I had copious notes on how to get from the subway station to Duff’s apartment, but couldn’t latch on to a single landmark mentioned in any of them. The streets and businesses that appeared on the papers I had in my hand didn’t seem to exist in reality. Had I gotten off at the wrong stop? It was certainly possible.
I looked around, and had no idea where I might be. A small twinge of panic took hold.
But then I remembered: my phone. I stepped out of the flow of foot traffic, tapped the Google Maps app, typed in Duff’s address, and asked for walking directions. And it took me straight to her front door. The much-maligned smartphone comes through yet again!
There was a doorman there, dressed like a British naval officer from the 1700s. He opened the tall door for me, and after the concierge was given the OK by phone, I was directed to the elevators. Duff was waiting for me when I reached her floor, and we went to her apartment.
It’s a cool place, with a great terrace overlooking the New York streets. Towering building are all around, and I have a feeling it’s especially breathtaking at night.
Lori was already there, and we sat around drinking coffee and talking for ninety minutes. All of us have writing projects in various states of completion, and we discussed those. And they both had some really interesting and unusual suggestions on how I might market Crossroads Road. One, in particular, seems like a winner — and it’s something that would have never occurred to me.
It was fun. I don’t often get the chance to spend time with other writers (I still feel a little pretentious calling myself a writer, just so you know), especially folks as accomplished as Duff and Lori. We might do an internet project together, and the premise (by Lori) is hilarious. I hope we can get it off the ground.
During my visit, Duff received two phone calls. The first was to inform her that she’d won a Kindle in a raffle, at her kid’s school. And the second was from — get this — Bill Murray. Yowza!
You know, when my phone rings it’s rarely news of fabulous prizes, or a comedy icon “just checking in.” I do, however, receive an inordinate number of text messages from friends keeping me up to date on their especially remarkable bowel movements. How did I become the go-to guy for such things? I’m unclear.
Anyway, the stop at Duff’s apartment was a lot of fun for me. I hope they enjoyed it, too. It was a million miles from my everyday life, and I had a great time.
Duff walked with me to the subway station, where I would catch the train to Brooklyn. We continued talking en transit, and had an interesting conversation about independence, and the value of being your own boss. I wish we could have further explored the subject; she’s a force to be reckoned with, and inspirational.
Inside the subway station, she told me about going to the ballet the previous evening. I asked if she’d ever seen Black Swan, and she said, “Oh no, I don’t like movies with a lot of nail clipping scenes.” That killed me. And I also know how she feels.
The train approached, we said our goodbyes, and I jumped aboard. Well, I walked aboard… I didn’t do a standing broad jump. You know what I mean. It was packed, and I had to stand beside a pole. It was quite a rambunctious crowd, and there was a lot of noise. Much better than the morgue-like silence on the bus from Scranton, I must say.
As we made our way out of Manhattan I saw a building by the river, with “Watchtower” written on the side of it. It’s that religious magazine that people are always trying to give away, door to door.
And I remembered Mark Maynard telling me about going to that building, years ago, knocking on the door, and trying to give them a copy of his Crimewave USA magazine. You know, turning the tables on ’em. As I recall, they wouldn’t take it from him, and were quite rude. Heh.
I stood there, hanging on to my pole, as a group of teenagers raised a ruckus down the way. It appeared to be the mating ritual… lots of awkward flirting. I had to avert my eyes.
Seated across from me was a large black woman who, at one point, reached into her purse, took out a stick of deodorant, swabbed her pits with it, and absentmindedly put it away. Then she sighed with boredom, and continued riding along.
I just blinked real fast, and never changed my expression.
When I reached my stop I exited the train with another batch of copious notes, hoping I’d be able to find my way without too much trouble. So far it was going well, but I knew better than to get cocky.
And that’s where I’ll pick up the story tomorrow. Just one more installment in this New York Trilogy… I’ll tell you about meeting my agent for the first time, and also the eventful bus ride home.
See ya then!
Now playing in the bunker
Crossroads Road just 99 cents through Friday!
“I stood there, hanging on to my pole…” but the pit swabber is the weirdo?!?!?
Jen Ryan says
This will have me cracking up all day!
Jen Ryan says
Yanno, I’d rather have someone put on the deodorant in front of me than be stinky. lol Glad you got to Brooklyn ok.
