Don’t know about you, but…

I’m in it for the glamour!

Damian Clarke
Mar 20 · 3 min read

Late at night, in the late 1980s, in a (not very) converted cushion factory in Surry Hills, the ex rag-trading district of Sydney, my boss would look around the room, at the threadbare carpets, the leftover takeaway food containers, and a pile of restaurant surveys waiting to be stuffed into envelopes, and say, “Welcome to the glamorous world of publishing”.

The New York skyline in the evening with lights in the windows of buildings against a darkening sky .
The New York skyline in the evening with lights in the windows of buildings against a darkening sky .
I am in New York (Photo by CapDfrawy on Unsplash)

I am in New York.

  • I have just finished my 10th meeting in three days — plus one that was postponed when I arrived, but turned out OK. One was with a woman so profoundly humorless that I can only assume she she gets a kick out of accepting meetings then being unpleasant and dismissive to the people she meets. I arrived to take someone to lunch today, only to discover that he is away for two days. He dined with my boss last night, so he may have the hangover from hell.
  • My main disappointment about the lunch was that it was going to be my first decent meal since Tuesday
  • I have given away sixteen copies of the magazine, fourteen media kits and fourteen outlines of a special supplement we are doing later in the year — all of which I have had to carry around town in my briefcase. The magazine weighs 200g. Today I have been carrying a laptop too.
  • I have one more meeting this afternoon — downtown again — which means more commuting
  • Drinks tonight, at the Waldorf Astoria have been cancelled, because the person I was meeting has been called in to negotiate a recruiting deal with someone, I will go to Bloomingdales instead
  • My NY seven day Metrocard had paid for itself by Wednesday afternoon
  • I will be leaving at 5am tomorrow morning to go to Toronto for the day — I will arrive back shortly after dinner, so it means I won’t get breakfast, and I probably won’t get dinner
  • I have walked holes into the soles of one pair of shoes, and the rubber sole that protects the leather sole on one of my other shoes is peeling back, and catches on the carpet of my hotel room
  • I would be sitting in my room, fixing my shoe and listening to the taxis tooting on the corner Park Ave and 38th, but I don’t have any glue
  • It has just started to rain
  • Someone re-arranged the furniture in my room today, swapping the positions of the desk and the mini-bar, and unplugging the desk phone — it is very confusing

On the plus side:

  • New Yorkers are aggressive, brash and direct — which makes them polite and gentle by London standards
  • New Yorkers say hello if you look at them for too long, apologize (sincerely) if they bump into you in the street, and generally have a good sense of humor, which they are willing to share
  • A man asked me if the subway we were on went to Battery Park. I said I wasn’t sure, but he could get off at City Hall (where I was alighting) and walk from there. I now know that his name is Daniel and he has just sold his Electrical Engineering business; his highly qualified daughter lives in Switzerland and works for a bank, after traveling the world, working for banks; his daughter’s mother is English; he commutes in from out of town; he has lived in NY for fifteen years.
  • Hoodies” here are just people wearing hoods, and would probably be disturbed if you tried to hug them — especially because most of them are taxi drivers in their late forties
  • I am in New York
  • There was a mariachi band on the subway this evening
  • Bloomingdales
  • I am in New York

Posted: March 15th, 2007 under Out of Albion.

Our Albion

Damian Clarke

Written by

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old house to use them on.

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