January 22, 2013
Reporters notebook: Indy, coming and going and just being there
By Michael Lewis
Catching up a few things, especially the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Indianapolis last week.
A unique triple play
In these modern days of technology and being on the go, you might not be able to start and finish a story at the same venue. I went through that last week while covering the New York Cosmos' announcement that they wanted to build a stadium at Belmont Park.
I interviewed Cosmos CEO and chairman Seamus O'Brien between flights at BWI Airport. I wrote the story aboard the plane and posted it on BigAppleSoccer.com it from my hotel in Indy (if the plane had wireless, I would have posted it from there).
Don't know if I will ever stretch a story over four or five venues, but in this age, who knows?
Some food for thought
Unfortunately, I did not get to St. Elmo's, one of the best, if not the best steakhouse on the planet. I've been there before and it has been worth it. But with all the work that needed to be done with events, drafts and interviews, I never got there.
I was hoping to go to Shapiro's Deli, a kosher-style deli, but did not get there as well for similar reasons.
Yes, I was disappointed, but got a huge surprise at the airport on my return voyage home to New York. There was a mini-Shapiro’s near by departing gate. Since I just had lunch, I decided to buy a pastrami sandwich for dinner on the trip home.
Being an aficionado of kosher sandwiches (I've had more than my share at Zan's Deli in Lake Grove, N.Y.), I put my critical palate to it. And guess, what? It measured up, even if I did not eat it when it was hot.
Sometimes good things happen when you wait or are patient.
A surrealistic feeling
while I didn't get to St. Elmo's, I got an opportunity to see it and get close to it in Indy -- on TV.
It was featured in NBC's comedy, Parks and Recreation last Thursday night.
It certainly was surrealistic seeing St. Elmo's on TV from my hotel room. How often does that happen: something is featured on a TV show (no, not news) in a city you are in?
So close, yet so far away.
Coming and going
You can't get from New York to Indy at the right time and at the right price, so I had to devise some unique plans. Because I wanted to hear Michelle Akers speak at the NSCAA women's breakfast on Saturday morning, I could not take the same airline.
Coming there, I took Southwest, with a change of planes at BWI, just outside of Baltimore.
Going, I used Us Air, with a change of planes in Charlotte, N.C.
As it turned out, using two airlines did not raise the cost of the trip. In fact, I saved a couple of bucks.
The problem is that you have to do your homework to find the right balance. I didn't use a site such as Travelocity, so the research took some time. But it was worth it.
For the next two years I won't have to worry about planes for the NSCAA convention because it is within in driving distance in Philadelphia.
As we descended into Indy, I noticed the Speedway to my right (I wound up sitting on the "right" side of the plane). It is as impressive in the air as it is on the ground.
I've been there before, way back in 1982 when I covered a bicycle race for Gannett News Service during the National Sports Festival (since called the Olympic Sports Festival).
It is quite impressive in person, especially after taking a ride on the back of an open truck around the 2.2 mile course with some other sportswriters. It was quite a rush.
Watching the Indianapolis 500 live from Indy is on my bucket list. Don't know if I will ever get the opportunity because of the busy world of soccer.