Itís Tough to
The last time I
checked in, I announced my white wine contest.
The entries are in, but Wino Bob and I havenít ruled on the winner.
Somehow, September 11 changed everything.
September 10, I took the day off because I had a series of meetings in NYC on
Tuesday, the 11th. Wino
John tried to talk me into joining Wino Bob and him for dinner, but I knew I
couldnít keep the financial brainoid act at its peak after an evening of
imbibing, er tasting, with the two of them.
in NYC was gorgeous. I got up at
6am, threw on some running shorts, and jogged in Central Park.
At 8:30, we were enjoying breakfast in Midtown and reviewing the
Powerpoint slides for our 11am meeting on Broad Street downtown.
Just a week earlier, we had a choice of 8:30 or 11am for the meeting and
our banker chose 11am. Around 9am,
my cell phone rang. Normally, I
donít answer it in meetings, but I peeked at the caller id and saw that it was
SAW Sharon. I answered and we went
through an interesting conversation.
Where are you?
WW: New York City.
SAW: I know that.
Where are you?
WW: New York City.
SAW: Where in New York?
WW: 53rd Street.
WW: In our hotel.
SAW: What floor are you on?
WW: 1st floor, having
SAW: Donít go up.
A plane just crashed in the WTC and they think it may have accidentally
been routed there by air traffic control.
WW: Thatís ridiculous.
Itís so gorgeous, youíd have to be blind to hit the WTC.
SAW: Oh my God!
Another one just hit it. You
have to get out of there!
WW: Another plane hit the WTC?
SAW: Yes, it just hit the other
tower. Katie Couric said itís
WW: Let me call you back.
in the world knows the rest of the story. I
called our banker and his secretary said he was staring out the window and would
get back to me. I didnít hear
from him until Wednesday. By 5pm,
Midtown was deserted. There was no
transportation out of there and there were few options for entertainment.
Our hotel closed its 6th and 7th Avenue entrances
and required room cards for entry on the side street. I walked into the middle of 7th Avenue at 6pm on
Tuesday and at 9am on Wednesday and took pictures of the empty street both
times. Iíve never seen NYC that
deserted, even on a Sunday morning.
We asked the
concierge for dinner recommendations. He
recommended the Red Eye Grill on Seventh Avenue, a few blocks from our hotel.
We walked over. Surprisingly,
the restaurant was fairly crowded. Seafood,
particularly Dancing Shrimp, was the featured specialty.
We found a few items to our liking.
The wine list was admirable, but quite frankly, I canít remember what
we ordered other than it was a big red.
Somehow, the Wino priority was lacking.
I would recommend the Red Eye Grill to anyone visiting New York and
looking for seafood. Also, there
was a jazz group performing that night and the restaurant has live jazz six
nights a week. Their jazz group was
about the only entertainment that night as all the Broadway shows cancelled
I was able to
catch a train back to Baltimore on Wednesday.
I could only get an unreserved train, but Mike Wallace of 60 minutes
headed out of town with his groupies and armed guards on the reserved train. We stood on the train until Philadelphia.
We also stood on the train in Penn Station for 45 minutes because some
sicko called in a bomb threat to the Newark train station.
I enjoyed my conversations with my fellow passengers although the topic
was the destruction and what we thought Americaís reaction would be.
catch a plane flight to the Southwest where my latest project takes me until
Monday. The airport was empty.
During the three hours I waited at the gate, most of the other flights
had a max of 20 passengers. My
flight had about 75 which was half of normal capacity.
All week long, most of the flights had less than half of normal capacity.
The airlinesí request of Congress is legitimate unless we want to go
back to the days of $800 flights to anywhere.
So what are we
to do, Wino Wally? I donít have the answers, but I know this, Americans will
fight back. My stocks are in the
crapper, but I donít care, I invested for the long run.
Iím fortunate to still have my job, my wife, and my children.
The best thing we can do to honor the victims is to forge ahead.
It isnít that easy, but doing so brings us back to the vibrancy that
was and is America. Iíll bring
back a column with the white wine winners soon.
Iíll bring back columns with items of decadence that only a true Wino
can appreciate. Iíll bring back
columns with stories of restaurants, golf courses, cigars, and other forms of
Wino type entertainment that true Winos can appreciate.
Iíll also provide insight to my weekly 3,600 mile roundtrips by air.
Coming home means a little bit more now than it did before.
Hug your spouse, your kids, and your parents whenever you get the chance.
Take your kids to see Cal Ripken between now and October 6th
if you can.