Whispering to the Wind

It must have been at Herald Square, where I was transferring onto the B, that I realized JA had left a message on my cell. I couldn't listen to the message below the ground — no service down there — but the display let me know that the call arrived at 7:58am. Why in the world would John be calling me at 7:58 in the morning? It was now almost 8:30. Shit:


But I couldn't be late — the invite said 9:00; I'd checked it a billion times. I'd meant to bring it home last night before leaving the office, but, in my special way, I'd left it, and so many other things, at my desk.

I was preparing my apologies, assuming I must have read the invite wrong, when the train arrived at 7th Avenue and 53rd Street. I immediately dialed into my voicemail.

Hello, Stephen. It's John. The Telarc demo has been pushed back from 9 to 10. I hope you get this message. See you there.

I was relieved. Being late is a killer, but never do I mind being early. This is New York City and a walk around the block is filled with treasures. I walked by a few flower shops, thinking: "Should I?," before realizing I didn't even know her address. Where, after all, would the sweet lilies go?

I had an hour and an empty stomach to tend to, so I yielded to the temptation of the modest-looking 53rd Street Deli. I don't know much about most things, and less about 53rd Street, but I can tell you this with some bit of conviction: if ever you find yourself on 53rd Street, between 9th and 10th, early for a meeting with Telarc's Michael Bishop who will be working a direct-to-stereo and surround DSD session of the honey-throated Ann Hampton Callaway at the cinnamon-scented Avatar Studios, using Lipinkski L-707s, a 16-channel Sonoma DSD workstation with EMM converters, and an EMM Labs Switchbox atop a beautifully weathered Neve monitor, or some other thing like that, then you should ignore the fancier cafes in the neighborhood, take a step into the 53rd Street Deli, and order yourself an egg sandwich with the best bacon you'll ever have.

Seriously. And I have not forgotten the health-conscious veggies out there: the egg whites were also fried to perfection and served with a warm smile.

But, the bacon! Oh, the bacon.

David Nighorn's picture

Stephen, one of the things that I love about your writing is that you have an amazing ability to communicate about NYC. I've spent months there on consulting engagements and your words let me almost hear and taste the area. I've even spent some time at the Hyatt in Jersey City so I can visualize your journeys on the PATH. FWIW, I actually took a cab the 6 blocks from the PATH station to the Hyatt. It was 2am and I had grown accustomed to the number of holes in my body that I was born with! A change didn't seem prudent. Hopefully, the area has changed over the last few years.David

ninut's picture

nix! i miss brekkie at chez lawrence with you. of course, i'm talkin' 2005 B.A. (before assholes) took over at the counter. but it wasn't the bacon that made our ticks tock. it was pastries. oh, the PASTRIES! needless to say, my mornings are quite different these days. now i walk around the corner to Le Pain Quotodien at around 11:30 (not the ungodly hour or NINE!) and, althouth i'm a bit more rested," and there's way more pep in my step thanks to a job with fewer ""crazies"," the walk back is oh-so-lonely without you. anyway, i may not comment"" as frequently as i used to"," but i am still a dedicated reader and i continue to marvel at your writing abilities. i always log-off with ""a warm smile."" happy valentine's day", dear friend.