(mis)Adventures in NY
My day started fine – head to Manhattan to meet with a colleague. I made it there just fine, found the coffee shop and had a great productive meeting. But from there…. it started to go downhill.
Now, first, let me tell you about what I know in New York City.
oh, did you hear those crickets? yes. that is because I pretty much know nothing. in fact, as of two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure where Queens was in relation to anything else. And Staten Island? Well….. I knew it was an island….
But, rest assured. I am a fast learner. Oh, and I love the map-my-ride function on the MTA site…. so damn helpful.
In any case, on that particular day, I had to go to Staten Island to meet with one of my schools. Part of my job is to meet with school leaders and help coach schools in implementing the Expeditionary Learning Schools model. This was going to be my first visit with this particular school, and my first time meeting the principal. Needless to say, it needed to go well. A big part of any coaching is developing a relationship. Arriving on time is usually a good step in that relationship, or so I am told.
As I said, I was meeting in Manhattan and needed to get to Staten Island. From what I understood, there was some water in the way, but that I could take an express bus that would get me there in an hour (yes, you read that right — the express bus). My colleague walked me over to the bus stop and we thought all was good. My bus was suppose to arrive any minute.
After 5 minutes passed, I started to think something was wrong…. yep, sure enough, my bus had already come and gone.
Back in the day (i.e. prior to two weeks ago) this would have proven to be a major problem for me. What to do next? My not-so-smart flip phone would not prove to be much of a solution-maker. But good news — I was in luck! I am the owner of a new smarter-then-a-flip-phone phone. A phone that can map-my-ride for me in times just like this.
So, I quickly figured out which train I needed to take to get to the ferry which I would take to staten island to then take another bus to arrive at the school. an hour late.
So, I take the train, arrive at the ferry. Get on the ferry. While everyone else is taking pictures of the statue of liberty, I did work and emailed the principal that I would be an hour late (first impressions? off to a good start). But everything seemed like it would work out at this point….
But, unfortunately, my problems did not end there….
I got off the ferry and searched for my bus that was going to leave almost immediately. I also had an immediate need to pee. Very conflicting… Even worse? I could not find where the bus left from. Finally, decided that the need to pee was more than the need for a bus….
At that point, I decided to cut my losses and look for a taxi. I have this idea that in NYC, no matter where you are, that taxis are around and easy to take. Everyone assures that I am wrong in this. However, I refuse to let go of my belief.
But maybe I should, because apparently in Staten Island they are…. not everywhere. In fact, you have to arrange for car service. Experiential learning is fun.
As I walk outside, I realize that it is raining. which is fine, because I planned ahead and brought an umbrella. Go me. Except that I forgot to ever open it previously – because if I had, I would have realized that it was the smallest umbrella ever (well, it is not one of those ones that you wear on your head, like a hat. because those are just stupid).
But, my small umbrella was no real match for the torrential downpour. Whatever. I cannot be bothered at this point. Well, that was until my shoe broke. One of the straps that connected my foot to the shoe. And did I mention it was raining? And that I was an hour late? yeah…..
Ok. So, I find the car service area finally. I am in the car. Trying to organize myself and salvage whatever professionalism I can at that point. I put my umbrella down and think ‘do not forget your umbrella’. We arrive at the school. Of course I have no idea where to go. Fortunately, he drove the wrong way through the one-way and I spotted the school entrance. I threw my money at him as I rushed off…. sure enough, leaving my umbrella in the car….
Good moves, kushner. good moves.
In any case, my meeting was productive and I made it home just fine (two hours on the bus). And I haven’t been back since. But hopefully the next 27 times I need to go there aren’t quite as….’exciting’.