Arrival Pt. III
June in Manhattan
Sleep was fitful. The Murray Hill room was hot, and the street outside had provided a wakeup on my first weekday morning with heavy drilling just below the windows – a sound that I recall overpowered the sound of the clock radio next to the bed. Looking at the clock, I realized that New York was officially alive by 8am.
My month of residence on East 30th Street was racing to an end with little financial result. By day I’d been half-heartedly searching for any kind of work – even signing up at a temp agency that never called and applying for work at the beautiful B. Altman store on Fifth Avenue, where I was told my application would remain on file, whose meaning was clear. On a tip from the radio about a restaurant opening, I stood in a long line on the sidewalk for about twenty minutes, waiting to fill out an application, before I realized the folly of competing with a hundred former waiters and out of work actors. Aside from that, I hated making change on the fly.
Needing a diversion, I called up chef Seppi Renggli at the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram Building. Renggli had been hired by my father as a sous chef roughly 20 years earlier at the Aruba hotel he’d managed and where I’d spent the first four and half years of my life. Young as I was, these connections made me feel a little more secure against the vagaries of harsh city chaos.
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