That lady putting deodorant on is apparently normal, accepted behavior for subway traveling. I witnessed a woman changing her underwear on the T in Boston. Another woman put on her make-up and brushed her teeth.
These are NOT things I would choose to do publicly, but hey, to each their own…
I ended up in the habit of doing half my morning routine – breakfast and make up on the train to work. It was a 40 min. ride, and it let me sleep just that little bit more! Once you live in NYC for a while, you really cease to care what other people think of you.
Just catching up with parts 1 & 2 of your NY adventures. Very cool so far. Can’t wait for the next installment.
Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I exit any of the subway stations in the city, I always feel like I am lost. I never know which corner I am on, and usually have to backtrack in order to reach my destination. Maybe one of those smart phones would help me out…
My smartphone tried to plunk me right into the Chesapeake recently. Little bastard. I think GPS secretly means Go Poke Satan. And as far as I know I’ve never gotten a call from Bill Murray on it, despite us having the same birthday. What a rip!
Jeff, how do you know “Duff” again?
Speaking of vehicular calamity, here’s the epitome of what I think Jeff means by “going out as a Fark link”:
And I thought they drove fast in Toronto. Shit!
I have a dumbphone and, even though Bill Murray and I share a birthyear, he rarely calls. Well, he hasn’t called yet, so it’s REALLY rare.
I once lived in between the chesapeake and the atlantic, I nearly drove my car into the atlantic once.
No one in Toronto drives fast. No one.
The last time I drove there I was pretty sure every car was being perated by a slightly inebriated, one-eyed, elderly, asian woman.
I’ve driven in many, many of the largest cities in the US, and the fastest ones are Detroit and Chicago. Those people have places to go, and I appreciated their enthusiasm behind the wheel.
Well when I was last there in ’00 they were tearing up Queen Elizabeth Way like they were on fire. And I always see Ontarioans going fast down 81. Did they get legal pot since the turn of this century? Maybe that’s calmed everyone down.
hot fuzz says
I always get a chuckle at the caution moose signs when going to my nation’s capital …how cosmopolitan we are…
Do we drive fast? How many other places need warning signs against going 90 mph on the highway?
Phil Jett says
This has been great reading. I wish you had stayed a week.
Only been on a subway once, many years ago, pre-cell phones, etc. It was in Japan and I was trying to make my way to a Kawasaki bath house.
After much tribulation I finally made it there and back and it was definately worth the trouble.
If I tried that today I would be drenched in nerve sweat.
“ninety minutes”, what and ass? When some asks how old you are do you respond with “I;m 576 months.”
WTF? There’s nothing wrong with “ninety minutes.” “Eighty minutes” or “one hundred minutes” would be weird, but “ninety minutes” is acceptable. And I get called an ass for this? Sheesh.
I feel your pain Jeff. A blow-hard sales guy who worked with me at my previous employer used to always correct me when I would say getting somewhere would take about 30 minutes. He’d say “Are you sure it’s not 29 or 31 minutes?” Or he’d say, “You mean a half-hour??”
And I’d say “NO, I MEAN 30 MINUTES, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP!!”
half-hour seems more vague. Like there’s a 10 minute plus or minus on that.
It sounds like Jeff Kay has a rocket up his ass and it’s pointed towards comedic success. Next thing up will be a television show on the WB about how his life would have turned out if he stayed in Dunbar working at the toll booth and all the strange charachters he interacts with everyday. (I get creator credit when you make this show).
” Duff was waiting for me when I reached her floor, and we went to her apartment.”
Did anyone else remember or feel like they were reading a Penthouse Forum letter at this point?
The only line missing was “I never thought this would happen to me, but……”
I was thinking the same thing.
let’s see, high rise apartment, two chicks, an internet premise. Yup.
WB in OH says
You guys are dreaming, Jeff?
Case in point: http://thewvsr.com/index.php/about/
T. Farty McAppless says
Praise the Lord, Jeff is alive.
Have Duff call me.
Root 66 says
Whenever I hear the name “Duff” all I can think of is Duff’s All-You-Can-Eat Smorgasbord. They employed a rotating wheel of buffet food, and if you happened to get stuck in the last stall (before it diappeared into the kitchen) then you were usually very disappointed! The fried chicken bin was ALWAYS empty, except for a few scraggly wings. I was never fast enough to catch a good meal there!
The wheel of food sounds like a terrible idea. Was it just constantly turning on its own, or could you spin it?
