I slept pretty well at Hotel Hell, the ultra modern hotel built for small European tourists. I’ve stayed in small hotel rooms before. Japan has small rooms. This was smaller than small. Around 4:15am I woke up with an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia. I think I had a dream that the hallways emptied at the same time and there was no way to get out. I splashed some water on my face and tried to lay back down, but it was way too intense.
I had to get out.
I showered in the room with a view (all glass walls) and got dressed, knocking things over while I struggled to assemble my outfit. I planned on writing Veronica a note so as not to wake her but the lamp falling over while I put my sweater on caused her to stir.
She was cool, and told me to go and get some fresh air and that she would take all the bags. That’s the kind of wife I have. I raced out the door and rather than wait for an elevator I bolted down 20 flights of stairs winding up in the basement where a nice worker helped me to find my way to the street.
New York at 5am is pretty quiet and it was humid and dark as pitch. The homeless guy sleeping nearby was shouting at his cell phone in his sleep (a lot of homeless have cell phones in NYC) and I rounded the corner and made my way down about 15 blocks looking for some coffee and something to eat.
The Cosmic Diner at 888 8th Avenue is open 24 hours and I got there just as a team of firefighters and ambulances were wrapping up whatever shooting/heart attack/ knifing had happened. I walked in with a lady of the night and laughed when the owner asked if we wanted a table for two.
”No, we aren’t together.” I smiled.
”You don’t look like you want a date.” She smiled back and walked over to the counter and ordered something.
I’m not sure if she said “you want” or “you need”— if it’s the former I’m slightly offended. Does that mean I don’t look like I like girls? Does it mean I look old? I’m confused. If it’s the latter then I’m cool with that because, yes, you’re correct I don’t need a “date”.
Regardless I sat down and the waiter brought me coffee and an egg sandwich with bacon. The food was super fast which is how it always is when you’re trying to kill three hours. I chewed really slowly and then got up after a tall thin European guy came in and ordered a Diet Coke, yogurt, cereal and eggs.
The owner was now the only waiter in the place. “I don’t think you can eat all that.” He said to the guy “But I’ll get it for you. And you’re getting Diet Pepsi.”
I love that. No apology. Zinger because any grown adult who drinks soda for breakfast needs to be reschooled.
With breakfast done I walked back up to the hotel and found a comfy overstuffed leather chair in a secluded spot in the huge and very dark lobby. Within a couple of minutes I got a text from Vero saying she was on her way down. Apparently she was worried about me and couldn’t sleep, because she’s sweet like that.
We made our way to the show but stopped at a fancy bakery so she could get some $9 eggs on a piece of toast.
We got into the show and set up, but it was crazy quiet. I sold a piece of original art that I had with me. I’d listed this same piece of art on eBay and it went for nothing, but the high bidder never paid for it so I cancelled the sale. I got more than twenty times the eBay price at the show. Crazy.
While the show was busy, we did very little in commissions or print sales. Maybe it was us. Maybe it was the intense arctic wind that was beating down on the table. I don’t know, we’d not done this show before so we didn’t have much of a frame of reference.
Late in the day, Veronica got a slew of commission orders and she promised to get them to the buyers by the next day.
We headed out to a private invitation only gallery show at Metropolis Comics on 37th Street. There was AMAZING vintage comic book art and some stunning new watches from INVICTA that had comic themes to them. We checked out the art, said hello to a few friends and then headed out to dinner for night two- to one of NYC’s best food spots.
Find out what it was next!