Maggie, me and Navani at "The Report"
Maggie, me and Navani at “The Report”

Dammit, New York, just when I was starting to hate you, with your expensive rent and hot, hot temperatures, you go and give me a special evening and make me love you again.

I took the bus back to a steamy, humid New York after the long Memorial Weekend. The city just seemed more repulsive than usual. It was just the unofficial kickoff to summer, yet I questioned how I’d survive as I pulled my suitcase the three blocks home from Port Authority, then up six flights of stairs in a 90-degree stairwell to my apartment.

I was tired and sweaty when I reached my door to discover it was just as icky inside. So I dropped my bags, ate a big lunch and got ready for a shower. Only I found shampoo spilled and my roommate’s girlfriend’s hair all over the tub. I was then hot, sweaty and disgusted. I cleaned out the shower, questioning why I was picking the hair of some girl who doesn’t even live here out of the drain. I cursed New York and it’s expensive rent.

Tuesday was just as steamy. I felt like a hot mess by the time I walked to the office, but my spirits were high because after work I was seeing a taping of “The Daily Show.” I got even more excited when I checked the website and saw that Michelle Obama was the evening’s guest. I’m a big fan.

I recruited some girls from the office to go with me. Although we had tickets reserved, it was still first-come, first-served as the show is always overbooked to ensure a full house. We got there an hour after the line opened, but well before the 4:30 deadline. Then we ran across the street in search of air conditioning and cold drinks. We found one of the two. The guys running the place brought us complementary Champagne to go with our gelato. How sweet was that? Although we were all hot, sticky and in a hurry, we felt like someone special sipping our drinks.

Then we ran back to get in our line with our blue tickets. Our spot was along the north side of the building on a particularly stinky part of the sidewalk next to the trash. Gross, but we were giddy. We get to see Michelle O.!

Then came the bad news, a bouncer came out to tell us the show was full and we weren’t getting in. He told us we’d be put on a list for VIP tickets to an upcoming show, and that “The Colbert Report,” filming up the street had underbooked, so we could run up there and see that. So, my group of 4 headed to 54th and 10th for our consolation prize. Our names were put on a standby list, and we were told to come back at 6. Again, we went in search of cold drinks and air conditioning. And we found a place with both.

Maggie, Navani and Quyn with Champagne
Maggie, Navani and Quyn with Champagne

We got back to the “Colbert” studio and were let inside. One of the girls, Navani, was handed a red and blue card, which permitted our group to go up to the front when they started letting people in the theater. Somehow our standby tickets got us front-row seats and high-fives from Stephen Colbert.

And somehow New York went from being disgusting to being a place of free Champagne, front-row tickets and an adventurous evening out with friends.

My roller coaster romance with the city continues.

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