Root 66 says
No, it turned on its own, and fairly quickly too! As if to mock you for your indecisiveness!!
When I hear the name Duff, I think of two things…
1. The beer from the tv show The Simpsons.
2. A short, rotund, bald guy with a perpetual 5 o’clock shadow who bakes cakes.
WB in OH says
When I hear the name Duff I think of my little league coach whose name was Duff oddly enough!
And of course, Duff Beer!
Root, I never made it to a Duff’s, they had one close by but it was closed before I was into public grazing.
Root 66 says
Duff’s seemed to go by the wayside by the mid-nineties. All the kids from Wright State would go there and chow down on the cheap grub. Nothing but plates and plates of chicken bones! Their bread pudding was quite legendary, though…
WB in OH says
My sister and BiL are WSU Alum, probably graduated in 91 or 92. Go Raiders! I saw ZZ Top at the Nutter Center shortly after it opened, well it was the first rock concert held there, not sure how long the building had been there.
Jenny Piccalo says
LOL I forgot about Duffs , we had one at the Kanawha Mall in Charleston years ago someone bought it out and they were too cheap to buy a new sign and they turned it around and called it Ffuds ….classic !
Root 66 says
By the way…just reading about someone else going to NYC practically has me panic attack mode! I have absolutely no desire to go there. I’m no country bumpkin by any stretch of the imagination, but all those people rubbing elbow-to-elbow constantly just sets my teeth on edge. I just can’t stand crowded places!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get my hot water bottle…
Hey Jeff…did Bill mention my name?
icey… ninety minutes of conversation, smiles and laughs with a pretty girl (who’s smart) suits me just fine.
Chuck in Belpre says
I just saw a robin dipping his worm in a Wendy’s Frosty. Man, it’s too hot!
Can’t wait for tomorrow’s installment. You’re holding your own (as it were) in NYC just fine…good job.
Only in New York…
Excellent update! Once , I was in New York, walking down the sidewalk in Chelsea and there was a black woman wearing a Quaker Oats box on her head with a plastic flower sticking out. She had secured it with a little ribbon, tied under her chin…and I, being a hick from Tennessee, was fascinated.
I do love New York.
Gordion Knott says
>And I remembered Mark Maynard telling me about going >to that building, years ago, knocking on the door, and >trying to give them a copy of his Crimewave USA >magazine. You know, turning the tables on ‘em. As I >recall, they wouldn’t take it from him, and were quite rude. >Heh.
This reminds me of the story, told here many years back, of Mark and Jeff’s offer to come to LA and pitch (or be hired for) a sitcom or writing gig–in which the means of cross-country transportation proposed to the network brass was to alternate carrying the other person on one’s shoulders. First Jeff on Mark’s shoulders, then vice-versa, across the American continent. Still cracks me up when I think about it.
Marketing idea? T-shirt cannon? Dropping 1,000 CRR from a B-29? Selling one to Eric Clapton?
I saw the end of the movie last night where Jeff Bridges had to sell a mile of cars. Possibly called Used Cars?
That’s yellow primer.
I bought $2,200 in furniture today. Sofa, loveseat, chair, ottoman, coffee table, two or three end tables, and a free 32″ tv thrown in for funsies. I may upgrade that to 42″ for $200.
Jersey Scott says
In “Used Cars”, that ain’t Jeff Bridges, it’s Kurt Russell ( in a great, underrated 80’s comedy ) !
Ah yes, you are correct.
Used Cars was an underrated classic as was DC Cab
Wow, DC Cab. I remember Mr. T on the David Letterman show when that movie came out. Dave was asking him if there was a Mrs. T, or any little Ts. Mr. was not amused.
Of course we all know there is a Mrs. T – she makes the frozen pierogies.
Used Cars was awesome! The ending kinda dropped the ball a bit, in my opinion…but the rest was really solid! The “Marshall Lucky” commercial about blowing the s*** out of high prices still makes me roll on the floor laughing!
“Hey, if I can install a pacemaker in this man’s heart, made from parts I got at Radio Shack, I THINK I can tap into the President’s State of the Union Address!”
I thought nobody ever knew where Bill Murray is? Well, I guess Bill would know…
I’ve read stories of directors trying to offer the guy a part, and reaching an answering machine which Murray checks only sporadically.
What the fuck am I talking about?
