Sometimes getting to the show is harder than actually taping it.
offices at 14 Wall Street at 5 p.m. on Friday just to make sure I would get there by 6 p.m..
The taping doesn't start until 7 p.m., but hair and makeup take time -- lots of time.
I walk the two blocks to the N/R train.
If you are trying to get to midtown Manhattan on the N/R line, always leave an hour. These trains are the slowest, least-reliable in the city. At times, walking would indeed be quicker.
As usual, the trains are backed up. You can tell by how many people are standing on the platform. The people are three-deep in some places.
Never a good sign.
Once a train pulls up, it turns into an express, which means it will skip most of the stops.
This typical development will get me to the
studio faster. But it also means I must get off at the Times Square station at 42nd Street.
Sure, Times Square is a lot cleaner and friendlier than it was a few years ago. But at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday, it's packed with people.
Trying to bob and weave through the crowd wearing a pair of two-inch heels is tough. Toss in the uneven, crumbling sidewalks and I'm slowly wobbling my way uptown.
Finally, I make it to
at 47th and Sixth Avenue. The trip only took an hour.
When I get downstairs to the green room, I find
, whose doing some last-minute cramming. I hadn't seen Herb that week so we do some catching up.
Save for Herb, the green room is still pretty empty. Herb's cell phone rings. Now is a good time to jump into the hair chair.
For me, hair and makeup can take the good part of an hour. But that means I can miss much of the green room action as the guests and other folks arrive.
, the hair stylist, spends several minutes fluffing my hair (as
once put it). Then I head to the makeup chair for Karem's expert makeup application.
Without Mary and Karem's skill, I would look like
By this time, everyone's arriving, including Editor-in-Chief
. I can catch glimpses of them in the mirror.
While I'm sitting in makeup, I finally get to meet Jacob. I've been hearing about Jacob for a couple of years, but I'd never gotten to meet him face-to-face. I once said some not-so-glowing things about his new fund on the show, but he's incredibly courteous and a complete gentleman.
By now, it's time for the first group to file into the studio.
The green room empties, and I'm left to watch most of the show on a TV set. Just like the rest of you.