Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Hoping for a stroke of luck

I’m flying down to Florida with a team of colleagues today to pay another visit to one of my clients. We’re supposed to be participating in all day brainstorming sessions over the next few days to discuss overhauling some of their existing programs, but we’ve just learned that the primary client, the one who we need to approve any changes, can no longer make it, so we're still going, but the value of the trip is a little up in the air right now.

The situation reminds me of the time a team of us flew out to visit a client in Silicon Valley a few years ago. We were presenting the findings of an analysis we’d spent 6months working on with our client and this was our once in a lifetime opportunity to present to her board of directors. We spent weeks preparing only for an emergency board meeting to be scheduled at the eleventh hour. There we were, all ready to go, with our all singing and dancing presentation and instead of presenting to the powers that be, the holders of the purse strings, we flew all the way out to California only to end up presenting to a team of interns.

Some you win… :-)

Preparing for the brainstorming sessions has been intense, but happily I had a lovely and relaxing weekend to soothe my jangled nerves. I stayed at Tel Aviv’s place for much of it, which was very nice. He has a fabulous, airy apartment in the Financial District, right off Wall St. It’s a neighbourhood I never spent much time in until recently, so I'm enjoying the change of scenery. It’s been touted as an up and coming residential area for the past few years now, although I think they may have even been saying that when I first moved to New York in the summer of 2000. That year, on the hunt for a place to live, I saw a gorgeous 2bedroom apartment in that area on John St, for $3,000 a month, which I considered sharing with 2 other potential housemates I’d met online. We were planning to put up a dividing wall to split the large living room and create a 3rd bedroom, a fairly common practise in New York, but we missed out on the apartment and I ended up taking a share in a large place on the Upper East Side instead. The UES apartment was nice, but nowhere near as beautiful as the downtown place which was in a building newly converted from office space to apartments, something that’s happening a lot down there. Tel Aviv’s apartment building used to be a bank and when they did the conversion they retained the black marble lobby. It’s funny when you first walk in as it still has like a bank like feel even though it’s very plush and on my first visit I remember wondering if I’d entered one of the nearby office buildings by mistake.

One of the reasons we missed out on the beautiful apartment in the Financial District back in 2000 was our hesitation about living in that neighbourhood so another apartment hunter with no such qualms beat us to it. My biggest concern was how lonely the area might feel at night, since, like the city of London, it can feel pretty deserted after office hours, bars and restaurants are few and far between, and as for a place to buy groceries? Forget it. There’s nothing down there, so when I pictured myself living down there I saw myself jittery and jumping at my own shadow on the way home from the pub of a weekend evening.

Seven years later I’ve learned that it’s actually pretty hopping down there, well, comparatively hopping to the tumbleweeds I expected. There still isn't much in the way of bars or restaurants, but at least Fresh Direct - the local online grocery store - delivers to the area and there are tons of people walking around, workers, residents and tourists, my God the area is teeming with tourists. They're everywhere, snapping photos outside the Stock Exchange, draping themselves over the statue of Washington or lining up to rub the bronze bollocks of the Wall St bullock in Bowling Green Park. Apparently bullock bollock stroking is purported to bring good luck. Who knew?

There’s no bear on Wall St, only the bull, and I’d previously assumed this had something to do with the bull being the more optimistic of the two symbols of the financial markets, and that traders were likely a sufficiently superstitious bunch to not be too keen to risk a run of financial hardship by the presence of such an ominous symbol, however a quick peek on
Wikipedia reveals a more interesting back story…

“The sculpture, however, was not commissioned by the city as a work of public art. Rather, Di Modica created it on his own (at a personal cost of some $360,000) and installed it in December 15, 1989 as "guerrilla art", trucking it to Lower Manhattan and placing it in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York.”

I’m just trying to picture the scene with the artist – in my mind wearing a beret, smock and clutching a paint palette and bearing more than a passing resemblance to Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau – trundling along in a big lorry in the middle of the night on a stealth mission to drop off a 7000lb bronze bull on Broadway :-)

Wikipedia goes on to say…

“The police seized the illegal sculpture and placed it into an impound lot. In response to the public outcry favo(u)ring the sculpture, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation re-installed it several blocks away to its current location in the plaza at Bowling Green where it faces up Broadway”

And they’ve been fondling his testicles ever since

Speaking of luck, my friend Kimberley in London could do with a bit of that at the moment. The baby she’s expecting is more than a week overdue and the delay is driving her crazy. She’s trying every 'old wives cure in the book to try and bring on labour as the alternative is that she'll be induced, something that is apparently more than a little bit painful. Yes…worse than childbirth!!! She’s been eating fresh pineapple, taking hot baths, going for long walks, and engaging in vigorous sex – something she claims is not so easy for a woman of her current dimensions. She’s saving her final weapon - the fiery hot curry - until Wednesday night, so fingers crossed it does the trick. However if the curry doesn’t work and the baby is still a no show by the time I’m back from Florida, I think I’ll pop down to Wall St and give the bull a tickle on Kim’s behalf. You never know ;-)



Top Photo Credit: Rithviks @ Flickr
Above Photo Credit: "Tourists & The Bull" Dahliapics @ Flickr

20 comments:

Ha Ha Sound said...

