Lunch with author
After breakfast at a popular diner outside Columbia University, my MBA friend walked me to the Manhattan School of Music, which sits on the edge of Harlem. There was a grand piano underneath the stairs in the naturally lit, spacious student canteen, which was the only place accessible by unannounced visitors like ourselves.
I had some time to kill before my lunch appointment in mid-town. Here was New York, the city that held memories of my last few years of jet-setting activity. I've stayed at the Crowne Plaza New York, walked to the headquarters of my last employer on the Avenue of the Americas. I've stayed at the Hilton Millenium and walked to Wall Street. This morning I left my friends' new colonial house in Long Island to be a tourist.
My lunch appointment was with an author of several energy books, one of which made it to the New York Times Best Sellers List. We had first met in London at an industry cocktail event but had never yet met for a meal. This was our third or fourth attempt to meet, so I was really looking forward to it.
How interesting the difference between American and British authors. If he were a typical American, he would be a typical American author --- being the first to speak and the first to monopolise the airspace, giving his credentials and his future plans all in one breath. The British author I lunched with only a month earlier was the last to speak, using the opportunity to get information rather than give. Being British, he assumed that I had already read both his books and digested them thoroughly. The American author today didn't make any assumptions but poured endless advice that I might need.
On the plane over here, I watched the movie "Dinner at Eight" with Lauren Bacall playing a celebrated author. How charismatic she was! And suddenly it occurred to me that I would like to be an author --- not just a writer, but an author. And I would like to have lunch with soul-searching young writers to inspire them to become just like me.
12 September 2003 Friday
Why I love Asian fusion food - East meets West in multi-dimensional multi-colours - the pyramid shaped item you see here is multi-coloured rice. I had several glasses of Thai iced tea, a beverage which London Thai restaurants don't offer!