I feel SO much better about my trip to New York for BlogHer '12 next week. First of all, whooshEr gave me her phone number and told me to call/text with any questions. Then, she gave me crazy good directions for how to get on the Super Shuttle from Newark to New York City. (Thank you all for suggesting that as well -- it looks like that's the way I'm going to roll.) And finally, I got my head out of my a$$ and actually acquired maps and a travel guide.
I wasn't able to make the trip to the bookstore because some guys came and finally tore out the staircase that broke TWO years ago and then I realized I couldn't lock The Door That Leads to Nowhere from the outside, so I was stuck in the house all day until my father came and installed a deadbolt. (There will be a lovely post about Farmhouse Villa's home improvement soon -- it's been quite funny.) So I went on the Barnes & Noble site, found the maps and book I wanted, and reserved them at the store in Omaha. My mother went and got them for me because she is awesome like that.
I knew I wanted the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide NYC because I used to work at a bookstore, and DK Anything RULES. I am a visual learner, so I've been unable to grasp what NYC looks like from the online maps I've been trying to navigate. Sometimes, you just need a real map, people. The DK book has so many maps, pictures, diagrams, and other visual aids that I'm confident I can find anything -- even the subway system. I feel like I "get it" now. And as a bonus, I'm learning a ridiculous amount of interesting factoids about the city.
I've also seen the New York City PopOut Map before, so I knew I wanted that one to tuck in my purse. Then I threw in a couple of other maps -- hoping desperately that I would be able to locate my hotel on them. And, PRESTO MAGIC, the hotel is right there labeled clearly on two of the maps. I'll be staying at the Hilton on Avenue of the Americas in Midtown just south of Central Park. See? Now, I know that the area is called Midtown. Before that I was all, Oh, I don't know? I'm staying somewhere in New York. Just somewhere. It could be anywhere, really... Knowledge is power. I no longer get a tight chest when I think about finding my way around. For reals.
When I lived in Chicago, I went to the top of the John Hancock building with some friends who were visiting from Portland. This was right when I was developing severe anxiety, and I was NOT medicated. I almost fainted in the elevator on the way to the 94th floor. There were too many people in the elevator. I couldn't breathe. My girlfriends said I was getting pale. Out on the floor, I thought I was going to DIE. It was only maybe 6 months after 9/11, so all I could think about was terrorist airplanes and mass destruction. The view was AMAZING, but I could barely acknowledge it because I was so dizzy.
Now, we flash forward to the present. I am medicated. I have my anxiety under control (most of the time) -- and I like to challenge myself to Beat the Demon. I've been reading about the Empire State Building in my awesome DK book and on the building's site. I can do one of two things:
A.) Go to the 86th floor observatory for $25
B.) Go whole hog all the way up to the top deck on the 102nd floor for $42
Image c/o Empire State Building
This is where I get stuck. See, I've already been higher than the Empire State Building's 102nd floor because I've ALSO been to the 103rd floor of the
Sigh. Hem. Haw.
Should I go to the main floor or the top deck?
I know what I want to do. I want to go to the top deck. But since I'm
Oh, Blondie. It's $17. Get over it. You want to go all the way to the top to conquer your fear of heights and be wild and free and vacationy, so just freakin' do it! If someone was saying this same crap to your face, you would convince that person to go all the way UP. You would tell that person he/she deserves a good thrill. Right?
This blog is so handy. I get to sit here and have live, public conversations with myself all the time. So, um, yeah. Pretend you didn't read that middle part of the post. Just read this:
I, Blondie Blonderson, who has been wickedly scared of heights since I was a small child, am going to go to the highest floor possible of the Empire State Building. Probably by myself. Just to be doing it.