Day 31 – Bryant Park Hotel
40 West 40th Street
How sad is this???
I had hoped to finish Draft 1 of Roger’s 2nd fabulous adventure here in New York. But we leave next week and I’m still in the throes of Act 2 (nearly complete but not quite). So this is, most likely, probably, barring a miracle, the last writing post from NYC. Sincere sob.
And there’s a poetic symmetry to it all too as I began today on 44th Street ordering my coffee (macchiato, if you must know) opposite the Algonquin where, way back whenever it was, I first put fingers to iPad and began Book 2. Now those words, those new characters, those spell-binding scenes that were first realised that day are available as a teaser at the end of Book 1 (which launched last week, in case you hadn’t heard). They’re truly alive.
I have so many regrets. I never worked in Staten Island (my doorman, who commutes from there assures me in his ‘glass-half-empty’ Montenegrin way that there are no hotels on Staten Island). I never worked in Queens. Only twice did I go out at night and struggle (though it wasn’t really that bad) with writing in the dark in a hotel bar with a Manhattan by my elbow.
But it was always a lofty ambition and I’m glad I did it. Roger Spoffin #2 will be all the more vibrant, quirky and totally un-dull and vapid because of it. Remember this? The morning I worked in Harlem, in the White Castle burger joint, hours after the cops arrested 150 gang members around the corner and all the clientele could discuss nothing else. Remember the W Hotel on Union Square where the sudden apparition of 70 (yes, I’m not kidding) girls in the lobby dressed as Andie MacDowell, sitting next to me, eating my red velvet pancakes, giggling, left me stunned for an hour after they left, wondering at the beauty of creation. Do you recall The Plaza, and me trying not to listen to the Texan ladies beside me reflecting on their botox-shopping holiday.
Roger Spoffin #2 will be all the richer for it. You, dear reader, will raise an eyebrow here and there and wonder, ‘How on Earth did he think of that?!?’
So, to the Bryant Park Hotel. One of my favourite parts of New York. A beautiful park; the library; Sixth Avenue and a little, hip hotel waiting for an author to step inside. The day at the office was brief – my shortest ever – for I had a friend to meet for lunch. The word count was about 8 words per hour shy of my average. And the food was average too. But I took my time packing up, knowing full well that this was goodbye to New York. A big part of me wanted the iPad to glow forever.
I need to end here with a thank you for all who have been following this writing quest over the past 6 months. I need not tell you writing is a lonesome business. We have no colleagues to joke or spar with. The exchanges with the servers (as they’re called here) are flippant and brief. But then the iPad fires up and the world of imagination once again sweeps over me. It’s a privilege to write.
It’s always nice to hear your comments on these posts. I’m glad you read them and enjoy them. I have no idea where the next one will come from, but come it will.
Today’s word count: 1148
Word count to date: 75,623