel.

Me in my monkey suit, ready to take on Gotham.

It being rush hour there was no way I'd make good time in a taxi trying to go crosstown. So the hoofing continued from W 44th and 6th to E 52 and Park. Destination: The Four Seasons. Ever try NOT sweating while walking briskly on a warm evening wearing fancy clothes. We it's dang impossible. I made it to my dinner (graciously thrown by a publisher I've written for in the past) and had a fine old time. The food was sublime and the company compelling.
The first course at The Four Seasons.

The walk home from the dinner was cooler and more relaxing. I ended the day having a beer with my pal Sean who now lives in NYC and bikes everywhere he goes (brave soul). We compared notes on our respective NYC experiences (I lived in the city in the late 1980s) and we agreed that it was not the place in which to live forever, but it was fun to visit. Of course there was plenty of evidence that, through the powers of Botox, plenty of people were TRYING to live forever. Not us. We had a toast and said our goodbyes. Sean pedaled off into the New York night and I padded upstairs to my small yet expensive room, the hotel employees each wishing me a good night, which it was.


On May 18, 2008 at 12:49 PM kevbosnafu said...

Great Gotham tale, Bill! I spent the morning birding with some fine folks including one of your Ohio neighbors (Jerome Tinianow, Director of Audubon Ohio - he said he knew you and Julie) at Borderland State Park in Easton, Mass.

On May 18, 2008 at 12:57 PM Anne said...

Wow! You sure had a lot to do in a short amount of time. Thanks again for fitting in a visit with Sean. He said it was great to hear some of the stories you shared.

On May 19, 2008 at 6:29 AM Jayne said...

What a fun day celebrating your wonderful book!

On May 19, 2008 at 11:54 AM possumlady said...

Wow, sounds like an excellent adventure! I SO love New York but when I visit I have to stay at a hotel close to Central Park so I can get up before anyone else and take a nice walk in the park to get my dose of nature. Isn't Central Park AMAZING! Wonderful that you got to see Pale Male too!

I'm glad you mentioned that your plate was just a first course and not your entree! Am I using too many exclamation points??

On May 19, 2008 at 9:15 PM Anonymous said...

wow, you beat me with your story, so i guess i'd better get mine written and posted too.

oh, by the way, your publicity agent told me today that i was (supposed to be) interviewing you. i didn't have the heart to tell her that we sat around and swapped stories for several hours. does this make me a bad person?

i am glad to read that you were sweating after your trek across town -- just like i was earlier in the day when i met you, while in my fancy clothes!

glad to hear that you had fun.

On May 20, 2008 at 10:13 AM dguzman said...

What a handsome birder you are.

On May 21, 2008 at 7:03 AM nina at Nature Remains. said...

Is there evr a time that you don't have binoculars handy?
I think it's perfect that you scanned a wall with them!