The line for the cab was long and boring, the cab driver didn’t have GPS and didn’t know where I was going, and I didn’t have access to wifi. I could hear my mother speak from my mouth as I repeated the address in individual syllables. Finally, his wifi picked up and he knew where he was going. I felt bad, and asked him whether that was the Empire State Building in my nicest voice. He said yes. I stared at it lovingly, trying to convince myself that I was actually here. I would later learn that this was actually the freedom tower, but it made no difference at the time.
I found the bar I’d been told to go to, and wheeled by bags in. I told the bartender I was a friend of Amanda, and he said he had been expecting me. I ordered a locally brewed beer (KCBC), made friends with some locals, and ate some of their sloppy joe fries.