Monday, August 18, 2008

Cheese Addiction

I went to New York City last year on business. Well, sort of. I should say I went to New York to visit a store, but work just happened to pay for the trip because there was a conference being held that I needed to attend. I didn't want to visit just any store, I was on a mission to find a cheese shop: Murray's.

Murray's is a pretty well-known place for people who are into cheese. If I won the lottery, I would want to open up a cheese shop like Murray's and spend the rest of my days mastering the techinques of making world-class cheese. At least that's how the dream plays out in my head. In reality, I'd probably tire of making cheese after a while and end up just playing golf every day, but that's missing the point.

You see, I have a problem. I am addicted to cheese. Addiction sometimes makes people do strange things. Let me explain. I had never been to NYC before. I was only in town for two days, one of which was completely booked with conference activities. My flight back home left in the evening of the second day, so I didn't have time to see much. Fortunately, I had a plan.

Step 1: Wake up early and find something quick to eat for breakfast.

Step 2: Figure out NYC's public transportation system.

Step 3: Navigate my way through the never-ending maze of subways, people, cars and buildings until I arrived at Murray's.

Step 4: Take a deep breath upon entering the store. Linger for an hour or so and sample as much imported cheese as possible. Buy some stinky cheese to take back home.

Step 5: Race around Manhattan like a mad man for the remaining few hours to see (in the following order) Lombardi's Pizzeria, Canal Street, Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty and Grand Central Station.

Step 6: Try not to lose the cheese.

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur. I arrived at JFK just in time to catch my flight home. I was exhausted, hungry and ready to go to sleep. I closed my eyes and laid my head back on the seat. And then the smell hit me. The cheese was wrapped in two layers of butcher's paper, three layers of plastic bags, stuffed into my carry-on suitcase and locked in the over-head compartment. But apparently that wasn't enough. I took a deep breath and smiled.

I may have missed out on what much of what NYC has to offer, but at least I had found what I was looking for.

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