Ode to New York, or the Soundtrack of my like

I've always thought my life is a movie and that I have the soundtrack to prove it. 

Okay, maybe not original score, but definitely in the same vein as Quentin Tarantino who uses old pieces for scoring his movies.

My first visit to New York was for a job interview in 2006. At the time, I hadn't boarded a plane in eight years and the stories of airport ordeals of post-9/11 terrified me, but the excitement to visit The Big Apple proved enough to overcome the worries. I prepared for the trip itself as much as for the interview. I believe what Aerosmith says that "life's a journey, not a destination."

The schedule called for a change of flight in Miami where I also had to go through immigration. Big mistake.Huge. The line snaked about a mile long, and then the guy in front of me had some sort of problem that necessitated the officer to call his supervisor. When I finally arrived to the gate, they were screaming my name in the P.A. and I was the last one to board plane and get the annoyed, some dirty, looks from passengers and crew.

I did not let my old but trusted portable CD-player embarrass me when I saw the plane practically flooded with iPods. When the Captain announced we were approaching JFK airport, I turned on my seat so fast I scared the lady sitting next to me. I switched CD's, skipped three tracks until I heard what I wanted. I sat back and relaxed. The plane landed while I listened to Frank's anthem to the city that doesn't sleep. Cliché? Perhaps, but I'd do it again.

After the job interview, I had some time off and went sight-seeing.

I walked from Grand Central Station all the way to the Intrepid Museum on 12th Ave. I was surprised to see the streets empty and not crowded as you see them in the movies until I realized I was one of the few people foolish enough to walk in the middle of a snow storm in early March. But hey, it was my first time with snow too.

A quick visit to Madame Tussauds wax museum boosted my ego when I discovered I was taller than all the Hollywood stars except for Harrison Ford. Well, I'll hold the claim on George Clooney as his statue was sitting down.

The cold weather played a part when I had to choose between Empire State Building and Central Park. No regrets as I visited Central Park the next trip during early Fall. It was picture perfect!
One thing I never found out was why they call it The Big Apple. Whenever I asked people just looked weird at me.

Overall, the experience was exhilarating that I used the city as setting for two of my novels.
In FIREFALL, the main character is a member of the FDNY, although he then has to move to Dallas. And of course, what better city than NYC to make the introduction of my character, the thief The Falcon in TREASURE HUNT, here is the opening paragraph:

Frank Sinatra heralded New York as “a city that doesn’t sleep.” There wasn’t a more accurate description of the Big Apple as far as Falcon was concerned. Even in the wee hours of the night, one could always find businesses running, factories producing, convenience stores open, people working the graveyard shift. Overall, New York was a city of contrast, people struggling to survive rather than to live happy lives. With over twelve million souls in the city, it was easy to disappear, to blend in. One could walk the streets without risk of being found—assuming that the other side was not looking too hard anyway.

So you see, to me New York City has a charm, a glamour you can't find elsewhere.