I was insanely nervous last night – woke up with a start, chest tight, fresh from creepy dreams. Luckily it was all for naught. It was a perfect day to ride – wind whipping in places, traffic moving at a good clip. Actually, traffic can be… fun? Strange satisfaction. We get into Long Island City after the epic Triborough bridge panorama moment (teared up a tad, yes, but that always happens when I come back here) and suddenly my cyclist brain woke up from its long dormancy. I felt totally aware of my surroundings, at home again riding through the streets of NYC. It was unexpected.
Get to the hotel (Wyndham in Sunset Park) where their current branding strategy consists of a cardboard cutout of a bearded dude wearing all blue, standing in the vestibule of the lobby – look, look again, is he frozen-smiling at me? – small words at his feet: “WYNDHAM WYZARD.” OF COURSE. Corporate omen. Thank you.
In tandem with my discovery, my dad was making a new friend outside, a guy named “T” who was the ultimate homeslice. I arrived late to the convo; moments later we were whisked away on a ten-minute monologue adventure – he’s a builder. He knows Spike Lee. He’s friend with the Chinese guy who built this hotel. He can connect us with people. We gotta tell this story. He can find funding for Basilica Hudson (my day job). Yadda yadda yadda. He had the energy of a man half his age, piercing eyes below a shock of white hair, salt and pepper eyebrows like caterpillar senior citizens. He had five o’clock shadow around each of his ears – each must sprout a healthy ear bush. He ended his tale about four times, each punctuated by another handshake, a quick goodbye.. and then circling back for a last thought. And another. And another. He was well dressed in purple, white and blue. Local Wizard #1. We were disoriented.