Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Travel update -NYC

photo from:
On route from Florida to New York City I suffered from a headache induced by a lack of coffee. Having no pain killers on me I somehow deluded myself into believing that a sleeping pill would work in much the same way as aspirin. I did not. I slept the whole plane ride, managed to wake up long enough to get on a taxi, slept in the taxi, managed to wake up long enough to get out of the vehicle and into the hotel – where I fell on the bed and slept through the first day. I had also gotten my husband to buy into this theory so he too lost the first day in the big city. Not a good start to an otherwise great trip. In my defence the thoughts that develop within a pulsating head are usually not exactly Nobel Prize material.  

NYC and Thrillerfest were great, as was to be expected. I went to a cocktail party thrown on the roof of a skyscraper by my American publisher which was super nice. Warning: the following involves smoking (which is hazardous to your health and can cause lung cancer) – Since the party was under the big blue sky there were ashtrays which made me really happy as I had foreseen a few elevator rides down to the street during the course of the evening.  Warning lifted. Now to get as high as that rooftop in Iceland you would have to climb a mountain and I am not sure one would be prepared to carry a cocktail shaker and other party supplies along. Much less be able to wear heels.

The following evening Stanley of Michael Stanley, my husband Óli and I were invited to dinner at Annamaria Alfieri’s beautiful home in Manhattan. To speak for the Icelandic delegation, neither my husband or I have ever been in a nicer apartment. It goes without saying that we had a wonderful time. Another warning: the following involves smoking (which can cause a slow and painful death and can seriously harm you and others around you). When out on Annamaria’s fire escape smoking I saw that the apartment on the same level across the street was decorated with gold records in frames like famous singers or bands get when they sell by the truckload. There were at least ten and on only one I could manage to make out some letters above the record. These were either five and spelled Yello or four followed by a ring and then they could have spelled Fall or Fail. I know there used to be a band named Yello, I think there is a band called Fall but have never heard of a band named Fail. If there was one, they probably did not succeed in getting any gold records. Fail.

I have told Annamaria that next time I am in New York I am coming back, armed with binoculars. Being the wonderful woman that she is, Annamaria said that she is going to let me in.

But even though NYC was exciting and as vibrant as a teenager’s sighting of Justin Beiber, it was also really nice to go back home. Our garden is the last of our home renovation and the day before we left the lawn had been sown with grass seeds. A daily phone call home during our travels always left us feeling disappointed as the news was always the same. Brown earth, no green. When approaching the house we were therefore delighted to see that during the 24 hours leading up to our arrival the first sprouts had made their appearance and now our yard looks like a Martian marine’s head.

Our gardener is a rehabilitated convict and former drug addict. He is a good person that is attempting to get his life back on track, now 8 months sober. Not all that much considering the two decades he spent spaced out but still. Of small comes big. In most respects he is the same as anybody else but every now and again he will say something that is a little bit bizarre and highly unusual. As an example, when the grass seeds were put down there was some discussion as to when the fertilizer should be added. He then noted that in the hashish growing business the fertilizer was added a few days later, never immediately after the seeds were placed. We did not have anything to add that could top that tidbit of info so we just went along with this wisdom. Our garden is thus being refurbished according to the principles of the drug trade.

We are as a result on the lookout for any poppies rearing their pretty head.

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. has anybody told you this hour how awesome you are???

  2. Hi Jill - thank you! No one had so this was much welcomed. One of my dogs is throwing up all over the place so kind words were just what I needed! When are you guys coming over?

  3. I love the image of a garden being rehabilitated according to the horticultural principles of the drug trade!

    Don't worry about the gold records, they are on everyone's walls in NYC, at least it used to seem that way to me.

  4. Many others in New York may have gold records on their walls, but no one else but me will have two gorgeous Icelanders on their fire escape smoking cigarettes and sporting binoculars. I win!

  5. You made me homesick, Yrsa, for those "rear window" views you can find only in NYC, sans, please, the (un-rehabilitated) poppy seekers who so often enter thereby.

    By the way, did you know that NYC sells more high high intensity star gazing scopes than any other city? Amazing how many New Yorkers are interested in discovering new heavenly bodies.