Whirlwind doesn’t describe it. Highlights:
-Excellent Pork Chop House (no, it’s really called that), on a street off a street off a street in Chinatown. Just walking around that neighborhood sent me back to Asia for a dizzying hour. The smells, the spitting, the meat hanging in the windows… ahhhhh, delicious.
-Taking a journey through the last decade of my life, vis a vis the various friends who were able to meet despite my seriously brief windows of availability. First it was ColeH and SummerH (friends from my Twitter life in Austin); then Walton (a genius writer friend of a writer friend in Dallas); Drew (from journalism at Mizzou); Dr. Jerry (my opthamologist friend from my time in Taipei); Stacey (my old professor); Joe (from my early days at Mizzou); Chelsea (from Austin); Andrew (from the summer internship after high school). That said, I basically did nothing in New York except eat, drink coffee, drink vodka and rush to the next place to meet someone.
-The twenty minutes we sat at the Ace Hotel bar within five feet of superproducer Danger Mouse and kept talking about him loudly, only to not actually go talk to him.
-Talking to strangers, since NYC is clearly not a talking-to-strangers kind of place. Ended up chatting it up with a guy named Tom at PJ Clarkes, a bar that’s been the same since the late 1800’s and featured quite often in Mad Men. Turns out Tom used to be general manager of a soccer team called the New York Cosmos. On the other side of me at said bar was a New Yorker who appreciated Tito’s vodka, the Austin-distilled favorite. I told him I’d send him a bottle (we have no shortage of Tito’s back home), he seemed both shocked and appreciative.
-But what am I talking about? We were there to accept my first and only national Edward R. Murrow award. The Texas Tribune won two, actually – one for me and my friend Todd’s project, Stump Interrupted, the other for the Texas Tribune as a site. Evan couldn’t make it to accept for the site so I ended up having to pick up both awards and well, what an honor. Brian Williams, Soledad O’Brien, the NBC News President – they all showed to individually accept their prizes – it was an honor to be among them. Also great to see old friends from BELO, as two BELO stations accepted overall excellence prizes.
-Keith Olbermann won a national Murrow for writing and couldn’t have been nicer as random newsies went up to get photos with him. I later found out he did Countdown in a tux last night, so I guess he was able to make it from the studio to the awards dinner pretty fast.
-Roger Hu, my little brother who lives in Beijing and who I don’t see but once a year, was in New York at the SAME TIME. Not only that, his hotel was TWO BLOCKS AWAY from mine in Midtown. But we didn’t get to see each other. He had to leave for another work call in Boston the same day we discovered we were both there.
ME: Why don’t you just take the train to Boston?
ROGER: Cause I rented a jet.