Time Management

New York City, New York
November 10, 2014



Grand Central Station

I had an eerie walk my first night in New York when I got lost on the way to the theater, found myself staring at my reflection ( old guy, about 5’11”, white hair) in a series of storefront windows with no merchandise, as if the entire street had been abandoned. Nothing. Every window was empty. I thought, oh boy Rob, you’ve wandered into the wrong side of town, and you’re running out of time.

Take a deep breath, look around for clues, you’ll figure out where you are. You’ve got time.


Chrysler Building

Hmmm? There’s a jewelry store. Hey, there’s another one. And another one. Weird. The whole damn street is jewelry stores,

I wandered down that same street today and it finally dawned on me where I was. Your “Diamond District” looks much different by day.

Everywhere I turn there is another HM Store; I don’t even know what H&M stands for. There are designer stores in Midtown, designer stores in Soho; hell, I saw a hattery , , , when’s the last time you saw a hattery? . . . in Brooklyn advertising . . . I kid you not . . . Stetsons. I suppose there must be cowboys east of the East River, but I haven’t seen them sporting their chapeaus.

I don’t think I’ll make it to the Garment District. I’m not a style guy. I’m a book guy.



Every Sunday morning . . .well . . .except yesterday . . . I walk out to my driveway to find that blue wrapper which can only mean “the Sunday Times.” I have a ritual. I bring that monster of a newspaper into the kitchen, remove the double wrap, turn each section so each is upright and facing forward (what do you suppose the upright and facing forward thing is all about?), and then I condense. I’m a good condenser.

The easest and surest way to condense your Sunday Times is to first remove fashion.If you take away the “Style” section, and then those hefty, glossy, 1/4″ thick magazines devoted to Fossil, Faragamo, Fendi, and who knows how many others? . . . those are just the “Fs” . . .you’re on your way to the good stuff.


You Learn More

I have one exception to this rule. Each year, one of those fashion inserts is devoted to nothing but watches. I love watches. If I were a wealthy man, I would collect watches. I like the craftsmanship. I like the history. I like that I can wear time on my sleeve.


Looking Down, Than Up

Oh . . . don’t forget to toss the society pages. I’m sure the announcement of the wedding of the High Fallutin family’s daughter to the Hoy Polloy’s son is of vital significance, especially to the Fallutins and Polloys, but it’s not relevant to my world and we’re talking time management here people.

Finally, toss the Business section. I know, I know . . . I probably should both understand and care about that stuff, but i don’t. (Try this test at home: write a dollar sign down on a piece of paper. Okay? Now stare at it. Okay? Now quickly ask yourself, “Is that important?”)

Now, once you’ve removed style, status and money, you’ll find books. The Book section of the Sunday Times , like the reading room in the New York City Library, is a reminder in an otherwise glossy world preoccupied with appearance, status and wealth, that it is knowledge that we should spend our time pursuing.

New York City Library


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