It was Wednesday, October 19, 1988. My first “working” day in New York.
And I was going to have to figure out New York’s transit system now. I had an interview at a little talk station in White Plains. I got up at 6AM and caught the subway up to Grand Central Station. I caught a train, next, and watched as the city, eventually, morphed into the leafy ‘burbs of Westchester County; Scarsdale and points north.
I should have stayed in Manhattan. The program director – a tired-looking fellow in his late thirties – spent about an hour telling me that White Plains was too expensive for anyone to live in on the salary he was willing and able to pay.
My actual suitability for the job – mid-day talk show host – never really came up.
Two hours later, I was on the train back into Manhattan.
I got back to 12th and Broadway around three in the afternoon, and spent about two hours browsing around the Strand. I picked up a copy of Warsaw Diaries by Kasimierz Brandys – the story of the Solidarnosc uprising and the attendant crackdown in 1981 as told by someone who witnessed the whole thing from a table in front of a coffee shop where he and his graduate students debated the whole thing in the context of post-existential literature. I bought it because…well, it seemed like a Greenwich Village-y thing to do.
My cousins and I left the baby at the apartment (with the nanny, natch) and walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner. The sights and sounds of the Village (and the smells – whole blocks reeked of burned hemp) put a spring in my step. I figured I could learn to love this.
Tomorrow – the busiest day of the bunch. Two interviews. I laid out a clean shirt and got ready.