That's really interesting about the bull. Fascinating. Thanks so much for posting it. I love that sculpture. I once spent an entire afternoon shooting it from different angles with a Pixelvision camera.

And I know what you mean about judging neighborhoods. When I first moved to NYC, the East Village was so unsafe I heard gunshots the first time I ever went there. I thought that I'd never live in that 'hood. And guess where I live now. =+)

BTW, sorry I haven't emailed you back. I've been crazy busy. Will try to do so soon.

thewishfulwriter said...

Reading about spending every second of energy working on a presentation only to end up giving it to interns just reminded me why my "temporary career change" from marketing/advertising to working with children was a pretty good idea.

:)

but hey...at least you got a trip to FL out of it!

glad things with Tel Aviv are going so well :)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Ha Ha, glad you liked the post. I love the story of how the bull came to be. It's an amazing sculpture.

No worries about being busy. Real life can be inconvenient that way ;-)

Hey Heather, I have to say I've given much thought to a career change lately :-) This trip isn't going so great and I've not even made it to the client. One of our colleagues thinks she may have food poisoning from the meal we just ate at the hotel restaurant and none of us can get internet access, only via blackberry at the moment. This tiny keypad is no fun! Grrr!!

Emmy said...

I really enjoyed reading your post today, Hope your having a great day. :)

Valley Girl said...

Those pics are too much! Hey, you came out my way, huh?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Emmy, thanks for stopping by. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the post. Having a good day, hope you are too. Fish

Hi Valley Girl, thanks for stopping by. Yup, I used to travel out to your neck of the woods quite a lot, but these days my clients are in Chicago, NY and Florida. Best, Fish

Flowers On A Friday said...

i love the last picture! i want one of meeee there! i'm such a child!

Amel's Realm said...

Ah, Fish, I think you're curious to tickle the bull anyway hi hi hi hi...*wink*

I didn't know that tourists loved doing that to the bull. Poor bull...being harassed like that hi hi hi hi...

By the way, that's true that if you're induced into having labor, then the pain you'll feel is gonna be a few times more than if it happens normally. YIKES!!! I've had a few friends being induced to labor. Uuuuggghhhh...

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Flowers, glad you like the photos, I wish I could take credit, but I pilfered them from flickr.

Hi Amel, you see through me, I've been dying for a tickle ;-)

Agnes Mildew said...

Well, hope your trip to Florida is a fruitful one and that you impress the client and get the business. Can't tickling the bull's balls give you good luck for that one?

Amel's Realm said...

Forgot to add...I hope your friend'll go through smooth labor soon!!!! *crossing my fingers for her*

Yeah, I know you love art. *wink*

Have a safe biz trip and hope you enjoy your time anyway!!! ;-D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Agnes, you make a very good point. I never thought of that. Next time I will be prepared ;-)

Hi Amel, thanks for the well wishes, I haven't had any news yet so it doesn't look like her curry plan worked. I'm flexing my tickling fingers ;-)

Amel's Realm said...

Hi, Fish!

Go grab your award here:

Community Blogger Award

Mark Dykeman said...

From brainstorming to bollocks to (child)birth, you certainly covered quite a gamut in this post!

thewishfulwriter said...

two things:

from your response, it appears as though the fact you are in sunny Florida isn't helping make up for the bad trip...

second

i am reconsidering my career change as i took a punch to the mouth yesterday from an 8 year old.

wanna move to the islands with us and sell air brushed t-shirts?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Amel, another award. Thanks sooooo much. You have brightened my day.

Hey Mark, I never thought of it that way, I suppose I did run the gamut. Still no baby news from Kim. I am on tenterhooks.

Heather, that's sorely tempting. I'm feeling quite done with the 9-5 (ha!) I just don't know that I am done with NYC. Oh to win the lottery ;-)

Loquacious Curmudgeon said...

You know, I've spent hours in NYC trying to get people to rub my...

Never mind.

At any rate, love the history on the sculpture and I hope you at least enjoy some of the sunny Florida weather while you're down there!

Amel's Realm said...

My pleasure, Fish!

Wish you a PLEASANT weekend...and who knows maybe this weekend Kim's gonna give birth? ;-D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Good one Loquacious, very witty :-) Glad you enjoyed the history. Florida did have some great weather, but I'm glad to be back in New York even though it's raining.

Hi Amel, you have a great weekend too. I literally just picked up a text message from Kim as I got off my flight tonight. She had a bouncing baby boy - 7lb 10oz - today. No name yet, but Mum and baby are doing well. I guess there's no need to fondle the bull afterall, but what the hell, I'll do it anyway ;-) F x

Amel's Realm said...

YIIIPPIIIEEE!!! HAPPY to hear about the baby and that the mother's fine as well. One of my close friends is 7 months pregnant now, so I can imagine your feelings he he he...Such a relief when a friend's pregnancy and labor are fine! ;-D

Yeah, that's the spirit, Fish! Go and fondle the bull hi hi hi hi...