Hello, I Am In Queens

I have been up since 2am California time, so please forgive me if this reads like I gave my laptop to a three-year-old jacked up on high fructose corn syrup laced with PHP, but I am tired. Today in an email I signed my name “Holpy.” And I didn’t correct it.

As is my custom around this time of year, I am spending 24 hours in an airport: for the second year running, in fact, I am at LaGuardia. I am here reporting on Thanksgiving travel for my job, which means arriving at the airport at 6am and staying there through 6pm two days running, which means getting up at 5am, which is actually still 2am for me because I only got in from San Francisco yesterday, which means most of my sentences will be run-on ones like this one and probably won’t make a whole lot of sense. I have, however, been reunited with my first love, Dunkin Donuts, and we are spending many caffeinated hours together. Today at the airport I was on first name terms with the woman handing over my coffee. In fact, I shall be giving her the “BE FRI” half of our necklace tomorrow and keeping the “ST ENDS” one for myself.

Last night, I checked into the exact same hotel I stayed in last year, and you would have thought I was attending a family reunion. I love when things are familiar! “Don’t worry, I stayed here last year,” I told the guy checking me in as he tried to go over a few key facts. “The shuttle leaves every twenty minutes on the hour, the restaurant closes at midnight, and checkout is at noon. Right?” Later I went to the aforementioned restaurant, sat at the same spot at the bar I’d sat at last year, ordered the exact same meal, and even read the Oprah magazine I’d brought with me for the plane because I never get the chance to read the magazines I subscribe to unless I’m traveling. (Side note: you will never feel more middle-aged than when you are reading Oprah in a sports bar.) In fact, if you’d put the two scenes side by side in a 500 Days of Summer-type mashup, the only difference would have been my bangs: swoopy this year, blunt the last. I find that sort of thing very comforting. I like manufacturing my own déjà vu.

Alas, when I tried to recreate November 23, 2009 on November 23, 2010 at the airport today, things went horribly wrong. It seems the Au Bon Pain at Gate A has suffered some terrible sort of misfortune in the last twelve months that has turned its bread to sawdust, its cream cheese to powder, and its chicken to…well, a sort of powdery sawdust. Everything I ate today from Au Bon Pain was progressively worse than the last thing I had eaten, until eventually nothing had any taste at all. The thing with airport food, though--particularly when you have to eat all three meals there---is that you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but mostly you’re damned if you do. Perhaps tomorrow I shall branch out to Sbarro!

One thing I observed during the 12 hours I spent at LaGuardia today—apart from the things I was meant to be observing, I mean, like security wait times and the number of travelers who opt out of full-body scans—was how many people make a purchase at Lids. Are you familiar with Lids? It sells baseball hats and sunglasses, as far as I can tell, and the one at LaGuardia is not so much a store as a kiosk. I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be a hotbed of active commerce, but guess what, it was. I can only guess that people get to a point after check-in and before security where they think damn, you know what’s missing from my life right now? A patchwork ball cap that professes my love for the Mets. Oh thank god, there’s Lids!

In all seriousness, I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving. I shall be spending it with the in-laws in Connecticut—odds are I shall make Sean drive past my old Haskell Lane house half a dozen times, craning my neck to see if I can tell what color the new inhabitants have painted my bedroom---despite the fact that it feels like our visit there in August only happened three seconds ago. Has this year gone super fast for anyone else? I feel like I blinked and I missed it.

Filed Under:
Nathan Bransford
Nov 23, 2010

They really need to open a McDowell's in LaGuardia.

A. Tee
Nov 23, 2010

you and me both. tomorrow when we wake up it will be 2011 {or atleast it will feel like it} sigh.

Nov 23, 2010

It does seem like this year has sped by. Each year seems to go faster than the last.

Waving hello at you, from over here, across the river in New Jersey.

Diane Harvey
Nov 23, 2010

Oh dear, wait until you're 60 and then you'll see the years REALLy fly by. Enjoy every minute of your 30's, 40's 50's - and 60 isn't that bad either - it just goes too damn fast. Happy Thanksgiving - enjoy!

Nov 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Holly! I hope you have a wonderful holiday :)

Locusts and Wild Honey
Nov 24, 2010

I want to give you an awkward friend hug right now.

Nov 24, 2010

I am oddly jealous. I really love airports, and the thought of spending two entire days in one is thrilling. I realize this is probably a pathology of some sort. Hope the food improves!

Nov 24, 2010

There is a Lids store (not just a kiosk) in the train station I walk through every day on my way to and from work. Aside from the employees, I think I've only seen three customers in there. I always wondered how it stayed afloat, and now I suspect it is due in part to the Lids kiosk at LaGuardia. Thank you for solving this mystery.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Nov 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Holpy!

Keenie Beanie
Nov 24, 2010

I don't know exactly why, but I have detested Au Bon Pain ever since I did a nine month stint working in Manhattan. It should be called "Le pain, ce n'est pas bon."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 24, 2010

I was watching channel 7 news at 5 while cutting up some pumpkin for tomorrow and I turned around when I heard a british voice and it was you! on tv! you looked lovely and didn't look the least bit tired! good job! Happy Thanksgiving!

Camels And Chocolate
Nov 24, 2010

I'm totally the same way when it comes to magazines. I, literally, subscribe to more than 20 (luckily only one is weekly), and the ONLY time I ever read them is on flights or the odd time every month or so I actually take the bus in San Francisco.

Nov 25, 2010

So, that wasn't Sean inexplicably browsing the persimmons at my grocery store down here in Cupertino yesterday? Good thing I decided not to go all stranger/fan/stalker on the guy after all!

Nov 25, 2010

I prefer Dunkin Donuts over Krispy Kreme.. just sayin..

Nov 25, 2010

Hm? I thought it was still 2007. Can't believe 2010 is almost over.

bronze casting
Nov 25, 2010

It does not produce thumbnails. At least not with some WP installations. I wasted far too much time last night trying to get it to work. Others have brought this problem up with the developer and he is at a loss to figure out what it’s not working.

Nov 29, 2010

You think your life is moving quickly, and then you have kids, and then you realize your kid is 8 1/2 and holy cripes he's halfway to driving age and is that my prostate in a jar by the bed?

Working Mom Journal
Dec 02, 2010

You seem so busy.....

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

Just to make sure you have a pulse
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.