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The Streets Are Cold and Paved With Gold
Dispatches from New York


The streets are cold and slowly being paved with gold. Fall is politely asking the trees to shed their clothes. The hailstorm last night was its way of insistence.

“Cold” is of course relative – I’m not allowed to call this cold by anyone I encounter. Regardless the weather (like everything else) is treated as special just because it occurs in New York. Said storm was tweeted and facebooked many times more than needed.

I forwent a jacket and am going to my first day of normal work in 2 weeks thanks to the Festival I was helping with being over. Yesterday was my first day off in over a week and I spent it moving very little and buying groceries with a friend and her 2 year old son. After the stress of four consecutive 14 hour days going to the grocery with a kid riding on my shoulders was an odd sort of relief.

Then I drank, tried to have a weekend, got exhausted, got belligerent. Mistakes and frenemies were made.

Why this is all so much fascinating at the moment than corralling 1000 volunteers over 4 days is a subject for debate. The leading theory: I’m still exhausted and do not want to relive it. A close second is job security and not wishing to shit where I eat.

So I’m here on the train again after days of cabs and hotels. 56 hours of volunteers, event producers, celebrity handlers, riggers, and clueless guests later and I’m part of the commuting crowd trying to get to the office again through a cloud of exhaustion and coffee farts. I go from trying to keep people from getting in each other’s way back to being mutually in everyone’s way, another ant following a trail of pheromones that leads to food or shelter. Speaking of which: I’m starving.

Final tally from this weekend:

  • consecutive days only using port-a-johns – 4
  • ratio of hours of sleep to work – 3:7
  • Celebrities spotted: 4
  • Mornings woken up in Manhattan – 2 (they got my coworker and I a hotel room)
  • Volunteers enthused – >1000
  • Maximum cups of coffee consumed in a day – 5
  • People trying to scam their ways into evening events encountered – around 30. Skills learned running door at Titanic came in handy.
  • Cupcakes consumed in lieu of meals – too many to count
  • Actual meals eaten – zero

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Wow. This brings me back. I left prior to the org’s involvement in this massive fest, which I guess is a relief? I give you immense credit – I know exactly what you were dealing with. Still sorta gives me a minor panic attack to think about…

— Emily Sue · Oct 12, 03:13 PM · #

Did you give Michael Stipe a smooch for me?

EAT · Oct 12, 07:08 PM · #

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