Neat trip, Jeff. Good read.
In the old days Bill used to call me and I’d ask him were he was. He’d say….”Uhhhhh…looks like I’m at the corner of Telephone and Telephone”.
late gettin back to ya,
so I’ve heard, I’m at the corner of
My own room- too drunk to care
Satire is always appreciated. By Bill.
(No ONE will ever believe you…)
or so i’ve heard
Bill Murray stole my pants.
what the fuck am I talking about
sgt. hulka says
Alright- fine- so he didm’t steal my pants.
But he stole my look.
Sorry folks…I read it wrong. I thought Jeff was talking about Bill Murphy. I’ve never spoken to Bill Murray in my life.
Oh MTA, you are a motherfucker of an education. The steel snake in whose belly a New Yorker’s mind is made.
Chuck in Belpre says
I imagine the bus trip home was entertaining. The one time I spent 16 hours on a bus it was like Dawn of the Dead meets Seinfeld.
I’m still shaking my head over that stank-ass black woman swiping on pit juice on the subway. Wow. Sure do get an ed-ja-ma-cation in the big city. I’m not big on crowded places…assholes to elbows. Especially when its hot out. Ick.
We’re back to reality, returned from the beach today. We met a couple who are about our age the first night and we hung with them a lot. He seemed to like beer as much as me, and our wives seemed to enjoy talking about crafts, or whatever it is they talk about.
On the second night he offered to go pick up some seafood and bring it back to the pool. I was down with that so I threw him some cash and he took off. He came back about thirty minutes later with a burger king sack. WTF? He said, “yeah man, fish is always better and fresher when you’re on the coast.” Then he started handing out BK fish sandwiches.
I think he truly believes that BK’s near the beach serve better and “fresher” fish sandwiches than the ones in say, Omaha. Stupid bastard prolly went to the wal-mart or kroger nearest the beach and loaded up on frozen fish sticks. Idiot. Other than that they were okay and we had a good time.
Can’t wait for Jeff’s third installment.
Bill in WV says
Apparently, your boy likes pre-processed breaded carp, which is what a BK fish sandwich is probably made up of. Oh wait, no, only about 35% of it is carp, the rest is bread, cheese and other assorted fish parts. Likely caught out of the Missouri River (pre-flood).
Hey, my cousin had a bit part in “Lost in Translation,” which starred Bill Murray. My cousin is the guy who plays the pilot in the Vanilla Beans (a Japanese band) video of their song “Nicola,” and also the band Rythem’s video of “Sakura Uta.”
Jeff gets to drop phrases like “my agent”… never in life, for me. I get calls from Bill now and then, but it’s usually either my cousin Bill, or Bill the Salesman from work. But Jeff, I’m glad you survived the safari into deepest darkest Brooklyn!
I do recall the Jehovah’s Witnesses coming around, trying to pawn off copies of Awake and The Watchtower. This early exposure to religious kookery has served me well.
This afternoon the car thermometer told me it was 122 degrees outside.
Good Morning Surf Reporters….
Nice. It was everything I thought it would be and more….
…plus the Further Evidence Bacon Sizzle Screen?
Hanging around with Karen must really recharge the batteries. Seems like she has brains and heart and a huge dose of tenacity. It would be OK to know a comic and model, but she’s so much more. I think Mr. Murray is one of the classy guys in the “biz”; it makes sense that he’s friends with Ms. Duffy.
Whatever happens with the writing (and I know it will be something good), I hope you plan on seeing this lady whenever the opportunity presents itself for as long as it presents itself.
I was in NYC yesterday – went to see Robin Williams in “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” – it was excellent. BUT – it was so frickin’ hot, we didn’t even hang around. I wanted to beat rush hour (saw the matinee) so we took off. I got stuck in traffic both ways which royally sucked. I would have taken the train but the thought of walking 8 blocks in all that shit air quality pollution and humidiy almost made me faint.
My Alaska born kids and wife are in NY for the Summer and are totally whining about the heat. I spent yesterday strolling along the golden beach of Nome, Alaska at 52 degrees and whining about how hot it was! At least when I stepped barefoot into the Bering Sea, it was cold!
Lee Harvey Ramone says
I was intrigued by the storebuyout.com link you posted.
I have decided that in my next life, I would like very much to come back as a young adult trust funder living in NYC. Seems like a lot of fun.