My Sirius Report- may be long!

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Posted by Nick on March 30, 2002 at 13:16:13:

Sirius was just too much fun! Here's my report-

Took the train to NYC- 4 hour train rides are horribly borring in
case you've never taken one! The only thing getting me through it was
the endless album of Lauryn Hill on my discman, and some sleep.
We finally got there around 1:45 PM. Took the subway to Houston st,
and promptly got very confused. Apparently we had gotten out of the
subway station in the wrong place, so if we followed Lisa's
directions we would have been walking in the oposite direction.
Found our way to the hotel. It was closer than we thought. Walked
under that freakishly gaudy purple and gold awning, expecting to be
done thinking for the day.

"Do you have a reservation under the name Cartwright-Jones?"
"No. Can you spell it?"
"C-a-r-t-..." -
"No, sorry. You can look at the list."
Maybe it's just under Jones?
"no, it's not here."

Mmmmmm crap!
What now? No hotel room? No Catherine? Are we here on the right
Let's go outside for a minute... and who should walk in the door but
Lisa and Catherine! Thank god! But once again, we're mislead...

(now he's talking to Catherine-)
"No, we have no reservation in that name. Sorry."

But we managed to snag a (tiny!) room, with 2 beds and a pull out
couch. As Catherine liked to say afterwards- "In a normal hotel, when
they find that they've lost your reservation, they say 'ok, let's see
what we have." This one did not. We further tested the competance of
the staff when Catherine ordered a tuna sandwish later that
afternoon, and it took an hour getting to us. Oy.

That first afternoon was crazy, with constant arrivals. Anne, Kree,
Najib, and Heather showed up. Lauren was at the Met earlier, and we
hoped she would be able to find her way to the hotel, and that she
wasn't having her baby in a taxi cab.
Constance showed up, and (making a grand entrance) Lezard. It was
funny, because in my memory, i recall a chorus of people
shouting "Lezard!" when he walked in.
Lauren finally made it. Apparently she had asked somebody for
directions, and they had told her the fastest way was to cut across
Central Park! Idiots! Poor Lauren! jeez. (Never, *ever* cut across
Central Park, unless you're on the road! Results could be fatal! You
really *can't* see the buildings from way in there. ;-)

Dinner and partying the first night were at Lisa's place in Brooklyn.
Anne, Heather, Mum and I went to pick up some *delicious* falafel
that Anne had ordered. Then we headed to Lisa's via taxi. Delicious
couscous that Lisa's husband had made, drumming, henna... equals fun!
I hennaed a few people, but no henna for me yet.
Funny couscous incident- I was calmly eating my couscous, and Lisa
asked me what i thought of it. I replied oddly: "I fear i am eating
string." and proceeded to pull a long cotton string from my mouth.
Lisa cracked up laughing. Apparently there's a bouquet garni in the
couscous, and Moneim hadn't taken it out. So it happened that it was
on my plate and in my mouth before i noticed.

We realized later that Catherine and Lezard had stayed at the hotel
to sleep, and we did not have a room key. Oh yay.
Late at night we got a cab back to the hotel, and were only
moderately surprised when the desk clerk would not let us into the
room. Great. We stood outside the door knocking for quite some time,
but they were apparently fast asleep. Mum went downstairs and rung
them on the phone, which woke Catherine up, and we got in.

That first night was freakish. The walls in this hotel are paper
thin, and i can hear every word of the conversations being had across
the hall, above us, and next to us. Early in the morning, pidgeons on
the windowsills chant in unison. Sounds like a mourning song, said
Catherine. For a while it sounded to me like a bunch of women
chanting in Arabic.

This next day, we get the History of Henna lecture. Quite
interesting. We all sat around, hennaing, munching food, and
listening! Catherine had hennaed my right hand with one of Erfan's
beautiful designs earlier, so i was slightly incapacitated. But i
made the best of it, and still managed to sling a Moroccan design
onto Lisa's hand with a henna syringe.
Note- I am totally SOLD on the steamer! That thing ROCKS for blasting
terped henna to deep colors.

Today was our shopping trip to Jackson Heights (or as i like to call
it, India in Queens.) Really fun place. They have everything from
India. I spent way too much money on Navneet books, bangle bracelets,
bindis, spices... yum!

Dinner tonight is Indian at Vatan, a vegetarian restaurant in
Manhattan. We have time to come back to the hotel and get dolled up
before heading out. Heather has bought a gorgeous lengha suit to wear.
Subway and walking to the resto, and finally we're there. This is a
coool restaurant. We get a giant booth in a room with Gujerati style
decorations. Lisa jokes that in french, "va-ton" means "go away!"
Then comes the food. Oh my GOD is it good. We get everything- really!
$20 and you get little thali style dishes of everything they have.
The appetizers KICK ASS.

Head back to the hotel, and hang around well past 2 am, hennaing and

Next morning- i have to catch a train at 2:30 pm today, so no hanging
around for me! Catherine flies through the haarqus lecture so she can
get it all in before i have to leave. I do a tape resist foot on
Kree. Lisa hennas my left hand, and Catherine does a nice haarqus on
my face. But now i have to leave! sadness!

Take a cab to Penn. station- apparently they have randomly closed the
Houston st. subway station.
Get to Penn station- what the heck is with this? Have you ever been
to a station so poorly designed? No.

Finally got on the train home. Arrive in boston, feeling "oyyy this
sucks..." It's giant let down for me, going from my favorite place on
earth to my house.

Oh yay, a suburb! (dripping with sarcasm.)

I can't WAIT to do this again next year! :-D


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