.: I’m in NYC, arrived yesterday, and will be here until Tuesday, 25 May 2010. I have meetings with the Knovel Library Advisory Board on 20-21 May It’s probably my longest trip ever, and by my calculations, the 19th or 20th time I’ve been here. I’m once again staying in a tiny one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side, off York Avenue. I have a ticket to see God of Carnage on Wednesday afternoon, and tickets to the Cabinet of Wonders show on the 20th (featuring Buffalo Tom, Janeane Garofalo, and others), and then the full Buffalo Tom show on Friday, 21 May 2010. I’ve never seen Buffalo Tom live, and this band is one of my all-time favorites, ever. So I’m predictably excited about these two shows.
Some weeks ago, I received a package from Delta Airlines. I was already a member of the Delta SkyMiles program, but in the package was a new SkyMiles card, and luggage tags, each designated with “Silver Medallion” status. Apparently this is a status one reaches after flying a certain number of miles – in my case, 25,000. I was not aware of the benefits until I arrived at the Edmonton International Airport on Friday, 14 May 2010. Once there, I was advised that the maximum weight on each piece of my luggage bag was now 70 lbs instead of 50 lbs; also, I no longer have to pay a luggage fee. Additionally, I can check in at an airport in the “fast lane”, so to speak. Once I’d checked in, I went to clear US Customs, and because I have Nexus status (Trusted Traveller), I was able to bypass the lineup of 50-75 passengers waiting in line and go straight to a Nexus machine. Once there, the machine does an iris scan, I answer a couple questions, and the machine prints a card. I turned and waited, and the next available US Immigration officer waved me over, looked at my documents and that was that. Next, I proceeded towards the lengthy security lines, only to be met by another uniformed staff person who asked me if I was Nexus. I said yes, and he directed me to a much shorter security line! Sweet.
The Delta flight to Minneapolis was on a Canadair Regional Jet 900, one of the sardine cans that Delta used to replace the larger, much more comfortable ones previously flown when Northwest Airlines flew the route, before it was bought by Delta. It’s more uncomfortable if you end up sitting next to, well, a large person, and that’s what happened to me on that flight. Anyway, later in the day in Minneapolis, while I was visiting the lovely Rhoades family, I checked in online for my NYC flight, only to discover I’d been bumped up to First Class. Apparently when you have Medallion status, if there are empty seats in First Class, you are automatically moved into that section. All these perks – who knew?
I was spoiled on the flight to New York – free meal, red wine, nice big seat. My only complaint was that I ended up behind someone who moved their seat back as far as possible, making it somewhat difficult to watch Sanctuary on my computer. Then when went to retrieve my luggage, it appeared amongst the first few bags, with a special tag on it because of my Medallion status.
Today in NYC it was sunny with moderate temperatures. I didn’t venture far from the apartment, just went for an early afternoon breakfast at The Barking Dog (had the spinach, potato and dill pancakes, with poached eggs, salmon caviar and crème fraiche), and eventually had a latte at Starbucks and read some of the NYTimes. A totally lazy day. Tomorrow evening, dinner with the Dillons!